Over the course of the past year, the NFT avatar landscape has witnessed a great number of projects reach their peak before falling into irrelevance.
The Avatar Room of the NFT
Tokenized versions of various characters, such as skeletons, apes, and lizards, were highly desirable commodities on blockchains such as Ethereum and Solana after the NFT technology became widely used in 2021. The growing interest in NFT avatars was initially fueled in part by the speculation surrounding CryptoPunks, which was Ethereum’s first major avatar collection. However, the growing interest in NFT avatars stepped up a gear after the launch of Bored Ape Yacht Club, which is now the most important avatar collection in the world. People quickly came to the realization that in order to be accepted into Web3 circles, they would need to “wear” their own NFT on Twitter. Suddenly, everybody was talking about “community” as new projects emerged that mostly replicated the functionality of the projects that came before them. After being minted for an amount comparable to around $200 in April 2021, the floor price of Bored Ape Yacht Club surpassed $430,000 the following year.
Yuga Labs, the company that created Bored Ape Yacht Club, hit a series of home runs with lucrative airdrops that enriched holders, major brand partnerships, celebrity endorsements, exclusive parties, and an ambitious Metaverse gaming project; however, the company’s success was an outlier in what became a space that was saturated. Demand for NFT avatars that borrowed from the CryptoPunks template skyrocketed during the height of the NFT euphoria in August 2021, which contributed to an increase in costs. But the excitement was short-lived, and once the market began to retrace its steps, many of them virtually vanished. This article provides a list of the five avatars in the NFT scene that have been the most disappointing to yet.
On paper, Meebits appeared to the most eager speculators in the NFT market to be a no-brainer investment opportunity. Meebits, the second avatar project from CryptoPunks’ developer Larva Labs, promised a collection of 20,000 distinct 3D voxel avatars that could be adopted as a digital identity for the purpose of exploring the Metaverse. Meebits was a voxel-based virtual world. When the debut was announced in May 2021, the entirety of the cryptocurrency community was talking about it since it was the successor to the most important Ethereum NFT collection that existed at the time. However, the exhilaration was replaced by ridicule in a short amount of time. Although Larva Labs received praise for its decision to distribute free copies of the new Meebits collection to holders of CryptoPunks, it was immediately obvious that the artwork quality of the collection was subpar in comparison to that of its older sister. Meebits went live in a Dutch auction with bidding opening at a hefty 2.5 ETH, which was over $8,000 at the time. This was despite the fact that the designs were hideous. It sold out in a matter of hours, netting Larva Labs over $80 million in revenue. Secondary trade skyrocketed as rarer items sold for astronomical prices, but the hype didn’t last long and eventually fizzled out. Even when the floor price surpassed 9 ETH during the NFT summer, it was abundantly evident that Larva Labs had no purpose for the collection other than to make eye-popping profits from it. A few months later, the design company was criticized for a string of errors, and it ultimately decided to sell the rights to Meebits to the Yuga Labs division of the Bored Ape Yacht Club. Holders were immediately granted intellectual property rights to their characters, although as evidenced by secondary trade, demand has declined significantly since it peaked. Although CryptoPunks continue to enjoy a high level of respect in the NFT area, it may be appropriate that Meebits has become irrelevant at this point. It is clear that Larva Labs did not care about the cryptocurrency sector, and the cryptocurrency space does not care about Meebits.
Despite the fact that Doodles was a relatively late entrance to the NFT avatar scene, it had all the makings of a winner from the very beginning. It combined an iconic aesthetic like that of The Simpsons with world-class marketing in the lead up to its release. Even when the general market was falling, Ethereum NFT whales rapidly adopted it as their preferred Twitter profile image. This occurred despite the fact that its market cycle lagged behind that of other collections by a few months. Doodletown’s entry price hit $68,000 at its height, but the market for the cryptocurrency eventually collapsed, much like it had happened with the majority of other cryptocurrencies before it. Doodles have experienced a steady bleed as the reality about the project’s terrible communications strategy and barely-there plan sets in. The current floor price for Doodles is approximately $12,000. Despite this, the price of Doodles has decreased over time. In defiance of Web3’s commitment to transparency, the team claimed in June 2022 that it had hired Pharrell Williams as a “chief brand officer” and successfully completed a capital raising for an amount that was not disclosed. A new collection known as Doodles 2 was also hinted at, along with the disclosure that the ICO will not be launched on Ethereum and the preview of a polished animated film. Doodles is now soliciting votes for a “Triwizzy Tournament,” which would honor creative talents in Web3, but the project’s social media accounts have been inactive since late July, when the last tweet was posted. Dedicated fans will have to keep their fingers crossed that Pharrell and Doodles 2 will be able to restore the project to the glory it once held.
