Pudgy Penguins Walmart Debut Marks ‘Huge Step Forward’ For Web3, NFTs By Benzinga

Pudgy Penguins Walmart Debut Marks 'Huge Step Forward' For Web3, NFTs
Pudgy Penguins Walmart Debut Marks ‘Huge Step Forward’ For Web3, NFTs

Benzinga – by Chris Katje, Benzinga Staff Writer.

One of the most popular non-fungible token (NFT) collections now has toys available in Walmart Inc (NYSE: WMT) stores. The move comes after the collection was acquired in 2022 for 750 Ethereum (CRYPTO: ETH), or around $2.5 million, and saw its new CEO conduct an impressive comeback story.

What Happened: NFT and IP brand development company Pudgy Penguins now has plushies and collectibles available at about 2,000 Walmart stores.

Each toy comes with an access code to Pudgy World — an open-world digital social experience powered by Layer 2 blockchain zkSync Era. In Pudgy World, users will be able to walk around, play games and customize their character.

Every Pudgy Toy comes with a birth certificate and claimable unique traits via a QR code.

“Pudgy Penguins is at the forefront of transforming the toy industry, merging unique digital experiences with blockchain technology, like Ethereum and zkSync,” Pudgy Penguins CEO Luca Netz said. “Walmart’s inclusion of Pudgy Toys in their stores is a testament to the evolution of how consumers engage with brands in the digital era.”

Netz, who took over Pudgy Penguins last year, was a speaker at Benzinga’s 2022 Future of Digital Assets event. Hear Netz at the 2023 Future of Digital Assets, where the Pudgy Penguins CEO will be a keynote speaker.

Netz and Pudgy Penguins shared a behind-the-scenes look at the journey of getting in Walmart stores on Tuesday.

“The team spent years developing the Pudgy brand and fostering our community through social media and the blockchain; we’re thrilled to expand our reach with the support of Walmart.”

Walmart stores will carry 26 different toys ranging from Plush Buddies, clip-on Plushies, Igloo Collectibles and Action Figures.

Walmart will also offer several exclusive items, like the Ice Chrome and Gold Chrome action figures found in mystery Igloos.

Some toys will contain a golden ticket, which gives access to a rare trait for the Penguin character in Pudgy World.

Related Link: Exclusive: How Pudgy Penguins Plans To Shake Up Web3

Why It’s Important: Pudgy Penguins has generated over $400 million in digital collectible sales and is also one of the few NFT collections that has landed inside retail stores.

In addition to enjoying mass market adoption in Walmart stores, the brand also has toys stocked on Amazon.com (NASDAQ: AMZN) and inside Five Below Inc (NASDAQ: FIVE) stores.

In its launch on Amazon, Pudgy Penguins became a trending toy and saw strong sales upon launch, which likely contributed to the Walmart deal according to Netz.

Pudgy Penguins is “bridging the gap between our physical and digital worlds of play for kids in a really engaging way,” Walmart U.S. VP of merchandising-toys Brittany Smith said. She also praised the collection’s price point, which ranges from $2.99 to $11.97.

Other NFT collections have faded away during the bear market, but Pudgy Penguins has grown its community, and social media following. It has also rewarded some of its holders. The company currently has more than 110,000 followers on Twitter and over 870,000 followers on Instagram.

The brand is also well recognized for its use in memes and GIFS, with the brand getting over seven billion GIF views.

In a Twitter post highlighting the toy launch as a “Brave New World,” Netz said it’s important not just for Pudgy Penguins, but for all of Web3. Netz called Tuesday’s news a “barrier breaker” for Web3.

“Today it’s an amazing day to be a Pudgy Penguin, but it’s also an amazing day to be a part of Web3 and NFTs,” Netz said. “This is a huge step forward to bring people into our industry.”

Netz added that the new toys at Walmart are the end of season one of Pudgy Toys, with season two coming soon.

“A brave new world is not a destination, it’s the beginning of a journey,” he said.

Each Penguin Toy uses the IP of an existing NFT and its holder is paid a royalty on sales of the toys. Traits from other NFT collections are also a part of Pudgy World with Meebits, Kanpai Pandas, Creepz, DeGods and other collections featured.

Netz spoke at Benzinga’s crypto event last year and shared that Pudgy Penguins was working towards developing the intellectual property and see the Web3 brand start competing with the likes of Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS).

Netz said the company had a goal of plushies, toys, games and appealing to consumers of all ages.

“Meet them at their mark,” Netz said, referencing Disney. “Take market share from them.”

Netz left his mark with Benzinga’s audience with a promise that many would say he has accomplished.

“2023 will be the year we’ll show everyone we’re the best project in the space. You can book me on that.”

Sales of Pudgy Penguins and Lil Pudgy NFTs saw increased volume and floor prices on Tuesday after the news.

Hear exclusive commentary from Luca Netz and more on the future of Pudgy Penguins. Benzinga’s Future of Crypto 2023 hits New York City on Nov. 14, 2023. Get Tickets Today!

© 2023 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.

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