Discover the Pudgy Penguins NFT collection that has defied the bear market by setting a new all-time high floor price.
The bear market has been tough, with even the most resilient projects losing considerable amounts of ETH from their floor price. Pudgy Penguins is one project bucking this trend. The web 3.0 project focused on community and IP utilization broke its all-time high floor price at ETH 8.25 in early 2023.
Pudgy Penguins is a community-driven, decentralized PFP project. Today, it claims one of the most vibrant communities in the NFT space, but it has a controversial past that includes a near rug pull and a hostile takeover. This post will tell you everything you need to know about the Pudgy Penguins’ ecosystem, IP rights, controversial history, and plans for the future.
Pudgy Penguins Explained
Pudgy Penguins is considered one of the first blue-chip Ethereum NFT collections and compromises 8,888 ERC-721 PFP Penguins with randomly assigned hand-drawn features through a generative art program. The Pudgy community likes to refer to itself as ‘The Huddle,’ and people have paid huge sums to join the ‘Huddle.’ For example, one Pudgy sold for over $600k in 2022.
Since the genesis mint, the Pudgy Penguins family has expanded with the addition of the Lil Pudgy. The smaller cousins of the original Pudgy Penguins compromise a 22,222-piece PFP collection that generally has a lower floor price than the originals. You can learn about the Pudgy Penguin and Lil Pudgy’s community and project by following the project on Twitter and joining their Discord.
Who Created Pudgy Penguins?
The Pudgy Penguins’ history is short but turbulent. The original creators of the project were a small group of college students who launched the project in July 2021. The creators ended up in deep water and today have nothing to do with the project, and information about them is limited.
- Cole Villemain: Co-founder, known on Twitter as @ColeThereum, describes himself as a digital art collector and anime fan. He was removed from the project by the Puddgy community shortly after launch.
- Clayton Patterson: According to a New York Times article Clayton was a co-founder, known online as @mrtubby, but his social media accounts appear to have been deleted or changed since the community voted to remove him.
According to an official blog post, the take-over from Clayton and the other OG owners was completed in April 2022, and an advisory board filed with web 2.0 and 3.0 experts was set up to guide the project forward.
There’s little to no information about ‘Mickyj’ and ‘Jonah,’ both of whom have also been credited with co-creating the collections. Needless to say, they were also removed from the project by the community shortly after the launch.
When Did Pudgy Penguins Launch?
The Pudgy Penguins hit the Ethereum blockchain in July 2021 following massive anticipation that even saw the flightless birds featured in the New York Times. The Penguins sold out within an hour, with over 4,000 different wallets picking up at least one of the NFTs at a starting mint price of ETH 0.03 ($94).
The ETH volume during the launch was insane and shattered the previous record when it hit just under $150 million. Things looked good for the Penguins. The road map had made a lot of promises, and the floor price kept pumping.
A spectacular crash eventually followed the euphoric launch. In December 2021, Dart, or a.k.a coldpizza.eth, a community moderator, came forward on Twitter, accusing the founders of underpaying him and offering him bribes.
Darth’s Tweets angered the community, but the final blow for the project came through an absurd Christmas Day airdrop that ended with some terribly drawn NFT fishing rods dropping into users’ wallets.
Following the disaster airdrop, a conversation between Pudgy whale @9x9x9eth leaked, alleging the founders were trying to sell the project and walk away with the funds. Shortly after the Tweet went live, the floor price tanked, and the project appeared to be finished.
In April 2022, the community rallied to resurrect the project, and Luca Schnetzler, a USA-based entrepreneur, stepped up as the leader, purchasing the entire project for ETH 750 ($2.5 million becoming the Pudgy Penguins CEO. You can find the full list of team members working under Luca on the Pudgy Penguin’s official site.
Luca’s purchase pushed the project’s floor price up considerably, and since April 2022, things have been going much better in terms of floor price, trading volume, and the Huddle’s morale.
What Makes Pudgy Penguins Unique?
The Pudgy Penguins have a potential combination of five different trait types, Body, Background, Face, Head, and Skin. The rarest Penguins in the collection have four traits (2.8%), and the rest have five (97.2%).
The rarest Pudgy, according to Rarity Sniper, is #6873. Naturally, it has only four traits that, include a Green Background (0.01%), Black Skin (0.01%), and a Mirrored Body (0.01%). This relatively plain-looking Pudgy sold for an astonishing ETH 400 ($640K). You can read more about insanely rare and pricy NFTs in our ‘Best-Selling Rarest NFTs’ post.