MekaVerse experienced a tremendous rally in the months preceding up to its launch in October 2021, and this could be considered the NFT avatar space’s largest failure to date. Forbes published a puff piece interviewing the founders of “The NFT Project With 100k Discord Members In 48 Hours” as the cryptocurrency hype was reaching its peak. At the same time, the 8,888 Mekas went live with an initial mint followed by an art reveal, and the floor price quickly surpassed $28,000 on the secondary market. However, when the collection showed its artwork, it dropped a series of lazy Transformers-inspired designs that scarcely offered any identifiable qualities to help differentiate one figure from another. This was a major blow to the collection’s reputation. As crypto aficionados quipped that the collection was among the least inspiring to ever come from the space, memes began to circulate. The situation became even more dire for the project when the team was accused of engineering its drop to assist industry insiders in acquiring the rarest tokens. The architects of the project angrily refuted the allegations. Although MekaVerse has recently organized a new airdrop and promised users an experience similar to that of the Metaverse (get it? MekaVerse in the Metaverse), it is safe to assume that the collection is no longer relevant. What is the current asking price for one of the Mekas that look like cookie cutters? You can get one up for about $420 right now, which is a decrease of almost 98.5% from its all-time high price.
The Top Cats
The fact that we are shedding light on Cool Cats’ fall from grace is not likely to win us any friends, but this is the cryptocurrency world; if you truly believe that this space is exclusively about community, then you may be just as stupid as Cool Cats’ greatest bag holders. There is no better way to understand how cryptocurrency trading (and yes, NFT trading) is a zero-sum contest than by watching one of your once-feted bags tank to near zero. It probably wouldn’t be unfair to say that the Cool Cats majority’s most ardent believers have had something of a reality check over the past few months. Back in January, the adorable Ethereum cats were selling for over $40,000 despite the unfavorable market conditions; however, the current floor price is over 90% lower in dollar terms. It gets even worse when you check the chart for the collection’s MILK token, whose 99% drop might equal Terra’s LUNA (you know, the one that death spiraled to zero) for how dark it appears. In other words, the collection’s MILK token is in an even more hopeless situation. The members of the community are to blame for the slow development times that the team has been using for its Cooltopia world. Despite the fact that it has been promised that the current experience is “just the tip of the iceberg,” interest in the project across the broader space has almost completely diminished. The cool cats in the NFT sphere are still minting JPEGs and tweeting each other to get through the ongoing bear market, but they are not quite as enthusiastic about Cool Cats as they once were.
It is difficult to take Famous Fox Federation’s claim that it is “the most famous NFT collection on Solana” seriously given that other collections, such as SolanaMonkeyBusiness and Degenerate Ape Academy, have outperformed it on almost every metric. Famous Fox Federation makes the bold claim that it is “the most famous NFT collection on Solana.” Famous Fox Federation has a very sizeable number of 53,000 Twitter followers and is getting close to 200,000 SOL in lifetime trade volume on OpenSea; yet, if you go past the basic data, there’s a lot to question about the company’s legitimacy. Famous Fox Federation is not a failure because of any price drop or absence of market appeal; rather, it is merely another example of a tedious endeavor that does not provide anything novel in the form of content or design. The foxes themselves look about as exceptional from one another as Andy Warhol’s Campbell’s Soup Cans, and the team has copied the Yuga handbook by initiating a credit default swap airdrop and a token called FOXY (don’t ask us what it does or why anyone needs it). Like all of the worst NFT avatar collections, the foxes themselves look about as unique from one another as Andy Warhol’s Campbell’s Soup Cans. Those interested in SOL can currently enter the Foxosphere for the price of a pretty affordable $1,300, and guess what? If you’ve already bought into the “community” vibes at this point, why not go all the way? On the other hand, individuals who are interested in scouting for genuinely innovative NFTs may dig through all of the fantastic stuff that is happening in the generative art, photography, and digital art areas. If you are one of those folks, though, you most likely never would have thought to look at avatars like Famous Fox Federation in the first place.