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From a students’ idea to an ecosystem: Pudgy Penguins NFT collection path

from-a-students-idea-to-an-ecosystem-pudgy-penguins-nft-collection-path
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From a students’ idea to an ecosystem: Pudgy Penguins NFT collection path

From cute pictures of chubby penguins, the Pudgy Penguin brand has grown into a full-fledged ecosystem with soft toys and its own game.

What is Pudgy Penguins NFT collection?

The Pudgy Penguins brand was launched in July 2021 by four college friends who decided to ride the wave of NFT popularity. ColeThereum created 8,888 NFTs of Pudgy Penguins, with a price of about $0.03 each. The collection sold out in 20 minutes at $90 apiece, bringing its creators over $800,000.

Pudgy Penguins were recognizable compared to other popular NFT collections at the time, whose avatars were usually pixelated or trying to follow new trends. Instead, Pudgy Penguins featured bright colors, tiny beaks, and round faces.

The first Pudgy Penguins collection was so successful that shortly after its debut, the creators released a new collection, Lil Pudgy’s, consisting of 22,222 images of smaller versions of the original penguins. 

However, the success could have been more-lived. At the end of 2021, prices for NFTs began to decline along with the decline of the crypto market. In addition, the Pudgy Penguin token holders’ community was disappointed with the attitude of the team of creators towards their collection.

Led by student Cole Wilman (ColeThereum), the team of creators shared grandiose plans and promised to release a book and game about their cute penguins. However, the team never specified a timeline for these projects. Their NFT collection was delisted from the OpenSea NFT marketplace for a while.

The creator, ColeThereum, had no intention of developing the project, and in April 2022, Luca Schnetzler (Luca Netz) appeared. He bought the rights from the developer for 750 ETH, or $2.5 million at the exchange rate of that time, hired a team of experienced specialists, and began promotion. In a couple of years, Schnetzler managed to turn an initially unpromising resource into a unique ecosystem.

Pudgy Penguins Ecosystem

Lil Pudgys

Following the original Pudgy Penguins collection, the developers introduced Lil Pudgys, a collection of 22,222 NFTs featuring hand-drawn Pudgys.

From a students' idea to an ecosystem: Pudgy Penguins NFT collection path - 1
Source: OpenSea

Lil Pudgys holders received the same rights as Pudgy Penguins holders. They have access to IP licensing experiences, events, and perspectives, among other benefits.

However, the collection’s success could have been more-lived. At the end of 2021, prices for NFTs began to decline along with the decline of the crypto market. Moreover, the Pudgy Penguin token holders’ community was disappointed with the attitude of the creators’ team towards their collection.

In 2023, an agreement was signed to collaborate with the LayerZero project, thanks to which Little Pudgys appeared on the Arbitrum and Polygon networks.

Pudgy Rods

Pudgy Rods were offered as a free NFT, and any owner of the Pudgy Penguins NFT could claim mint until Aug. 30, 2021.

From a students' idea to an ecosystem: Pudgy Penguins NFT collection path - 2
Source: OpenSea

Pudgy Toys

In May 2023, the project team revealed the launch of the Pudgy Toys collection. The stuffed animals quickly buzzed the market, reaching $500,000 in sales in just two days.

One feature that sets Pudgy Toys apart is that each toy comes with a digital interface called Pudgy World. 

The firm began selling chubby penguins in 2,000 Walmart stores in September 2023. As of April 2024, the company has sold more than a million toys, generating revenue of $10 million, and the total number of toys sold has exceeded 1 million.

Pudgy World Game

In December 2023, the authors of Pudgy Penguins announced that they were developing a game called Pudgy World — a free browser-based blockchain game that tells the story of the adventures of two penguins. The developers ntegrated the Ethereum network scaling protocol zkSync, launched by Matter Labs, into the software.

According to Michael Lee, the company’s senior vice president, the technology invented by his organization’s employees will allow the use of new business models and diversify the gaming experience. In this regard, a system for earning cryptocurrency based on Pudgy World will be implemented.

“The launch of Pudgy World, in collaboration with Walmart, stands as a remarkable testament to the capabilities of our joint development teams. Whether you’re a seasoned NFT collector or venturing into crypto for the first time, Pudgy World aims to welcome millions of gamers into web3 to have fun, as well as forge lasting friendships.”

Michael Lee, SVP of Growth at Matter Labs

Owners of NFT Pudgy Penguins and plush penguin toys can create 3D characters based on their tokens. The developers are also expected to launch a mobile version of the game in 2025.

How to buy Pudgy Penguins NFTs?

There are currently two of the most trusted platforms for purchasing Pudgy Penguins NFTs. First of all, users can buy a token on the official Pudgy Penguins marketplace. It is available on the project’s official website and allows, among other things, to buy a physical penguin toy.

Another most trusted marketplace for purchasing a penguin is OpenSea. Only NFTs are available for purchase on the platform.

What are the dynamics of the Pudgy Penguins now?

Data from OpenSea shows that the minimum Pudgy Penguins price is currently 7.985 Ether (ETH) or approximately $28,200 at current rates.

Pudgy Penguin OpenSea page shows the most expensive recent sale was Penguin #6873, which sold for a whopping 400 ETH, or about $1.4 million.

From a students' idea to an ecosystem: Pudgy Penguins NFT collection path - 3
Source: OpenSea

CryptoSlam platform also suggests that Pudgy Penguins ranks as the 20th most expensive NFT collection in the last 30 days, with $6 million in sales. NFT #5019 was the 13th most expensive NFT sold in the last 30 days. The token was purchased for $46,104.

Should users pay attention to NFTs now?

In 2021, NFTs became fashionable on the Internet. The excitement grew so intense that some pictures were sold for hundreds of thousands of dollars. And then people suddenly ran out of easy money. The price of collectible NFTs fell by an average of 90% and of ordinary NFTs by 99.99%.

Prices for some of the most popular NFT collections have dropped noticeably recently. For example, the minimum cost of the Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) collection has fallen by 20% in the last 30 days, indicating a possible drop in demand for these assets.

From a students' idea to an ecosystem: Pudgy Penguins NFT collection path - 4
Source: CryptoSlam

However, some NFT projects, including Pudgy Penguins, seek to maintain interest in their tokens by launching additional collections, games, or even physical goods. Therefore, Pudgy Penguins’ future may seem pretty bright for long-term holders.