|BOGLEECH.COM REVIEWS THE MUTANT NEOPETS
|By Jonathan Wojcik. This site not affiliated with neopets or Nickelodeon.
One of the first mutants ever unveiled alongside the Chia, Grundo and Techo, the mutant Kacheek
never differed much from genetically stable kacheeks, at least not from the neck down. It remains the
only mutant neopet with a huge, external brain, which is a shame because that's always been one of
my favorite monstrous anatomical features. I like the mix of pink and blue, like some of the brain is
tissue is even more exposed. The evil eyes are also fairly cool, and with the pale blue I can't help but
be reminded of Universal's Metaluna Mutant.
This was once the most sinister-looking neopet available to players, looking a little spindlier in its
original artwork. I always interpreted it having little pale eyeballs in oversized sockets, which is pretty
cool, though sometimes the site artists shade it like the whole "socket" is one football-shaped
eyeball, which is a tad anatomically unsound for my tastes, even when we're talking a cartoon mutant.
Anyway, I'm glad the 2007 artwork overhaul added a dab of green slime. There is never a bad place
for green slime to be.
...Okay, so imagine if, one day, Gamefreak decided they didn't like one of the Pokemon anymore.
Let's go with, I don't know, Golduck. They decide to completely redesign Golduck from the ground up,
until it has nothing in common with the Golduck we've known since 1998, and like magic, every single
likeness of Golduck in the entire world converts to the new style. Every sprite in every existing
Pokemon game, every toy, every animated appearance. Even if you never liked Golduck, would that
not be a dick move for any franchise to pull? Neopets apparently didn't think so, because this is what
the mutant chia used to look like, and it was glorious:
Look at that, it's beautiful in its simplicity. It was what got me into the game to begin with, and still one
of my favorite creature designs from any creature-centric franchise. Everything about is says "mutant,"
like some shambling swamp beast from a chemical dumping ground, whereas the current model just
looks like an artichoke with the standard chia's stupid little punchable face pasted on. Before the final
massive art shift in 2007, dozens of other neopets had undergone similarly drastic, universal,
irreversible "updates" like this one, including some of our other mutants...
This pet underwent a makeover even more drastic than the Chia, though my feelings were a tad more
split. In its original form, it looked positively nothing like a kiko and more like a flying devil tadpole,
inexplicably acquiring gloves in the mutation process. It was interestingly unique and no doubt had a
couple devoted fans of its own, but I was equally fond of its revision into this slobbering blob, which
always reminded me of one of Mattel's Boglins...and I swear it was probably based on a suggestion I
actually sent to neopets that if they had to change the mutant Chia, I'd like to see another lumpy, blobby
mutant with green slobber and bulging red eyes. Unfortunately, its second revamp - above - took on a
shape closer to the standard Kiko, and really lost a lot of the charming ugliness it once had.
I always loved the changes undergone by this Pachyderm during the mutation process. It seems to
grow a bigger braincase with its extra eyeball, but its wings, ears and legs all degenerate. You're left
with a wacky elephant-faced slug with an adorable "kiddie show space monster" vibe.
This is probably one of the least popular mutants, since it's just sort of a saggier, flabbier, more
miserable-looking moehog, but that's precisely why it's one of my personal favorites. It's a scientifically
plausible mutation, and the results are endearingly pitiful. This is clearly a creature with some serious
genetic flaws, rather than the more "comic book" style mutation of the Techo or Elephante, as much as
I like those.
On the downside, I felt more than a little miffed at one of the site's weekly Q&A's when a player asked
if they would update the mutant Moehog like they did the Chia, Kiko and Usul. The staff's response
was that "many players love their mutant moehogs, just the way they are." Yeah, screw you people.
There's nothing really interesting to me about this minor transformation from cute little space-frog to
Incredible Hulk, but I can't really fault it for the simplicity, it's kind of their whole point. Grundos were first
introduced as minions of the villainous Dr. Sloth, until it was revealed that they were enslaved, mutated
versions of a peaceful alien race. They served their purpose and helped introduced the rest of the
Another favorite, for the same reasons as the Moehog. Its hairless, ratlike appearance is a believable
transition from a regular, fuzzy Blumaroo, and its expression is just precious. Most of the neopets are
"cute" in a forced, Disneyesque sort of way, but a Blumaroo with its DNA scrambled comes out cute in
an honest, "I just want to mush its face in my hands" sort of way, though I might just feels this way
because I've owned hairless rodents before.
Another one that underwent a severe revamp, the original mutant usul was a beautifully
pestilent-looking cyclops, which I guess wasn't as marketable as a gothic purple triclops. I definitely
miss the grosser version, but not nearly as much as the Chia. Surprisingly enough, I find the newer
version almost entirely inoffensive. The huge head, cockeyed stare and mentally unstable smile are a
nice distortion of the standard Usul's Barbie-doll-squirrel look, even if it's not as nice as the scabrous
wad it once was.
The Buzz was once the only insect-like neopet available, and still more reptilian in appearance than
anything else. I was hoping a mutant buzz would rectify this and go all-out exoskeletal bug monster, but
instead they just sort of made it angrier looking. Terribly mediocre, though I had one for the longest
time because it was still the buggiest neopet you could hope for. They were dark times.
Sadly, there was almost a "Tyrannian" Buzz (prehistoric-themed neopets) which would have
beautifully made up for the mutant, but it was inexplicably deleted from their servers like it never
These girly baby bunnies have always been one of the more nauseating neopets, lending a humorous
quality to this drab, overweight goth-monster. You have to wonder if the skull markings are somehow
acquired by its mutation or something it had done down at the parlor to reflect its tortured soul.
I've had a love/hate relationship with the sometimes addicting virtual world of Neopets since I created
my first account in 1999, back when only a handful of pet species were available in a handful of styles,
though it wasn't until the introduction of mutant neopets that my interest was actively sparked. Though I
can never forgive their decision to completely remove the pet that originally grabbed my
attention, I'm still fond of many surviving mutants and continue to look forward to the new ones they
release every "mutant day" in August.
Since these little bastards have consumed many hours of my internet time, I thought it was high time I
give them a dedicated place here. I'll be reviewing all 50+ mutant neopets across five pages, including
some info on retired and unreleased variations.
Notably, all neopets were once static GIF images with multiple poses for different moods and
situations, but in 2007, they gave the site a massive overhaul and converted all pets into new artwork
that players could dress up in clothing items. This unfortunately led to the shoehorning of many cooler
pet designs into a standardized pose for item compatability, though most of the mutants were
fortunate enough to retain their bizarre anatomy at the cost of eternal nudity.
We'll be starting off with the earliest mutants and ending with the most recent, though somewhere in
between I kind of forgot what order they were released. Do you care as much as I don't? I didn't think