One of 2022′s most successful NFT projects is the Degen Toonz collection. The newcomer brand burst onto the Ethereum scene in February, selling out its premier collection within a week, and generating a hype that has carried it to a top slot in resiliency and volume of secondary sales on OpenSea.
Featuring 8,888 unique animated cat designs, the wildly popular PFP series has achieved unusual crossover success, attracting both Ethereum and ADA buyers. Degen Toonz has even won the support of major ADA player Morgan David, CEO of Pavia Corp, not to mention various celebrities and NFT veterans. Its thriving holder community has grown to over 19,000 members on discord, with exclusive DAO and metaverse memberships that foster dynamic collaboration.
Degen Toonz is a unique combination of fun childhood nostalgia and a shrewd business strategy. The Loony Toons-style characters radiate personality with wide appeal, bolstered by top rewards for holders and a masterfully built, organic community. For insight into the meteoric rise and staying power of Degen Toonz, we need to look no further than its two visionary founders, Bader Asad and Prince Lail.
The inner worlds of Asad and Lail are just as engaging as their hit project. Here are the five main keys to Asad and Lail’s success.
1. Balance creativity and strategy.
Both Lail and Asad started their professional careers in creative fields (graphic design and fashion, respectively), and were drawn to the NFT world through their interest in tech innovations. With a longstanding interest in emerging technologies, the young duo saw Web 3 as, “the perfect outlet for [their] blend of creativity and business knowledge.” They seized the opportunity to make their mark in the emerging NFT space with their collection of fresh, inspired designs.
The blend of the creative and the strategic no doubt underlies Degen Toonz’s undeniable appeal. Their virtual and IRL community events are known for quality exchanges, including guided meditations and freestyle sessions, moderated by great hosts. In addition to unusually generous holder rewards, Degen Toonz plans for a collaborative metaverse and DAO development to keep the creative juices flowing.
2. Don’t fear mistakes, learn from them.
When asked if they would do anything differently, the duo answered they wouldn’t change a thing, as “bumps in the road lead to the best adventures.” Plus, they recognize
that “if [they] did anything differently, [they] wouldn’t be where [they] are today.”
Their fearless approach is partially informed by the wisdom that mistakes are inevitable in the emerging NFT space, as there is no roadmap to success. One of their greatest initial challenges, marketing the project without turning to dishonest tactics, turned out to be one of their greatest assets. The brand managed to grow organically, attracting substantive buyers that cemented the brand’s resilience within the volatile NFT market.
3. Find work-life balance.
Lail and Asad are quick to recognize that Degen Toonz “wouldn’t be possible” without the support of their families. With admittedly excessive work hours that take time away from their wives and children, they “spend time with [their] families as much as possible.” This warmth resonates with the brand’s nurturing community and nostalgic tone of child-like fun.
A glance at their public social media profiles reveals that Lail and Asad have managed to strike a balance between their work and personal lives despite the demands of success. While Lail maintains a thriving collection of personal projects and artistic collaborations, Asad is vocally devoted to this growing family, which extends from Los Angeles to Palestine and Malaysia.
4. Prioritize community building and culture.
In interviews, the duo name community and culture as key values of the brand. The community, they state, “without a doubt has been [their] favorite and most rewarding part of creating Degen Toonz.” This genuine enthusiasm for collaborative growth through community is another reason for the brand’s enduring success. Buyers gain membership into the exclusive DAO and metaverse, as well as personally assigned roles in the brand’s discord space to foster meaningful interactions.
The culture of inclusivity and fun is touched by the creativity of the founders and designers, as well as the shared efforts of the community. Lail and Asad’s masterful community-building transcends the web, with the opening of their IRL Toonz Lounge that they hope will be, “a hub of creativity and culture for [the] Toonz fam.”
5. Create a brand that will last.
More than a hit NFT project, Lail and Asad have set out to create “a true lifestyle brand that will transcend the Web 3 space” and “be around for decades.” They foresee the wide adoption of NFTs in the near future and remain committed to the growth of the fledgling industry. Their well-rounded efforts have already taken effect with quality physical merchandise, a pledge to the donation of funds to humanitarian causes through their DAO, and in-person meet-ups that include their curated Los Angeles lounge.
This ambitious long-term vision seems realistic, not only given the duo’s expansive efforts but the privileged position of PFP NFTs as avatars in the growing metaverse. Popular demand for Degen Toonz shows no sign of slowing, and the brand’s scope has already surpassed the digital art market. starts here.