NFT Project Spotlight: CryptoBatz, Ozzy Osbourne’s Biting Bat NFTs
- Ozzy Osbourne recently launched an NFT collection called CryptoBatz. It was created in collaboration with Sutter Systems.
- Inspired by the time Osbourne bit a bat’s head off live on stage, CryptoBatz NFTs allow holders to “bite” another NFT to create a MutantBatz NFT.
- CryptoBatz is also launching a real-world treasure hunt for another rare set of NFTs called AncientBatz, which will be able to “bite” up to 99 times.
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CryptoBatz is a set of 9,666 pixel-art bats created by Sutter Systems in collaboration with Ozzy Osbourne. Each bat has the ability to “bite” an NFT from one of the project’s partner collections to create a new hybrid MutantBat that takes traits from both the biter and the victim NFTs.
CryptoBatz, the Story So Far
Ozzy Osbourne, often referred to as the Prince of Darkness, rose to fame in the 1970s as the lead singer for Black Sabbath. During his decades-spanning career, he developed a reputation for pushing the limits in his on-stage performances, infamously biting the head off a live bat on stage at a 1982 concert in Des Moines, Iowa.
Those born after the height of Osbourne’s music career are more likely to know him from the hit reality TV series The Osbournes. In the show that aired between 2002 and 2005, the spaced-out rocker charmed millions with his various antics living in a Los Angeles mansion with his wife and manager Sharon and two of their three children.
When media outlets broke the news that Ozzy Osbourne would be launching his own NFT collection in January, the crypto community was equal parts excited and skeptical. Celebrity NFTs have developed a bad reputation, with several high-profile personalities launching shoddy collections that go nowhere. However, it soon became clear that CryptoBatz wasn’t “just another celebrity cash grab,” as Sharon says in one of the project’s promotional videos.
CryptoBatz is the flagship collection of Sutter Systems, a New York-based NFT studio that collaborated with Ozzy Osbourne to bring his NFT vision to life. The project pays homage to the work of Gremplin, the iconic NFT artist behind CrypToadz, which exploded in popularity late last year. CryptoBatz seeks to develop the popular pixel-art style of CrypToadz and continue the legacy of pixel-art NFTs that started back in 2017 with Larva Labs’ CryptoPunks.
The collection of 9,666 CryptoBatz follows a similar format to other generative avatar projects. Each NFT is a pixel-art bat with a multitude of different possible attributes and traits. Many of the features in the collection, like hats and accessories, are inspired by those that appear in other blue chip NFT collections, such as Bored Ape Yacht Club and CyberKongz. However, CryptoBatz also introduces a whole host of original attributes formulated by the Prince of Darkness himself.
The CryptoBatz website lists Osbourne as the project’s creative director, a position that he doesn’t take lightly. Crypto Briefing recently caught up with Sutter Systems co-founder Jepeggi who revealed how Osbourne has contributed to CryptoBatz. He stated:
“Ozzy is creative director and co-founder of CryptoBatz. He has directly input on everything all the way through from the logos and branding to the individual traits that create a CryptoBat.”
Various attributes in the CryptoBatz collection reference Osbourne’s unique style. Bats can come adorned with gold chains, purple-tinted “Ozzy” shades, and hairstyles and accessories symbolic of the Prince of Darkness.
In addition to the algorithmically-generated CryptoBatz, the collection also contains 29 “legendary” one-of-a-kind bats that were assigned randomly during the mint. Many of these legendary CryptoBatz are collaborative efforts with artists from partner projects, such as the ToadBat by CrypToadz creator Gremplin, the SupBat by SupDucks artist FrankyNines, and the KongBat by CyberKongz creator myoo.
After news of Osbourne’s NFT collection started to spread, the project’s Discord server blew up in popularity. Early entrants could snag a whitelist pass, allowing them to mint a CryptoBat before the public sale. By the time the minting began on Jan. 20, over 100,000 people had joined the project’s Discord server. Over 80% of the 9,666 CryptoBatz supply was allocated to active Discord members, helping the project build a strong community from its inception.
