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Issue 1 - Upcoming Projects: To Hype or Not to Hype

As the Solana space matures and grows, the caliber of upcoming projects is also increasing. In the past few weeks, many projects with impressive art and social numbers have popped up, leaving investors in a frenzy to try to get access to as many as possible. As many of these projects are in early stages and have not revealed much specific information about their futures, it can be hard to choose where to focus one’s efforts. The following 15 projects have all gathered a lot of hype, and their Twitter follower counts are reported.


However, be aware that Twitter followers and interactions are getting botted more every day, so some of these numbers can be misleading. For example, Kings of Da Street, a project with a lot of hype and 219k followers on Twitter, found some initial success upon secondary listing, but shortly crashed in floor price, and it underperformed in the eyes of many investors. Therefore, the focus of this information will be more geared towards plans, art, team, and general impressions, which are all factors that can differentiate these projects from each other. Skip to the end tags to see what projects are being discussed, and Ctrl/Cmd + F to go to the section.

 

JIKAN STUDIOS – 291k


This project initially planned to launch on Hydra Launchpad, but after the drama unfolded between Hydra and the Balloonsville rugger who launched Reptilian Renegade, Jikan decided to switch to launching with Magic Eden. However, after community input, the team made another switch to Solport Launchpad, which is famously un-bottable. Hydra is still aiding the project in terms of marketing, lore, and staking.

In the roadmap section of the discord, the only information is some vague, flowery, lore-like description and a pictorial roadmap. In terms of expected performance, this project is most likely going to do better than most of these other projects mentioned, gauging on overall sentiment and excitement. However, it is likely that the price action will follow suit of other recently launched hyped projects: start with a high floor, pump the first day, and after the dust settles, the floor price crashes. I can see Jikan being a strong DAO in the future, but it all depends on the strength of the community and the actions of the team.

 

JUST APE – 272k


Just Ape is a project built on simplicity, relatability, and a future brand. As it was gaining hype, many noticed that it used similar appeal tactics as Okay Bears pre-launch: focusing on community, anti-grinding, chill energy, relatability, and accessibility of the team. The project has made very intentional decisions, like making sure the traits of the art are relatable, using the word “allowlist” instead of “whitelist” to avoid racist connotations, and focusing on Twitter engagement over Discord grinding.

As the project has attracted more attention, many community members have questions about the future, and the team has started to make itself accessible by hosting AMAs with other projects (i.e. The Stoned Frogs, Chillchat). From those AMAs, they have highlighted that they found pre-mint success through their commitment to act outside of notions of what NFT projects are supposed to accomplish and look outside of the space to find ways to bridge Web2 and Web3. They have collaborated with a few large ETH projects, bringing a new audience to their community, and have mentioned they are already in conversations with their future business partnerships.

Some people have voiced distrust in the team, who previously launched and handed over both Famous Fox Federation and The Chimpions. However, these relationships and splits were both complicated, and it is unclear if the team and community came to this agreement together, or whether the team intentionally ditched the project. It is worth noting that both FFF and Chimpions are projects that have found enormous success, so if nothing else, the team behind Just Ape is great at fostering a community of individuals who are focused on building. If the team can gain its community’s trust, it has potential to build a successful long-term brand, but if not, it will be a great flip.

 

VANDAL CITY – 243k


Vandal City is one of the few projects in this list that has more to its roadmap than just “community.” It has delivered part of their roadmap pre-mint, and while the community was wary that this meant there was less to be released post-mint, the team assured the community that they are releasing value pre-mint because there are even more exciting things to come post-mint. If nothing else, their deliverables prove the team’s competence and commitment.

The art is similar to Jikan, but using humans instead of apes. This bright color palette is eye-catching and somewhat unique to the space. The project is built upon its native token, $VAULT. The project has planned “blockchain bank heists,” where 2 bandits (NFTs) can go and search for vaults (wallets) with $SOL inside. Holders must piece together wallet addresses and guessing the wallet address costs $VAULT. The token will also have use cases in raffles, auctions, and casino games.


