On August 5, 2003, TNT introduced an overhaul to their message system, known today as the Neoboards. Included in this update was a new feature: 50x50 pixel pictures, known as avatars, that accompany your posts. Since then, collecting avatars has become one of the most popular activities on Neopets!
That's one way to collect them, I guess...
The foundation of your avatar collection is your Neoboard Preferences page, the top of which includes a dropdown with all the default avatars plus any secret avatars you have unlocked. Every user lookup also includes a space that publicly shows your current avatar just above the total number of secret avatars the user has unlocked.
An example of a user's avatar count on their user lookup
For most (but not all!) avatars, you will be informed when you have unlocked an avatar either in a pop-up or somewhere on the page, always in the same format as the example below.
Secret avatars are those that do not come standard with any Neopets account. Some action must be taken by the user in order to unlock them, and thus form the basis of avatar collecting. The required action varies widely for each avatar and are discussed in the below sections.
The easiest type of avatar to unlock, Clickable avatars can be unlocked simply by visiting a specific page on the site. The most straightforward have no further conditions beyond visiting the page. Others will have some extra requirement, such as viewing the lookup of a specific type of pet.
Avatars in the Pets/Petpets category require you to meet some condition with your own pets or their petpets.
Jetsam Chomp! / Guide
Feed your Jetsam an Aquatic Petpet.
Released: October 16, 2003
Expensive/Items avatars require you to do something specific with one of the many items on Neopets.
The Games avatars involve achieving some kind of feat with one of the Neopets games, such as achieving a certain score, earning a certain spot on the high scores table, or advancing to a certain point in the game.
If you get the score needed for an avatar with a score requirement, you will be informed you are awarded the avatar via a pop-up after submitting your score. If your score is sent for review, the avatar will be awarded if/when your score is accepted. There is no notification for avatars awarded through a high score table.
Several other avatars have unique requirements that don't fit into any of the above categories.
Nimmo - Emote
Make a topic or post in the Avatar/Neosignatures board with :)*angry*:( as your only message. Your signature and neoHTML might also need to be clear if you cannot get it.
This avatar was also obtainable from the 2019 Charity Corner perk, In a New Avatar.
Released: June 15, 2006
Some avatars have requirements that would fit in to one of the above categories, but are only available annually by doing the action on a specific day.
Awarded to the first 100 users to solve the Volcano Mystery.
Released: October 18, 2003
Festival of Neggs Y13 - Builder / Guide
Awarded to users who completed all 4 quests (each quest completed before the next was released) in the 2011 Festival of Neggs.
Released: April 18, 2011
There are three secret avatars that do not count towards your secret avatar total.
Goggles [doesn't count in collection]
Try clothing on in the NC Mall. You do NOT get a random event and you do NOT need to pay for the avatar.
This avatar has not worked for quite some time, and it's assumed that it broke when the NC Mall wearables preview was converted to HTML5 in 2021.
Released: July 16, 2007
Comic Con 2018 / Guide
This avatar was awarded for opening up the Comic Con 2018 Mystery Capsule, only available by obtaining a Rare Item Code from Comic-Con in 2018 or winning NeoCreation Week in August 2018.
This avatar does not increase the avatar count on your user lookup or count for the avatar collector high score table.
Released: July 19, 2018
L&L - Bravo, Aurrick! / Guide
Complete at least one challenge during Crossover Week in the Legends and Letters mobile app. The Challenge of Challenges is available weekly in the app, but the Neopets.com awards (including this avatar) are only available one week per month.
This avatar does not increase your total avatar count.
Legends and Letters was removed from app stores on July 22, 2020, and officially shut down on December 31, 2020. The last Crossover Week was hosted from June 28th through July 5th, with this avatar effectively retiring at that time.
Released: October 29, 2019
Every account starts with their avatar set to one literally known as "Default" which includes just a Neopets-brand star with a yellow background.
The original (left) and current (right) Default avatar
In addition to this, every account starts with immediate access to 59 other avatars without having to do anything at all. These include:
- 53 species specific avatars, one for each species except Ruki and Vandagyre.
- 6 elemental faerie avatars, one for each elemental faerie.
- 1 Christmas Rock avatar, first distributed on Christmas Eve 2004.
A sampling of the many default avatars available
The Premium avatar
None of the default avatars count towards your avatar total or your score on the high score table.
Tracking Your Collection
Jellyneo offers a checklist tool to check which avatars you are missing. It even includes the ability to filter out retired avatars and/or avatars that are difficult for new accounts to achieve. It can also produce petpage-friendly code to display which avatars you still need.
We also provide an Avatar Collector counter that you can display anywhere, such as your user lookup, shop description, or pet page! There are also several counters for goals related to unlocking specific avatars.
The Avatar Collector high score table is based simply on the number of secret avatars you have unlocked.
Like all high score tables, it is reset at the start of every month. However, unlike most other high score tables, progress is never lost. To reenter the table each month, a user simply needs to unlock a new avatar during that month. If your avatar collection is large enough that unlocking a new avatar is very difficult, there is a workaround: simply lose and then re-unlock the Emo Usuki avatar.
Because of this requirement to go out of your way to reenter the table each month, you don't necessarily have to be in the true top 17 of avatar collectors on the site to get a trophy—you just need to be in the top 17 that have checked in so far that month. If one of the top collectors doesn't check in during the first few days of the month, that opens up a temporary spot for somebody else!
The Avatar Collector high scores table offers its own avatar as well. How meta!
Be ranked in the Top 50 for avatar collectors at the time that trophies are given out daily. (The exact trophy time can vary over time, but is at least once daily.)
This is usually easiest on the first day of the month before the top collectors reset their avatar count. You can reset your avatar count by gaining a new avatar; it is easiest to do this by losing and then regaining the Emo Usuki avatar.
Released: October 29, 2003
We have tabulated the average trophy cutoff scores on the 1st, 15th, and 28th day of the month for most of 2020. The scores below represent the number of avatars you must have unlocked to receive a specific trophy on these days. Notice how the scores tend to be slightly lower earlier in the month by a few avatars. Indeed, the cutoff scores are not even necessarily strictly increasing from month to month.
This article was written by: Kenny