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Neopia's Hottest Trend: a Special Kind of Packrat

by sillyliss


Everyone is a collector. Before you dung-bomb me for making such a controversial statement, let me state again that it is true, and by the end of this article, just perhaps you will agree with me (if not, I expect a lot of dung). There are lots of different types of collections (I’m pretty sure you collect at least one of the following): avatars, trophies, neofriends, Battledome challengers, gallery items, or neopoints. And then there is another breed of collector altogether: the one-item collector.

You may—or may not—have noticed the recent trend in Neopia. On user lookups, Neopians from the Haunted Woods to Tyrannia to Kreludor are confessing their addictions to collecting. They are collecting mossy rocks and pink sprinkled doughnuts. They are collecting ummagines and volcanic rock. It might start out innocently enough: you find a sale in a shop and buy a dozen Tombola visors. You put them in your Safety Deposit Box for safekeeping. One day you realize that you now own 42 Tombola visors. You think, “I bet I could gather up 100 of them.” When that is done, you think, “If I had 1,000, that would really be something.” You need to tell someone. You need to tell everyone that what they think of as junk is turning into a large collection of visors. So you put a message on your user lookup—look at my collection, you proclaim. I am a collector!

Perhaps you think you would like to be a collector as well, but you don’t know what to collect. Here are some ideas for you:

1. Is there an item in Neopia that you are drawn to? For me, it’s cheese tortillas. Yum, melted cheese! Make sure the item you like best isn’t too expensive to collect. If you pick Faerie Queen Dolls, it might take a while to buy each of them (and don’t expect too much help from your neofriends!)

2. If there’s no item you fancy in particular, you might consider an item for its investment potential. There’s no guarantee whether the price of an item will go up or down over time, but if you pick an item with a fairly unusual name and then an avatar comes out that requires that item, selling off your collection could make you a very, very rich Neopian. The chances that this will happen are pretty small, but as long as you are collecting, why not? When picking your item, try running some of the words through the Trading Post or the Shop Wiz to see if other items come up. This will help you determine how unique the item is. For instance, when the speckled avatar came out, Neopians who had stashed away Speckled Neggs or Speckled Neopets Party Blowers in their safety deposit box got rich very quickly! The price of speckled items has since dropped, but imagine if you had 1,000 party blowers when the prices skyrocketed! Neopoints would be falling around you like a downpour!

3. You might also look in your safety deposit box and see if there is an item tucked away that you’ve unknowingly started collecting. This happened to me. One day I was picking my way through the contents of my safety deposit box and I noticed that I had already saved lots and lots of cheese tortillas! It was meant to be!

4. Think of 1 NP items. These are great to collect. You can buy lots and lots of them in one day and never risk going broke. Many of the items caught in the Underwater Fishing game are considered “junk” by lots of Neopians. Sometimes on the Trading Post you can buy more than one of an item for less than 1 NP apiece! And, as long as the Underwater Fishing game keeps going, there will always be more and more items added to Neopia. Tombola prizes are also great to collect for this reason. You might also consider food from the Lost Desert that Coltzan’s Shrine commonly awards, fruits the Fruit Machine gives away, snowballs or potions that you get at the Healing Springs, or Geraptiku items you find in the Deserted Tomb. There are lots and lots of 1 NP items floating around Neopia just waiting to become a “collectible.” For an idea of what other Neopians are stowing away—or perhaps just to get rid of some of the items sitting in your Safety Deposit Box that you consider “junk,” there is a directory of 1 NP collections on Derxon's petpage (hosted by tenthz).

5. How about retired items? Items given away at the last Advent Calendar are ripe for collecting. It isn’t likely that they will be given away again, so the price is bound to increase over time, and right now a lot of those items are still pretty cheap.

6. There are foods given out when you play Dice-a-Roo. Since Dice-a-Roo is a game that people play every day, the foods stay at or under 100 NP. If this is in your price range, consider collecting one of these foods. If you don’t know what foods you can win from Dice-a-Roo, I suggest you start playing right away!

7. Make sure you calculate how much you can afford to spend on your collection before you start. You don’t want to get halfway to your goal of 10,000 Bags of Sugar to realize that you have to choose between buying your pets toys and adding to your collection.

Once you have chosen your item and started collecting, here are some tips.

First of all, NEVER beg for items. If you choose an item that’s cheap enough, you can afford to buy it yourself, and you will be most proud of your collection knowing that you put time and energy into forming it. It is okay to announce that you collect the item on your user lookup. And you never know when someone stopping by just might have a few items to spare and happily send them to you so your collection grows faster. (Sometimes they might set up a trade for you with more than one item! In that case, I usually try to be generous and give them a non-junk item with the trade to show my appreciation.) They did that out of the goodness of their hearts—not because you asked. And doesn’t that feel better?

Second, it might be a good thing to put up a petpage about your collection. Trust me, people are going to ask why you’re collecting a certain item, especially if it’s something a little offbeat, such as Mucus Soups or Eyeballberries. On your petpage, you might relate a funny story. Perhaps you are going to make a moat of Mucus Soup around your neohome. Maybe you just wanted to rescue all those poor Half Shell Coconuts that float around Neopia without a home. Or maybe you just really, really like cheese tortillas (heh heh). People will enjoy visiting your collection, and it’s a great way to show off how many you’ve accumulated.

Finally, set goals and rules for yourself. Decide at the beginning how much you are willing to pay for each one of the items in your collection and don’t go beyond that. If you agree you will not spend over 1 NP for each Very Rotten Tomato in your collection, spend only 1 NP. When you see a Very Rotten Tomato in someone’s shop for 200 NP, just remember your rule and pass it by. It’s tough to see a Very Rotten Tomato that cannot join the others in your Safety Deposit Box, but if you are going to keep collecting, you have to stay focused and within the rules you set for yourself. The other half of that is to make some goals so that your collection continues to grow. This might be making yourself buy 5 items for your collection each day. Or it might mean giving yourself a deadline to have a certain number in your collection (but don’t start too high and discourage yourself...even at 1 NP apiece, 100,000 of ANYTHING will take a long time accumulate!).

Now that you know more about the habits of collectors, I’m sure you will want to join all the fun! And if you aren’t convinced that you are a collector yet, I guess I will just deal with all the dung.

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