5 Underestimated Neopets... Redeemed!
Any time you visit Pet Central, you may notice at the bottom of the page there is a link to the popularity rankings of our beloved Neopian creatures. Here you will find a list of all Neopets, with the number of them created and the percentage of the population that they account for. Most of the top ranked Neopets are fuzzy, innocent and playful looking, or just downright adorable; as evidenced by Neopia's favorite, the Shoyru, with their gigantic glassy eyes, graceful wings and stubby little limbs.
But what about the ones that aren't so popular? What is it about them that keeps them at the bottom of the chart? Today we will explore this topic by taking a look at each of Neopia's least favorite critters and determine what caused their lack of popularity. To lighten things up a bit, we're going to give these guys a chance to redeem themselves by sharing some awesome facts and qualities about them that may have been overlooked!
To start things off, I would like to mention that, although they find themselves at the very bottom of the rankings, Limited Edition Neopets will NOT be accounted for in this article. Why? The only thing holding them down is their lack of availability. So let us begin with our first look... The least popular Neopet in existence, the Gnorbu! *round of applause*
These fluffy, friendly, floppy eared little guys were first discovered in Neopia of the 6th day of Sleeping in Year Eight, making them one of the most recent additions to the Neopets family. But what is it that makes them the LEAST POPULAR NEOPET IN THE WHOLE OF NEOPIA? Let's investigate! Speculation has it that the hype began as an April Fool's Day joke back in Year Seven, asking Neopians to decide on which Neopet would be joining the array of colorful creatures to inhabit Neopia. The winner was the Lamameeah, a slightly less fluffy character reminiscent of a llama with perky ears and sad eyes. Although there were supposedly no intentions of making this dream a reality, by popular demand, the concept continued development and would be released to the public as the Gnorbu during the following year. However, some of the changes made from the original concept art of the Lamameeah to today's Gnorbu outraged Neopians. The new design did not stay true to the original design that fans knew and loved, and therefore the Gnorbu was cast away to the very bottom of the popularity rankings. But did you know that the Gnorbu is actually an extremely unique Neopet? To this day it is the only Neopian species to have its own appearance-altering holiday! Each year on Gnorbu Shearing Day, proud Gnorbu owners wake up to find their fluffy friend adorably bald! No other Neopet, even the species of the fuzzier variety, gets to experience this special treatment reserved only for the Gnorbu. And have you not seen how incredibly adorable a Gnorbu painted Cloud looks? Absolutely precious!
Ah, the Lenny. The tall, slender, feathered Neopet with the silly crest of fluff on its head. Instantly recognizable! They've been around since the olden days of Neopia and continue to put shame to the term "bird brain" with their relentless intelligence. Put a puzzle in front of a Lenny and they'll solve it in seconds! With that being said, why exactly are they so unpopular with Neopia's human population? For starters, the character design is just a tad bit awkward. There seems to be quite a lacking of Neopets with a tall, thin build like the Lenny. A good majority of Neopets, as well as some of the most popular, are small, furry, and slightly chubby. Notable examples include the Kougra, Xweetok, and Acara. A lot of them are also quadrupeds, or walk on four legs. By "scientific standards", these traits are what people consider "cute". Cuteness is a huge factor in determining the popularity of just about anything you could think of. Taking this information into consideration, the Lenny's traits can not accurately be described as cute, but more likely with words like "majestic" and "powerful". Tall figures are often associated with power, and Lennies are known well for both magic and intelligence, which are very important factors in power. Were you aware that Lennies can fly? If you're looking for something graceful and intelligent rather than a cuddly ball of fur, the Lenny is the Neopet for you. It still amazes me how this one isn't more popular with male players on the site.
The Moehog is another Neopet that's been a part of Neopia for what seems like ages, and still lacks proper recognition, being the third least popular on the list. Although lacking the aforementioned fur that many Neopets have, this tusked critter is still, in my opinion, considerably cute. Just look at its grin! Those little hooves! That crazy mohawk! In this case, the unpopularity of the Moehog may not be so much based on attractiveness but rather its concept. When people think of tusks, they think of a dangerous pointy weapon used for poking eyeballs (Oddly enough, early artwork of the Moehog appears to look as if they're poking themselves in the eye, though this was likely unintentional). Hooves are used for kicking, and mohawks are generally associated with rebels and menaces. Our poor friend the Moehog has now gone from a perfectly innocent Neopet to a walking essence of evil! Do Neopians fail to remember that Judge Hog, the leader of Defenders of Neopia, an organization specifically designed for stopping evil in its tracks... is, in fact, a Moehog? Although there are villainous Moehogs in Neopia, as there are with any other species, these Neopets are actually known for being kindhearted and helping out other Neopians in times of need. That's something to think about!
Ogrins are of the more recent species to be discovered, making their first appearance in Year Seven. They don't appear very friendly looking and their design is slightly strange considering their build. Many people believe that this Neopet looks like something that should have hooves rather than paws. Although this feature makes for a very unique Neopet, the Ogrin is, like all others on this list, judged solely on appearance. It simply just isn't the cute fuzzball or noble dragon that Neopians want. Or rather, young Neopians. I personally know some older folks that absolutely love the Ogrin's design, but everyone can't be pleased. Also, the name "Ogrin"... Well, it just kind of sounds ugly, you know? Not something you could snuggle up to, in contrast to the "Kacheek", so cute you could pinch its cheeks! By this point we can assume that the most popular ideals for Neopets are cute and cuddly, or dragon-like with majestic wings and tails. The Ogrin lacks in both departments and just has a rather odd appearance over all. Having once owned one, I can also assure you that they are extremely hard to draw. But all that aside, the Ogrin definitely takes the cake for having the most unique and imaginative design, and the way they're built makes them among some of the most athletic in Neopia. Just look at Coco Metrone and Orie Dinelle zipping down the field like lightning during a game of Yooyuball!
Last, but not least, we have the Ruki, a tough, hard shelled Neopet native to the Lost Desert. These heavily armoured creatures are very strong and sturdy. However, along with the Buzz, ranking just two places above it in popularity, the Ruki appears to be a bit less loved due to the fact that it looks very bug-like. "Eww, bugs! Somebody get the exterminator!" Bug-like creatures are very frightening to most young children, and even a few adults. Maybe it's the pointy antennae, the glossy sheen of their exterior or the big bulging eyes on either side of their head. Whatever the reason may be, bugs are simply very unappealing to the public eye. I wonder how Rukis feel when they're shopping for food in various parts of Neopia and come across such tasty treats as Grackle Bug on a Stick or Blueberry Beetle Crackers? The point being, bugs are often thought of as things that need to get stepped on or fed to a pet rather than one of your best buddies. Rukis have a really cool design, in my opinion. They have six limbs! Six! That's more than any other Neopet discovered so far! That's without mentioning that their tough armoured shells serve as a great defence mechanism in the Battledome, an advantage that makes the Ruki one of the most spectacular Neopets there is.
In conclusion, Neopians seem to choose their companions based on how fluffy and stubby they are, or whether or not they have dragon wings and the ability to breathe fire. These factors top the popularity charts while our good friends the Gnorbu, Lenny, Moehog, Ogrin and Ruki rest at the bottom. Whether you're an updated April Fool's Joke, awkwardly slender, have menacing tusks, paws instead of hooves, or you were unfortunate enough to look like a bug... Rest assured that there is someone in Neopia who finds you amazing and beautiful and has the perfect spot available for you in their Neopets family!
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|And His Companion: Part Three|
Solarin landed daintily on the cobblestones before the hall of heroes. Swinging himself off the Uni, Tor gave a theatrical bow and held out a hand. "My lady?"