You’ve probably noticed the ongoing hype about the metaverse, a comprehensive world where you can see, hear, and touch things virtually. You can travel there to experience things you could never do and see in the “real world”. It opens the possibilities to travel in a whole new way that will continue to evolve as the metaverse becomes more a part of our daily lives.
Justin Trevor Winters, the CEO of the virtual production studio Verified Labs, explained, “The metaverse as we understand it today will unleash a world within our world where anything is possible. Whatever you can dream, you can create. It’s going to be evolving as we get more and more people involved, but in a nutshell it’s really the art of the possible for a community.”
Winters teamed up with Jon Heder, the talented artist and actor who is best known for his starring role as the title character in Napoleon Dynamite, for a project that will make travel to the metaverse even more special. Heder created and drew the Tigon, an animal hybrid, for the metaverse.
“Justin came to me with the idea of creating an original drawing, not completely unlike some drawings I’ve made of animal hybrids in the past. I used to draw very similar creatures/hybrids all throughout elementary school up through college, and I especially had a great love for big cats, namely the lion and the tiger being my two favorites. So, it just felt natural to combine my two favorite animals.”
“That, and I thought it’d be fun to piggyback off the popularity of a similar drawing I did that was made famous by a movie I acted in a number of years ago,” Heder explained, referring to the cult classic Napoleon Dynamite. Many people don’t realize that he created the art that’s seen in the film.
“This is the first creation I’ll have made for the metaverse, and I stress ‘first’ because I’m very excited to explore the possibilities and opportunities that are out there in this wild new country,” added Heder.
Justin Trevor Winters, along with his cousins Brian and Matt, will be producing the Orders of the Tigons project for Verified Labs. At the heart of this endeavor, Jon Heder created a collection of 7,777 unique digital art collectibles (2D NFTs). Each one is completely unique and crafted from his unique hand drawings.
Heder described Tigons as being a mix between a lion and a tiger, and his version has a few cosmic mutations because of wizards meddling with nature. He said it is distant cousin of the manticore, and their true powers have yet to be discovered.
People who want to travel to the metaverse to interact with these mythical creatures can “mint” their own Tigons. That means that they can “adopt” and take home a Tigon within the metaverse. The first 777 digital art collectibles will be released on February 4, 2022, with the remaining 7,000 being released on February 11, 2022. They can be purchased using cash or Theta Networks, TDROP crypto currency at Theta Drop.
Then things get even more interesting for those who want to travel to the metaverse and play with these hybrid creatures. After you “mint” your Tigon NFT, you will be able to use a “serum” to create your very own 3D digital avatar Tigon who can live in the metaverse!
“Think of it like having your own virtual cat or dog, but it’s a Tigon,” explained Winters. “You can take it on walks, feed it, buy it toys, and purchase accessories for it.”
Like the Tigons themselves, all the accessories will be drawn by Jon Heder, and a portion of the proceeds from everything they’re doing is going to different wildlife and animal charities.
“We recognize the problems with the big cat and exotic animal trade. We’re hoping our virtual Tigons will destroy the need for this type of real-world, black-market industry. We can create these animals and experiences in a virtual environment which will remove the real-world impact on these breeds. We can create these Tigons where no real animals are harmed. People will pay to be a part of the Order of the Tigons and come to our Tigon Sanctuary,” Winters observed.
“Beyond that, we’re really approaching this through a fantasy lens. The three-legged Tigon we’ve created isn’t meant to be real. It’s all a fantasy,” he added.
Verified Labs has several parcels of land in the Sandbox metaverse. They’ve created a virtual productions studio lot with meeting spaces and attractions. They plan for it to have attractions and entertainment like Universal Studios does in the real world, and they hope to be one of the first production companies to do this in the metaverse. Those who virtually travel here are welcome to come visit all their attractions, and one of those will be a Tigon Sanctuary where the Tigons will be protected and can roam free.