Having Fun with Plushie Tycoon
By: m_evard
First version: October 7, 2004
Most recent update: Dec 21, 2005

If you wonder what to do next, check out Tamp123
Chapter 2: Beyond the First Build
Most recent update to chapter 2 is about hiring, done August 2, 2005.

German translation by funkentanz:
Plüschie Tycoon Guide ins Deutsche
Dutch translation by superneetje:
Heb Lol met Plushie Tycoon!

Sample game from early 2005 following this guide by rosebud2554:
p_e_t_a_l_s shows 8 updates of how you can follow TampTree

New in this guide December 2005: In November & December, the taxman has come on day SEVEN after you click 'create store' and every 7 days thereafter. Also, if you have more than 150,000 nps in cash, you can have up to 250 items of raw goods instead of the old limit of 100. This has a hidden drawback! If you are buying in large quantities and your cash goes below 150k, the old limit will apply again... and if you already have over 100 items you can't buy any more. Be sure you have materials for complete jobs if you are going to go under 150,000 nps, otherwise you may have to sell back some of one kind of material to buy a missing type. For example, if you purchase 50 stuffing, 50 accessories, 50 packaging, and then are under 150,000 nps, you will have no cloth and no ability to purchase any until you sell at least 62 items of what you just purchased... and if you sell back, you lose NP.

October: there are two new species - Hissi & Bori. Both require accessories and 3 rolls of cloth.

August & September: The most noticeable things were that warehouse rent & expansions are more costly, shop rent is cheaper, workers' salaries are different, and some plushies take more or less cloth than before (see the list below – thanks to koala_tea and silliebonnie). Also new in the guide recently: emphasis on shop expansion - you don't need to do it until prompted (thanks, themoongoddess) and a reminder that the shop runs 9-5 just like the factory (thanks, rosemss!). Remember that in January and from March through August, taxman has come on day SIX after you click "create store", and every 6 days after that. (In February he came every 5 days; he could change again.)

WARNING about some "jokes": There are no hidden or secret menus for other colors in this game. I recommend you do NOT make Grundos - it is incredibly difficult to make a profit from them (they can sell for 0 nps!), and you can never make them with gems. Be careful who you listen to.

Do you want to be a Plushie Tycoon? To build plushies, ship them, and sell them? Do you want to enjoy the game for itself, and not just to get the avatar and the bronze trophy? Then this guide is for you! And don't worry, you'll get the avatar, and probably the gold trophy, on the way.

The first thing you need to know is this: since February 2004, the game has been changing every month! Sometimes the changes are large, and sometimes they are subtle, but there's always been something new to discover. For example, in October 2004, the most obvious changes were that that you had to pay upfront for expanding your warehouse, and you could make 3 new species of plushies (tonu, ruki, and yurbles). This means that previous guides are outdated, and that this one may not work as well next month as it does this month. My strategy has always adapted well to change, though, and I've had well over the minimum required for the gold trophy every month since December 2003.

Here's the short version:

1. Start your game and choose your time zone.

2. Pay rents.

3. Buy raw goods when gems are less than 2000, put jobs in the factory, and hire workers.

4. See how many were made, and how many are in your warehouse, after one update. Updates happen at 10:01 am, 11:01 am, and so on until 5:01 pm GAME TIME every day.

5. Shut down the factory (fire your workers) if enough jobs are in your warehouse, and pay 278 nps per hundred to ship the ones in the warehouse as soon as possible.

6. Spend most of your remaining cash on advertising and upgrading your shop, so your plushies will sell quickly.

7. Once your plushies have sold, repeat steps 3-6, putting in more jobs each time as you can (step 2 comes once a week). As you have extra cash, you'll expand your warehouse as well.

8. Once your warehouse and factory are fully expanded, and you've bought all the ads and upgrades for your shop, build more & more plushies until you have achieved your goal.

Now for a little more detail:

Create Store, Set Time Zone

The game itself is in the puzzle section. When you click on Plushie Tycoon, you'll be told "You don't have an account yet." So create one! It doesn't cost anything to try – all the NPs mentioned in this guide (other than the prize NP) are given to you in the game and aren't "real" NPs. The next thing you'll see is some big red letters telling you to read the help pages. It's often a good idea to follow that recommendation. If you do, be sure to click on prizes, and see how much NP you can win by playing the game well.

