Kevin is a meme born out of a specific species trait in the Pixelmon NFT collection, which became immensely popular due to its unconventional appearance.
The non-fungible token (NFT) space is littered with relics of failed collections that have fallen because of self-inflicted wounds that lead to catastrophes. Today’s feature is no different and is arguably one of the biggest failures in NFT’s history, but surprisingly, one particular character in the collection has managed to survive and thrive, thanks to the power of memes!
When Pixelmon was launched, “Kevin,” a specific type of NFT in the collection, was virtually unheard of as everybody was focused on the extreme hype. Many supporters had high hopes for Pixelmon, considering the size of their mint.
Kevin was only catapulted into popularity when his ugly aesthetics were used for countless memes, which eventually made him a well-loved character in the NFT community.
What is Pixelmon?
Pixelmon is an Ethereum-based collection composed of 10,000 pixelated characters and regarded by many as a promising collection at the height of its hype, which was before mint. During its promotion, the developers promised that the collection would have its own metaverse, which would allow each character to be played, caught, and sold for profits.
They have also promised the availability of various Pixelmon lands, which include rooms, mansions, shops, tents, and even castles.
The collection’s future ‘plans’ also include land airdrops, staking ventures, and a token presale, which attracted a lot of attention and raised its value.
The hype over Pixelmon was so great that it raised an impressive $70 million upon mint last February, making it one of the largest launch sales in the NFT market.
The mint price of the Dutch auction-style sale was set at 3 ETH, which surprised and amazed many in the NFT community. But the truth came out when buyers finally got their hands on their NFTs and were horrified by their disappointing artwork.
While the NFT world is already aware that an art’s beauty is subjective, Pixelmon holders cannot say the same with their NFTs.
The holders, together with the entire NFT community, agree that Pixelmon characters are plain ugly and hastily made, in other words, a big plain joke. Moreover, even the Pixelmon founders admitted that the pixelated characters were truly disappointing and immediately apologized to the holders and the community.
The team said the fiasco stemmed from their unpreparedness for the collection’s rapid rise and the small number of people working on the project.
Stolen Artworks, Meagerly Paid Artists
Aside from the mounting rage of the Pixelmon holders, it was also discovered that some of the NFTs in the collection were used without consent from their artists, in other words, stolen.
It was also found out that the artists were meagerly paid for their creations, below the industry standards. Also, these artists, it turned out, were merely hired from Upwork, and some of the dragons in the collection were discovered to be unfinished. In other words, the artworks’ release was clearly rushed.
But the consequences of the disaster haven’t only affected the Pixelmon venture but also the personal lives of the team.
“Syber,” one of the team members, revealed a part of his real identity as a 21-year-old ‘Martin’; and said that the lives of the team’s family have been threatened because of the incident.
The Pixelmon team somehow made a defense that the raised funds from the project were meant to create better NFTs but remained apologetic for their assets’ poor quality. They also admitted that they were all pressured to roll out the project despite being incomplete and promised to make up for their shortcomings.
They vowed to ‘spend another $2 million’ to improve the quality of their NFTs’ artwork, an effort that might be too late given the community’s rage and disappointment.
The team has also announced that they have partnered with Magic Media, a game development studio, to create Pixelmon’s metaverse game. They also added that the team is currently discussing partnerships with seasoned advisors, PR firms, and long-time project managers to steer the entire project on a correct path.
Allegedly, according to Twitter user @Cr0ssETH, instead of spending the funds for project development, Syber has spent over 400 ETH, equivalent to $1 million +, on blue-chip NFTs.
Kevin: The Pixelmon ‘Survivor’
Ugliness has been the main issue in Pixelmon NFTs, but in a hilarious turn of events, it was also that ugliness that somehow saved the entire collection from the NFT community’s total wrath.
How? Through a Pixelmon character named “Kevin,” which is technically a “species trait” in the collection. Kevin, which the community mercilessly called an “ugly zombie Squirtle,” has seen its value shoot up to 3 ETH on OpenSea.
Through Kevin’s “memeable” aesthetics, he immediately became the star of thousands of memes, which pushed his popularity further. Yes, he was ridiculed in those memes, but his sudden exposure has catapulted him to popularity, a big factor that led the NFT community to love him instead.
While the value of other Pixelmon characters was crashing for obvious reasons, the 107 ‘Kevin species’ in the collection are doing great as their price continues to rise. People have also expressed their varying opinions about Kevin, including being a fitting NFT community symbol, a mere meme coin, and even a ‘historic’ NFT asset.
Memes Killed Other NFTs
The meme culture obviously wants to reduce Kevin into pieces, but instead, his exposure only enhanced his desirability, popularity, and above all, value.
Unfortunately, the same luck cannot be said for other NFT collections such as Hapebeast and Mekaverse, which were dragged down by memes, using the very hype these NFTs created.
Kevin Punk is a collection that leveraged the popularity of ‘Kevin’ and created an entire collection based on him.
The new collection, as expected, became popular and even reached an impressive 2 ETH when it was launched.
The project is not expected by many to stay for long as it relies solely on the ‘Kevin Phenomenon,’ which surprisingly lasted for several days but will likely fade away in the coming weeks.
Kevin Alien Punks Ape
Kevin Alien Punks Ape is another ‘Kevin derivative’ and was obviously created in haste to take advantage of the meme hype.
This collection and the Kevin Punks, which are both pixelated characters, are closely similar in aesthetics and have no regard for art at all, as both of them only aim to capture the Kevin trend while it’s hot.
Sol Kevin Punks and Smol Kevins
The two collections, which were only created this March 2022, are the newest hopefuls to attempt to cash in on the Kevin trend.
While it’s easy to predict that the Kevin Mania will soon fade away as fans eventually move on to the next hot trend, Kevin will likely remain as one of the popular memes that came to the space unexpectedly. In fact, there is a high chance that Kevin will outlive even Pixelmon as it stands today.
And as for the incident, regaining the community’s trust will be a giant task for the Pixelmon team. However, it did raise $70M, a budget that is substantially higher than most projects could raise during mint, which could help it realize its vision despite the fact.