Last week, NFT project “Pudgy Penguins” announced the launch of Pudgy World, a blockchain-powered digital experience intended to target everyday consumers.
Onboarding to the digital experience doesn’t require crypto or NFT proficiency, just simple use of the internet. Oh, and real life toys.
I wrote about the meteoric rise of Pudgy Penguins nearly 2 years ago on my public Twitter. After a 10,000% rise in a week, a $2.5M acquisition by Luca Netz and a $9M fundraise… Pudgy Penguins seem here to stay as a staple of the NFT landscape.
But what really is the point of NFTs? Normally, the conversation would steer towards possibilities and hypotheticals… but Pudgy World does something that is extremely rare – it showcases the power of the underlying technology to unlock a differentiated user experience.
Blockchains are transparent, permissionless, and secure. NFTs are blockchain-based assets that by nature also share the same properties.
The transparent nature of NFTs enable all parties to understand and agree upon all characteristics of a collection, including total supply, rarities, and ownership. The permissionless nature of NFTs enables token holders to transfer them to others without requiring a central authority. The secure nature of NFTs ensures that the only party that has access to the NFT is the owner of the private key of the wallet that holds the NFT.
The transparent, permissionless, and secure nature of NFTs combine to enable fair, free, and truly decentralized markets to be created around digital items, giving them tangible value.
The beauty of NFTs is simply the competitive advantage they provide towards creators as an incentive. Being able to award participants for certain actions, whether that action is simply participating at all (in this case, buying a pudgy toy) or completing level 100 in a game, is powerful.
For participants, rather than having your accomplishments recorded in a centralized database (that will be left behind as you move onto the next game), instead your progress can be reflected with NFTs that you mint, own, and can do whatever you want with.
Together, incentives align for participants and creators in the markets, games or toy collections they create.
Pudgy World aims to leverage NFTs to create enriching experiences for buyers of Pudgy Toys. The process is simple:
1. You buy a plush “Pudgy Penguin” toy.
2. You redeem your secret code after unboxing your penguin toy.
3. You claim your digital penguin, a soulbound NFT in a crypto wallet.
4. You open your trait box, which contains cosmetic items as tradable NFTs.
5. You can now buy and sell traits, upgrading your digital penguin as you wish.
Each Pudgy Toy, available on Amazon and soon in retail stores, grants owners the opportunity to mint NFTs. Your digital penguin is a soulbound NFT, while your trait box includes tradeable NFTs of cosmetic items with varying rarities to decorate your penguin.
Almost immediately upon launch, Pudgy Toys sold out.
Traits were then being flipped for multiples of purchase price, putting buyers of toys in profit. The highest sale so far has been 622 MATIC, or $545. The current floor price for traits is $20, about the cost of a plush penguin.
The beauty of this business model is remarkable, where both the creator and the buyer of the toys are in profit, similar to a hyped sneaker release.
On top of this, Pudgy Toys provide average consumers with a path towards experiencing the best that blockchain has to offer, without the need to purchase ETH or download MetaMask. Buyers only need to scan a QR code and sign-up with an email address to claim a wallet that contains the NFTs.
Pudgy Toys has transformed a “what if?” into a “here’s how”, providing a blueprint for other projects to follow.
The Pudgy Penguin price floor has been rising since the announcement, likely for 2 reasons:
1. The website itself says “adventure is just around the corner”, implying that a Pudgy Penguin metaverse may be in development.
2. Toys as a revenue stream enables the brand to generate cash without having to sell NFTs (and dilute their collections).
The Pudgy Penguin business model is using blockchain to extend beyond it. Often, crypto enthusiasts will speculate about the wild disruption of web2 that web3 applications will cause. What seems more likely is a cross-pollination of web2 and web3, where ideas are battle tested further towards the end of the financial markets risk curve, and the winning ideas get adopted by incumbent web2 leaders.
Pudgy World showcases the experiences that can be unlocked with NFTs in a way that can be targeted at a Web2 audience. Look for this business model to be adopted by both Web3 and Web2 incumbents that are interested in dipping their toes in this industry, along with existing NFT projects struggling to drive revenue.
Pudgy World leverages blockchain technology in a seamless, non-intimidating way to bridge NFTs with real life toys. This is a rare case of an experience that can be created *because* of NFTs. Who knows, maybe some cute penguins with QR codes are all it takes for NFTs to see a wave of mass adoption.
1. Is your aim for members of pudgy world to not understand/care how blockchains work?
We want to abstract the blockchain layer for consumers. Blockchain is the backend, not the frontend.
2. How can web2 brands copy the pudgy toys playbook to get into NFTs?
My suggestion is to create a unique value proposition that makes a toy more than a toy. Anyone can make a toy, how is your toy different? I would also recommend finding a master toy partner.
3. What sort of adventures await for pudgy world?
We’re building a world with tons of adventure, what lies ahead I will leave to mystery but we believe pudgy world will fill a necessary gap in web3 gaming.
P.S. Send me a Twitter DM @cryptunez with who our next AMA should be! 😎
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