It’s not every day that a jpeg brings a genuine smile to my otherwise bitter, scornful face. Nor is it every day that I feel a pang of warmth in my cold, black heart from looking at an 8-bit image of an amphibian. Yet CrypToadz by GREMPLIN manages both of these seemingly impossible feats, as it has since the project launched on September 8th, 2021.
How long ago that now seems, though it’s been barely three weeks! I was actually cruising at 30`000 feet when I first saw CT blow up with their mention, so with a dusting of ammo kicking around a hot wallet, I rushed over to OpenSea to see what all the fuss was about, only to find that these rather entrancing little fellers started at just 1/500th of an entry-level CryptoPunk, and that more desirable croakers, such as Toadenzas (as seen above-right) were only 1/50th of a punk, or about 2 ETH each. Intriguing! But almost too cheap for a fast-follower like me. Still, I was drawn in and couldn’t explain why…
So while I hemmed and hawed on the slow airplane wi-fi, slightly sheepishly scrolling through pages of pixelated jpegs worth many multiples of my seat, sure that someone looking over my shoulder would see the dollar amounts that I’d programmed myself to ignore, I began to take in the breadth and depth of Gremplin’s genius. While my dear young family was blessedly amused by the in-flight entertainment system aboard the newer Embraer, I was blissfully immersed in the vibiest swamp in the world.
After a few wide-eyed minutes scouting out rares, I narrowed my sights on my first acquisition target in the collection. For the price of 10x floor, I sniped what appeared to be the fast-flashing mascot of the series, the rapidly-changing nine-in-one logo as found on the CrypToadz profile pic attached to the blue OS checkmark. I found a listing with exactly that gif! And bought it almost immediately! For 2 ETH!! What a steal I thought I’d found myself. This property-less 1/1 was sure to be a crowning jewel in any Toadz collection. Up there with the “Licked – Hallucination” and “Legendary,” and even more desirable than the clearly brilliant Toadenza. Alas, my stroke of genius wasn’t to be… For no sooner did I add to cart and checkout did the gif stop giffing, leaving a rather unremarkable eye-patch fellow in its place, one hardly better than the floor and certainly not to my honed aesthetic standard. Da fuq… scam! I’d be had by an apparent glitch in the OS matrix!
Miffed but still brimming with conviction that these weird little pond-hoppers weren’t just another pfpi money grab,ii I went back to the marketplace for more action. And just then, the airplane wifi cut out… and stayed out for the last hour of the flight home…
Three hours later, after landing, grabbing our bags, piling into the truck, driving home, and tucking everyone into bed, I ran back to the computer to keep filling my toadz bagz. By then, of course, the floor was 0.75 ETH, and Toadenzas, hoodies, and Customs were all at least 5 ETH, and then 6529 came in with a 45 ETH land grab that put a closing exclamation mark on this project remaining outside anyone’s radar any longer.
Still, over the ensuing few days, broader excitement for the project waned slightly as minters took their quick 10x+ and moved onto shinier pastures. But not I… Oh no, not I. With the market in a light lull, I quietly accumulated a few more gems at eminently reasonable prices. Of course I wish I’d bought more, but I landed a decent cross-section of the rarer attributes without trying to corner any markets. I still wasn’t totally sure if Toadz were the real deal, so I bided my time a little more. All the while, a slow but steady chorus of croaks emerged on the #lily-pad on Discord…iii
Before long, the crescendo of memes, positive energy, and inclusivenessiv was practically exploding from the growing community and into the broader NFT space! Now, mere weeks after launching, Toadz have well and fully arrived with an organic splash rarely seen in a world of shillers, influencers, and Pranksy-esque market makers. Ser Gremplin’sv incredible attentiveness to existing NFT communities (particularly the almighty punks) and his hyper-keen insights into memetic desire (if Toadenzas don’t flip actual Fidenzas I’ll eat my fucking keyboard) have lit the fuse on an all-but-unstoppable force. And maybe this is just me being Crazy Pete, but if I could liquidate my whole big Meebits bag today and pump it into Toadz tomorrow, I fucking would!vi Alas, that’s now how highly illiquid assets work…
At this point, Toadz are all but programmed to overtake Meebs and Cool Cats at the second most prominent, influential, and valuable pfp project of 2021; not for lack of contenders, what with the veritable zoo of choices. And while BAYC will probably always be “first” from this year’s class, the scoring really isn’t the point of the exercise – RESONANCE is – and I wouldn’t trade a floor BAYC for one of my
floor entry-level Toadz if you threw in a lap dance from Nicki Minaj.
So for as long as 1 TOAD === 1 TOAD, you’ll know where to find me: vibin’ in the swamp with my squad.
- pfp = profile picture ↩
- *cough*stoner cats*cough* ↩
- The CrypToadz Discord is non-stop !vibes, !squad, !toadmap, !floor (1 toad = 1 toad), !wgmi, !croak, !todl, !hailhypno, !sockz and a whole more bot commands besides, all of which remind me of my gone-but-never-forgotten IRC days, except in a way that’s filled with LOVE instead of FEAR… and y’know what Ye said, “fear is the absence of love and fear is the source of all of our evil. love is the absence of fear and love is the source of all of our greatness” (archived).
- There aren’t many NFT communities that don’t stigmatize selling as “paper handing.” This is one of the very few. Not even Punks are so open-hearted. Turns out that early adopters are sometimes minnows for whom a couple ETH (nevermind a few dozen ETH) is life-changing money. Who knew they wouldn’t want to be shamed for looking after themselves and their families? Love > Fear, folks. ↩
- Ser Gremplin, sure to be knighted by the Queen of England any day now, perhaps even before Ser de Waal, is also one of the artists behind the Nouns project, which is quite possibly the most creative, misunderstood, and surely underestimated DAOs on the planet right now. It’s well worth listening to 4156’s interview with Kevin Rose for a quick primer NounsDAO. ↩
- I’m not alone either! Other decently-sized fish have already dumped legit blue chips for Toadz, including Anonymoux2311 trading a 1/5 XCOPY for a bundle of Toadz, krybharat selling a Fidenza for two of the seven Legendaries, and loosegoose88 selling a Punk for four rare Toadz. ↩