This project has an impressive team, and it is one of the few with tangible future plans with a detailed whitepaper. These facts make it stand out from the rest of the hyped projects and increase the chances that this project will remain relevant for longer than most projects.

 

SUTEKI – 110k


Suteki is a project that has been building for a while, and its launch is finally on the horizon. It has found a lot of success due to its timing, where anime projects are very favored in the market, following the success of Azuki, an ETH project. This is another project that has some substance to its roadmap: they plan to build a platform for artists of all kinds to find and connect to their audience. Though the team has not shown how they will achieve this, it is different from the typical hyped project that is hoping to create a brand out of thin air.

However, one thing that may hold this project back is the amount of activity purges that were done. Because DAO collabs were done early on in the building of this project, the team found that many people with a whitelist spot were not participating in the community, and they purged inactive members. The NFT space in general has collectively grown to have a very negative opinion on activity purges, since it alienates the people that don’t have time to check in on all of their discords every day, namely big buyers. It also angers people who get purged and potentially turns them off from the project altogether.

Since there are so many hyped projects lined up, it is likely that liquidity will simply flow from one to the other. However, the work the team has already put into the project is impressive, and it points to the likelihood that they will continue to deliver swiftly after mint. This team has also held many AMAs to distribute information to the community and engage with their questions. Also, a collection related to Suteki, the emergence scrolls, have already dropped on Magic Eden, and these scrolls secure a free airdrop of a Suteki NFT along with other utility, like exclusive alpha calls, limited merchandise, and airdrops to future collections. The floor price is around 32 SOL with a supply of 600.

 

OAK PARADISE – 238k


Oak Paradise has received a lot of attention for its unique, impressive art. The pre-mint process was running smoothly until it became known that one team member was planning to rug the project. The other team members got together to secure the project and rebuild the Discord and Twitter.

It is unclear what the effect of the pre-mint drama will be. On one hand, it could lead to a lack of trust in the community, given that the team does not know each other personally and someone could easily still rug the project. However, communities that have been through hardship often are more resilient, so if the team can secure the community’s trust, it could result in a stronger community than existed before in the project. To gauge which case it will be, it is important to observe the team’s responsiveness to the community.

The roadmap of the project is still not announced, so there is no saying what direction they will take. However, based on other similar projects, it is likely that the roadmap includes community building, a native token with use cases in auctions and raffles, DAO access and whitelists/alpha, and a future collection. If the roadmap does in fact look similar to others, the success of the project will be decided almost exclusively by the strength and loyalty of the community as compared to other projects of similar caliber.

 

SHROUDED PLAYGROUND – 204k


This project is also based on its impressive, unique art. It has a darker color palette to other upcoming projects, which makes it stand out. It also displays a diverse range of human characters, making the project inclusive and relatable. The project is lifestyle and art-based, similar to many upcoming projects, meaning that its success will likely depend on the strength of the community, team, and the interaction of those two. Gauging sentiment, it seems as though the majority of the community believes that the team is approachable and competent.

Though the art is unique, unless the team plans and executes something unique, it is unlikely that the project will remain as relevant as it is in the first few days of launch. Lifestyle projects take time to build, and the Solana community is impatient – especially when there are many other quality projects that will detract attention as they launch.

 

MYSTIC MEN – 151k


Again, much of the hype of this project is based in the art, as there is not much else to show for the project at this point in time. The focus on art was further solidified as the team offered whitelist opportunities for illustrations like the one below. The roadmap is currently not announced, and the website has not been built.

It is worth mentioning that Mystic Men is the product of a team who was planning a different project, Welkin, whose plan was to offer access to IRL art events and exclusive art-related benefits, creating something like an art society. However, the team evaluated market conditions, and they realized the timing was not right to successfully launch Welkin. They scrapped the idea and created Mystic Men. It is unclear if portions of the Welkin whitepaper will find their way into the Mystic Men roadmap. It seems like as with the others, the success of this project will be determined by community and team strength, and it is likely that most will be in it for a flip.

