Hello and welcome to this week's edition of The Neopian News Brief, your one-stop collection of all the stories that are making headlines throughout Neopia this week. We have an abundance of topics to discuss, so let's get right to it, shall we?
Our lead item this week is the arrival of a thrilling new strategy game, Invasion of Meridell - 300 BN. Recreating a heroic battle that occurred at the beginning of King Skarl's reign, the object of the game is to defend your villages by wiping out a ghastly swarm of invaders. While protecting Meridell, you will find a number of weapons that lay strewn throughout the battlefield. Be sure to maximise the effectiveness of these weapons by knowing the specific attributes of your troops. Also, in planning your campaigns, try to remember the "Lost Item" in each level, as these can also be a major boost to the strength of your army. Good luck!
Given the breakaway success of their previous releases, the Toy Shop has come up with another series of Faerie snowglobes to add to their inventory. This time around, it's the Negg, Soup, and Tooth Faeries that have been featured.
If you actually get lucky enough to see one of these in the Toy Shop, do not hesitate to snap it up... even the cheapest snowglobes can go for upwards of sixty or seventy thousand NPs!
In NeoPets merchandise news, Tuesday saw a quartet of plush keyrings show up on the New Features page. The pets featured on these keyrings are red Kaus, blue Kacheeks, blue Aishas, and red Scorchios. Word has it that these keyrings could start to pop up in Limited Too very soon, so it might be a good idea to call ahead and ask if any have come in.
Additionally, as we speak, starry Scorchios continue to arrive in Limited Too stores throughout the U.S., along with some new picture frames that are available in two varieties. One picture frame shows a Kacheek, Bruce, and Aisha, while the other depicts an Usul, Kacheek, and Bruce. Again, not all stores have gotten these yet, so you might want to check first before rushing out to pick some up.
Lastly, don't forget that Claire's stores are currently stocking white Doglefoxes, and that the release of two new Petpet plushie species should be announced sometime in the weeks ahead.
As Stampmania continues running wild throughout Neopia, the hysteria climbed to a fever pitch with Tuesday's release of three more Neopia Central stamps. First up is a stamp depicting the Book Shop Nimmo. With a rarity of seventy, this stamp's price has already dropped to around 10,000 NPs, definitely making it the bargain of the bunch.
Much more rare (and presumably more expensive) is an extra-special Food Shop stamp, which is actually made out of foil! Last, but certainly not least, is a Petpets stamp that will be given to the winners of this week's Lenny Conundrum. Good luck, collectors!
Neopia's legions of budding artists had plenty to cheer about this week, as three more species were added to the How To Draw section. On Monday, Kaus became the first of this new trio to arrive, while Kougras joined the club on Tuesday. On Thursday, illustrators everywhere picked up some tips on how to draw a proper Kyrii. On numerous occasions, when asked about the secret to creating a well-drawn Kyrii, these self-absorbed scamps have been know to remark, "It's quite simple, as long as you remember one rule... watch the hair!"
Moving on, Thursday also marked the return of those scurvy swashbucklers from the Smuggler's Cove. This time around, the smugglers really outdid themselves, scrounging up a very limited supply of artichoke bombs. Imagine, if you will, Battledome foes pondering what your newest weapon would taste like with a zesty vinaigrette. Then, taking full advantage of their distracted state, you pull the pin and launch this most palatable of projectiles... BOOM!!! Let's see some lousy plate of asparagus do that!
On Wednesday, Neopians of every stripe set aside their grudges and stopped shuddering in fear long enough to celebrate the arrival of Jetsam Day. In addition to the requisite books, baked goods and Battledome goodies that they received, Jetsams were also treated to a number of special honours, including two new paint brush styles (baby and electric) and a prominent place in this week's Caption and Poetry contests.
Jetsams were also featured in Wednesday's installment of the Art Gallery, as well as Thursday's Site Spotlight. Then, to top it all off, on Thursday twenty thousand of these Limited Edition pets were released, giving Jetsam admirers a rare opportunity to bring one home. Congratulations, Jetsams... now, could you possibly lighten up a little?
Now, it's time to take a look at today's financial headlines. After last week's brutal collapse of one hundred and three points, many analysts felt that the economy was ready to turn itself around, declaring that the time was right for bargain hunting. However, despite two weeks of massive losses, things only got worse for the economy, as the Neodaq racked up another staggering decline, this time dropping one hundred and sixty seven points.
For the second straight week, The Neopian Auction House tops our list of the market's biggest losers. In a stunning reversal of fortune, TNAH has seen its dominance of the market evaporate within a matter of days, as they followed last week's seventy-one point plunge with an equally disturbing sixty-five point decline. Yet, for all their problems, The Neopian Auction House is still nearly twice as valuable as any other company on the Big Board. With rivals like Kacheek and Sons, Mynci Imports, and Lupe Consolidated also taking heavy hits, TNAH remains perched atop the heap, despite their incredible losses.
On a rather disturbing note, the company that managed to post the biggest gain this week was none other than... Virtupets! That's right, it seems that, while the rest of the economy continues to tailspin, Virtupets has kept chugging along. This bizarre coincidence has recently lead to rampant speculation on behalf of many investors. Is the recent good fortune of Virtupets tied to a war that seems like all but a forgone conclusion in Meridell? If so, wouldn't that implicate the involvement of Dr. Sloth? Hmm, interesting....