Usukiland vs. Quigukiville: Why There's Only One Left
Long ago, there were two doll manufacturers: Usukiland and Quigukiville. Today only one exists, and I know why. I’ll bet you don’t believe me when I tell you this, but I’ve got the whole story, beginning to end.
It started in the early years of Neopia, when the Lost Desert was still lost. There were, as I said earlier, two doll companies. The manufacturer of Usuki dolls, an Usul named Yolanda, wasn’t doing as well as she’d have liked businesswise. Her shop, in the Neopian Bazaar, wasn’t very active, and her dolls weren’t selling very well.
Meanwhile, in the main shops of Neopia Central, the owner of the Quiguki line, a Quiggle by the name of Sam, had a booming business. His machines never stopped, for every doll he stocked sold within a day. Business had never been better.
Finally, Yolanda couldn’t take it. One day, she went over to Quigukiville, Sam’s shop, to try to figure out his secret. His dolls were priced the same as hers, and they were just as cute, so it didn’t make sense. Finally, she asked him, “What are you doing differently?”
He grinned his frog-like grin. “Wouldn’t you love to know,” he said in his most taunting voice. He was amused by her need for information, so he wouldn’t disclose anything for quite some time.
“Yes, I would,” she said briskly. She’d hoped he’d cooperate, but her hopes had obviously been far from the truth. “I may lose my business if I don’t do something soon. Imagine what a mess that would be. I’d soon be out of Neopoints; then I’d have to sell my Neohome.”
The Quiggle, feeling sorry for Yolanda, finally said, “Fine. Variety is the true key in this business. All your dolls are the exact same. You need to add themes or something.”
Yolanda nodded. “That’s a very good idea. Thanks for the advice, Sam.” Then, with a swish of her tail, she left the store and returned to her own.
For the next few days, Yolanda kept herself very busy. Soon, she had a large set of dolls and clothing packages. Slowly, customers started coming and soon, everything was busy for the first time since Quigukiville opened. Customer after customer came in, some buying multiple dolls.
Meanwhile, at Quigukiville, there were fewer and fewer customers coming. The dolls he’d worked to make weren’t selling, and his machines were slowing down. He wondered where all his loyal customers had gone, for the day came when not a single Neopet entered his shop.
Finally, he couldn’t take it. Hopping quickly, he made his way down the path to the bazaar, wondering what he’d say. When he arrived, he wished he’d planned this little better. Actually, he wished he’d planned this a lot better.
Entering, he saw all of her customers, the same customers that had once been at his store. Anger bubbled up within him as he saw the dolls she’d created. They had the same themes as his! Marching over, well, actually it was more like waddling, he confronted her. “What’s the big idea?” he asked.
Yolanda smiled broadly. “I took your advice and added themes. I really appreciate the idea, too.”
Sam scowled. “You didn’t only take my advice. You took my themes and my customers! I mean, look at this!” He gestured to the fluffy pink shelves stocked with prince and princess usukis. “It’s all mine! My idea, anyway.”
A worried expression came across Yolanda’s face. “Gee, Sam, I didn’t mean to steal it. I guess after I saw your shop and your Quiguki dolls, it just stuck in my mind. I didn’t even realize they were yours in the first place.”
“Well, they are, so if you could quit stocking them and actually come up with an idea of your own, I’d appreciate it,” he said darkly, obviously angry.
Yolanda smiled sweetly. “I’m afraid I can’t do that. Don’t you see? This is more business than I’ve ever had since the store opened. Do you really think I’d give it all up? I can’t, and I won’t.”
“It’s not yours to keep or to sell. It’s mine, and you’re a thief!” Sam was to the point where he would say almost anything to get his business back.
“Princesses are hardly patented, my friend. Anyone can use them. That hardly makes me a thief,” Yolanda answered, her voice staying overly sweet.
Sam growled, something most unusual for a Quiggle to do. “I’ve got an idea. What do you say we make a little competition? Winner gets to sell the prince and princess dolls.”
“What kind of competition do you propose, Sam?” Even Yolanda had to ask, for she wasn’t one to give up a challenge, nor a business.
“A game of creativity. We’ll see which of us can come up with the most unique ideas in one week. Whoever has the most gets to sell the dolls.” Sam’s mind was already whirling with possibilities.
Yolanda’s eyes lit up. “Ooh! That’s a wonderful idea. What do you say we up the wages a little bit, though?”
Now it was Sam’s turn to be curious. “What do you mean by that?”
The Usul smiled. “I was thinking that whoever wins not only gets the dolls, but also gets the business.”
Confused, Sam asked, “What do you mean, exactly?”
Once again the Usul smiled. “I mean, whoever wins keeps their business. The loser finds a new profession and closes down their shop.”
This was too much for even the Quiggle to pass up. “So, if I win, you close down for good?”
“Yes,” said Yolanda, “but if you lose, you close down.”
“Deal,” said Sam immediately, positive that he would win.
“Great!” exclaimed Yolanda. “We’ll meet here again in exactly one week. Agreed?”
Sam held his hand, or whatever it is a Quiggle has, out to shake. “Agreed.”
Yolanda took his hand then turned away, going back to her customers, thinking about her newest goal. Sam, on the other hand, turned and left the shop, hopping back to his own to work.
A week later, both were ready with their lists of themes. Keep in mind that their lists were fairly small; Neopia was a lot smaller back then. Yolanda had come up with the following: petpet, faerie, wedding, holiday, and school. Sam had only come up with three: seasonal, faerie, and pirate.
Therefore, Yolanda Usuki had won the contest; Usukiland stayed open. Sam, who’d lost the contest, had to close Quigukiville. That’s why you don’t see very many Quigukis around anymore. Sam cut up his list, and he only had a limited amount of dolls he’d made still.
Now, I’m sure you’re wondering how this all played out. We’ll start with Sam. After Quigukiville closed, he opened a new shop. It’s called Health Food, and you can find it in the Neopian Bazaar. As I’m sure you’ve figured out, it sells only the healthiest food in all Neopia.
Yolanda kept Usukiland open. She turned all of her ideas into realities, along with many ideas that came later. She still runs the place, although she’s made an interesting change. You see, she entered the magic shop one day and there was an accident involving a potion. She was morphed into a blue Blumaroo! She doesn’t mind, though, because she’s still surrounded by her dolls.
See? I told you this story was unbelievable, but that’s what happened. You can ask Yolanda yourself. Well, if you can get her to talk to you. She might be quite famous after this story. Just kidding, I’m sure she’ll tell you anything you want to know, should her dolls advise her to. Anyway, we’ll end this tale with the appropriate ending.