Why the 36th Most Popular Pet Bluma-RULES
(All stats are accurate as of the 20th Day of Hiding, Y11)
DISCLAIMER – I understand that a “favorite” pet is subjective to one’s preference(s). That being said, I will be writing this article using cold-hard facts.
The Shoyru. The Kacheek. The Kougra. In life, there are “winners” and “losers”. Throughout the history of Neopia, there has always been an obvious victor in the game of “Popularity”. Their cute eyes, furry cheeks and adoring smiles have earned them the top pedestal in the eyes of many Neopians near and afar. They’re fun to play with, exciting to customize, charming to look at, easy to make friends with... the list goes on. Even a child can list several reasons why the three aforementioned pets have captured the hearts of Neopia.
In life, there are “winners” and “losers”; the Shoyru, the Kacheek and the Kougra, however, are not those winners.
But they have been concrete – a solid Top Three for a better part of a decade. Combined, they account for almost 20% of the Neopet population; one out of every five pets is a Shoyru, a Kacheek or a Kougra. The competition’s over, hands down. If ever there was a “Winner” for the Best Neopet Species, the award has got to be given to one (if not all) of these three pets.
Over the years, there has been a single Neopet species gaining ground in this unofficial contest of the Best Neopet Species, and this Neopet cannot be found in the Top Three. No, not the Top Five or the Top Ten. Not the Top Twenty and not even the Top Thirty. No. The Best Neopet Species is joyfully bouncing its way as the 36th most popular Neopet.
The Blumaroo? Why, yes. The Blumaroo. At first glance, this may seem as some sort of technical error, as the Blumaroos have some key factors working against them (they’re not on the bottom half of the Popularity list for no reason). For starters, as the 36th most popular Neopet, there are only eighteen other species that receive less time in the spotlight. Of the eighteen species, eleven are either “Limited Edition” pets or hard-to-get “Restricted” pets. Three of the remaining seven pets – the Ruki, the Ogrin and the Gnorbu –were released three years, four years, and five years respectively after the Blumaroo made its first appearance. All these “exceptions” aside, the Blumaroo can arguably be placed in the Bottom Five of the Popularity list. Add on the fact that their smooth skin isn’t warm and cuddly to hug, their bouncy strong tails are somewhat intimidating, their floppy ears aren’t worth drooling over, and that a Blumaroo only appears once for every one hundred pets, there is no question that the Blumaroo is truly an unpopular pet – that is, according to the List of Popular Neopets.
Thankfully, that list doesn’t determine the true value and importance of a single species. Any Neopian who owns or has owned the 53rd and/or 54th “most popular pet” can easily attest that statement; their limited supply and expensive hard-to-get methods automatically bumps it up into Elite status. Some sort of outside force that the Popularity list cannot express is keeping the Draik and Krawk from rising to their “Popular Potential”.
Now it may not possess “the cute factor”, nor does it come with a price tag that can make the “About Us” Asparagus ashamed of its worth, but the Blumaroo does own one key advantage, an advantage that is immune to floppy ears and adorable eyes, an advantage that no amount of neopoints could buy, an advantage that cannot be harnessed by any list. Whether intentionally or not, The Neopets Team (TNT) has graciously blessed the Blumaroo with qualities that are nearly unmatchable by every other Neopet Species. How so? By granting it numerous recognitions that can easily be overlooked by the common Neopian, as can be seen in the following three points:
1. Avatar Population
One of Neopia’s greatest attraction is the elusive secret avatar hunting. While some avatars can be earned by simply clicking a certain link, other avatars may prove difficult to achieve, whether it be scoring monstrously high in a certain game or saving up millions of neopoints for an item. There are several unique avatars with unique methods of receiving it; the only thing more unique than the several methods are the several different designs of each of these avatars. TNT has done a successful job in varying the different artwork of each of these avatars, but there may be evidence of some sort of favoritism within these designs.
Barring the default avatars that are granted to ever user in Neopia, every Neopian Species has been featured in at least one secret avatar. After hours of difficult (and tedious) research, both the Shoyru and the Kougra have been featured in five secret avatars, while the Kacheek has been featured in three of its own. As for the Elite Neopets, the Krawk, like the Shoyru and the Kougra, starred in five secret avatars, and the Draik, like the Kacheek, also has three. How does the Blumaroo compare to such “All-stars”? Featuring in almost three times as much as the Kacheek and the Draik and owning three more avatars than Shoyru, Kougra, and Krawk, the Blumaroo has been the inspiration of eight of TNT-made secret avatars. The Blumaroo is tied in third place with the Grundo and Aisha in terms of “Popularity of the Neoboard Avatars”, yielding only to the ironic duo of the Lupe and the Chia, who hold the record at nine inspired avatars. On paper, it would appear that even though the Blumaroo triumphs over the main popular pets, the Lupe and Chia are the ones running away with the prize. Thankfully, as previously established, true value goes beyond simple statistics, and thankfully for the Blumaroo, there is a certain secret avatar out there which features a Pesky Orange Blumaroo, who is anything but simple.