 

GOOEY KIDZ – 21k


Gooey Kids’s art has many similar traits to Okay Bears, which have two main effects that are competing. First, it gives the project recognition, as Okay Bears is a very high-profile project. However, it also caps Gooey Kids’s potential as a project that is a separate entity from Okay Bears. It would be very hard for the project to reach nearly the same heights as Okay Bears, because it can be seen as somewhat derivative.

In terms of the future, the only aspects that have been revealed are a focus on community and branding, however, they have done nothing to show what this specifically means. Additionally, I don’t see much potential for a brand in Gooey Kids, as it is building itself on the back of a brand that does not even exist yet. Though its hype may serve to help it in the short-term, I do not see this project retaining the interest of the space for more than a couple days post-launch. The project is launching on Solport, which is a decision that speaks to the team’s interest in builders. Solport does not guarantee the success of the projects it launches post-mint, but it does make it likely that the mint will be smooth and public launch will be unbottable.

 

ZENIN – 151k


This project is heavily focused on art and branding, like many of the other projects mentioned in this list. However, the detailed and impressive art does make the project stand out a bit from the rest, especially in the group of anime-inspired projects. The project’s Twitter bio is “Don’t follow the meta, become the meta,” which alludes to something unique that the project is planning, though there is no proof of this; the roadmap has not been released yet.

The project has strongly insisted that they are not listed on any secondary marketplace before sell-out. Listing before sell-out is a relatively new occurrence in the space, but for Communi3 and Trippin Apes, both hyped projects, it caused a similar price action: some of the biggest sales and ATHs happened before the collection was fully minted out, and after sell-out, price decreased, most likely because interested holders had already been able to get their hands on them before sell-out, if wanted. Therefore, this strong desire to not get listed until after mint will likely result in different price action.

 

ART OF MOB – 195k


This project grew in popularity after some interaction with Pratty, an influencer in the space. The marketing materials are dark and mysterious, which is part of a successful marketing campaign. The NFT art itself depicts human forms, which is becoming more popular in the space recently, along with the normal affinity for apes.

In regards to the future of the project, the team seems to be leaving the roadmap intentionally blank, which has worked well in the past for some projects. In the roadmap section of the Discord, it says “trust us blindly,” along with an image of a figure being kidnapped. The official website depicts blood, which adds to the mysteriousness. However, because of recent events with Reptilian Renegades, many people are less trusting of projects, even if they are hyped. Therefore, in order to get more people on board, the team will have to commit to transparency in their work and identity if they choose to leave the details of the future of the project up in the air. Again, because this project does not stick out much, it makes sense that many minters will be in it for a flip, taking advantage of pure hype for profits until they are distracted by the next project that comes up.

 

GREAT GOATS – 400k


Great Goats was one of the first projects that highlighted the obvious use of bots on Twitter, either by the community or from the team itself. In fact, 400k is larger than the entire Solana community, making it nearly impossible that the followers are real. The hype and massive engagement, even though fabricated, has drawn a lot of eyes to the project, especially people who feel like they have missed hyped projects like Okay Bears and Trippin Ape Tribe.

There are many clear red flags with this project that the others don’t have, or don’t have as severely. First, there is speculation that the owner bought his personal Twitter account to appear as if he/she has been a part of the space for a long time. The account engaged in completely unrelated and irrelevant activity on Twitter before Great Goats emerged as a project. The Reptilian Renegades rugger himself has highlighted the many red flags of this project. Additionally, there is no roadmap, and no hint as to what the future direction of the project is.

As the mint drew nearer, Great Goats announced that they would be increasing both their supply and price, an obvious tactic as a way to gather more mint funds. In fact, the new supply is larger than nearly all recently launched projects, except for Solstead Citizens, which came from a proven team, and supply was determined by how many were minted in five minutes.


That being said, it is important to keep one’s guard up always, but especially this project given the red flags. However, it is also a fact that this project has grown to be widely recognized, and therefore, it could result in a good flip.

