Along with the Bored Apes, our furry little friends – also known as “Pudgy Penguins” – quickly rose to fame in the 2021 NFT bull run.
These Penguins were so charming that they sold out in less than 20 minutes and the prices soared over 200% within the first few days of the launch.
Unfortunately, the craze didn’t last long – the flightless birds couldn’t fly after all. In the following months, the floor price of the collection crashed hard, dropping nearly 600% from the highs.
Things appeared extremely bleak for the beaked creatures.
However, in a dramatic turn of events, the project rediscovered itself under a new leadership, and the floor prices are soaring once again. Not long ago, a rare Pudgy Penguin went for a mind-boggling 400 ETH (approx $600k) on OpenSea.
But what exactly happened?
Pudgy Penguins: An Overview
Launched in July 2021, Pudgy Penguin is an Ethereum-based handcrafted collection of 8,888 adorable and bulbous penguins created to spread good vibes and positivity. You’ll find them mostly chilling around the icy parts of the metaverse.
The mission of the Penguins is to bring joy to anyone enduring a rough patch, ensuring the brand can significantly impact a person’s life through its inclusive and simplistic art.
Each P2P is based on five possible characteristics: body, face, background, skin, and head. The background trait includes 5 unique 1/1 artwork, called Trick Or Treating, Green, Underwater, On The Beach, and Supermarket. These are the most expensive Penguins, some having gone for as high as 100 ETH.
Interestingly, Mingo didn’t know much about NFTs, and it was Cole who handheld him to build different traits such as outfits, hats, color outlays, etc.
And without even knowing, Mingo became the artist of one of the most successful NFT projects, and thankfully, he was later compensated with $23K in dollars and $37K in ETH.
The Hibernation of the Penguins and the Introduction of Lil Pudgys
Sadly, fame didn’t last long for the Penguins – things began to spiral downwards. The floor price of the project hit 0.6 ETH from the highs of 3.7 ETH on the back of declining sales, an unfulfilled roadmap, and slow progress – leaving an increasingly frustrated community.
In an attempt to turn things around, the founders had given away free surprise eggs that were supposed to hatch on Christmas 2021. When the time came, they gifted fishing rods, misspelled as “rog,” and the community frowned. Aside from that, the rods were pretty much useless, without any real utility.
It exacerbated the situation, and people called for the ouster of the founders, with the floor price hitting all-time lows.
The team also tried to raise funds through a support NFT project called “Lil Pudgys.” It’s a collection of 22,222 random machine-generated penguins that acted as allies of Pudgy Penguins.
Lil Pudgys are even cuter-looking chicks of the bigger Penguins on a mission to cut through negativity. Launched with a similar kind of framework, 8,888 of these lil’ fellows were given away for free to the existing holders, and the remaining 13,334 were publicly sold.
And guess what? It worked. The team was able to raise around 13K ETH.
However, soon after the raise, rumors started to circulate that the founders might try a rug pull after the project’s funds were emptied.
In Jan 2022, Twitter user @9x9x9eth, who reportedly still owns over 200 Pudgy Penguin NFTs, posted a Twitter thread alleging that the founders were looking for a sell-off despite promises of a game, a book, and a native token. 9x9x9 even posted a screenshot of a private conversation with co-founder Mr. Tubby offering him a buy-out of 888 ETH for the entire project, including the IP rights.
Here’s some data on the total funds raised by the founders until Jan 2022, shared over a discord channel.
Luckily, 9x9x9’s disclosure didn’t go in vain; Pudgy Penguin received several bids from well-known people in the industry. And finally, after a lot of speculation, in April 2022, Luca Netz, who runs the angel investment firm Netz Capital, took over the project for 750 ETH or approx $2.5 million at that time.
Netz, a Pudgy Penguin supporter even before the sale, now runs the project alongside his friend Cameron Mouléne, a web3 investor.
Soon after the takeover, Netz established a new nine-member advisory board consisting of tech-heavyweights, including the likes of Nansen CEO Alex Svanevik, Hasbro’s licensing head Jess Richardson, Saks Fifth Avenue COO RJ Ciley, and a member of Meta’s partnership team, Jordan Sterling.
He retained some of the items from the roadmap, like the Children’s book, and has since announced a new deal with plush toys maker PMI toys, who also makes toys for big brands such as Fortnite and Nickelodeon.
The community seems to be loving the changes and has rewarded the collection handsomely with a 300% rise in the floor price – currently trading at around 3 ETH.
“We’ve been working our tail off for the last 6 months, and I feel like it’s finally getting noticed,” said Netz in a statement to Decrypt in Aug 2022.
Pudgy Penguins, undoubtedly, has made a strong comeback down from the ashes. If anything, other struggling collections can take que and learn how a leadership change can reignite enthusiasm in a project.
A change in leadership has been frequently rewarded even for publicly listed companies, including Apple and Microsoft, in the past, and this isn’t any different.
How to Buy a Pudgy Penguin NFT?
You can buy a Pudgy Penguin NFT by loading up some ETH on a web3 wallet, like MetaMask, and connecting the wallet to OpenSea or LooksRare. Scams are rampant in the industry, so make sure you follow links to official NFT marketplaces.