Next, click on "main page" in the menu at the top. This page will be a very important one to you for the rest of the month. Right now, the most critical point is at the very top in red "Click here to customize the game timezone to your own." As it explains in the help, the factory and shop run from 9 am to 5 pm in the timezone you choose, with work occurring at 10:01, 11:01… and 5:01. Updates happen hourly. So in the game's morning, you'll set up your factory, warehouse, and shop, and at 10:01 am, you'll see the results of what you did. You'll make more changes, and at 11:01 am, you'll get your next update. The last update of your game day will happen at 5:01 pm. Since you will do almost all of your game play during these hours, you must choose a time zone that works well for you. If you pick your own zone, and you work or go to school during the 9-5 hours, you won't have much time to play! You'll want to pick some time zone that will allow you to be online during as much of the 9-5 hours as possible, no matter where in the world that places your factory. You can guess a time zone, see what time it is there, then change zones to get it to the time you want, or follow the guide to changing times on the NoDogKnow petpage that roweslab wrote.

Keep Track of Details - Time & NP!

Once you've set your time zone, go back to the main page to see the Plushie Tycoon time, and verify that it's correct. Ready? Hey, it says Cash on Hand: 50,000 NP! Great, we have cash to spend. Your CoH will be something to watch from now on. I keep a sheet of how much I spend and what I get back, like a checkbook register. Your final game score will come from your CoH, and you never want that number to be negative, or you'll be bankrupt.

Now look around by clicking on the blue menu at the top. Hm, almost everywhere you look it says that you need to pay rent. I pay rent on all three buildings (factory, warehouse, and store) right away, so they'll all be due next week at the same time. Next week? Yes. Look at your main page; it says "Cash on Hand: 46,730 NP" and tells you you have rent due in 7 days. This game runs for the entire month, and rent will be due every 7 days. Remember to pay it every week or you'll lose the game!

Now there are no jobs or workers in your factory, but there is a manager. Watch out for him – he'll take 82 nps from your CoH every update (8 times a day) from now until the end. Remember to keep some cash around for him!

Buying Materials to Make Plushies

You're ready to build, but you have no materials to build with, so click on "purchase raw goods". To make plushies, you'll need cloth, stuffing and packing; many plushies also require accessories. The smallest number of plushies you can make is 100 in a job. Every kind of plushie needs 1 unit of stuffing and 1 unit of packing for every 100 plushies, and 1 unit of accessories per hundred as well. The rolls of cloth are a different story – plushies may require 1, 2, 3, or 4 rolls of the same color cloth. There is no list inside the game of what plushies require more cloth, so I'll give one here.

Plushies that don't need accessories:

1 roll: Grundo

2 rolls: Blumaroo, Nimmo, Flotsam, Gelert, JubJub, Mynci

3 rolls: Kacheek, Poogle, Quiggle, Jetsam, Meerca, Scorchio, Techo, Acara, Lenny, Lupe

4 rolls: Korbat

Plushies that do need accessories:

1 roll: Shoyru

2 rolls: Aisha, Chomby, Wocky, Eyrie, Kyrii, Peophin, Usul, Pteri, Skeith, Krawk, Uni

3 rolls: Chia, Bruce, Cybunny, Grarrl, Kiko, Tuskaninny, Ixi, Moehog, Tonu, Kau, Koi, Buzz, Hissi, Bori

4 rolls: Kougra, Yurble, Zafara, Elephante, Draik

5 rolls: Ruki

You'll also notice that there are different kinds or colors of each raw goods type. I recommend you start with green cloth, neocotton stuffing, gem accessories, and paper bags. Later you'll want to branch out, but this combination will give you a good start.

Prices change on raw goods every update. For someone starting out, high prices can break your game before it gets going! What is too high? That's hard to say exactly, but if gems are more than 2000 nps, I suggest you wait to buy anything until they are below that; check back next update. Prices for all the materials go up & down together, so if gems are under 2000, all of them should be affordable. If gems are above 2000, don't buy ANYTHING – not plastic, not junk, nothing. For your first set of jobs, try to keep the total cost for materials for each job of GEM plushies under 3100 nps.

I also recommend that new players do NOT choose plushies that are on the Supply & Demand lists; their prices change too quickly.

Choosing Plushies

My personal strategy is to make 6-8 jobs of plushies at first. I make a variety; for example, six or eight different plushies from the 3- and 4-roll accessory plushies. Then later, after they've been made and sold, I use the profits to make more plushies – I make more of whichever one(s) sold the best, and put in some new kinds as well. Since the game changes monthly, you never know how much each plushie type will sell for, or how fast they'll sell, until you try them. For 8 jobs of 100 plushies each, you'll need 8 units of stuffing, 8 units of packing, 8 different units of accessories (I use and recommend gems), and enough green cloth for all of the jobs (e.g. 28 if you do 4 jobs of 3-roll plushies and 4 of 4-roll plushies).

