Unbox: Madballs Unlock New Level of Cool, Sell Out Avatar Collection

The Sandbox
4 min readNov 24, 2023

Have you ever wondered how the metaverse fits into the strategy of the world’s most iconic brands and celebrities? In this edition of our Unbox series, we sat down with Derek Roberto, Strategic Advisor for Madballs, to uncover how Madballs completed a collection sellout of 2,000 avatars in 90 minutes and what might have caused the IP to go viral in The Sandbox’s ecosystem.

Recognizing the potential for creative expansion in The Sandbox’s ecosystem, Madballs saw an opportunity to reinvent their IP and create something out-of-the-box. The creative freedom offered by The Sandbox allowed the Madballs team to breathe new life into their brand by giving their characters physical avatars that seamlessly transitioned between their traditional form and these new avatars. This innovation proved to be a massive success, with a collection of 2,000 avatars selling out in just 90 minutes. Madballs’ journey in The Sandbox showcases the potential of Web3 and the metaverse for brands to refresh their identity, engage their audience, and explore new avenues of creativity and community-building.

Creating New IP Buzz by Joining the Sandbox

Before making the leap into Web3, Madballs characters didn’t have bodies. Why the change? Known for its silly, teenage vibe, there was plenty of room to play with the Madballs IP and do something out-of-the-box. The key to the avatar collection’s eventual success was giving the creative team involved the freedom to run with an idea that seemed crazy at first.

“Madballs clicked very quickly with The Sandbox. The designers seemed to embrace it and take it to new levels of coolness that the brand hasn’t seen in a very long time.”

Armed with the creative freedom that The Sandbox offers brands, the Madballs team embraced the opportunity and crafted what has become one of the most unique, recognizable avatar collections in the metaverse. The Madballs team was thoroughly impressed by the outcomes, showcasing how the power of Web3 and The Sandbox allowed them to achieve an unprecedented feat: giving Madballs physical bodies for the very first time, complete with the capability to seamlessly shift between their traditional bouncing ball form and their newly crafted avatars.”

The end result was a hit, with the collection of 2,000 avatars selling out in under 90 minutes!

“Now we know that Web3 is really interested in something like Madballs. The innovative look and animations of the avatars resonated with the community.”

Creating a Harmonious Community: The Madballs Metaverse Connection

As Roberto tells us, The Sandbox was the perfect platform to take on the edginess of the Madballs IP due to its fun-loving community that aligned closely with the rowdy incoming Madballs community.

“The Madballs alignment felt harmonious like we were right in the right space. The Sandbox’s user base demographics made it an easy transition for us. Everything gelled nicely in a good alignment between the two audiences involved.”

To bring the brand further to life for its community members and connect IRL to the metaverse, the Madballs team energized its community pre-avatar drop by announcing they’d be including physical collectible redeemables to send out to eligible holders in the form of Madballs Madness packages. It’s the first time the brand has done anything like it, but they aim to explore similar opportunities in the future as they believe it contributed to their rapid avatar sale completion.

Moving forward, the Madballs team is looking forward to launching new activations centered around the IP. With new updates to The Sandbox’s game creation tools, they’ll have heightened abilities to create memorable experiences for fans to continue to interact with the brand in new ways.

“There are some awesome boss battles and, because there’s more flexibility with Madballs, it’s going to be more dynamic than other IPs. Players will be going around sewers into toxic sludge, we think it’s ripe for the platform and hope that players agree.”

The Madballs Takeover Will Continue

From introducing a fresh aesthetic with its avatars to bridging the physical-digital divide through collectibles, Madballs has successfully captured the attention of a new Web3 audience, demonstrated by the rapid sellout of its avatar collection. This type of refresh is available for all brands with a desire to try something new in the ever-evolving Web3 space. The metamorphosis of Madballs in the metaverse, particularly within The Sandbox, serves as a testament to the expansive opportunities that brands can harness by following a similar path.

Derek Roberto’s insights offer a glimpse into the strategic choices that positioned Madballs as a trendsetter in the metaverse landscape. The blend of creative freedom, strategic partnerships, and community engagement underscores the potential of the metaverse for brands and IPs to refresh their identity and cultivate deeper connections with their audiences.

As Madballs continues to innovate within The Sandbox and other platforms, it sets the stage for what might be the next big trend in the intertwined realms of virtual and real-world branding.

The next experience that Madballs is launching in The Sandbox will be Polluted City. To stay updated on progress and ensure you don’t miss out on the action, be sure to follow Madballs and The Sandbox on X.

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