Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) with a profile photo (PFP) have grown to dominate the NFT ecosystem. As the NFT ecosystem has expanded, the relevance of these generative avatar projects only increased after 2021, when they became incredibly popular.
A PFP NFT is, at its heart, a digital token or piece of artwork intended to be shown as a person’s social network profile image. Numerous of the most popular NFT collections globally, like Bored Apes and Doodles, are PFPs.
At the crossroads of collectibles and generative art, PFPs exist. Similar to trading cards, they are collectibles in that they often arrive in high quantities (about 10,000) and have varying degrees of rarity. However, PFPs are also productive. Using a simple plug-and-play approach, users enter a range of characteristics, such as body type, head form, backdrop color, etc., into an application, which then generates enormous amounts of NFTs at random.
This technology has enabled other artists and developers to produce both original and derivative collections in the style of CryptoPunks, the original PFP initiative. With so many PFP collections flooding the NFT market, we’ve produced a list of the most notable projects, ordered by total sales volume, to assist you in determining which ones continue to endure.
Whether you’re a complete NFT newbie or a seasoned collector, you’ve likely (perhaps unknowingly) learned a great lot about CryptoPunks by now. CryptoPunks, a collection of 10,000 distinct NFTs, is possibly the most influential collection of avatars ever assembled.
Punks were among the first non-fungible tokens (NFTs) ever issued on the Ethereum network. They were introduced in June 2017 by by-product studio Larva Labs. CryptoPunks, including humans, apes, zombies, and aliens, pioneered the concept of generative characteristic combinations from which most later PFP projects continue to take inspiration.
Only CryptoPunks are more significant than the Bored Ape Yacht Club. With collectors from all over the world and a collection of 10,000 NFTs, BAYC has become possibly the most beloved and appreciated initiative in the history of NFTs.
BAYC was introduced in April 2021, and despite a sluggish start, the project’s worth surged in the following months. Early backers who have diamond-handed even a single Ape may presently payout for well over $300,000.
The widespread perception in the NFT community is that the most intriguing feature of the Bored Ape Yacht Club is its community, which has grown over the past year to include collections such as Mutant Apes, and Kennel Club canines, and of course, the slowly developing Otherside project.
Azuki is an anime-themed avatar project that debuted in January 2022 and soon climbed the NFT rankings. The purpose of the initiative, which includes 10,000 NFTs, appears to be to establish the largest decentralized, community-owned metaverse brand.
Azuki was one of the fastest-growing NFT initiatives we’ve ever seen, despite many projects following a similar trajectory — either anime-themed or attempting to become a household figure or both.
In May 2022, however, it was discovered that the project’s creators had abandoned at least three famous initiatives in the past. This proved to be a significant setback for the venture. A few days after the news surfaced, the price of an Azuki on OpenSea plunged by more than half, and it has failed to recover since then.
Clone X is a cooperative endeavor between the acclaimed multidisciplinary artist Takashi Murakami and the metaverse fashion label RTFKT. With over 20,000 NFTs and multiple Nike collaborations, the Clone X line has kept the collective NFT community on its toes.
Since the first Clone X PFP collection sold out in November 2021, the project has expanded to include various subsidiary efforts, such as Space Pods and MNLTHs. With nearly monthly new and fascinating virtual and real-world expansions, the initial Clone X collection continues to gain appeal among both new and veteran NFT collectors.
Moonbirds is a collection of 10,000 NFTs compiled by notable American internet entrepreneur Kevin Rose as part of his Proof Organization – a private collection of NFT collectors and artists.
A few days after its April 2022 release, Moonbirds’ secondary sales volume had already surpassed 100,000 ETH (about $300 million), making it one of the highest-grossing NFT collections. In addition to the normal PFP NFT roadmap promises, the Moonbirds collection gives its collectors a variety of additional benefits.
Doodles is a project built by a team with an established track record as NFT builders. Doodles, which consists of 10,000 line-drawn avatars, has become one of the most popular PFP projects in all of NFT.
Only a few months after its inception in October 2021, Doodles swiftly gained prominence inside and beyond the NFT community. Owing to the Doodle developers’ decision to privatize the Discord ahead to launch, the community opinion was initially negative, but, as a slew of notable celebrities has joined, sentiment is improving.
Doodles continue to win over the hearts of innumerable NFT fans and seasoned NFT collectors by introducing novel token mechanisms and intriguing secondary collections.
When it comes to community-driven enterprises, Cool Cats is a tough one to beat. This collection of 9,999 “stylistically selected” NFTs was released in June 2021, competing with Gutter Cat Gang (also on this list) for the title of hottest new cat-themed PFP project.
Since its inception, Cool Cats has received praise as a fun and inclusive NFT initiative. The Cats are a popular favorite among PFP projects, with the collecting floor reaching 10 ETH at one time, thanks to cooperation with Ghxsts and TIME magazine and a near-viral milk chug challenge.
CrypToadz, a collection of 6,969 NFTs, was designed by the now-famous anonymous artist Gremplin during a period when PFP and Punk-derived projects flooded the market.
Since its premiere in September 2021, Gremplin’s ambitious amphibious collection has notched up an amazing sales volume. Toadz has earned accolades from some of the most notable NFT collectors and investors in existence, in addition to being one of the year’s most important PFP initiatives.
World of Women (WoW) was a welcome addition to the 2021 PFP projects list. Even though this collection of 10,000 NFTs is generative, it is one of the only initiatives that give the avatar obsession a human twist.
