NFT artist pplpleasr launched her first Solana-based project this week.
“The Collectoooooor” lets NFT owners trade up for rarer NFTs, plus the project yielded about $127,000 for charity.
Artist pplpleasr (a.k.a. Emily Yang) is one of the standouts of this year’s NFT market boom, including designing the cover of Fortune magazine—and then selling it as NFTs. Her work has previously launched on leading NFT platform Ethereum, but now she has expanded onto rising competitor with the drop of an inventive new project.
Launched this week amidst the Solana Breakpoint conference in Lisbon, “The Collectoooooor” by pplpleasr—created in collaboration with Cloud Eater Studios and Solana’s Metaplex protocol—spans 500 total pieces, including 3D ducks, buildings, UFOs, and more.
Individually, any one piece might seem simple or mundane. But if one wallet holder collects all 13 unique items in the set, they can ultimately choose to burn (or destroy) them all in exchange for one of just 15 total limited edition animated 3D cityscapes (three designs with five editions of each).
Pplpleasr told Decrypt that “The Collectoooooor” was designed to be “like a metaverse Animal Crossing, where players collect different assets based on recipes to ‘craft items’ as an upgrade.”
Nintendo’s Animal Crossing game series encompasses low-key life simulations with cartoonish creatures and online social play. The latest version on Switch, released at the start of the pandemic in March 2020, became a pleasant quarantine escape for tens of millions of players.
Visually, The Collectoooooor’s city scenes capture a bit of the Animal Crossing vibe, with an isometric overhead view of an animated 3D setting. Pplpleasr said that the project’s look is also inspired by a previous piece of hers called “A Whale’s Dream,” and pulls visual cues from Lisbon and the Solana ecosystem.
Debuting a project on Solana is new for pplpleasr, but she suggested that it was a long time coming. “I’m curious about other blockchains and how NFTs work on other chains, as well as the market/audience and how it may differ from Ethereum,” she said. Furthermore, Solana Labs COO Raj Gokal is a longtime supporter who first asked her to collaborate in early 2021.
On top of the shift to Solana for this drop, pplpleasr also tapped a different kind of method for selling “The Collectoooooor” NFTs, adopting a format called the Fair Launch Protocol. It’s designed to avoid a rush of buyers flooding in at the same time to purchase a limited number of NFTs, while also letting the community determine the price in a decentralized manner.
The process initially has prospective buyers place a bid at what each believes is a reasonable price for a single NFT, and then the median bid is ultimately set as the “fair launch” price. In this case, it was 1 SOL, or around $240 as of Wednesday’s launch. (The pieces are currently selling on the secondary market at around five times the launch price.)
Any bidder who put in 1 SOL or higher automatically received a raffle ticket, and then 500 winners were chosen to complete the transaction. Automatic refunds were provided to bidders who did not win the raffle, while those who bid more than 1 SOL were refunded for the remainder. Anyone who bid less could also opt into the higher price to enter the raffle.
However, regardless of outcome, each bidder also paid a 0.1 SOL fee that will go to charity. With 5,568 total bidders, the fees generated 556.8 SOL, or about $127,000 as of this writing. Pplpleasr has asked fans in a Collectoooooor community Discord server to help figure out how best to donate the funds.
She previously donated more than $650,000 worth of ETH to charitable causes focused on preserving free speech, thanks to the sales of the Fortune NFTs. That sale generated more than $1.3 million worth of ETH in total, with the artist and publication collectively donating half of the proceeds across four chosen organizations.
Solana’s NFT ecosystem caught fire in late summer, with the platform providing an alternative to Ethereum with low fees and rapid transaction times. Leading profile picture collections like Degenerate Ape Academy and Solana Monkey Business have helped drive hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of trading volume on Solana over the last three months.
Pplpleasr is one of the better-known artists in the NFT scene, emerging earlier this year when her work for DeFi protocols hit big during the initial early-year NFT market boom. Her video ad for decentralized exchange Uniswap sold as an NFT for $525,000 worth of ETH in March. It was purchased by PleasrDAO, a DAO formed by fans to collect her artwork, along with other NFTs and unique cultural artifacts.
In addition to the Fortune cover and NFTs, pplpleasr also recently partnered with musician Steve Aoki to launch plsa0k1, a collaborative vault that collects NFT artwork from female artists. Aoki also announced his own separate Solana-based NFT initiative this week with comic book artist Todd McFarlane, creator of “Spawn.”