2. Chef Bonju
The 8th day of Hiding, Y8 didn’t seem like anything out of the norm. At the time, it appeared to simply be another great celebration of Blumaroo Day. New toys were released, more colors became available, Cap’n Threelegs became flooded with many bouncing Blumaroos, eager to take on the next challenger at the Battledome; same ’ol same ‘ol. Little did the Neopians know, however, that it was on this specific Blumaroo day that would begin perhaps the greatest mystery that Neopia will ever witness.
The first few days casually hopped by without too many heads turning, each avid avatar hunter waiting until someone figured out the solution, after which everyone then would pounce. The days turned into weeks, and the weeks turned into months. It soon became clear that Chef Bonju was an avatar unlike any other.
Guilds began forming, Neoboard threads started appearing, petpages were created, Neopians were brought closer together with the same single goal in mind: cracking the code to the greatest avatar ever invented. The secret of Chef Bonju remained a mystery for approximately three years, up until the 28th day of Hiding, Y11 – the day that TNT went out of the norm and provided their users a hint for this seemingly impossible avatar. Three long years and an Editorial full of hints and riddles went by before the first non-TNT member learned the solution of the avatar. The Neoboards became full of chaos, flooded by the hundreds of topics of the newly found avatar. Of the 40 most recent thread on the Avatar/Neosignatures Neoboards, 40 of them were closely related to Chef Bonju. Bonju singlehandedly caused a massive inflation in the Neopets economy, as books with a rarity of 50 and a price tag that barely exceeded 1,000 neopoints skyrocketed to a price range of roughly 2 million. Never has one avatar caused so much hype, so much drama, never has it made such a difference to Neopia as a whole, aside from this Orange Blumaroo Chef from Shenkuu.
Even in hindsight, Chef Bonju will live in infamy due to the 50 x 50 icon that bears his image. Sometimes I wish that another avatar will be released that will have a similar effect as Bonju, as this Blumaroo wrote himself a nice, long chapter in the history books of Neopia, as to see if it would produce similar results. Oh well, it’ll come eventually.
3. Famous Blumaroos
Bonju can arguably be considered as the most famous Neopet of all of Neopia due to the mind-boggling puzzle he put everyone through. However, since not every Neopian is an avid avatar collector, perhaps selecting a more appropriate famous Blumaroo is in order.
What better place to start than the King himself? King Roo is the ruler of Roo Island (which happens to be the only one of four Pet-Inspired Worlds to not be based off a Limited Edition/Restricted Pet). Ever since a mysterious encounter with a cloaked Blumaroo, King Roo has declared Dice-a-Roo the official game of the Island, holding annual tournaments to celebrate the anniversary of Roo Island’s favorite pastime. It can be asserted that with King Roo in charge, there is always room for excitement.
And there was no place more exciting than Roo Island itself when the Roo Island Yooyuball team returned to their homeland at the closing of the Third Annual Altador Cup. Cheers erupted throughout the Island as MVP Lilo Blumario held up the Gold Trophy for all the natives to see. This hometown hero was fresh off of his best season with the squad, as well as his second straight year as part of the All-Neopian Team. Perhaps the best team player throughout the Cup, Lilo has truly established himself as one of the greatest players to ever play the game – the true epitome of pure greatness.
But not all forms of greatness can be pure; some forms of greatness can be corrupted with the evil intentions inside. Enter Commander Garoo. With his “mean temper, foul attitude, and utter contempt for other Neopets (Gallery of Evil, page 9)”, there is no denying that Garoo is on the wrong side of good. However, like all Blumaroos, his innate reaction of loyalty is far too great to overlook. Although he's currently in hiding, it is rumored that he will one day make his presence known again when his master, Dr. Sloth, rises back up from power. (Wait. Not only is there some sort of bright light within the most evil of Blumaroos, but he also is top commander to perhaps the greatest icon of all Neopia? How great is that?)
There are several more famous Blumaroos yet to be named – Count Von Roo, Aristotle A. Avinroo (AAA), Rohane, Advisor Broo... there is an abundance of choices. To be fair, let’s look at Neopia’s “Popular Pets” and name some of the famous ones:
Shoyru – Yes Boy Ice Cream, Kentari, Torshac, Kelby, Barry
Kacheek – Albert, Eliv Thade, Samrin, Florin, Alton Moughbry
Kougra – Bertie Shurtz, Fire Paw, Commander Gormos, Rorru, Linae
Draik – Valrigard, Cawley Embith, Swordmaster Talek
Krawk – Dasher “Ol’ Dash” Soley, Dorak, Mr. Krawley, Lady Frostbite
*Writer’s Note – I applaud you if you recognized and are familiar with every name from the previous five pets without having to look them up.
In life, there are winners and losers; you just gotta know which games are worth winning.