An Asian Canadian teenager has earned over $700,000 by creating toys based on popular non-fungible tokens (NFTs).
Ricky da Luz, an 18-year-old custom toy maker, told Insider that the revenue came from commissioned custom toys priced at an average of $700 and other toys that range from $50 to $200.
According to da Luz, he got his start last year by reaching out to Bored Ape NFT holders and offering to make toy versions of their cartoon apes for free.
Out of the 100 Twitter users with Bored Ape cartoons as profile pictures that he reached out to, about five replied. Those who accepted the free toys spread the word about IsmToys to other holders.
“Ricky’s toys really bring the digital world into the physical world, and seeing that art come to life is just incredible,” a Bored Ape NFT holder was quoted as saying.
Da Luz used $10,000 that he saved from mowing lawns as capital to set up his company IsmToys and make the first toys that he gave away to Bored Ape NFT owners.
In January, he received his first Bored Ape toy commission order for about $400.
IsmToys, which received orders for over 300 toy commissions at the start of the year, has gained more traction after participating in the 2022 NFT.NYC conference. Da Luz said they have more than 200 additional orders on queue for next month.
He now runs the company with his father, Tony da Luz, and a team of six staff members. The company, which does nearly all its transactions in Ethereum, also mints NFTs that serve as an authenticator for buyers of the physical toy.
“We’re tripling down on helping Web2 companies enter the Web3 space, while also converting their audience into Web3 people,” the young toy designer said. “We link the toys to actual NFTs and the digital assets act as authenticators for the toys.”
Da Luz shared that a series of 888 “Golemz” the company minted sold for $300,000 in 96 seconds. The company also minted 400 Bored Ape chess sets and accompanying NFTs, priced at $400 each, which sold out in less than a day.