It doesn't matter if you're a creative director, you look at a collection like Doodles and your brain inflates with ideas — you have these marshmallow-y cartoons dipped in warm pastels, a near-religious community, and a blue-chip brand — it’s a project begging for elaboration.
Meanwhile, that near-religious community of 62,000 members in the Doodles’ Discord are chiming in with grand ideas for a metaverse game, a token, and a follow-up collection.
If you created Doodles, what would you do? Do you take the money and run? Do you accept the partnership offers that begin to overflow your email inbox? Or do you buckle down and work on building out almighty utility.
This was effectively the situation Doodles leadership found themselves in following a sold out mint and months of steadily climbing into a double digit floor price. Voices both from within and outside the Doodles’ community were urging the project to expand.
Granted, because Doodles is led by a trio of heavy-hitters (Burnt Toast, Poopie, and Evan Keast) they had the foresight to resist certain urges to rush, commodify, or dilute the project.
In fact, the Doodles leaders were focused on doing things right from the very beginning. It started way back with the original designs for the Doodles artwork. Burnt Toast, the artist behind Doodles, spent half a year fine-tuning the sketches, continually bouncing ideas off Evan and Poopie, and then further refining the doodles artwork. Co-founder, Evan has commented on this lengthy design process that while some collections will pump out their artwork in a month or two, the doodles trio spent “6-7 months obsessing about what a pfp looks like.”
You have to give them props here — each day they spent pursuing greatness instead of good-enough, they had to watch other less-methodical collections generate spark.
The same conscientiousness was applied with the team’s decision to not make honoraries, to not reserve rares for themselves (you can even see their thorough process for ensuring provable fairness on their site,) or to temporarily close the Doodles Discord about a month before the minting date.
Closing the Discord especially was a risky move. Like closing the door on a party, they were effectively trading community quantity for community quality, (something we’ve now seen emulated with Moonbirds and their high mint-price.)
And while they’d re-open the Doodles Discord following their sold-out release on October 17, 2021 (at a 0.123 Eth mint price.), Doodles’ non-dilutive vision hasn’t withered.
Quite the opposite, post-release, the Doodles team basically doubled down on their vision and shipped new content for their existing holders; things like: merchandise, proposals in the Doodlebank (a democratic treasury for development), multifaceted IRL events like Heart Basel Miami (and later, Doodles SXSW) and the release of Space Doodles.
Space Doodles in particular, came at a time (early 2022) during Doodles’ development when it would have been totally normal for the team to pump out a follow-up collection that would expand their audience and allowance overnight.
But Space Doodles is not a typical follow-up collection — it doesn’t actually add more items to the Doodles collection — instead, it gives Doodles holders a chance to wrap their Doodles, effectively swapping them out for custom Space Doodles.
Each Space Doodle is backed 1:1 by an original Doodle, and builds upon the original artwork by encapsulating them in a Pixar-esque spacecraft that is teasingly said to be the first step in revealing the doodles ‘universe.’
Besides bringing fresh artwork to holders, Space Doodles also offers new traits (like ‘spaceship’, ‘nearest planet’, and ‘sector’), as well as animates Doodles so that they colorfully bounce around space to the tune of a personal audio track.
Keep in mind, because Space Doodles is not a separate collection but a wrapper for an existing collection, the project didn’t benefit from the financial boost of minting a new collection. Even Co-founder, Poopie, explained in an interview on Bankless, that “if we wanted to we could do an 8-9 figure drop with a new collection at the push of a button . . . but that doesn’t really achieve anything for us with building a long-lasting brand.”
And though Space Doodles certainly brought value to the community (considering its floor price is 1.5 Eth above Doodles,) Space Doodles was less about money and more about uncompromised progress towards a vision—
—a vision where Doodle’s is much more than NFTs, a vision (according to Keast) where Doodle’s is a global “web3 entertainment company”.
Of course, the term ‘entertainment company’ is pretty damn broad — Walt Disney, Nintendo, Spotify, and MGM Resorts are a few of the multifarious forms an entertainment company could take — but considering the dedication of the Doodles team to date, we can only assume that whatever they’re dreaming up, has not only been well-thought-out, but just like the artwork, the Discord closure, and Space Doodles, it’s a vision that trades speed and short-term gratification for higher-minded values like consistency, loyalty, and perfection.
Disclaimer: This is not financial advice. This article is strictly educational and is not investment advice or a solicitation to buy or sell any assets or to make any financial decisions. Do your own research. See Flip’s Terms of Service for more details.