Each WoW NFT released in July 2021 was composed of a variety of qualities developed in the distinct, colorful aesthetic of Yam Karki. With a portion of the initial sale’s revenues dedicated to charity and another reinvested in crypto art, WoW became an NFT favorite with relative ease. Even Reese Witherspoon has become a fan by tweeting about #8072.
Pudgy Penguins is a collection of 8,888 NFTs with a penguin motif that is supposed to be a source of optimism in the NFT Space. Since its release in July 2021, the collection has fostered a thriving ecology of NFT fans.
However, the project has an intriguing and contentious history. In December 2021, a Pudgy Penguins community moderator quit the team, accusing the project’s management of being dishonest and unproductive and stating that one of the project’s leaders attempted to pay him with 1 ETH for his quiet. Since its transfer to new management, the project continues to grow and expand.
0N1 Force was one of the most prominent summer PFP releases. The collection of colorful side-profile figures, totaling 7,777 generative NFTs, sold out within five minutes of its August 2021 release, with secondary sales rising in the days that followed.
Since its drop, the 0N1 Force team has continued to establish and strengthen its “Enclave” community. And despite the fact that collection sales decreased dramatically by the end of 2021, the project’s influence is still felt, spawning other unrelated anime-themed NFT ventures.
Mfers is a project established in November 2021 by the influential NFT proponent Sartoshi. The collection includes 10,000 NFTs based on hand-drawn memes by Sartoshi. Mfers is unusual in that Sartoshi has made no promises regarding roadmaps, hidden incentives, etc., to collectors.
Prior to mfers, Sartoshi had amassed a substantial following on Twitter by posting market insights, memes, and general NFT maximalism. As a remark on the ups and downs of the NFT market, the pseudonymous artist repurposed the popular “are you winning son?” meme in a crypto-centric manner with mfers. The project is mostly driven by CC0 licensed artwork and community emotion.
Creature World is a project based on the Creature figure developed by Danny Cole, a New York-based interdisciplinary artist. The Creature collection, with 10,000 items, is one of the most aesthetically distinct PFPs available.
Creature World has captivated the imagination of the NFT community with its unique coin-minting game and full playground installation at NFT.NYC. The project, which debuted in August 2021, provides an inclusive, welcoming community that even basketball great Shaquille O’Neal was interested in joining.
Launched in August 2021, Fluf World is a collection of 10,000 3D rabbit avatars produced programmatically from over 270 attributes. Each NFT in the collection is touted to be a metaverse-ready avatar that grants access to a universe of unique material, digital connection, and other perks.
Fluf World was first started as a solitary project but has now expanded into a complex metaverse ecology with multiple secondary collections and virtual and in-person events. While the multifaceted metaverse project is still under construction, Fluf World’s IRL branch, Fluf Haus, continues to host unique in-person events at top-secret global locations.
CyberKongz incorporates two of the NFT community’s most beloved elements: pixel-art PFPs and primates. The current collection supply of 4,439 Kongz is distributed over two categories of avatars: Babies and Genesis.
Launched in March 2021, the CyberKongz mania did not actually begin until late summer 2021, around the time CyberKongz VX was launched. The NFT community witnessed a large number of high-profile sales and trades as the fall secondary market began to ramp up. There appears to be more in store for long-term Kongz holders.
When Sup Ducks were released in July 2021, the whole NFT community seemed to take note. The creators of this collection of 10,000 NFT Ducks went above and above in terms of both art and community development.
Sup Ducks debuted on the scene with unique, textured artwork and a simple “sup.” With a lively Discord and various previous and upcoming events, it appears that many collected a Duck for the art and remained for the community.
Psychedelics Anonymous is a community-building initiative that has adopted an unusual and novel approach. Even though the Psychedelics Anonymous Genesis PFP collection has 9,595 NFTs, the whole project is comprised of four distinct collections.
Each collection inside the Psychedelics Anonymous ecosystem provides owners with distinct perks. Holders of the Genesis collection get access to limited edition merchandise, metaverse wearables, in-person events, and more, as well as interoperability throughout the full Psychedelics Anonymous NFT ecosystem.
Gutter Cat Gang is a noteworthy initiative that capitalized on the tremendous popularity of Bored Apes. The collection is one of the lowest supply PFP projects available, with a cap of 3,000 NFTs.
As previously stated, the initiative began in June 2021 and immediately engaged in a (friendly) rivalry with Cool Cats. Taking a leaf from BAYC, the Gang adopted a similar approach to their mythos, narrating the story of a future Cat civilization with sci-fi twists. Gutter Cat Gang distinguished itself from other projects by creating many official offshoots, such as Gutter Rats and Gutter Pigeons, with limited NFT supply.
Although Deadfellaz is one of several projects with an undead theme, it is one of the most robust and well-liked in the NFT community. This collection of 10,000 cartoon zombies provides collectors with intriguing returns.
Deadfellaz, which debuted in August 2021, has withstood the test of time, losing no momentum as Halloween has passed. These Fellaz continue to flourish through their collaborations with Steve Aoki, Cool Cats, and others. This initiative also drastically altered the lives of its founders, making it a win-win for both the developers and the community.
Many consider Forgotten Runes Wizards Cult to be one of the best-crafted and managed PFP projects available. Extensive backstory surrounds this collection of 10,000 pixel-art Wizard NFTs.
Launched in June 2021, Forgotten Runes acquired instant attention because of its innovative, animated minting procedure. As the collection progressed, the team behind these Wizards unveiled a conceptual universe, a book of mythology, a burn mechanism, and a plethora of more projects and undertakings.
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