Pudgy Penguins NFTs: Everything You Need to Know About the Adorable Animal Project


Project name: Pudgy Penguins

Project type: PFP (profile picture)

Original mint date: July 2021

Original mint price: .3 ETH (approximately $600 at the time)

Floor price on OpenSea: 4.25 ETH as of 5/11/2023

Highest sale to date: Pudgy Penguin #6873, which sold for 400 ETH in August 2022

Where can I buy Pudgy Penguins? Pudgy Penguins can be purchased on the Pudgy Penguin Marketplace and many secondary marketplaces, including OpenSea, Blur and LooksRare.

Runs on: Ethereum

What are Pudgy Penguins?

Pudgy Penguins is a collection of 8,888 non-fungible tokens (NFTs) featuring cute, chubby cartoon penguins that embody “love, empathy, & compassion.” The penguins feature rarity traits such as different shirts, hats, glasses and backgrounds. Pudgy Penguin holders, who refer to themselves as “The Huddle” and “Pengus,” receive exclusive access to experiences, events, intellectual property (IP) licensing opportunities and other perks.

While the overall vibe put forth by the project is to create a positive, collaborative community, the project has faced controversies along the way. The avatar or profile picture project (PFP), which launched in 2021, changed hands after the community voted to oust the projects’ founders in January 2022. Holders claimed that the founding team failed to fulfill many of their promises to the community, such as launching a children’s book and a metaverse game. Following the vote, the project was scooped up by entrepreneur Luca Netz for $2.5 million in April 2022.

Since Netz took over Pudgy Penguins, he has expanded the reach of the project with deals to license Pudgy Penguins NFTs to be made into physical toys. The project saw a Christmastime rally in 2022. Recently, the project has gotten a $9 million infusion in a seed funding round led by 1kx to create an IP brand based on the flightless bird images.

Penguin expansion projects

Lil Pudgy NFTs: These smaller offshoot versions of the Pengus are a collection of 22,222 NFTs released in December 2021. Pudgy Penguin NFT holders were able to generate a free Lil Pudgy per NFT. In January 2023, they became cross-chain in a partnership with LayerZero, enabling them to travel between Polygon, BNB Smart Chain and Arbitrum.

Pudgy Rods: A collection of fishing rods also known as “rogs” in the community due to a misspelling. The free-to-claim NFTs for Penguin holders were originally pictured as eggs wrapped in red ribbons and then were revealed to be fishing rods in December 2021. The reveal was generally considered a flop and is seen as a turning point in the lore of the brand that led to the ousting of the founders.

What is the project’s utility and IP rights?

Beyond joining a passionate community, called “the huddle,” and its corresponding Discord, owning a Pudgy Penguin NFT allows access to holder-only events, meet-ups and activities, such as parties at NFT.NYC.

Holders have IP licensing opportunities and are granted rights to create commercial projects using the imagery of the Pudgy Penguin NFTs they own, provided the annual revenue is under $500,000. Holders are asked to submit a form to alert the team about any commercial projects and if anyone exceeds the $500,000 gross revenue, they must alert the team within 15 days of crossing that threshold.

What do we know about the team?

As touched on earlier, the current owner of the project is Netz Capital, led by Luca Netz, but the project’s founders were pseudonymous Twitter users ColeThereum and Mr. Tubby, who launched the project with the help of a freelance artist named Mingo.

The unraveling of the initial team came after doubts about the founders were raised and concerns grew over undelivered promises from the project’s initial roadmap. These rumblings came to a head after two events: First, the disappointing “Rog” NFT reveal and then an explosive Twitter thread from user 9x9x9x, which revealed the founders had allegedly drained funds from the project.

Following these events, the community voted to oust ColeThereum and Mr. Tubby and find a new, better home for the IP. After a few months, Netz Capital bought Pudgy Penguins and the IP associated with the brand for $2.5 million in ETH.

The new team laid out their vision in an April 2022 Medium post that detailed who would be running the ship. Luca Schnetzler, more commonly known by his Twitter handle name, Luca Netz, led the acquisition and serves as the CEO. Prior to Pudgy Penguins, he was a self-described “serial entrepreneur.”

The rest of the team includes CMO Nicholas Ravid, CTO Lorenzo Melendez, CCO Peter Lobanov, COO Dr. Kaizu and CLO Jennifer McGlone.

Overall, the new team has been lauded by the community for turning what could have been another sad rise and fall NFT story to one of a crypto turnaround, with recent news of investments and deals with powerhouse WME.

Edited by Rosie Perper.

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