Pudgy Penguins, an NFT collection of round, cute penguins, has seen waves of success and failure since its debut in July 2021. The company suffered a sharp drop in price and plummeting popularity, especially when allegations surfaced about its founders last year.
The holding community, dubbed “Pengus” or “the Huddle,” was upset that the founders were unable to deliver on the project’s original roadmap. The outrage was further heightened by allegations that the founders stole the project’s funds.
Some holders will kick the founders out in a community vote in January 2022. Normally, the story would end here. Hopes dashed by ambitious promises and bad guys. What remains is a community united by a common despair.
However, the story took a new turn. Los Angeles entrepreneur and Penguin NFT holder Luca Netz bought the brand for 750 Ethereum (ETH), promising to turn things around and improve communication.
It’s been about a year since then. Penguin NFT’s spirit of ‘good mood and positivity for everyone’ has been restored thanks to new investments, real-world toys, and a rebound in NFT sales, with prices hitting record highs.
Penguin march to success
After Netz and his new team took over the project, they focused on building the project’s intellectual property (IP), laying out a plan to “become the leading brand in onboarding from Web2 to Web3.” Unlike the original founders, they have definitely taken steps to put their roadmap into action, announcing the production of penguin NFT-based toys and children’s books in the summer of 2022.
“I believe IP will be the Trojan horse that will bring hundreds of millions of people to crypto and Web3,” Netz said in an interview with CoinDesk.
“In order to get people to want to get involved in this field, you have to fall in love with a character, and that character is the Pudgy Penguins,” said Netz.
Despite the change in mood and momentum, and the overall “crypto asset winter” continuing, August 2022 recorded the highest sales ever. It also rose at Christmas in December 2022.
Stoked for the pengs! @LucaNetz but excited to see where he and the new leadership takes em. https://t.co/bwro4rnHXx
— Garga.eth (Greg Solano) (@CryptoGarga) August 22, 2022
“Congratulations Penguins! I haven’t met Mr. Netz, but I’m looking forward to what’s ahead with him and the new leadership.
toys and online experiences
In May 2023, the company announced another $9 million in funding, followed shortly after by the promised toy launch. 20,000 units were reportedly sold in a few days, and the floor price rose to 6.2 ETH on May 20, 2023, according to NFT marketplace OpenSea.
.@pudgypenguins toys are dominating the Amazon sales charts.
They are currently #1 in Toys & Games beating out legacy brands such as:
—ALΞJANDRO 🍄 (@AlejNavia) May 19, 2023
“Pudgy Penguins toys are dominating Amazon sales charts.
Currently top in the Toys & Games category, with the following legacy brands.
Launched at the same time as the toy, “Pudgy World” connects toy buyers with the digital world and onboards them to Web3 in a seamless way. It was exactly the “Trojan horse” that Mr. Netz said he would create.
Buyers of toys who registered their email addresses unknowingly received NFTs and cryptocurrency wallets, making the cumbersome process of setting up cryptocurrency wallets and depositing funds a breeze.
The @pudgypenguins The team released their Pudgy World online experience which allows users to create and customize digital penguins via NFTs.
They use physical toys and loot boxes to onboard users to NFTs without users even knowing they own NFTs.
Here’s how the system works 🧵: pic.twitter.com/9zzhJJ13mO
— cygaar (@0xCygaar) May 22, 2023
“The Pudgy Penguins team has announced Pudgy World, an online experience where you can create and customize a digital penguin through NFT.
Physical toys and earned items can be used to onboard NFTs without users knowing they own them.
Here’s how it works
To cap off a strong first half of 2023, NFT lending platform Blend has announced the addition of Pudgy Penguins to its platform. It has established a position alongside popular collections such as “Azuki” and “Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC)”.
community is key
Among the NFT projects, there are many projects that have ended in failure, even though they foretell the next leap forward. On the other hand, a small number of projects have survived the dark, frosty “winter.” What’s so good about penguins?
In the world of Web3, don’t underestimate the power of community. New leaders like Netz knew that without the trust and support of the community, they would suffer the same fate as the original founders.
For that reason, he fulfilled his promise to “provide update information every month” and regularly provided information on Twitter and Discord. In addition, we gave the authority to create sub-communities within the community and planned real and virtual events that connect the communities.
By contrast, NFT projects like “More than Gamers” suffer from unclear communication and lack of transparency, with the Pixelmon NFT promising “the biggest, highest quality games” but admitting, laughingly. Providing art of extremely low quality. Neither have been able to recover at the time of writing this article.
The community can also share in the success of Pudgy Penguins. The project also allows holders to leverage and benefit from the IP through licensing agreements and other deals.
Netz said in a Twitter space with NFT marketplace Blur founder Pacman on May 25 that the toy was made using “IP from 16 different holders.” He continued that he felt it was his and the team’s responsibility to support that as it would be difficult for the average person to leverage the license and generate revenue on their own.
They said nobody would ever put Penguins on a billboard.
Now, we’re putting them on Amazon best sellers lists. https://t.co/GLNKbc8WmX
— Elmo’s Pudgy Penguin Fund (🐧, 🐧) (@0xElm0) May 20, 2023
“I was told that no one put penguins in advertisements anywhere.
But now we have successfully put Penguin on Amazon’s bestseller list.”
Similarly, Web3 giant Yuga Labs has given Bored Apes and other NFT holders full commercial rights to the NFT’s IP, giving Apes has appeared as an avatar holder.
Only time will tell if Penguin continues to be successful, but so far the outlook looks good. At the time of writing, the Pudgy Penguin NFT has a total trading volume of 170,457 ETH, worth over $300 million, and a floor price of 5.4 ETH, worth about $9,700.
｜Translation and editing: Akiko Yamaguchi, Takayuki Masuda
｜Image: Pudgy World customization screen (pudgyworld.com)
｜Original: Pudgy Penguins NFT Project, Once Endangered, Proves Web3 Turnaround Is Possible