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Pudgy Penguins

Pudgy Penguins is a collection of 8,888  on the blockchain.[1]  The Pudgy Penguins' mission is to accelerate innovation through IP utilization and community empowerment. The penguins were designed to embody love, empathy, & compassion, as well as to be a beacon of good vibes & positivity for everyone. [29]

The collection originally launched and sold out on July 23, 2021, in 20 minutes. Pudgy Penguins were one of the first NFT collections to gain mainstream media coverage and were covered in the New York Times column. [2]

The collection is led by who acquired Pudgy Penguins after the community lost faith in the original founders to deliver on their promises and several controversies. After the acquisition, the collection began a resurgence with the launch of a media arm, physical toys, a clothing line, social media growth, and SoulBound tokens for holders which all came less than four months after the acquisition. [18]

Launch

The collection of 8,888 Pudgy Penguins launched on July 23, 2021, and sold out in just 20 minutes, with users paying just 0.03 ETH to mint each Pudgy Penguin.[3] Each cartoonish penguin is assembled from an array of randomized traits. Some have hats or glasses; mohawk or bowl cut; a t-shirt or scarf. [5]

In August 2021, the Pudgy Penguin project went mainstream after Kevin Roose of the New York Times published an article about Pudgy Penguins and the Metaverse. The story came after a Penguin was purchased by Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian.[4]

The same month were airdropped a new NFT of an Egg that would hatch on Christmas day. Nobody knew for sure what was there, including the founding team at the time. When the unrevealed egg NFTs were airdropped, they didn’t have other art behind the metadata but the team had 5 months to figure out what to do with them. On December 25, 2021, the metadata was updated and the eggs hatched only to reveal a new image of a fishing rod, named . There were no other plans released about what to do with the rods, so the rods were seen as a rug pull by many holders and fans of the project.[18]

In an attempt to fix the situation, the founders quickly released a new collection of smaller Pudgies known as that holders could claim for free with an additional 13,334 available to the public to claim via auction.[18]

Founding Team Ousting

In 2022, after the rods controversy and the founders' failure to build a team to execute on their promises several holders felt that the project needed new leadership. Pudgy Penguins collection. According to @9x9x9eth, the founder of OpenDAO, who owns more than 200 Pudgy Penguins, Pudgy Penguins co-founder  "promised a game, a token, an educational book on NFTs and more" to the community in September 2021. "After a half year, they still have not yet set up the team, they are still in the stage of hiring," 9x9x9 told CoinDesk via Twitter. The team behind Pudgy Penguins didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment via Twitter direct message.[14]

Several days later, 9x9x9 published a Twitter thread claiming the Pudgy Penguins founders were looking to abandon the project and offered to sell him the project for 888 ETH, and he turned down the offer. Due to this, the project received buyout offers as high as 750 ETH from other individuals in the NFT market, including Mintable co-founder Zach Burks, NFT collector @beaniemax, and Netz Capital's Luca Netz.[14]

The backlash against the collection founder, , was so severe that he asked Pudgy Penguins holders in the Discord to vote on him leaving the project with the overwhelming majority of holders voting to remove Cole from the team.[15]
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New Leadership

In April 2022, the Pudgy Penguins team closed a sale and handed off leadership of the project to Luca "Netz" Schnetzler, who acquired the collection for 750 ETH. He mentioned:

"Pudgy Penguins was my first PFP NFT and I knew when I first bought it that Pudgy Penguins had the highest upside when it came to brand potential. When I saw other people bidding on Pudgy Penguins I knew I had to step in. I’ve built multiple brands to 9 figures in revenue over the last 5 years and I felt like my skill set was the best to succeed at the job."[16]

In the four months that had passed since the acquisition, the project’s new leadership managed to create Pudgy Media, a hub for all things Pudgy, provide social media growth, especially on Instagram, hold Pudgy Yacht Party in Miami with Tory Lanez, deliver truePengu & penguPins, Soulbound Token, and clothing line, and Pudgy Toys got licensed from the community.[17]

In addition to the new team, the brand announced a nine-member advisory board made up of experts and executives from across the tech industry, including names like Nansen CEO Alex Svanevik, COO of Saks Fifth Avenue RJ Cilley, Hasbro’s head of licensing Jess Richardson, and more.[23]

Pudgy Yacht Party

As a part of the F1 Miami Grand Prix, Pudgy Penguins hosted a VIP Yacht Party on May 7, 2022. The attendees for the party were chosen through a raffle using entrees of both Pudgy Penguins as well as Lil’ Pudgy NFT’s from its pre-mint link.[28]

Marketplace

In June 2022, Pudgy Penguins released their own marketplace. This enabled any user to purchase NFTs from all of the Pudgy Penguins sets from any NFT marketplaces such as , , X2Y2, and on the official website of the Pudgy Penguins marketplace. In addition, the marketplace also offers Lil Pudgys and Pudgys Rods as well.[8][13]

truePengu

On July 22nd, 2022, to celebrate their first anniversary, Pudgy Penguins released their first Soulbound token, truePengu. This digital token operates on the and uses the ERC1155 standard. The truePengu token represents a categorization of its holders into different tiers, determined by their holdings as of that date. To preserve this categorization, the token is designed to be non-transferable. The different tiers were separated as shown below: [31]

  1. Owners of a Pudgy Penguin, a Lil Pudgy, and a Pudgy Rod, all with the same identification number, received the Ice truePengu soulbound token.
  2. Owners of both a Pudgy Penguin and a Lil Pudgy as of the snapshot date received the Iridescent truePengu soulbound token.
  3. Holders who only owned a Pudgy Penguin at the time of the snapshot received the Gold truePengu soulbound token.