When you're putting in your jobs, click on "existing jobs" after each one, to be sure your job got there. There is currently a small problem in the game where a job can be lost if you put in one very quickly after it, because it thinks you've clicked the "start job" button twice. Be sure to take your time; if you hurry, you can lose all the materials for a job. I usually buy accessories between each job, to be sure I've delayed long enough.

Expand Your Factory

When you try to put in your third job, you'll learn that the basic factory can only handle two jobs at a time, so you'll have to pay an extra 980 nps to expand it to level 2; believe me, it's worth it. The more jobs you have in, the more efficient your workers will be, so you'll pay less in salary per plushie. More profits! When you try to put in job 5, you'll need to pay 1960 to expand your factory to level 3. Again, more profits. Do it! Putting in job 7 will require another expansion; this one is for 2940 nps. Ouch? Bite the bullet! You'll be glad you did.

Hiring Workers

Okay, now you have 8 jobs of 100 plushies in your factory. Now you need to hire some workers. Ah, the great puzzle. What workers to hire? I suggest you hire one manager per every 10 workers, and for this first set of 8 jobs, I'd hire around 250 workers. How many of each kind is up to you, because everyone has a different experience. I like to hire a mix of all of them… except maybe dropouts.

This example is from a game PRIOR to August 2005, so the numbers are off; worker salaries have changed slightly. I will rewrite it when I have time.

250 workers and 25 managers? That requires a huge salary! Yes, but you're only hiring them for one hour, or perhaps two if you really to finish up the last jobs. It won't cost as much as you think. For example, I just paid 5850 NP per hour if for 250 trainees and the 25 managers (24 new ones to go with the one who's always there). They finished 6 of the 8 jobs, and got a small start on the last two jobs. If I don't even count the ones left in the factory, I paid 9.75 nps per salary for each of those plushies that made it to the warehouse (9.7 per plushie if I count the ones stuck in the factory). Plushies of the kind I chose should sell for at least 50 nps each, so I'll be making a tidy profit.

Waiting on the Workers & the Warehouse

So now, you've paid rent, you've hired workers and started jobs, and you need to wait. Just like life, the workers don't arrive until their shift starts (9 am) and you don't see the results of their first hour of work until 10:01 am. Once you've had your first update, see what happened! Did at least 4 of your jobs get into the warehouse? If so, I'd fire the workers and wait for them to load. Once they've sold, you'll be able to buy more raw goods and put in more jobs along with those partial jobs that are still in your factory.

It will cost you 278 NPs to ship each 100 plushies. Do not spend all your NP! You have to pay the manager while they are loading & selling, and you have to pay shipping.

The basic warehouse will take almost 4 hours to load six jobs of 100 plushies. If you've happened to start late in day of your chosen PT time zone, you're lucky – they'll ship overnight, while you aren't paying that manager. Yes, the warehouse works 24 hours a day. Yay! As you sell jobs and build again, you'll sometimes have extra NP that you can't spend increasing the number of jobs, and you can put that into warehouse expansions. Once you expand your warehouse to the maximum size, level 9, a few jobs of 100 will only take 25 minutes to load, but right now, that's too expensive to do. Somewhere in the middle might be useful to you, though you need to be sure to have enough NP for ads & upgrades.

If you want to know exactly how long your jobs will take to load, check out the NoDogKnow petpage that roweslab wrote.

Improving Your Shop to Sell Faster

After you've shipped your plushies, it'll take about 5 minutes for them to show up in the store. In the meantime, see how much CoH you have left. Reserve some of that cash for your manager. He requires 656 nps a day – 82 nps every hour from 9 to 5. The shop runs 9 to 5, just like the factory. Your first jobs should sell in less than 8 hours of the game day, but you don't know for sure until you've tried. You should still have some of cash, though, perhaps over 8,000 NPs. Spend most of it on advertising and upgrades for your shop. Otherwise you'll be selling only one or two plushies each hour from each job. That isn't profitable! I recommend buying as much as you can of the ads & upgrades – one good way to start is buying 3 levels each of the first three upgrades (carpet, lighting, security) and 3 levels of each of the cheapest four ads (flyers, gifts, candy, and clothing). That would cost you to 7,158 nps... but believe me, it'll pay off to spend the NPs now. I have spent up to 18,000 nps on my first ads & upgrades, and often have sales fast enough that my plushies sell within their first two hours in the shop.

