Pudgy Penguins, a popular NFT collection, is now available in 2,000 Walmart stores across the United States. This is a significant milestone for the brand, as it places it alongside established consumer brands and demonstrates its unique approach to combining community-driven approach to using digital platforms and blockchain technology to connect with its fans.
Pudgy Penguins is not new to selling physical toys. In May 2023, the brand began selling its toys on Amazon and made $500,000 in sales in the first two days, selling over 20,000 toys. That same month, the company raised $9 million from early-stage investors to expand its global IP.
Luca Netz, the CEO of Pudgy Penguins, articulated the brand’s vision, saying, “Pudgy Penguins is at the forefront of transforming the toy industry, merging unique digital experiences with blockchain technology, like Ethereum and zkSync.” He added, “Our years of effort in brand development and community engagement through social media and the blockchain have now been magnified with Walmart’s support.” Netz purchased the Pudgy Penguins collection in April 2022 for 750 ETH (about $2.5 million).
Pudgy Penguins toys are more than just stuffed animals. They come with a unique birth certificate that gives owners access to Pudgy World, a digital world powered by zkSync Era’s blockchain technology. In Pudgy World, users can interact with each other, play games, and customize their own Forever Pudgy character. Each toy also comes with special traits that can be unlocked by scanning the QR code on the birth certificate.
Pudgy Penguins toys have a unique feature: they include exclusive traits from other famous NFT collections, such as Meebits and DeGods. All of the toys are connected to the original NFT IP, so whenever a toy is sold at Walmart, the owners of the corresponding NFTs earn royalties.
Brittany Smith, Walmart U.S.’s vice president of merchandising – toys, shared her enthusiasm about the collaboration. She remarked, “Pudgy Penguins is bridging the gap between our physical and digital worlds of play for kids in a really engaging way and their price point is right in line with our goal of providing everyday low prices. I’m excited to add them to our assortment!”
Pudgy Penguins CEO Cole Netz is working with Walmart and other major companies to introduce NFTs and blockchain technology to a wider audience. Netz says that Pudgy Penguins toys are the first mass-market product licensed directly from the community.
Walmart is set to offer a selection of 26 Pudgy Toys, which will include exclusive Ice Chrome figures and mystery Blind Boxes. Customers will have the exciting opportunity to discover a golden ticket that unlocks special digital features within the Pudgy World experience. These toys, created by PMI Kids’ World, will be priced between $2.99 and $11.97 and can be found at specific Walmart locations.