Since NFTs can represent anything from artwork to collectibles to virtual real estate, you can find an NFT that aligns with the interests and passions of the person you're gifting to.
A diverse array of niche communities and subcultures have emerged as a result of the explosion in popularity over the past two years, but the majority of projects seem to fall within two extremes: They are either the instantly recognizable brands with a premium price tag in the tens of thousands of dollars (Azuki, Bored Ape Yacht Club, Doodles), or they’re projects that had time in the spotlight during launch and have since been abandoned or have faded into obscurity.
However, there are a small handful of undervalued Web3 collections that are quietly building away during the crypto winter. So if you’re looking for something unique, shareable and potentially appreciative in value, here’s our list of five noteworthy projects around the 1ETH range or below.
Chiru Labs – the team behind the Azuki NFT project – launched BEANZ as a 20,000 sidekick collection for the Azuki universe. The BEANZ come in a variety of twelve different types and are designed to be “sidekicks,” with many holders pairing them with their Azuki NFTs to create a perfect combo.
The intention for BEANZ is to be a lower-cost entry into the Azuki ecosystem, whilst targeting the cute cartoon character/mascot industry that’s prevalent in countries like Japan and Korea. To this end, Chiru Labs has recruited the former CEO of Sanrio US/EU, Rehito Hatoyama, as an advisor to the initiative. Hatoyama has helped build iconic brands like Hello Kitty and is currently the Chief Strategic Officer for Human Made, a fashion label by NIGO®.
Can’t get enough of the BEANZ?! Take a peek at the full collection on the official BEANZ page on @OpenSea: https://t.co/wSHYbmChTO— Azuki (@AzukiOfficial) May 5, 2022
Creature World is the brainchild of Danny Cole – a 22-year-old artist and director that aims to bring a magical world to life through art. Cole originally launched the project as a collection of 10,000 NFTs, but the brand has since grown into creating experiences in various forms, including fine art, web3 innovations, live exhibitions, and physical goods.
Danny Cole is a multidisciplinary artist known for his unique and playful visual style, which is characterized by anthropomorphic creatures with exaggerated features and flat, abstract backgrounds. He has worked in a variety of mediums, including painting, video animation, street art, interactive performance pieces, as well as producing visuals for bands.
His art often balances interchangeability and uniqueness, making it well-suited for commercial use and collectibility. He’s been compared to Keith Haring, who also created art that is popular with the public but was considered too commercial by the art establishment.
Cole's creatures in particular are reflective of the whimsical Web3 artistic landscape, which values the balance between interchangeability and uniqueness that is often found in commercially successful and collectible items.
Forgotten Runes Wizard Cult is a 10,000 collection of NFTs that’s trying to build the next great fantasy franchise, while keeping things Web3-centric and decentralized. Their media ecosystem consists of animations, physical comic books, and a suite of video games. At the core of these media expressions are the characters, which are owned by the token holders.
The collection itself features a retro pixel art aesthetic, but the team behind the project has actively taken steps to encourage holders to exert full creative control in creating user-generated content. For example, owning a Forgotten Runes character will allow you to write a character biography into the Book of Lore – an on-chain compendium of stories, poems, and art.
RENGA is a collection of 10,000 art pieces that are part of an ongoing NFT story. Inspired by the Japanese concept of collaborative Renga poetry, each piece in the RENGA collection is unique and contributes to the overall narrative.
According to the artist – DirtyRobot – RENGA art is a form of sequential storytelling that is differentiated from manga by its liberal use of spacing, often with only one panel per page, and its sparing use of dialogue. The first part of the RENGA story was created by DirtyRobot, but the community is invited to contribute to the story and shape the overarching universe through the creation of their own characters.
The ultimate goal is to uncover the mysteries of the Black Box, an enigmatic and mysterious element in the story. Black Boxes were originally burned to receive a RENGA NFT, which is both a piece of art and a snapshot into the life of an individual character. Upon being revealed, each RENGA NFT is associated with one of eleven distinct archetypes.
Valhalla is a collection of 10,000 NFTs that is being released by Stacked Studios, a Web3 startup that’s planning to launch a video and live-streaming platform “intended to be owned and operated by its content creators” as an alternative to the current live-streaming incumbent Twitch.
While the platform is primarily geared towards gamers, it is not itself a game. Instead, it offers a community scaling solution and the potential to become a "metaverse" through the integration of Valhalla NFTs. Valhalla will leverage Stacked as a social platform by integrating its own collectibles and wearables into games and streams. The project has already established partnerships with premier esports teams and streamers and continues to expand its roster of collaborators as it gears up for the platform release.
T1 CEO (@JoeMar) repping his @VALHALLA avatar.— Alex Lin (@notalexlin) December 9, 2022