You are not required to expand your shop, but I HIGHLY recommend that you do expand it whenever the game requests it and tells you that you have too many plushies in stock. You don't have to pay when you expand it, and it allows you to see in so you will know which plushies are selling for what prices, and which sell faster than others. The shop holds 400 plushies per level; the basic shop holds 400 plushies, level 2 holds 800, and so on. Level 9 holds a seemingly unlimited number.

Watch Your Sales

Now you wait again, but hopefully not long. Watch your shop each hour – see which plushies have sold more than the others. You'll want to remember that, to know which ones to make next time. Once a whole job of plushies has sold, the NPs from it go directly into your CoH, and the record of how much you got for them goes into your past sales. You might be ready to build again! If just one job has sold, you probably aren't, but if all of them have, you certainly are!

Build Again!

Congratulations, you've made it through the first stage of the game! The next stage requires more balancing – you'll be deciding how much to spend on raw materials and workers, while at the same time increasing your advertisements and upgrades, and expanding your factory and warehouse. Once you've maxed all of those out, you'll have smooth sailing – you can build, build, build!

A general rule of thumb is to budget like this: see how much it costs for enough raw goods to fill your factory back to the same number of jobs as it had before, then see how much cash you'd have left. Reserve some of it for your workers and for shipping charges, and of course for the manager. Look at how much you have left. You may have enough to buy more goods and expand the factory again. You may prefer to increase your sales rates by buying more ads or upgrades. You may want to get your jobs to load more quickly by expanding the warehouse. All of those are good things to do -- you just have to decide which one best suits your own game.

Since larger jobs take longer to sell, I highly recommend that you stick with building jobs of 100 plushies until you can fill your level-9 factory every hour that you build, and your warehouse is level 9. Only if you have NP left over when doing that should you start making larger jobs. Of course, you may decide that you've done enough by then – you may have over a million CoH, which gets you the top prize. Am I serious? YES! I've been able to reach a million CoH in less than a week. The only problem I had then was to remember to check back every week and pay my rent! You really don't want to be evicted after all that work.

Need More Detailed Help?
If you wonder what to do next, check out my petpage on Tamp123, called Chapter 2: Beyond the First Build. It has information on how to calculate profits, and how to decide when to expand what. It should soon have some sample games as well.

New for January 2005: The Taxman!

He comes periodically, and takes tax if your account balance (COH) is over 50,000. The more you have, the higher the percentage he takes. In April - July, he came exactly 6 days after I clicked "create store" and every 6 days after that. Other veterans have confirmed it, although some who are new to the game think maybe it's not exactly to the minute. In February, he came 5 days after "create store" and again 5 days after that. He did NOT come the last night of the game, though; instead, the game ended at 12:01 am March 1. I saw him every 6 days in January, starting exactly 6 days after I clicked "create store"... AND he hit again at midnight NST on February first. :( I've also talked to some friends about it. Those who had less than 50,000 COH were told "You are not showing any profit. No taxes are due this period." I had just over 60,000 nps COH and had to pay 8% of that in tax. Another friend had over 1 million COH and had to pay 26%! A friend of mine, parkerchempro, is keeping track on her petpage; check out the Jumjim8975 petpage to see all the recent changes to PT.

New for March 2005: Past Sales & Fewer Taxes

The prices listed in your shop's "past sales" list will now show the price that each batch sold out for, instead of displaying what those plushies would sell for right now. In February, the Taxman came every 5 days, but in March, his first visit was 6 days after I began my game.

New for February 2005: Game Ended at Midnight!

In the past, the game usually ended during working hours of the first business day of the month, NST. I expected the February game to end during the day of March 1, but instead it ended just as February ended -- at midnight NST, between Feb 28 and March 1. Prizes came out during business hours, however. It seems that the end of the game has now been automated, since each game since then has also ended at midnight.

Come Talk about PT

Now, are you addicted to the game? Are you stuck? If you have a question or just want to talk about the game, please join me -- and a host of other PT addicts -- on the NeoBoards! From the yellow menu on the side of your neopets screen, choose boards, then games. Somewhere on the first page is usually a topic called something like
*** Tuesday Plushie Tycoon #1 *** (well, if it's Tuesday morning, anyway). We've had to put days & numbers on them because this is a thread that's been running since February of 2004. I've been there since it started, as have other helpful folks. We love to talk PT!

Michele
m_evard at NeoPets

Thanks to rosebud2554 for petpage coding assistance, to parkerchempro and rosebud2554 for helping test various combinations for this guide, and to all my PT friends who have made this into a social game! I appreciate your support and suggestions for additions to this guide. Thanks always to flighttime for a fun game -- and for changing it so often, to keep it fresh!

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