Everything You Need to Know About Pudgy Penguins: From NFTs to Toys

What Are Pudgy Penguins?

Pudgy Penguins is an NFT collection featuring 8,888 unique cartoon NFTs featuring cute penguins. Each penguin has 4-5 traits ranging from background color to outfits and accessories, representing values like love, happiness, compassion, and empathy.

Key Takeaways

  • Pudgy Penguins is a collection of unique 8,888 cartoon NFTs featuring adorable penguins developed from 150 hand-drawn traits. Besides Pudgy Penguins, there are also 22,222 Lil Pudgys that form part of the Pudgy Penguins ecosystem.

  • Pudgy Penguins NFT was launched in 2021 by Twitter (X) user ColeThereum and three other friends. However, their leadership of the project was cut short when the project was acquired by Luca Netz in 2022 following a community outburst against the creators due to failure to meet promised developments and cash grab allegations.

  • Under Luca Netz’s ownership, Pudgy Penguins has continued to operate and grow its community and ecosystem, most recently releasing a line of Pudgy Toys that is available on major retailers like Walmart and Amazon.

What are Pudgy Penguins

At the time of writing, CoinGecko reports a floor price of about 5.4 ETH for the Pudgy Penguins NFT. Pudgy Penguins occupies the fifth position in the NFT projects ranked by total market capitalization, and the collection boasts a daily trading volume of around 120 ETH. 

Pudgy Penguins basks in its vibrant community of almost two million cumulative followers across multiple social media outlets. Pudgy Penguins is a PFP (picture-for-profile) NFT series, similar to other projects like Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) and CryptoPunks. Now, let’s look more at what Pudgy Penguins are, and why there’s so much hype around them. 

An Introduction to Pudgy Penguins

Pudgy Penguins is a collection of 8,888 unique cartoon artworks featuring penguins. Each Pudy Penguin NFT possesses unique traits and rarity. The Pudgy Penguins NFT artworks were developed from 150 hand-drawn traits. Distinctive features are spread across each NFT’s clothing (shirt, glasses, and hats), body (face, skin, and head), and background. This design is meant to give each Penguin a unique look. 

Each Penguin NFT is valued according to its appearance, rarity, and demand. The costliest Pudgy Penguins NFT to date is #6873, which fetched over $640,000 (400 ETH) in its most recent sale in August 2022, and previously went for $788,000 (225 ETH) in September 2021. So what makes #6873 so special?

Only 2.8% of the collection boasts only 4 traits; the remaining 97.2% have five traits. #6873 also has a green background, black skin, and a mirrored body, all of which occur in just 1 Penguin (0.01%). If you’re looking to trade Pudgy Penguins, you can do so on NFT marketplaces like OpenSea, Blur, LooksRare and X2Y2.

Pudgy Penguins are said to be an embodiment of core social virtues; empathy, happiness, compassion, and love. The Pudgy Penguins community has rallied around this symbolism and has maintained the project’s motto “spreading good vibes across the meta” over the years. 

Within the community, Pudgy Penguins NFTs are known as Pengus, and holders are Huddlers (taking the name from a collective of penguins – a huddle). Every Huddler receives a set of privileges for holding at least one of the 8,888 NFTs in the collection.

The proof of ownership and metadata of each Pudgy Penguin is engraved on the Ethereum blockchain, where each Penguin is an ERC-721 non-fungible token minted on the Ethereum blockchain. 

Utility of Pudgy Penguins NFTs

As a Huddler, you’ll be able to enjoy benefits like joining the Pudgy Penguins community, or even use your Pudgy Penguins NFTs and related art for commercial purposes, like promoting your own goods and services. 

Pudgy Penguins holders get to attend exclusive events including online community events, special meet-ups, and real-world events across different cities in the world. The Pudgy Penguins event calendar details ongoing and future events. Notable Pudgy Penguins holders are also invited to podcasts and other communities to discuss and share ideas about the community.

In addition, Pudgy Penguins holders can integrate their NFTs into their businesses. Holders can build their business around their Pudgy Penguins NFTs. The project specifies this in the IP rights provision. Business owners who are building their brands around Pudgy Penguins will also receive promotional support from the project and The Huddle if the business aligns with the project’s traditions. However, this business’ annual revenue must be below $500,000. Owners must notify the project within 15 days of their business revenue exceeding this set amount.

In summary, Pudgy Penguins’ utilities are majorly on communal and business (supportive) grounds. However, holders have the freedom to explore extra use cases for their NFTs on grounds such as commercial, marketing or so, provided they don’t breach the legal terms as specified in the IP rights.

The Pudgy Penguins Ecosystem

Apart from the initial Pudgy Penguins NFT collection, other related projects have grown under its hood. These projects make up the Pudgy Penguins ecosystem. Projects in the Pudgy Penguins’ ecosystem include:

Lil Pudgy NFTs

Lil Pudgy NFTs were introduced in December 2021. It is a collection of 22,222 NFTs originally minted on the Ethereum blockchain. Pudgy Penguins holders received a 1:1 airdrop of the Lil Pudgy NFTs and the rest of the minted NFTs were sold in a public sale event. Just like Pudgy Penguins, the Lil Pudgy NFT collection’s art features penguins and symbolizes social virtues as well. According to the project, Lil Pudgys are fierce, and mighty and are allies in the fight against evil bears of negativity.

