Behind the Roar: A Conversation with Rex Roar of Lazy Lions on Leveraging IP and Storytelling for Brand Growth
Lazy Lions offers a glimpse into the future of NFT ownership. It's a future where intellectual property rights merge with individual expression, static art is transformed into living characters, and community members are co-creators of an ever-evolving story.
Launched in August 2021, Lazy Lions rapidly emerged as one of the most fascinating projects in the NFT space, selling out its entire collection of 10,000 lions within five hours. Inspired by Assyrian roots and the nobility of lions, the collection consists of characters known as Kings and Queens with over 160 possible unique traits.
What sets Lazy Lions apart from other NFT projects is its unique approach to intellectual property (IP), allowing holders to take ownership and exercise full commercial rights over their lions.
Project founders Ashur and Nine were pioneers in leveraging IP as a tool for engagement, loyalty, and brand expansion. This IP-centric approach has resulted in a community where NFT holders not only own a piece of digital art, but actively participate in its evolution.
Within the digital landscape of the project’s metaverse, known as The Sandbox, holders of Lazy Lions NFTs have the autonomy to craft and define the identities of their Kings and Queens.
This not only personalizes their digital assets, but opens doors to new revenue streams and monetization opportunities in the form of licensing deals, merch, and cross-platform collabs.
But the Lions’ approach to IP isn’t just about revenue. It's about pioneering an immersive universe where owners can shape the story, environment, and their character’s relationships.
“Intellectual property rights give Lazy Lions' holders a tangible stake in their characters,” said AR, Lazy Lions community manager. “IP allows them to steer the direction of that character's narrative, shaping the world in which they live, and defining how they interact with other characters and the community at large. Lazy Lions has essentially bridged the gap between the creator and consumer.”
In a recent conversation with NFTcommunity, AR shared more about how the Lazy Lions’ innovative approach to storytelling and IP has catapulted the project into a new echelon of engagement, where community members don't just follow a brand but actively create it.NFTC: What is it about storytelling that is so powerful in the NFT space?
“When someone buys an NFT, they are in essence entering a relationship with that digital entity. They display it, associate it with their digital persona, and engage with the community surrounding it. When this purchase extends to include intellectual property rights, the relationship between the holder and the art is empowered. No longer confined to mere ownership, the holder takes charge of the art, leveraging its potential and turning it into something new, innovative, and personally expressive. IP is the key that unlocks this ability and allows the art to evolve and thrive beyond its original form,” explained AR.NFTC: Is the storytelling aspect what initially attracted you to Lazy Lions?
"It was pure FOMO," AR chuckled, still seemingly surprised by his own journey. "I never expected that buying a Lazy Lion would turn into my life, career, and creative outlet."
As a filmmaker and writer, AR was on a video shoot in L.A. during the GameStop frenzy that seized r/wallstreetbets. A younger colleague's constant chatter about GameStop, the stock market, and crypto led AR to feel like he was falling behind the times.
"I didn't want to miss out, so I started researching crypto, and it naturally led me to the world of NFTs," he explained. His curiosity was piqued by VeVe's branded NFTs and a growing interest in BAYC, “but I was skeptical about investing in cartoon images, especially at those prices.”
His Twitter engagement was minimal, following just eight accounts. But as BAYC's popularity surged, Twitter became more enticing, and on August 7th, a tweet from one of those eight accounts sparked his FOMO. It showcased a freshly minted Lazy Lion.
"Despite having no prior experience outside of VeVe's closed system, this was my first mint. Without hesitation, I minted three lions that day and successfully avoided FOMO,” he laughed. “But later that night as I was doing a deep dive into the Lazy Lions community, I found THE one.
I ended up doing a bundle deal with the owner and scored the perfect lion. It’s been my PFP ever since.”
Within a week, AR had officially joined the Lazy Lions team. He also made a very bold claim on Twitter that week.
Three months later, Lazy Lions hit a 2 ETH floor and AR stayed true to his word.
By late 2022, AR was no longer content to simply own a lion. Inspired by other community members who were building businesses and generating revenue with their lions, he began to explore how to turn his PFP into something more profound.
NFTC: How did you come up with Rex Roar?
