‘Little Demon Amphibian’: People Are Really Mad About Crazy Frog's NFTs

Crazy Frog's entry into the NFT game is a wild mess of drama.

Dec 15 2021, 2:00pm

Crazy Frog, the 3D animated amphibian that haunted anyone alive in the mid-2000s with its shrill engine noises and “DING! DING!” catchphrase, is back—and minting NFTs. And people are very pissed off.

According to a spokesperson for the frog, Crazy Frog needed an official NFT collection because of unofficial crypto projects already using its name in the wild. 

“As there have been many fake, scam tokens and cryptocurrencies of Crazy Frog being released, we created our own official NFT drop to prevent any of those from popping up again and scamming our fans,” the spokesperson told me. “We’ve even seen ones that pretended to support wildlife foundations, but were nothing more than pump-and-dumps carried out in the name of Crazy Frog.” 

Advertisement

The criticism around NFTs has reached a fever pitch recently, with many decrying them as mere profiteering and harmful to the environment. All of that is reflected in the response to the planned Crazy Frog NFT launch, as people unleashed hate mail at the official inbox of the brand.

Email from an angry fan, via Crazy Frog

“Dear Crazy Frog, Fuck you all, you NFT dickhead shower of bastards,” one email sent to the Crazy Frog team, which they showed me, said. “If you actually understand the impact of NFTs, ye might’ve been intelligent enough to stay afloat as a company without having to resort to destroying the environment and encouraging shitty jpegs to be *sold* at a fucking auction. Goodbye, and fuck off.” 

Email from an angry fan, via Crazy Frog

“Go back to hell you little demon amphibian,” wrote another. “Nobody wants you anymore because you are just now posting cringe in general.” 

“Fuck you and burn in hell,” another said. 

The Discord for fans of the frog (which started in 2019) is full of people mocking the NFTs, cracking “right click” jokes, generally stirring shit about the campaign, and lots of shitposting. The backlash against the NFT project was so intense that the social media managers for the official Crazy Frog account made a public plea for people to stop emailing them death threats. 

An error occurred while retrieving the Tweet. It might have been deleted.

There are a lot of open questions about the Crazy Frog NFTs right now. The Metabeats platform that they will be launched on is brand new, with the Crazy Frog NFT being the very first step in a very ambitious project roadmap. After that, Metabeats will launch its own token, and in April it claims it will launch its own VR “metaverse” experiences like concerts for NFT holders.

On Sunday, one user in the Discord expressed confusion and asked how it all worked: are the NFTs a ticket to a concert, or will they fund a concert? In response, an administrator said, “for now we dk [don’t know] we will see.”

Advertisement

In chats, the Crazy Frog Discord administrators paint a picture of the NFT idea apparently being pushed by Crazy Frog producer Reinhard Raith, and they don’t exactly seem excited about it.

”NFTs are not for fans,” said an admin in one backlash-filled thread on Discord, “for monkey guys.” When a user later said, “Cryptobros will buy into anything even if it’s a fake tbh,” the same admin replied: “thats the point. Raith thinks they’re rich.”

“Do you think we didn’t tell him all the stuff everyone’s already said?” said another admin. “theyre happening and it’s his idea and his final word.”

“We do not want to give fans false hope on changing the NFT situation,” said yet another Crazy Frog Discord admin. “The producer is hell-bent on that and also we do not want to not speak out, cause people already believe we were not talking about it to hide that fact, that also doesn’t help. And with the project being filled with people from NFT companies, they believe [Crazy Frog] is perfect for what they represent.”

Screengrab: Crazy Frog Discord

Crazy Frog is also trying to make an end-run around the criticism that NFTs are bad for the environment. Most NFT projects run on Ethereum, which is a proof-of-work blockchain requiring huge sums of energy to verify blocks of data in a decentralized global race, but it’s not the only game in town. Proof-of-stake blockchains have a much smaller carbon footprint because they merely select a user to verify the next block based on their financial “stake” in the system. A Crazy Frog spokesperson said the NFT project uses the Velas blockchain, which is a proof-of-stake-based system.

Crazy Frog is a true child of the early-aughts internet, and a lot of these angry fans must be well into their 30’s by now. Daniel Malmedahl, a 17-year-old student in Sweden at the time, recorded himself imitating a car engine and posted it online in 1997, and a TV researcher found it and asked Malmedahl to do it live on-air (the bar was much lower for viral content then). The MP3 spread on file-sharing sites until Swedish actor Erik Wernquist stumbled upon it in 2003, and dreamed up a character he thought might suit that obnoxious noise: a 3D animated amphibian wearing nothing but a leather vest and helmet, miming a race car. He called it “The Annoying Thing.” 

It was an inescapable earworm at the time; the sound was licensed by a ringtone company now called Jamba!, which renamed the sound and character “Crazy Frog” and got to work making it the most-hated noise in the world, running ads on television as frequently as twice an hour. The Advertising Standards Authority in the UK received 400 complaints from viewers who could not take it anymore. 

Wernquist himself kind of hated Crazy Frog by the time the ringtone company was done beating it to death: “If I had known that this was going to be such a big thing I would not have allowed them to use that stupid name,” he said in 2005. “It has nothing to do with the character. It's not a frog and it's not particularly crazy either.”

In 2005, “Axel F,” Crazy Frog’s first single—produced by the German group Resource, which included current Crazy Frog team members Reinhard Raith, Henning Reith, and Wolfgang Boss, now president of A&R for Sony Music through the Mach 1 record label—became the first ringtone to top charts worldwide. People freaked out about the amphibian’s dick and balls being out, causing it to be censored in U.S. television markets. 

Advertisement

Crazy Frog staged a comeback earlier this year, announcing a new single, a Twitter account and other social media pages, a Discord channel, and new NFTs. Boss told the BBC that "the new video will have the Crazy Frog like he was originally meant—with a penis... But we will have to do a censored version again because U.S. media will not show the original version." An Instagram post shows Crazy Frog with his penis conspicuously missing, however. 

According to a press release, Crazy Frog now belongs to “Crazy Frog Entertainment, a subsidiary of Söderberg's Kaktus Film and the original producer team Reinhard Raith, Henning Reith and Wolfgang Boss.”

People are way madder about the perceived betrayal of the Frog’s foray into cryptocurrency than they could ever be about his missing dick. He’s unrepentant.

“WON’T cancel NFTs,” the Twitter account posted earlier this week. “2005: I was the world's most hated frog. 2021: I am the world's most hated frog. Nothing's changed, huh?”

And there may even be a few people who will buy some of the Crazy Frog NFTs. Said one Discord user who posted that they’d buy one: “Crazy frog to the moon.” 

Jordan Pearson contributed reporting to this article.

Tagged:

cryptocurrency, 2000s, Crazy Frog, blockchain, crypto

More
like this
The NFT Ecosystem Is a Complete Disaster
‘Holy Bibles’ NFTs Ask You to Join the ‘Metachurch’
Reality Star Sells Fart Jar NFTs After Flatulence Hospitalizes Her
Scammers Net $5M In Stolen NFTs After BAYC Virtual Land Sale Disaster
A Hacker Is Actively Stealing High-Value NFTs From OpenSea Users
Site Sells Famous Songs as NFTs Without Permission, Sparks Global Outrage
‘All My Apes Gone’: NFT Theft Victims Beg for Centralized Saviors
How a Radical NFT Project Is Fighting to Save Ukraine