article by CryptoJelleNL
"One small step for Pudgy Penguins, one giant leap for Web3", is how Pudgy Penguin's Luca Netz captioned his tweet, sharing the Walmart shelves filled with Pudgy Penguins. After NFTs became somewhat of a laughing stock outside of crypto markets, the cheerful penguin squad has managed to achieve the holy grail of selling physical products: being sold at Walmart. One giant leap for Web3 indeed.
In today's article, we dive into the success story of Pudgy Penguins, and how these stuffed pudgies are bridging the gap between Web3 and the real world.
Waddling the road to Walmart shelves
While penguins aren't necessarily known for their speed, it seems the Pudgy team would qualify for the penguin Olympics: They launched their physical product just 4 months prior to hitting the Walmart shelves. Talk about speed!
In the product announcement, the team described Pudgy Toys as the catalyst for a new era in Web3, describing it as "the beginning of a time in which the outside narrative shifts from blockchain technology being intimidating to it being easy to connect with and seamless to interact with. Pudgy Toys are the first mass-market NFT IP product licensed directly from the community."
It took just a few days to cross $500,000 worth of sales through their Amazon storefront, which probably helped motivate the Walmart team to stock their shelves with penguins too.
The release of the toys is part of a push from the Pudgy team to utilize the IP better. "We quickly realized that licensing NFTs from the community was the way to go, and we announced the beginning of Pudgy Toys. A little less than a year later, we are proud to reveal the first-edition Pudgy Toys to the world. And with this, we are additionally proud to spearhead the first mass-market product licensed directly from the community." they said.
And now, 4 months after the initial release, the penguins have hit the shelves in 2,000 Walmart stores – just in time for the holiday season.
CEO Luka Netz in his local Walmart, along with the Pudgy Toys
What are Pudgy Toys?
The Pudgy Toys range from stuffed penguins to figurines, but all of them have a QR-access code for Pudgy World, an immersive multiplayer digital environment where users can roam the world, play games, and customize their Forever Pudgy character.
A unique feature of the Pudgy Toys brings benefits to the holders of Pudgy Penguin NFTs. Because the toys are derived from the existing artwork, the NFT holders will receive licensing royalties for each toy sold at Walmart. As such, Pudgy Penguin NFTs not only grant you bragging rights, but they also generate passive income.
The Pudgy team describes this as their Trojan horse, innocent-looking penguins on the shelves of Walmart, with the idea to quietly introduce NFT IP rights & licensing.
Bridging the gap between Web3 and the Real World
Buyers of the Pudgy Toys are incentivized to step into the Web3 world, as the QR code not only gives them access to Pudgy World (which is tied to a blockchain wallet on its own), but also allows buyers to access a Soulbound NFT and Tradeable NFT.
They take it one step further, as buying a Pudgy Toy also unlocks unique character traits with branding from other major NFT projects, such as Meebits, DeGods, and Kanpai Pandas.
As such, Pudgy Penguin's push into physical products not only helps normalize NFT IP rights and licensing, but it introduces Web3 and blockchain to an entirely new demographic in a fun and playful way.
The road ahead
The team does not seem to plan on hitting the breaks anytime soon, teasing that the toys will “hit the shelves of some of the most prominent retail and specialty stores around the world”, but refusing to provide further context – while also asking the community to help break down a rattling door in the Pudgy World, a door that supposedly brings the Pudgy Realm to the next chapter.
The Pudgy Toys are an incredible feat on its own, bringing crypto-related toys into the world's biggest retailer just months after their launch, and introducing Web3 to the next generation of users, while also introducing a new kind of IP licensing through NFTs.
A small step for a penguin, one huge leap forward for Web3. A huge achievement and I cannot wait to see what the team brings next.
Author's Disclaimer: This article is based on my limited knowledge and experience. It has been written for informational purposes only. It should not be construed as investment advice in any shape or form.
Editor's note: CryptoJelleNL provides insights into the cryptocurrency industry. He has been actively participating in financial markets for over 5 years, primarily focusing on long-term investments in both the stock market and crypto. While he watches the returns of those investments roll in, he writes articles for multiple platforms. From now on, he will be contributing his insights for Alpha Circle as well.
Check out his twitter: twitter.com/cryptojellenl
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