Key Takeaways

Pudgy Penguins, one of the most hyped collections of the early “PFP” NFT niche in 2021, is making a comeback.
The rarest piece in the collection marked a record sale for the project Monday, fetching 400 ETH worth almost $650,000.
The Pudgy Penguins floor price has surged by about 69% over the last week, rising from 2.2 ETH to 3.8 ETH.

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A change in leadership has helped the Pudgy Penguins collection make one of the most remarkable comebacks in NFT history.

Pudgy Penguins Mark $650,000 NFT Sale

Pudgy Penguins are surging despite a gruelling months-long NFT bear market. 

The rarest piece in the NFT space’s iconic flightless bird collection, Pudgy Penguin #6873, sold for 400 ETH worth just under $650,000 Monday. The sale of the rare penguin token—the only in the 8,888 item collection that looks in a different direction—marks the highest price a piece has fetched in the project’s history.

Pudgy Penguins launched in June 2021 and quickly became one of the most sought-after NFTs in the “PFP”—a niche popularized by CryptoPunks and Bored Ape Yacht Club and circulated via social media profile pictures—category. However, the project’s trajectory took a turn for the worse after the infamous crypto sleuth ZachXBT outed one of the founders and leading members, Cole Villemain, for running paid promotions of NFT projects without disclosing that he had received any remuneration. Villemain came clean about his antics, but he and the founding team were later accused of siphoning funds from the project’s treasury. The Pudgy Penguins community discussed forking the project, until e-commerce entrepreneur and investor bought the project for 750 ETH worth $2.5 million in April.

Months after fading into obscurity and trading below the 2 ETH range, Pudgy Penguins is making a comeback. Since the April acquisition, Pudgy Penguins has launched its own NFT marketplace, clothing and toy lines, a media hub, and grown its social media presence. The collection’s floor price surged about 400% after the acquisition before giving back some of its gains over the ensuing months.

Despite the gruelling NFT bear market—which has seen the daily trading volume fall from a record $600 million in May to an average of about $25 million over the past three months, Pudgy Penguins NFTs have crossed all-time highs in ETH terms. Over the last week, the collection’s floor price has surged by about 69%, rising from 2.2 ETH to 3.8 ETH. Most other sought-after PFP NFT collections have seen their floor prices plummet in recent months. 

The most significant move driving this week’s surge came Sunday when the project introduced a nine-member advisory board, counting Web2 and Web3 heavyweights like Nansen’s Alex Svanevik and Jordan Sterling, who works on Meta’s venture capital partnerships team. “Coming from diverse backgrounds in Web2 and Web3, our board will assist in our pursuit to innovate through multiple industries,” Pudgy Penguins wrote, triggering a floor price rally that culminated with the 400 ETH NFT sale Monday.

“I was able today to purchase the rarest penguin in a collection that helped me make my first bit of life-changing money,” the buyer of the left-facing penguin, who goes by FUDrick Douglas, said today on Twitter.

Disclosure: At the time of writing, the author of this article owned ETH and several other cryptocurrencies.

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