"Holders were sorted into three different categories based on what they hold and received their respective truePengu soulbound token. Not only did we begin development in quantifying identity in Web3, but we also became one of the first NFT projects to truly implement a Soulbound token."[23]

penguPins

On August 12, 2022, penguPins, the team's second soulbound token was released. The penguPins are identifiers for one's involvement and digital impact in Pudgy Penguins' initiatives. Sixteen total penguPins were airdropped to each wallet of the individuals who are licensing their Penguins for the physical toy deal with PMI Toys. [24]

On September 30, 2022, the newest PenguPin, honoring the Pudgy Penguineers was airdropped to developers from the community that are working with the Pudgy Develepers team. [25]

Soulbound Tokens

A Soulbound token was theorized by in his Whitepaper and the Ethereum Improvement Proposal 4973 that was talked about as one of the pillars for identity development in . Soulbound Tokens (SBTs) are a type of non-transferable NFTs that are revocable by the issuer and may also be recoverable through community recovery. The idea behind the use of SBTs is that the tokens have unique use cases where the transferable nature of NFTs is not desired with the aim of implementing a Soulbound Token while maintaining safety and future compatibility within the Ethereum ecosystem. [32]

Pudgy Toys


On August 10, 2022, the project revealed that Pudgy Penguin NFT holders will able to license out their Penguins to Pudgy Penguins and PMI to create a physical toy collection based on Pudgy Penguins called Pudgy Toys. PMI also produces toys for Fortnite and Among Us. The NFT collection had 252 ETH (around $466,000) in sales in the 24 hours, a 370% increase from the previous day, after the project announced it would be licensing selected NFTs to be made into physical toy collectibles.[19][20]

On May 18, 2023, the first line of Pudgy Toys launched. According to Pudgy Penguins CEO , Pudgy Plushies saw over $500,000 in purchases over the first two days, surpassing 20,000 individual toys sold. In the first two days after launch, Pudgy Plushies became the best-selling new release on Amazon in their Toddler Stuffed Animals & Toys category. Prior to the launch, the team previewed the toys at NFT NYC in May 2023. [34] [35]

In an interview with TechCrunch, Luca Netz explained that he sees “Trojan horse” for the web3 ecosystem and NFTs. “Unfortunately, NFT revenue is not sustainable and it’s not really growable,” Netz acknowledged, adding that the toys are meant to make the company more sustainable. “Secondly, we wanted to create an IP that transcends this ecosystem, and the way I know how to do that is through physical products.” [34]

For the first line of Pudgy Penguins toys the company chose and licensed 16 SKUs inspired by Pudgy Penguin NFTs from the original collection. The 16 NFTs were picked based on aesthetics, various characteristics, and how engaged the owner of the NFT is with the community, Netz noted. “Every toy is an NFT that lives on the blockchain and that NFT is licensed directly from the holder,” Netz explained. “So every time one of those toys sells, they make a royalty in perpetuity.” [34]

The initial launch included roughly 100,000 toys, priced from $5 to $35, that will be sold online and through retailers. Each toy comes with a birth certificate and QR code that unlocks a series of NFTs, or a trait box, on its online platform, Pudgy World, Netz said. “Pudgy World is where you build your character, play mini-games and interact with other users,” Netz explained. [34]

Short Film

In September 2022, Pudgy Penguins shared its first iteration of the project's storytime vision, Chapter One: The Great Blizzard, a short film created in partnership with Non-Fungible Films. The video shows different Pudgy Penguin characters, officially licensed for the film by the project itself.[21] After the release, the collection was also featured on the homepage of below the subheading Storytelling NFTs.[26]

The same month, the team introduced the Penguins that were selected for Pudgy Children’s Book in collaboration with Green Kids Club.[26]

Pudgy Media

After the appointment of the new CEO , the new management team has successfully established Pudgy Media as a centralized hub for all Pudgy-related content. Pudgy Media covers blogs, GIFs, encyclopedia, videos, walkman, tools, memes and clubs. The new CEO used this as his main platform to post AMAs where he goes into his view on the future of the ecosystem and the development of the Pudgy roadmap. [30]

Pudgy Penguins Asia Huddle

In September 2022, the Pudgy Penguins community ambassador, DegenDen, managed the expansion of the Pudgy Penguins' presence in Asia. The community held a top-tier event in Singapore where more than 120 holders were present.[26]

Pudgy Penguins Korea

In January 2023, was founded by , the Korean representative in the Pudgy Asia Council. Pudgy Penguins Korea is the official Pudgy Penguins huddle based in South Korea and was created to welcome newcomers, as well as provide an active community for existing members in Korea. They have also been actively hosting/attending blockchain events in South Korea such as HelloNFT, Nile ART Studio, and most recently, hosted multiple side-events for Korea Blockchain Week. [37][38]
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Pudgy Penguins Seed Funding

In May 2023, Pudgy Penguins raised over $9 million in seed funding in a round led by 1kx, a venture capital firm specializing in early-stage investments. Investors in the round also included Big Brain Holdings, Kronos Research, the creators behind LayerZero Labs, Old Fashion Research, and CRIT Ventures. Pudgy Penguins has said that it will use the funds to expand its intellectual property, bolster its team, and improve its offerings for the community. [33]

Notable Sales

The collection's most expensive sale was with mirrored body and head and green background, which sold for 400 ETH. Penguin #3950 in a Pineapple Suit, beach background, and navy blue skin was last sold for 130 ETH. [7][9]

Team

  • CEO:
  • President: Lorenzo Melendez
  • Head of Marketing: Austin
  • CCO (Chief Creative Officer): Peter Lobanov
  • CLO (Chief Legal Officer): Jennifer McGlone
  • Head of Strategy: Vedant

[36]

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Pudgy Penguins

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