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Pudgy Penguins - Is the Hype Worth the Price?

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It is one of the most familiar names in the NFT space, but what is the real story behind the Pudgy Penguins brand, and what does the future look like?

Pudgy Penguins are a collection of 8,888 NFT pieces of digital artwork revolving around, you guessed it, penguins. Released by eponymous developer ColeThereum in July 2021, the collection gained notoriety with its rapid price rise through the bull market of that year.

Within weeks the original mint had quickly sold out, with those clamouring to get involved resorting to the secondary NFT market on OpenSea. With an outstanding level of community support, the highest price paid for a Pudgy Penguin occurred in September 2021, reaching 225 ETH, or close to $1 million at the time. So that leaves the question, where are we now? Is there still demand for the collection given the recent downturn in the crypto market? If so, what does the future hold?

Brand potential

After a tumultuous 2022, it looks as if PP fortunes may be about to revive. The hype surrounding NFT started to die off once the crypto market took a trip to the downside - none more so than Pudgy Penguins. In this increasingly hostile and fraught environment, suspicions began to rise regarding the morality of creator ColeThereum. With whispers of his involvement in previous rug pulls and scams, fears were finally confirmed in late 2021 when it was revealed that the founding team had emptied the project of funds.

The resulting fallout saw ardent community member 9x9x9 publish a blizzard of tweets accusing the founder and his support team of underhand activity and scamming the community. As the debate wore on, 9x9x9 revealed that the team had turned down his offer to buy the IP to the collection for 888 ETH. However, despite this knockback, another community member stepped forward and declared his interest with a deal completed in April 2022, which saw complete titular leadership of the brand handed over for the princely sum of 750 Ethereum.

The new owner, Luca Schnetzler, declared his admiration for the brand and revealed he was a long-term fan of the project and the community. Schnetzler went on to say, “Pudgy Penguins was my first PFP NFT, and I knew when I first bought it that Pudgy Penguins had the highest upside when it came to brand potential. When I saw other people bidding on Pudgy Penguins, I knew I had to step in. I’ve built multiple brands to nine figures in revenue over the last five years, and I felt like my skill set was the best to succeed at the job.”

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Meme potential

With many holders using their coveted Penguin as an online flex, there has been much speculation over the appeal of this artwork. Their simple and unique features have created a legion of followers seduced by the plain yet serene nature of the NFTs. Although the original design team of four sought to remain anonymous, the New York Times did what they do best and revealed their identities at the peak of the NFT hype.

The four Computer Science undergraduates behind the brand were led by a head honcho MrTubby, also known as Clayton Patterson. In an interview with the newspaper Patterson revealed the reason for the project's creation, saying, "There was a huge meme potential in fat-looking penguins, so we decided to roll with that".

While other NFT projects opted for a more serious approach, the Pudgy Penguin collection decided to lean heavily into memeology. Based on the Claymation adventures of popular children's cartoon Pengu, the Pudgy Penguins are helping to develop much-needed innovation within the Web3 ecosystem.

‘Feel-good factor'

And so, from being on the brink of capitulation, it seems the well-loved NFT brand is finally back in a happy and confident place. In the weeks following the deal, the newly installed team at Pudgy Penguins has been hard at work rebuilding the brand image and increasing the levels of community engagement. Schnetzler believes this is partly due to the project's 'feel-good factor', which helps "uplift people and make their day a little easier".

Whatever the reason, the process appears to be working as interest in the brand continues to evolve. From a floor price of 1.7 ETH in August 2022, the new team at the helm has managed to drive an increase of some 400% to a peak of 6.9 ETH in early January this year. This price surge has made many people sit up and take notice.

Many believe the Penguins are leading the charge in a resurgent interest in NFTs.

Whatever the future, due to their versatility and wide-ranging use cases, NFTs look like they are here to stay. The ability for anyone to design, create and publish an NFT on platforms like OpenSea means the appeal is assured and sustainable. And with values rising by the day, now could be the time to invest.

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brendan beeken author

Author: Brendan Beeken

Moni Talks Founder and Chairman Brendan Beeken is an entrepreneur, commercial strategist, investor, and philanthropist. He writes on a wide range of subjects, including cryptocurrency, decentralised finance, blockchain, business advice, and professional wellbeing, for news and business websites, as well as Latest Moni and his personal site, brendanbeeken.com. Brendan draws from his own research and more than two decades of personal experience in business to offer a unique insight, perspective, and commentary on diverse subjects. He is passionate about making the cryptocurrency space more accessible and encouraging safer and more responsible trading and investing. Brendan's LinkTree is https://linktr.ee/brendanbeeken.

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