CryptoBatz initially minted for 0.08 ETH for whitelist members. The remaining bats were minted through a Dutch auction system, starting at 1.66 ETH. Since the mint, prices for CryptoBatz on the secondary market have held strong, rarely dipping below 1 ETH.
Innovating With MutantBatz
While Ozzy Osbourne’s stardom has certainly contributed to the excitement surrounding CryptoBatz, a never-before-seen NFT minting mechanic has now taken center stage.
The project plans to innovate on the idea of NFT avatars through a second collection called MutantBatz. However, MutantBatz won’t be minted the same way as the original CryptoBatz. Instead, holders can only create MutantBatz by using their CryptoBatz to “bite” a victim NFT from a partnered project, referencing the infamous moment when Osbourne bit a bat’s head off live on stage.
The new MutantBat NFTs will gain traits from both the biting CryptoBat and the victim NFT, allowing holders to create unique combinations of attributes. The whole operation is handled through smart contracts on Ethereum and is the first instance of a project implementing the ability to create hybrid NFTs.
Jepeggi explained to Crypto Briefing how creating MutantBatz was one of the most challenging aspects of the CryptoBatz project. He stated:
“The reason why nobody has ever done something like this in the NFT space is because it is both technically challenging and is equally just a case of pure legwork. We are creating enormous amounts of new artwork and then also working with our dev team to ensure it all lines up into a seamless process for the end user.”
CryptoBatz will be able to bite NFTs from five partner projects: Bored Ape Yacht Club, CrypToadz by Gremplin, SupDucks, Alien Frens, and CyberKongz. To create a MutantBat, holders must have a CryptoBat and an eligible victim NFT in the same wallet. Each CryptoBat will only be allowed to bite once, and each victim NFT can only be bitten once, so holders must choose carefully before committing to biting another NFT.
Jepeggi also told Crypto Briefing that his team had hidden some extra Easter Eggs in the minting process. “If you bite specific combinations of bat and victim traits together, you will generate brand new rare traits,” he explained. As more MutantBatz are minted through biting, CryptoBatz that haven’t bitten another NFT will become rarer and rarer until no more MutantBatz can be minted using CryptoBatz. However, the collection doesn’t end there.
Sutter Systems is planning a worldwide treasure hunt for a third and final type of CryptoBat called AncientBatz. Unlike regular CryptoBatz that can only bite once, AncientBatz will be able to bite up to 99 times before being exhausted. Each AncientBat will be a custom-designed one-of-a-kind artwork by a world-renowned artist, making them valuable collectors’ pieces in and of themselves.
Details for the AncientBatz treasure hunt are still sparse but involve finding a hidden QR code that will give access to a wallet containing the AncientBat when scanned. Sutter Systems states it will start dropping hints and clues to AncientBatz QR code locations soon, allowing the bats to become discoverable. A Map on the CryptoBatz website shows possible locations spanning the globe, from the east coast of Australia to the northern reaches of Canada.
However, before the AncientBatz hunt begins, Sutter Systems will release MutantBatz minting. The first partner collection to go live will be Bored Ape Yacht Club on Feb. 20, followed by the other partners every three days until the final collection, CyberKongz, becomes biteable on Mar. 4. In addition to daily MutantBatz giveaways during the event, several special guests are involved in the release, including Sharon Osbourne, Jake Udell, and several prominent figures from the CryptoBatz partner projects’ communities.
Despite Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne being relatively new to the NFT scene, they’ve set a good example for celebrities who want to get involved in the future. Instead of launching a derivative project that collectors will quickly forget, CrypoBatz has innovated on existing concepts in the NFT space to create a collection worthy of the Prince of Darkness. By bringing on crypto natives like the Sutter Systems team and collaborating with existing blue chip projects, CryptoBatz looks set to endure as more and more avatar projects saturate the ever-growing NFT market.
Disclosure: At the time of writing this feature, the author owned a CryptoBatz NFT, ETH, and several other cryptocurrencies.