On January 25, 2023, the Pudgy Penguins team announced that it has partnered with interoperability solution LayerZero to develop multichain availability for Lil Pudgys. Sharing its vision, the team claims that this development is focused on making Pudgy Penguins and its related assets available to even more people. Thanks to this, Lil Pudgys can be bridged across the BNB Smart Chain, Polygon, and Arbitrum networks. Lil Pudgy NFTs have a floor price of 0.4 ETH at the time of writing.

Pudgy Rods

On August 30, 2021, the Pudgy Penguins team released a free to claim NFT featuring eggs wrapped in ribbons without disclosing their contents. After months of speculations about the eggs’ contents, the team revealed on Christmas Eve that the wrapped eggs were fishing rods (NFT). This unfortunately didn’t meet the community’s expectations and caused an escalation of the already existing turmoil that rocked the leadership of the project.

Moving past the unrest, the project has continued to support Pudgy Rods (initially misspelled as Rogs). The project maintains that Pudgy Rods will serve as a multiplier for certain licensing deals, on-chain drops, or claims that might be done in the future. That is, Pudgy Rod owners will be considered for airdrops and multiplier privileges will be introduced for holders of the three NFTs in the Pudgy Penguins ecosystem (Lil Pudgy, Pudgy Penguins, and Pudgy Rods). According to data from CoinGecko, about 7,394 Pudgy Rods have been minted. The floor price of Pudgy Rods at the time of writing is about 0.29 ETH.

Pudgy Toys

Pudgy Penguins Toys Walmart

Pudgy Toys were announced in May 2023 and are now available in over 2,000 Walmart stores, the NFT project’s store, and Amazon as well. Pudgy Toys are real-life Pudgy Penguins branded and licensed toys. Available items that can be purchased include plushes, figurines, and other toys, with pricing starting from $2.97. 

“Pudgy Penguins is more than just an NFT project – it is a transcendent IP brand that is providing a community of both crypto-native and non-crypto native consumers with enjoyable products, experiences, and content,” said Luca Netz, Chief Executive Officer of Pudgy Penguins. “With the backing of our partners and community, we are excited to create the leading Web3 IP brand of tomorrow, and to introduce Web3 to the public in a simple, seamless way.”

– Lucas Netz, CEO of Pudgy Penguins

Pudgy Toys was employed to introduce the Pudgy Penguins brand to the world outside the crypto space and create a connection, targeting a new audience and enhancing the relevance of the whole project. Pudgy Toys are a gateway to the Pudgy World, a metaverse on the zkSync Era network. Owners of the toy receive a bar code on purchase, and they get to claim their character in the Pudgy World when they scan the barcode. 

History of Pudgy Penguins

Pudgy Penguins has moved over $400 million in cumulative trades, grown into a community of over a million NFT lovers, expanded its ecosystem, and has (relatively) stayed strong during the crypto winter that has affected the whole NFT and crypto market. However, before the project grew to its current height, it was a subject of controversies and breakthroughs, mainly on marketing grounds.

How It Started

Cole Villemain under the Twitter (X) pseudonym ColeThereum created Pudgy Penguins in 2021 alongside three other colleagues. The project was launched in July 2021. According to the original creators, the goal was to create PFP NFTs that embody happiness, community, and other social virtues. The creators backed the initial release with a basket of promises and improvements lined up in the project’s roadmap. Villemain and his co-founders issued the 8,888 NFTs at an initial price of 0.03 ETH.

Pudgy Penguins Controversy

However, following the inability of the founders to meet up with promised developments, widespread FUDs, and allegations of an ongoing rug pull plan, the Pudgy Penguins community voted to oust the founders and proceed with growing the project as initially planned. The NFT floor price slumped to levels below 0.6ETH during the unrest. Villemain and his team were officially removed in January 2022.

Luca Netz Takeover and Pudgy Penguins Recovery

Los Angeles entrepreneur Lucas Schneltzer bought the project for 750 ETH ($2.5 million) in April 2022 after winning the bidding for ownership. Schneltzer revamped the project’s leadership and announced new growth plans. Under the ownership of Luca Netz, Pudgy Penguins has seen a significant recovery in floor price and overall brand image. Pudgy Penguins has also become one of the first Web3 brands to offer major licensing opportunities to its holders. 

Pudgy Penguins Floor Price

Pudgy Penguins’ floor price climbed above 6.9 ETH in January 2023, a record price level according to data from CoinGecko. More recently, in May 2023, Pudgy Penguins completed fundraising for a $9 million seed round, led by 1kx, along with other investors including the founders of LayerZero Labs. 

Final Thoughts

Contemporary NFTs have shone the light on the different fun and technical ways to put the NFTs to use. Pudgy Penguins and similar projects transcend mere PFPs; they are to a large extent, a show of community power and symbolism. When augmented with other advanced technologies like the metaverse, this relevance becomes even clearer. 

The Pudgy Penguins community is likely to continue supporting the project and participating in promotional programs while the community grows with anyone who picks interest in the way the project operates. It is not certain how Pudgy Penguins and similar NFT projects will fare in the future but it will be interesting to see how its core values will be preserved during this time. The project and the community will look to continue growing exponentially under the current management.

Having said this, it is important to understand the scope of an NFT project before investing. Also, note that this article is only for educational purposes and not financial advice. Featuring this project is not a form of endorsement or recommendation.

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Joel Agbo

Joel Agbo

Joel is deeply interested in the technologies behind cryptocurrencies and blockchain networks. In his over 7 years of involvement in the space, he helps startups build a stronger internet presence through written content. He is the founder of CryptocurrencyScripts.
Follow the author on Twitter @agboifesinachi

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