Pudgy #5678 ranks #2 for rarity with four totally unique traits, including the Trick Or Treating Background (0.01%) and Pillow Case Body (0.01%). The only reason this spooky penguin missed out on the number one rank is that it has five traits as opposed to the rarer four.
The Pudgy Penguins ended 2022 by smashing through their all-time high floor price and even temporarily posting higher 24-hour trading volumes than the Bored Ape Yacht Club. The late 2022 success has continued into 2023, with their monthly trading volume placing them firmly in the top 20 on OpenSea.
What Does A Pudgy Penguins Do?
Although the Pudgy Penguins are primarily PFP collectibles and the metaverse game and token promised by the original founders were never realized, the project has developed some use cases.
In December 2021, every Pudgy Penguin was offered the chance to claim a Lil Pudgy by visiting the Pudgy website and connecting their Ethereum wallet. There are 22,222 NFTs in the Lil Pudgy collection, and they grant holders generous IP rights and access to exclusive Pudgy events.
The Lil Pudgy collection’s average price has been increasing steadily since its launch, and they appear to have benefited from the volume pump experienced by the Genesis collection in late 2022. As of writing, they have a floor price of ETH 0.7 ($900) and a total volume of ETH 5,884 ($7.5 million).
The rarest Lil Pudgy NFTs have sold for huge sums. For example, Lil Pudgy #10329 has a unique Pudgy Knight Gold trait not found anywhere else in the collection and sold for ETH 69 ($84k) on Christmas eve 2022.
The Pudgy Penguin developers and community are keen to use the combined creativity of the Huddle to build the Pudgy brand. According to the official Pudgy Penguin’s IP Rights document, all Pudgy holders are “Granted a limited, worldwide, nonexclusive license to copy, access, use and otherwise exploit the primary owner’s pudgy penguin nft and related art, for the purpose of commercializing and promoting their own goods and services.”
The only condition in terms of commercial use is that the Pudgy owner doesn’t earn more than $500k in revenue within any 12-month period. By offering a flexible copyrights contract to Pudgy holders, the community can launch their own products and campaigns, which in turn grows the Pudgy Penguins brand.
You’ll find the full Pudgy Penguins IP-rights document on the official website, and you can learn more about NFT copyrights in our ‘Does Owning An NFT Mean You Own The Copyright?’ post.
In July 2022, Pudgy Penguins partnered with PMI Toys, a leading children’s toy, and merchandise brand, in a deal that the developers described as a push to merge web 3.0 IP rights with real-world merchandising. The developer explained in an official Tweet that licensing rights for the ‘Pudgy Plushies’ will come directly from the community.
The project is still being developed, but it’s an interesting take on web 3.0 licensing rights. Essentially, a Pudgy Penguin holder could profit directly from the partnership if their Pudgy is manufactured by PMI toys and then sold in stores.
The Pudgy Penguins’ have a media platform run entirely by the community. Pudgy Media schedules special Twitter Spaces releases monthly updates about the project’s development and organizes real-world events. The most successful Pudgy Media milestone was the Pudgy Penguins VIP Yacht Party that took place at the Miami F1 Grand Prix in 2022. The Yacht Party was exclusive to Pudgy Penguin holders and was an effective PR event for the project.
How To Buy Pudgy Penguins
The best marketplace for trading Pudgy Penguins is the Pudgy Penguins Marketplace. Before purchasing a Pudgy Penguin, you should do your own research and get to know the Pudgy community on Discord, as the Huddle is central to the project.
Follow these steps to purchase a Pudgy Penguin:
- Get a Crypto Wallet: Get an ETH-compatible crypto wallet like MetaMask.
- Connect to Marketplace: Visit the Pudgy Penguins Marketplace and connect your wallet.
- Explore: Browse the collection and use the filters to sort them by price and rarity.
- Buy: Purchase a Pudgy by pressing the buy now button.
You can purchase a Lil Pudgy by following the same steps.
The Future Of Pudgy Penguins NFT
Pudgy Penguins went from one of the most hyped NFT projects of mid-2021 to a near-disaster by the end of 2022. Since the community forced out the original creators and Luca Schnetzle took over as CEO, the Huddle has gone from strength to strength. As long as the community and developers continue to use web 3.0 IP rights creatively, we can expect the Pudgy Penguins to continue to surprise us in the future.