 

WOBBLEBUG – 268k


Wobblebug is taking a different approach than all of the other hyped projects in this list; it is heavily focused on music. The project has a clear roadmap which involves access to exclusive live shows, music festivals, and a share in the career of Wobblebug (music artist), all governed by the $WOB token. The project has been building since mid-March. On the team is a well-known music producer Wuki, who knows the ins and outs of the music industry.

It is worth noting that the same project first launched on ETH, and it was not very successful. ETH holders got guaranteed access to the new SOL project, which has the same goals. Though market timing can affect project success greatly, and the team could claim that they did not have great timing in their ETH launch, it is not likely that the bearish conditions of the current market are any better for a more successful launch. Additionally, the 3D art of the NFT has not historically performed well – it is similar to Drippies, which underperformed based on expectations. That being said, the project is more organized and trustworthy than many of the other projects on this list.

 

PRIMATES – 302k


Primates’s extensive whitepaper and impressive art make it a stand-out among the list of hyped upcoming projects. Primates’s main goal is to build a streetwear brand as well as foster a healthy community. They have hired a fashion designer with experience, and they are planning weekly drops inspired by successful brands like Supreme.

Primates is planning to integrate Solana Pay into their digital storefront, which is a great way to increase mass adoption of Solana and benefit the whole ecosystem. They are also planning to use Amazon FBA to release Primates branded products outside of streetwear.

There have not been many branding projects so focused on physical merchandise before, making room for Primates to have wide success if the team can execute properly. However, in this extremely bearish market, it will be hard to sustain consistent and reliable revenue streams in the early stages of the project, which is often when it is the most important to earn the trust and loyalty of a young community.


Their Medium articles outline their plans, and it invites the community to offer their suggestions for products to be released. However, because their plans are spread across so many niches in a space where progress takes time, it will be unlikely that the project can appease the community for long enough for them to build. Additionally, it seems like the project has a lot of ideas, but no clear path of execution or specific short-term goals, which will create frustration in the community.

However, the high-effort art and team that is dedicated to informing the community of its plans points to the possibility of a favorable outcome for the project. Investors that are interested in streetwear and believe in the branding potential for Primates may happily make Primates a long-term investment, where investors with less interest may just be in it for a flip.

 

RECKLESS RACCOON CLUB – 204k


After the success of Okay Bears, the space has been flooded with projects of the form “[adjective] + [animal],” and that is where Reckless Raccoon also fits in. The plethora of similar projects in this niche of projects all looking to accomplish similar things (community, alpha, whitelists, DAO decisions, etc.) caps the potential of all these projects because there is so much competition and it is based on being a derivative. However, the art of Reckless Raccoon is unique; it is reminiscent of Dazed Ducks style, but with a darker palette of colors.

In terms of future plans, nothing has been announced. The lore in the Discord alludes to nothing more than it being a “club,” and it seems as though the focus on the team right now is managing the Discord and distributing whitelists. If there are no more developments in the future plans, it will be hard to trust this project moving forward. Even if the plans are released, if they are not unique, I would not expect much of the community to hold their Reckless Raccoons past the opportunity to flip.

 

BAKED BERSERK – 46k


This art again utilizes the human form in a similar style to Degen Dojo, a successful project. The only information in the roadmap is that delisted or staked berserkers get access to airdrops. This information is not good news for the longevity of the project, because depending on the airdrop, floor prices can pump massively in anticipation and dump equally as massively after it is distributed.

The lore is well-developed, which adds a sense of cohesiveness to the project and aids with marketing. However, it is likely that the deciding factor for this project will fall onto the strength of the community and how well the team and community interact with each other to push the project forward. As the bar for quality is raised in the Solana NFT space, I would expect this project to get overshadowed very quickly after launch, unless the team pulls out a surprise.

In summary, I would not expect many of these projects to do well for long-term holders, only for flippers. The projects that have the best chance at longevity are Vandal City, Just Ape, Suteki, and Jikan Studios, as these projects either have a very loyal community and team, interesting future plans, or both.


In these bearish market conditions dominated by fear, not much extra liquidity is coming into the ecosystem. Therefore, flippers will take their liquidity from project to project instead of remaining invested in projects that have not proven their capability to be sustainable.

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