Exclusive Interview with Pudgy Penguins: All 'Unadorable' NFTs Will Die Out.

Jackand others6Authors
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Jack
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Sharon
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Luccy
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Kaori
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Joyce
23-09-14 17:29
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Interview: Jack, BlockBeats
Compilation: Sharon, Luccy, Kaori, Joyce, BlockBeats
Editor: Jaleel, BlockBeats


At the end of July 2021, Pudgy Penguins was officially released and the team was surprised to find that all 8888 chubby penguins were sold out in less than 20 minutes. Even more surprising, a few days later, Pudgy Penguins joined the "zoo" trend led by BAYC and achieved a hundredfold increase in value.


However, shortly after the price of Pudge Penguins skyrocketed, the well-known on-chain detective @zachxbt pointed out in a post that the founder of Pudgy Penguins, @ColeThereum, had a "Rug" experience in both real life and on the blockchain, and had engaged in unethical behavior such as accepting funds for "paid promotions". However, in the midst of the hot market at the time, the charm of Pudgy Penguins seemed to have not been discounted much.


Until early January 2022, 9x9x9 accused the founding team of Pudgy Penguins of wanting to "run away with the money". 9x9x9 claimed that the Pudgy Penguins founding team wanted to sell the project to them for 888 ETH, but only an "empty shell" would be sold and they would take all the revenue and leave. Prior to this, 9x9x9 had attempted to acquire 20% of Pudgy Penguins for 4000 ETH. After the Pudgy Penguins founding team received another sum of money from supporters through the issuance of a new series called Lil Pudgys, they actually came back to 9x9x9 and tried to "sell cheaply" at a much lower price than before, without fulfilling their promises of game development and recruitment of developers.


Related reading: "What did the "Fat Penguin" brand do right, from losing hope to becoming Amazon's bestseller?"


At that time, 9x9x9 owned 242 Pudgy Penguins and minted 540 Lil Pudgys, and everyone strongly believed in their accusations. After all, as a large holder, what reason would they have to Fud their own position?


The community's dissatisfaction with the founding team of Pudgy Penguins has reached its peak, and angry members even voted to "remove" founder @ColeThereum on Discord. Meanwhile, the floor price of Pudgy Penguins has dropped to a historic low of 0.519 ETH.


Angry community demands change (Image source: @Takeshi48878925)


9x9x9 did not accept the offer of 888 ETH, and the "savior" eventually bid 750 ETH to buy the project from the founding team of Pudgy Penguins. This person is Luca Netz, the current CEO of Pudgy Penguins.


Today, during the Token2049 conference in Singapore, BlockBeats conducted an exclusive interview with Luca Netz, the CEO of Pudgy Penguins.


Team leadership change "Hero Returns"


Before becoming the CEO of Pudgy Penguins, Luca Netz had tried his hand at being a rapper and had also worked at the smart doorbell company Ring as a regular employee. Later, while working at a solar panel company, he stumbled upon e-commerce and began exploring the business of "dropshipping". He discovered his potential in electronic marketing and took it to the extreme, successfully becoming a millionaire at the age of 19.


This experience has given Luca Netz a rare e-commerce operation ability in the NFT industry, which is also the main reason why Fat Penguin always sells out on Amazon.


After getting involved with "Fat Penguin", Luca Netz demonstrated a "godspeed" approach to planning and organization for the entire community - from branding and positioning of the project, to future development plans and required personnel, to organizing community events, producing related content, and exposure through multiple channels. Luca Netz is not only known as the "savior" who took on the "hot potato" in the community, but also played the role of the "hero" who revived and rejuvenated the project.



BlockBeats: Why did you choose Pudgy Penguins when the entire FUD (fear, uncertainty, and doubt) event happened? What value do you see in it?


Luca Netz: If you understand NFTs and their advantages, many of them are related to community, intellectual property, and culture. From my perspective, it is these factors that make Pudgy Penguins so outstanding.


BlockBeats: Why did you specifically choose Pudgy Penguins among all other projects?


Luca Netz: I believe Pudgy Penguins has the most potential in terms of widespread adoption of intellectual property. We have the cutest and most excellent characters in the industry, and our characters have great appeal to people of all races and regions. I believe we are ahead of everyone else in this regard.


Pudgy Penguins Why Are They Always Sold Out on Amazon?


Since December last year, the market value of the well-known NFT project Pudgy Pengunis has almost maintained a continuous growth trend, which also attracted celebrities such as NBA star Stephen Curry and Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian to purchase at that time. On May 19th of this year, Pudgy Penguins officially announced the launch of its physical toy "Pudgy Toys" on Amazon. Pudgy Toys quickly surpassed Barbie dolls, Lego, and Pokemon to top the new product sales chart.


