Max’s Garage is an NFT project created by Dave Plowden with the aim of connecting the NFT space to charitable causes. The rapid rise of NFTs (or non-fungible tokens) over the past few years has demonstrated that the digital world is not going anywhere anytime soon. With Max’s Garage, Plowden’s vision is to uproot the negative stereotypes that NFT projects are just get-rich-quick scams. His goal is to leverage the fast-paced fundraising abilities of NFTs to impact the IRL (in real life) community with his art.
The collection and its history
Max’s Garage started with a genesis collection called “1st Road Trip”. The first collection includes 20 tokens, each featuring a GIF of a hand playing with a toy vehicle. From red vans and taxis to green tractors and colorful ice cream trucks, each NFT in the collection is unique, creative and endearing as they incorporate playful and fun imagery of the vehicles that make up our communities.
Behind the art lies a unique story that gave birth to this playful and relatable collection. The images were inspired by a boy named Max, the son of a close friend of Plowden. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Plowden saw how vital autism programs and organizations were to children like Max, and so he sought to use his creative abilities to contribute to organizations that help children. Max’s favorite toys are cars and fire trucks because he loves the feeling of rolling the object and making it move in real time. As a result, Plowden decided to create Max’s Garage and feature the hand of Max or one of his friends playing with a toy vehicle.
Changing the tone of the NFT world
Max’s Garage holds goals and values that deviate from the typical pace in the NFT space. Dave Plowden created this collection with no intention of getting rich. Instead, 100% of the money earned from every NFT purchase goes to organizations that support children.
In April 2022, Plowden pledged to donate 100% of the proceeds from Max’s Garage 1st Road Trip Collection to the Pittsburgh chapter of Best Buddies International. The 1st Road Trip collection went on sale April 22, 2022 and sold out in 15 hours. Following this, a vehicle auction for Max’s Fire Truck was held and sold for $2,969 (1 ETH at the time) to Cindy who goes by @Cindyth1_nft on Twitter. Plowden has also teamed up with another NFT project, Ira Magnusson’s Ugly Sweaters, releasing an additional honorary NFT on April 24 featuring two bears from Magnusson’s collection driving around in a VW-style pickup truck on a road trip. . In total, sales of Max’s Garage 1st Road Trip Collection have raised over $7,600 for Best Buddies Pennsylvania.
“Building Max’s Garage showed me that there were great people in this world who wanted to support what I started.” said Plowden. Mike Cannings and Ashley Bestos of Lyke Island, a thriving NFT collection, reached out to Plowden to offer support for the launch of Max’s Garage and also to donate $1,000 to Best Buddies Pennsylvania. Lyke Island loaned the IP for one of their NFTs, “Pippin’s Farm”, where Plowden used the green tractor as a utility vehicle in the 1st Road Trip collection.
On May 23, 2023, Dave Plowden and Max delivered the donation check to Best Buddies at his office in Pittsburgh. They were welcomed by Samantha Civitate, Director of Development. The $7,638.49 raised for Best Buddies Pittsburgh will go towards a cooking contest that pairs Pittsburgh’s top chefs with people living with developmental disabilities for an event of learning new cooking skills and having fun.
The artist behind the collection
David Plowden an artist living in New York who works as vice president of marketing for a protein bar company called FITCRUNCH from chef Robert Irvine. With over 15 years of experience in the marketing industry and a lifelong commitment and passion for painting and creating art, his outreach, commitment and creative skills intersected in this project to create a truly impactful collection. As an artist, he has always been dedicated to helping others through his work and had a tumultuous childhood himself. Its goal is to provide support and services to children in need.
And after? Pursue charitable impact
Plowden plans to launch a food truck collection for the 2nd Road Trip in September 2022, donating 100% of proceeds to No Kid Hungry. Then there will be a holiday toy drive at the end of the year. With an endless capacity for generosity and a prolific artistic spirit, the project promises to continue to grow and impact as many lives as possible.