In May 2022, the Bulls and Apes Project launched its first NFT collection. Since then, it has managed to foster a strong and loyal community through the release of several successful collections.
BAP is a generative art non-fungible token project that has managed to build a strong community due to their unique art and innovation.
Its latest project “Apes” drops this Tuesday, February 7th, and consists of 10,000 dynamic Ape NFTs that are fully customizable and dynamic. After a successful pre-mint sold out the majority of the collection in a matter of minutes, there will be 3,500 NFTs available for the public to mint.
This week, we sat down with CEO and co-founder of the project, Anthony Mongiello, to talk about the upcoming drop, what makes the Ape NFTs unique, and the NFT space in general. He was excited about to share what he and his team have in store for the Bulls and Apes community and expects tomorrow’s launch to be a massive success. The following interview has been edited for concision and clarity.
How did you first get involved with NFTs and Web3?
I started hearing about NFTs from Gary Vee and Mark Cuban, and that really started to pique my interest. I respect them as business people. They were both there early on and took advantage of Web1. So, I bought into VeeFriends and when I joined the Discord it was nuts. I thought, this is one of those moments in time when people are coming together in a particular industry with an amazing amount of energy, creativity, and collaboration.
I wanted to get more involved, so I bought into other projects. I bought into Bulls on the Block in the summer of 2021, and I started to volunteer my time with that project and help the founders the best I could. The founders really had no desire to build a business, at least not to the expectations that the community had for the project.
Along with the fellow co-founders of the BAP project, we became community leaders at Bulls on the Block, and we helped revive it and transition it from the founders to a community-driven project. Which ultimately, we did successfully. But in the meantime, we decided in January of 2022 that we wanted to start our own project. That’s when we created Bulls and Apes.
What did you learn from the de-rugging experience with Bulls on the Block?
I was somebody who was trying to help on the community side. There wasn’t a strong partnership with the founder of the team, and I saw the disadvantages we had as a community trying to build without having the support of the founders. That was very eye-opening to me, and the reason why I wanted to start my own project and become a first-time entrepreneur in Web3 is because there’s an opportunity here for a new business model.
A business model that’s very different from the traditional business world where you have a company and customers at arm’s length from the company. This was a business model that was blurring the lines between what it meant to be a company and customer. And community is what’s in-between there.
Web3 founders have this amazing opportunity to harness the energy, creativity, and drive of their community, but also, they have a responsibility to make sure that they’re cultivating that and being respectful of the community, and that there’s an open dialogue and communication. And that’s a brand new business model that’s super exciting to me.
Tell us more about the Ape Collection dropping Feb 7th. What’s the most unique thing about it?
The Apes are going to be a massive step forward towards what it means to be a dynamic NFT. We’re going to have a loot box mechanism that comes along with the Apes where there’s going to be an ongoing flow of new traits being minted and opened, and you’re going to be able to equip and de-equip your Ape with additional traits as they become available. There will be common, epic, and legendary loot boxes.
In addition, we have achievements and levels. So, you can collect different traits and put them on your Ape and earn achievements. And each time you earn a set level of achievements, you’ll be able to unlock a trait that you can mint. The rarity of the collection is going to be constantly changing as people equip and de-equip their Apes. We think these dynamic Apes will be a ton of fun for people who like to collect.
Furthermore, the company also has a methane token, which can be used to open loot boxes, and to make additional NFTs. And based on the Apes rarity, they will be able to open a different loot box every 7 days. Each trait will be its own ERC-1155 NFT, so you can buy and sell the traits separately on OpenSea or secondary markets.
What is the ETH-back guarantee you offer?
One of the things we did to build the community ahead of time and to prove ourselves as first-time founders in the NFT space, was we built in a six-month ETH back guarantee into the smart contract of our first collection. So anybody who minted a Bull NFT had six months to decide if they liked what we were building and delivering.
The six months expired at the end of November, and we only had eight people return fifteen Bulls to us, and the ETH was returned to them. That was all automatic through the smart contract. And we’re doing it again with the Apes. So anyone who mints an Ape NFT has six months to figure out if they like what we built or not, and return it.
Can you speak to what role storytelling plays in your project?
The lore is my favorite part about the project. What we put together has layers of complexity to it. The lore is entertaining, and multi-generational entertaining. But it also brings to life the tokenomics of the project and what we’re doing. It helps people understand the flow of the tokenomics, and all of our tokenomics are laid out in the lore one way or another.
As you look at character development, there’s some core characters we have that could develop into, say, our Obi-Wan Kenobi. And there could be offshoots on any of these characters. In total, we have about 50 people on our team with about a dozen on the creative side.
Will holders receive commercial IP rights with their Ape NFTs?
NFT holders receive full commercial rights to their NFTs to do whatever they want with it.
Part of what I see in our future is to be an enabler and incubator on IPs to help encourage people to develop their own creative projects. Helping people generate ideas on what to do with their IP, and also having the framework in place to help make the connections where they can make their ideas into reality.
What does a successful launch on Feb 7th look like?
Our presale on Jan 5th sold 5,000 NFTs in 32 minutes at .22 ETH a piece. So we have a head-start. Of course, we want to sell out. But the biggest part for me is that we do a good job with the messaging around the dynamic PFPs, and the traits and ecosystem around it. Telling the story about the ecosystem and bringing people into our community is important.
What’s the roadmap for the future of the project?
One exciting thing we are working on is a Magic the Gathering style physical card game. We’re just about done with the art on it. It’s in play testing now and we’re exploring distribution partners. This will be the next way for us to test out the IP and see how attractive it is outside the NFT space.
We’ve also created educational materials, such as our NFT 101 course and an NFT security course. We’re also working on a couple of other courses geared towards education and safety.
Lastly, we took our ERC-20 token and we have an own-to-earn model where if you own one of our NFTs, you can hop on our site and collect our $METH token without having to stake your NFT. We want to open it up to the broader community, so we started tokenizing other projects. So if you hold an NFT from BAYC, or Cool Cats, or Lazy Lions (we have 120 projects), you can come to our website and collect $METH. And we hope to expand this feature.
Is there anything else about the utility of the Bulls and Apes’ Community you’d like to add?
By holding one of our NFTs you have access to our inner circle community. The main utility we have in the inner circle is to leverage our connections in the Venture Capital (VC) world, and so we curate deals and negotiate for our community to invest in VC deals. We can’t disclose most of the deals, unfortunately. But two of the deals we can disclose that we’ve done in the past are OpenSea and SpaceX. Community members were able to invest in these projects early because of being members of our community.
The Ape NFT Collection
If you’d like to learn more about Bulls and Apes NFT projects, you can visit the company’s website. Those interested in minting an Ape NFT should apply for the allowlist and visit the collection’s Twitter Space at 7pm CST on February 7th.
For more information about the Bulls and and Apes collection traits, you can check the collection page on Rarity Sniper after launch.
Disclaimer: The Sniper Spotlight is a series where we take a closer look at unique and intriguing NFT collections. Nothing the article constitutes financial advice, investment tips, or promises of financial gain or loss. As always, remember to do your own research.