What is Goblintown? The Free Mint NFT that Built a Brand
Goblintown — or goblintown.wtf — broke out as a powerful force of branding, marketing, and goblin noises during an NFT bear market. Goblins became polarizing within the NFT community, as many embraced the free mint goblin counterculture — the grotesque art and absurd subscript font — while others just called them ugly.
The project is only a month old, but has already become a phenomenon within the NFT space, launching a companion collection and putting on a masterclass for launching new NFT projects. Many initially thought this free mint was a degenerate play — but with the high level of execution, it appears this strategy was in the works for months beforehand.
What is Goblintown?
The Goblintown NFT collection minted on May 20, 2022, and was a free mint plus gas on the Ethereum blockchain. The project claims to have no roadmap, no Discord, and no utility — it is guided by the community. It is a CC0 project (public domain), meaning that anyone can use any Goblin NFT art for commercial use, whether they own it or not.
Before NFTs, the term “Goblintown” was associated with an underground Goblin dwelling in “The Hobbit”. The term “Goblintown” has been used by NFT and crypto traders to describe poor market conditions for years, but became very popular in the 2022 bear market. Soon, the term was taken over.
After launch, there was a mysterious photo gallery at the bottom of the Goblintown website which was evolving. Community members have been documenting who each of these goblin’s Twitter personas are as the site updates.
It was revealed in a video on June 14, 2022, that the founding team was the same team behind Illuminati NFT. Much of the 11-person team behind Goblintown also has experience in other tech startups. The video also revealed future plans for Goblins, including merch and a sauce created in collaboration with Lee Kum Kee.
Goblintown Launch and Twitter Spaces
The Goblin NFTs minted out quickly as word spread throughout NFT communities and Discord of a free mint. The Goblintown team held back 1,000 Goblins, so only 9,000 were available to mint. On launch day, the website showed a conversation between two goblins in a strange language.
At this time, many would claim NFTs were in a massive bear market, so a free mint was attractive to many. After this mint, many other free mint projects would pop up within the same time frame, trying to tail Goblintown’s method for success.
Yuga Labs Rumors
Soon after mint, rumors ran rampant on NFT Twitter. Many speculated that these may be the goblins that Yuga Labs referred to in an earlier leaked pitch deck as a part of their 2022 revenue. Anything attached to Yuga Labs has, in general, turned to gold — including Bored Apes and Mutants — so many rushed out to add a goblin to their NFT collection on the speculation.
One of the Bored Ape Yacht Club founders later confirmed that they had no affiliation with the project. Regardless, the hype train had already taken off, and a community had formed, with 4,600 unique owners. The floor remains at a high 3.5 Ethereum, but reached 9 Ethereum at one point.
Soon after, a bunch of Goblintown derivatives took over the NFT market.
Goblintown Twitter Spaces
Five days after mint, an iconic Twitter Spaces took place. 56,000 people joined over a period of 3 hours and 24 minutes. During this time, people almost exclusively made goblin noises. That’s it. Literally: goblin noises. You just had to be there.
This Space would go to show to show the power of the Goblintown brand and their skills in viral brand marketing. Like it or not, this wild Spaces made many who had previously written them off pay attention.
It was even called “performance art” by many on Twitter. Goblins also have their own unique small font and language that they have used on Twitter. It’s also used in their OpenSea description:
“AAAAAAAUUUUUGGGHHHHH gobblins goblinns GOBLINNNNNNNNns wekm ta goblintown yoo sniksnakr DEJEN RATS oooooh rats are yummmz …”
You get the point. Goblins have no Discord server. The Goblins continue to hold similar strange Twitter Spaces occasionally.
When compared to many other PFP NFT collections, Goblintown chose a more muted, earthy tone for their art. The malformed and hairy cartoon characters are almost so ugly that they’re lovable. The Goblintown traits have eight different categories to showcase their weird and wild personalities. There are also 12 1-of-1 Goblins and five “Mistryuss eggie” eggs.
With trait names like “LAZERBARRF,” “Bloody milk yumm,” and “Blablabla,” they adhere to the same Goblintown language from their Twitter account, website, and Spaces. The same language is also used throughout the smart contract.
The highest goblin sale so far is for #6485, 77.75 Ethereum on June 1, 2022 — about $150,000 at the time. This was for one of the 12 1-of-1 Goblins, shown below.
On June 4, only two weeks after the project launched, Goblintown dropped its companion collection, mcgoblin burgers, to holders. The floor is currently .95 Ethereum. Each goblin can claim one burger from the website.
At the time of this post, the use for the burger has not been revealed. The metadata categories from the collection includes Combo numbers, FRIZE WIT DAT?, MELTYDRIBBLEZ, and more. Some traits are grosser than others.
Upon reveal of the burgers, the mystery has continued:
This Twitter thread investigates the project’s contracts for the burgers, and infers that the burgers will be burned when used — similar to Mutant Serums when used on Bored Ape Yacht Club NFTs.
In the video posted on Twitter doxxing their team, Goblintown said that McGoblin Burgers will be served across NYC during NFT NYC 2022.
TL;DR — The Goblintown Phenomenom
The Truth team’s commitment to the goblin persona and their own language has been embraced by those on the fringes of the Web3 and NFT communities. A large number of unique holders means that despite no Discord, the Goblintown CC0 community is becoming quite strong and vocal.
People are excited to see what these strange goblins are going to do next, and how their burgers may transform them in the future.
When CNET asked the Goblintown team to provide a quote on what Goblintown was, they said (in the tiny goblin font): “Goblintown is a place where all the goblins live. They like to be themselves and celebrate their talents. They also like to eat the burger and yell. Everyone has a little goblin inside them, they just gotta let them out.”