The NFT product of Pudgy Penguins has also attracted a large number of followers in the Chinese world due to its cute image, affectionately known as "fat penguins". The "fat penguin" project has experienced founder "dismissals" and team changes. Current CEO Luca Netz bought the project from the founding team for 750ETH in April 2022. Behind its "bumpy life", what kind of development will "fat penguins" have in the future? The community has great concerns about this.


According to Pudgy Penguins CEO Luca Netz, within two days of its release (although Pudgy Penguins only announced the launch of its toys on Amazon on May 19th, they were already available for purchase on Amazon on May 17th), Pudgy Toyz sold over 20,000 units and generated over $500,000 in sales.



According to Pudgy Penguins CEO Luca Netz on Twitter Space, within two days of its release (although Pudgy Penguins only announced the launch of toys on Amazon on May 19th, they were already available for purchase on Amazon on May 17th), Pudgy Toyz sold over 20,000 units and generated over $500,000 in sales. This is truly an incredible figure, considering that only US users were able to make purchases during these first two days.


Therefore, Pudgy Penguins can be considered a "legend" in the NFT industry.


BlockBeats: What special techniques can be used to meet the needs of more consumers when promoting digital collectibles?


Luca Netz: I think this is what we have learned in marketing over the past six years. We not only have the best marketing team in the NFT and Web3 fields, but also in the entire crypto industry. Although there are other NFT projects that are also commercializing, the results are not good.


BlockBeats: On Amazon, your products often sell out as soon as they are listed. So, what do you think of your brand awareness?


Luca Netz: Because we have a better marketing team, but I can't talk about the technical details and can't let others know.


BlockBeats: What is the idea behind your IP market?


Luca Netz: I think IP is a good way to provide practicality for our holders, and it is very important to have a market to profit from and seamlessly distribute Web3 IP.



BlockBeats: How do you view and respond to the upcoming reduction in royalties? Is this a good thing or a bad thing?


Luca Netz: I think from the perspective of royalties, we won't have any problems, but 99.9% of NFT projects will fail due to a lack of royalties. But I think this is a bad thing, after all, growth is achieved through incentives, and there are no incentives for current NFT projects.


BlockBeats: What is your view on the future of the PFP and NFT fields? Is narrative still present?


Luca Netz: Yes, I fully believe that NFT and PFP have a future. I think it will make a comeback and become even bigger and better. In terms of storytelling, it is clear that people still associate their digital identity with the price of NFT.


"Fat Penguin" is the "Trojan horse" of the real world


From virtual to physical, "Fat Penguin" seems to have pushed the narrative of NFT into the web2 world. Some people have raised doubts: Is "Fat Penguin" just existing as a toy?


On this issue, Luca Netz stated in a media interview that "Chubby Penguins" regards physical toys as a "Trojan horse" for the web3 ecosystem and NFTs: "Unfortunately, NFT revenue is not sustainable and cannot truly grow. These toys are designed to make the company more sustainable. At the same time, we hope to create intellectual property beyond this ecosystem, and I know how to do this through physical products."


Indeed, physical products are the true bridge that can connect the virtual world and the real world.


During a panel at Token 2049, Luca Netz responded again: "When you buy a 'fat penguin' and scan it to enter a digital collectibles collection interface, or any other web3 application interface, you can access crypto and web3. Any brand, when reaching out to new users, should try to present a friendly image as much as possible."


In addition, Luca Netz also stated that providing emotional value to people is one of the core points of NFT's foothold in the entire cryptocurrency industry - after all, who would refuse a cute "fat penguin"?



BlockBeats: What do you think is the biggest value of NFT for people?


Luca Netz: I believe that emotional attachment and utility of roles are the core factors that enable NFTs to thrive in the market. If I buy a "Fat Penguin" toy for my niece and own a Pudgy Penguin NFT, it's not because of the price, but because of the emotional connection I have as a member of this community. I think NFTs or PFP projects with unfriendly appearances will fail.


BlockBeats: So the future of PFP and NFT should only be those cute images?


Luca Netz: Think about what is popular in Asia. What do you see on every taxi? What do you see in every store and mall? Is it a cool and masculine NFT, or is it a cute NFT? Definitely a cute NFT. This is true worldwide and has been proven in various places.


BlockBeats: What consumer products do you plan to launch in the future, or are there any projects in the planning stage?


Luca Netz: More collectibles, more toys, and executed in a bigger and better way. Currently, our products include various peripheral products, but the main focus is still on toys, which is also the direction we are most concerned about.



BlockBeats: Will you develop your own game?


Luca Netz: Soon you will know the answer, but I don't want to set too many expectations.


BlockBeats: Do you adopt the same strategy as Web 2 companies when you push these toys to the market, or are there other differences?


Luca Netz: Basically, the strategy is the same, but as we have seen in the past few months, various things have happened one after another, so we need more strategies similar to Web 2.


BlockBeats: What would you say to those who are building NFT projects?


Luca Netz: I would suggest that they listen to the voices of the community and not ignore them. I believe this should be the most important thing.


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