“I had always been a big proponent of people using their lion’s IP since it obviously helps marketing and brand awareness. When another holder reached out and asked to use my lion for their gin brand label, I knew it was time to bring my lion to life,” AR said.
“I came across an artist who could replicate Lazy Lions' art perfectly. I asked him to remake my lion to face forward. The result was great, but I wanted something tougher, more badass,” AR recounted, his laughter reflecting his enjoyment of the creative process. “After some tweaks, like adding eyebrows and amplifying the toughness, I felt an inspiration igniting. That's when I began to shape my lion's character.”
AR's moment of inspiration turned into a lucrative opportunity. As a writer, he naturally saw his lion as more than just a digital asset; it was a character waiting to be brought to life. Rex Roar was born.
Rex Roar evolved from an idea into an entire world. No longer just a static image, it became a living entity that resonated with the community, providing fresh opportunities for creativity and connection. The character of Rex Roar quickly grew into an entertainment brand, encompassing everything from animations to comic books to games.
See what Rex Roar is up to at www.roarstore.shop.
Rex Roar stands as a testament to the untapped potential of NFTs as a springboard for engaging stories and innovative experiences. It marks a new frontier in creative exploration and audience connection. With plans for a second comic book, long-form animations, and aspirations for collabs with entities like Myths Division and Jenkins Vault, AR's vision for Rex Roar continues to grow.
The Lazy Lions project, inspired by individual success stories like AR's, is also exploring new horizons. They're focusing on supporting intellectual property creators and discovering ways to synergize their own storytelling efforts with other brands. It's a glimpse into a future where creativity, storytelling, and digital ownership intersect to create something entirely new and immersive.
The Lazy Lions project is looking toward the future, too. Because of stories like AR’s, Lazy Lions has doubled down on thinking through how to support IP builders and how they can enhance their own storytelling.NFTC: Where do you see the future of NFT ownership going?
“I expect to see significant transformations in how we perceive and use NFTs,” AR began. “The traditional static profile picture model, while still valuable and sought after, may not dominate the scene as it does now. It's not becoming obsolete, but rather it's an indication of the technological progression we're heading towards.”
He continued, “One of the concepts that truly excites me is something akin to an 'NFT Netflix'. As we know, digital ownership in its current form can be frustrating. If you purchase movies on Amazon, you own them until Amazon decides to close your account. NFTs could offer an easy solution to this issue by establishing indisputable ownership of digital assets.”
AR’s enthusiasm grew as he expanded on his vision: “This goes beyond just the creative or entertainment aspect. It explores their potential for providing functional value, enhancing the integrity of digital transactions. Imagine owning your favorite movies or music in a true sense and having the rights secured on a blockchain. That's the sort of future I see for NFTs, moving away from just being visually appealing assets to playing a more utilitarian role in our digital lives.”
With a vision like AR's and that of the Lazy Lions, it becomes clear that we are only scratching the surface of what's possible with NFTs. But it's just one chapter in a larger unfolding narrative. As we near the end of our conversation, it's evident that AR's journey is a symbol of something more profound – a beginning rather than an endpoint.NFTC: As we reflect on your journey with Lazy Lions, is there anyone special you want to acknowledge for helping you along this path?
AR’s face lights up as he starts talking about the people who have guided him in his NFT journey. "It's hard to pinpoint just a few," he begins, but then he leans into the names that have truly made a difference. “Ash and Nine, the founders of Lazy Lions, were the ones who first sparked this adventure for me. Their vision wasn't just a pitch; it was a passion, and that passion has fueled me. They're the main reason I'm part of this today.”
His gratitude doesn't stop with the founders. “The Lazy Lions community has been an incredible force as well. Names like Woozy and DJC—they might not always be in the spotlight, but their dedication shapes our culture every day. Hosting spaces, generating content, maintaining the heartbeat of daily operations, their behind-the-scenes work is the backbone of what we've built.”
He pauses for a moment, reflecting on the journey that has been more than a mere sequence of events. "What we've created with Lazy Lions goes beyond just a collection of digital assets. Our journey with IP is forging a path of shared ownership and uncharted exploration. We've only touched the surface of what's possible. The story of Lazy Lions, our novel approach to IP, and the community we're building together – this is but the first chapter in an unfolding saga of innovation, co-creation, and connection. It's a compelling start, but it's only the beginning."