Unusuals – A Thought

A while ago, when the Robocrates first came out, I was playing Team Fortress with my sibling, and he unboxed an unusual. A Disco Beat Down Whoopee Cap. A pretty effect on an average Scout hat. I’d seen quite a few people unboxing unusuals that day, and a lot more people trying their luck, unboxing a million Strange Bottles and Fireaxes.  I was among the people who didn’t unbox an unusual, although I managed to get a white paint from a #4 crate.

Now, me and my siblings had been racing for years as to who would get an unusual first. I won the Trading Race, having bought a Steaming Otolaryngologist’s Mirror for a Bill’s Hat, a Strange Festive Flamethrower and a Vintage Sharpened Volcano Fragment. In hindsight, I miss my cool Pyro set, but oh well. Sibling No.1 decided to one-up me by buying a bubbling Dragonborn Helmet.  Sibling No.2 didn’t really care.

So when Sibling No.1 unboxed an unusual, I was kinda miffed. We’d both spent the same on keys and stuff. Sibling No.1 always accused me of being ‘lucky’ because I had both a Strange Festive Medi Gun AND a Strange Kritzkrieg (which really should be re-released!) but he forgets that I sold my ENTIRE BACKPACK to buy that Kritzkrieg. Sibling No.2 was also annoyed with me because I had lots of weapons. What she didn’t realise was, at the time, she has more hats than she had weapons.

Players love to show off their hats...
Unusuals, unusuals, unusuals…

Later on, I got sick of my unusual and sold a Bubbling Otolaryngologist’s Mirror for Earbuds. I only actually wear those Earbuds on Demoman, while at the same time equipping everyone’s favourite butt-penguin. I didn’t really mind. I said I’d slowly save up for another unusual hat. That was, until I learned several shocking discoveries.

Firstly, Sibling No.1 had managed to trade up to an Orbiting Fire Gatsby. The Flaming Liver as I like to call it. That was fine. Sibling No.1 probably spends too much money on keys, but he has an income.

Secondly, Sibling No.2 had a huge amount of luck. Firstly, she’d found a Salved Crate #40. Best thing I ever found was a Pyromancer’s Mask. The second thing was that she’d been given two unusuals. And not just ‘low hat, low tier’ hats. Fairly good ones.

Of course, I’m not really jealous of all this, but it’s just odd how people can just throw unusuals around like confetti, while most players never even touch one. It’s also odd how the story of the awesome unusual always happens to a friend, not you. That’s not the thought though. My thought is that these days, it is much harder to trade up to an unusual than it was a few years back. And my other thought is “how comes unusual hats really took off so well?”

I guess I ought to be honest at this point. Last night, Sibling No.1 unboxed a second unusual. And it turned out to have a really good hat. Green-Black Hole. So yeah, I am a tad jealous. What does that have to do with this article? Everything. And it’s turned into a dumb rant. Oh well. In the end, it’s probably my fault for not spending loads on keys or having a TF2-Rich buddy. Oh, and having some sort of decency. Here’s the big one. Out of all the unusuals out there, just how many were stolen, duplicated, scammed or sharked off some poor, unlucky guy whose luck just turned around? Goodness knows how many.

Let’s finish off with a question. What’s your favourite unusual effect and what’s your dream unusual hat?


Medic, also known as Phovos (or occasionally Dr Retvik Von Scribblesalot), writes 50% of all the articles on the Daily SPUF since she doesn't have anything better to do. A dedicated Medic main in Team Fortress 2 and an avid speedster in Warframe, Phovos has the unique skill of writing 500 words about very little in a very short space of time.

5 thoughts on “Unusuals – A Thought

  • October 23, 2013 at 10:19 am

    I did get one unusual from last year’s fall crates, a bubbling Doctor’s Sack. I ended up selling it after a while because everyone and their mother wanted to buy it, and the constant pestering was annoying.

  • October 23, 2013 at 4:18 pm

    I bought a flies Prussian Pickelhaube for less than a bud two years ago, since it was considered horrible effect on unloved hat.

    Then Valve buffed flies so it became a mini-swarm that swamps all adjacent players. Then they retired the Pickelhaube. Now my hat has doubled in price, and it’s still the best unusual I could ask for (I don’t want one that helps snipers kill me).

  • October 24, 2013 at 7:08 am

    My favorite effect is by far Scorching Flames though I appreciate Sunbeams and after seeing Green Back Hole Grimm Hatte I’d have to say it’s quite cool also.

    As for my dream hat it was a Sober Stuntman which I got in Scorching Flames. I just love the hat and IMHO it embodies everything Demoman is: a crazy sticky jumper… who needs a hat to help brace himself from poorly timed sticky jumps 😀

    If I had to choose for a single unusual? Scorching Flames Crone’s Dome. Looks great on a variety of classes namely Soldier and Halloween Demoman.

  • October 24, 2013 at 8:00 am

    When I was searching for unusuals to buy as a birthday present on the Steam Marketplace, I wanted something around the Call-of-Duty-game range (60€), and all-class, AND the combination of hat and effect needed to look good. That narrowed it down to:
    1) Orbiting Planets Towering Pillar of Hats (or maybe Planets Modest Pile)
    2) Smoking Human Cannonball
    3) Confetti Rather Festive Tree

    I decided to go for the Smoking Human Cannonball, and I had enough money left over in my Steam Wallet to add a Name and Description Tags to it (“Superhuman Cannonball” and “Still smokin’ from re-entry!” respectively).

    I wear it with pride to this day.

  • November 28, 2013 at 5:10 am

    I suppose I ought to update this and say that Sibling No.1 unboxed a third unusual with a Halloween effect. Meanwhile I managed to buy myself a new Bubbling Otolaryngologist’s Mirror. Sibling No.2 still has her two unusuals.


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