Coincidence? Gary Vaynerchuk Explains VeeFriends Similarities to Children Book Characters

Coincidence? Gary Vaynerchuk Explains VeeFriends Similarities to Children Book Characters article feature image

Photo by Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for WeWork. Pictured: Gary Vaynerchuk

Two VeeFriends characters that have the same name as children books are merely a coincidence, entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk said Wednesday.

Vaynerchuk, arguably the most influential force today in collectibles and NFTs, was challenged on social media this Tuesday when two of his characters — Determined Dolphin and Gratitude Gorilla — were juxtaposed by children books authored by Karen Ritchie.

Vaynerchuk told Action Network on Wednesday that he never saw nor heard of the children’s books prior to building his franchise VeeFriends, a group of his drawings that connect animals with human feelings. The original VeeFriends sold more than $550 million in NFTs up to this point, making it one of the top 10 most successful NFT projects of all time. Original drawings sold at auction for hundreds of thousands of dollars and his VeeFriends cards were turned into trading cards by Fanatics new ZeroCool brand.

“I never claimed to invent the idea of doing something like this,” Vaynerchuk said. “In fact, I even said I was inspired by a children’s book franchise called Sweet Pickles, which is actually how I learned English.”

Vaynerchuk said that he sketched more than 280 characters for VeeFriends and these two just happened to match up, where the adjective was closely associated with the animal.

He also said that he does own the copyright for both 'Determined Dolphin' and 'Gratitude Gorilla'.

The children books — called The Treasure of Life series — have 19 animal characters, including Determination the Dolphin and Gratitude the Gorilla.

Attempts to contact the author, artist and publisher of the books were not immediately successful.

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