Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) might not be totally dead. Despite rock-bottom prices on popular collections, some of them are just expanding into the real world away from digital marketplaces in search of a new audience.
Pudgy Penguins, one of the most popular and valuable NFT collections, will today debut its Pudgy Toys collection across 2,000 Walmart stores in the U.S., a representative told CoinDesk via email. These toys have been available online since May.
Each toy would come with a unique birth certificate that allows the user to claim unique traits for their digital ‘Forever Pudgy’ character inside Pudgy World, an online virtual world built on the zkSync Era blockchain, by scanning a QR code.
“Pudgy Penguins is bridging the gap between our physical and digital worlds of play for kids in a really engaging way,” said Brittany Smith, vice president of merchandising – toys, Walmart U.S.
Walmart is the biggest retailer in the U.S. and was the world’s largest company by revenue in 2022. The Pudgy Toys plushies and collectibles will now be sold alongside legacy consumer brands – aiding the collection’s popularity outside of the crypto industry.
Pudgy World’s immersive multiplayer digital environment would let users walk around, play games, and fully customize their Forever Pudgy character.
Pudgy Penguins has clocked $400 million in sales since its 2021 launch. Unlike most collections, the brand has extensively used social media and experiential marketing techniques to gain an audience went most NFT brands fizzled out.
Mainstream media has increasingly written off NFTs for their dismal price performance and how they have poor demand in a competitive retail market. However, selling physical products on recognized platforms is part of how NFT collections can interact with a real-world audience, and, hopefully, build a stronger brand.
“Walmart’s inclusion of Pudgy Toys in their stores is a testament to the evolution of how consumers engage with brands in the digital era,” explained Luca Netz, CEO of Pudgy Penguins, in a statement.
Walmart will carry 16 different types of Pudgy Toys, ranging between $2.99-$11.97. These are made by PMI Kids’ World, a brand that produces toys of famous cartoons or popular shows, such as WWE.