Degen Toonz Founders Bader Asad and Prince Lail Share the Story Behind an Iconic NFT

To gain insight into what sets Degen Toonz apart from the crowd, we set out to learn the driving philosophy of its charismatic founders, Bader Asad and Prince Lail.

Observer Content Studio is a unit of Observer’s branded content department. Observer’s editorial staff is not involved in the creation of this content. Observer and/or sponsor may collect a portion of sales if you purchase products through these links.

One of 2022’s most popular NFT projects, Degen Toonz exploded onto the scene earlier this year with a series of 8,888 unique NFTs available on the Ethereum network. The project picked up major steam as it sold out within a week. The organic rise hasn’t slowed down, as secondary sales on OpenSea have shown great resiliency and volume, with a peak floor price reaching 1.2 ETH. 

NFT insiders have named the Degen Toonz launch as one of the strongest starts to date, reminiscent of the early days of some of the most iconic NFT collections. The project has uniquely managed to attract both Ethereum diehards and ADA holders, bridging the gap between these normally contentious crypto demographics. With over 19,000 active discord members, and celebrity endorsements including Pavia Corp CEO Morgan David, this crossover hit collection has shown remarkable promise with little signs of letting up. 

What is the reason for Degen Toonz’s meteoric rise and staying power in the ultra-competitive and volatile NFT market? The PFP NFTs have an undeniable retro appeal, featuring cartoon-style cats that showcase great personality, style, and artistic flare. But the quality of the digital art is just a piece of the puzzle. Read below to gain insight into what sets Degen Toonz apart from the crowd and the driving philosophy of its charismatic founders, Bader Asad and Prince Lail. 

1. Community counts.

Industry commentators agree that one of Degen Toonz’s most striking and unique features is its masterful approach to community building. Indeed, Asad and Lail cite community as one of the brand’s main focuses, and what they believe to be the most significant aspect of emerging Web 3 technologies. Their commitment to their buyers has paid off, as Degen Toonz has quickly gained a reputation as one of the most rewarding, fun, and dynamic NFT communities. 

Minters gain membership in the DAO (short for Decentralized Autonomous Organization), plus brand-related merch, bonuses, airdrops, and access to the exclusive, community-built metaverse. Every holder is given a unique role on the Degen Toonz discord to facilitate meaningful interactions and collaborative growth. The thriving legion of satisfied minters and loyal holders is known for its fun, uplifting exchanges in community spaces, reflective of the band’s nostalgic nod to the simplicity and happiness of childhood. 

Asad and Lail are fully aware that their vibrant community is one of Degen Toonz’s strongest assets. They have exciting plans to take the community beyond Web 3 to IRL events at their forthcoming LA lounge, and are primed to take the growing metaverse by storm. Plus, the brand’s DAO includes a public service initiative, allocating funds to charities voted upon by its members. 

2. A dynamic culture is a must.

A key aspect of their thriving community, the brand’s culture is another core focus for Asad and Lail. Above, we touched on the glowing profile of the Degen Toonz community, and it could be said that this comes down to its culture of creativity and innovation.

The founders’ professional backgrounds are in fashion and graphic design. They carried this artistic inspiration into the NFT space, identifying emerging Web 3 technologies as “the perfect outlet for [their] blend of creativity and business knowledge.” Degen Toonz NFTs feature unique details that resonate with buyers and pay stylistic homage to both early animation and contemporary greats like Kaws. An irreverent nod to the merging of commercial and fine art in the NFT market, the fashionable yet nostalgic Degen Toonz style is fresh and welcome in the digital art scene.

Committed to integrity and substance, Lail and Asad used only organic marketing strategies, actively avoiding “typical ‘influencer’ marketing tactics” in their launch. This novel opting out of vacuous consumer culture no doubt contributes to the authentically positive tone of the brand’s community spaces. The enthusiasm around the collection is matched by the exciting plans of its founders, who believe that the rise of NFTs is a major cultural shift that is here to stay. 

3. Collaboration yields greater success.

A joint effort from the start, Degen Toonz was borne of Lail’s artistic talent and Asad’s entrepreneurial and design skills. They realized their shared vision after months of artistic development in collaboration with another artist, “an amazing cartoonist” who “helped guide [them] on the best options stylistically for the project.” 

Lail and Asad cite collaboration as another of the brand’s guiding principles, as manifest in their community-run DAO and metaverse construction. They see shared effort as the key to lasting success, stating, “We want all holders to have a say and be part of the growth.” Plus, the founders have hinted at some “exciting collaborations” lined up soon.

The duo’s passion for collaboration is not limited to the Degen Toonz project but extends to helping to shape the emerging collective NFT space, enabled by the shared vision and inherent egalitarianism at the heart of its underlying blockchain technology.

4. Stay committed to constant innovation and growth.

Lail and Asad’s genuine interest in emerging technology drew them to the NFT market and continues to inform their forward-thinking approach. Their sleek, early-phase roadmap sets concrete goals, while making room for the inevitable innovations and changes of the NFT world. It culminates in the proposal of a collaboratively built foundation for the brand’s entry into the gaming space.

The infectious enthusiasm around the brand is no doubt due in part to its founders’ genuine belief in the staying power of NFTs and Web 3 technology. Lail and Asad recognize the fledgling status of the NFT space, and foresee the “mass adoption” of NFTs within 10 years, when they will be “utilized in day-to-day life.” Their powerful vision of growth and permanence makes it hard not to buy-in. 

5. Build a lasting lifestyle brand that transcends Web 3.

Degen Toonz’s innovative vision transcends the NFT world, as the founders have set out to build, “a lifestyle brand around the project which will bridge the gap between Web 3, Web 2, and IRL.” They are soon to open a physical lounge location in Los Angeles, which they hope will be “a hub for creativity and culture.” The brand’s IRL pursuits also include donations to charitable causes, as well as quality physical merchandise, as mentioned above.

Informed by their values of culture, community, and collaboration, Lail and Asad’s ultimate objective is “to build this project into something that will be around for decades.” With unprecedented crossover success, a thriving community, outstanding market performance, and a prime position in the young Web 3 world, we do not doubt that Degen Toonz is here to stay.

Degen Toonz Founders Bader Asad and Prince Lail Share the Story Behind an Iconic NFT