Samovar Crisis

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The Samovar Crisis was an incident that took place mainly on the British Hotel itself but also Habbox Forum during the earlier months of 2007. The event itself came to a head by mid-March when the then-Rare Values Manager, -:Undertaker:- was fired by Habbox General Manager 8Freak8 which consequently resulted in around half of the Rare Values Department resigning in protest. The event is commonly known as the 'Samovar Crisis' but also included the Throne and Holoboy, the trio together being known as Ione's Gifts.

The trio.

By the year 2007, the release of rares on Habbo Hotel had become increasingly confusing. The introduction of schemes such as PayPal and Pay-Per-Day had begun, which allowed users to pay a certain amount in a one-off or monthly deal and receive a rare as a bonus prize such as the Red Laser Door. The issue, which was brought up at the Habbox Values Helpdesk on the hotel along with dealers who the Rare Values Department had contact with, was that you could essentially 'buy' a rare such as the Red Laser Door, which was pretty valuable due to it being classed as a Super Rare, when the Ione's Gifts were never bought and had never been sold. This dilemma and confusion led to efforts by the department to properly start defining rares as to avoid confusion.

The idea to move the Ione's Gifts into the 'Super Rares' classification was broadly supported by the bulk of the Rare Values Department; it indeed made sense under Habbox's own definition of what a Super Rare was at the time - an item that had not been available to buy in the Catalogue. This is no longer the working definition of a Super Rare as it would have become unworkable with so many prize releases in later years, but at the time -:Undertaker:- approached 8Freak8 and suggested the move for Ione's Gift furni. As a compromise, they both agreed to put the issue to a public vote in the Habbox Feedback Forum and then take a decision on the designation of the trio.

As the debate and the poll progressed over time, the consensus was broadly in favour of moving Ione's Gifts into Super Rares. It thus had become a self-fulfilling prophecy; the demand steadily started to climb for these three rares (mainly the Russian Samovar). Word then began to spread on the hotel, in the casinos and trading rooms that they were being moved to Super Rares. This meant that they were seen to be worth more suddenly, despite there being no actual change in scarcity. Traditionally and still today the values market has worked on the basis of rarity along with supply and demand. Suddenly, poorer Habbos who were out of reach of affording a Super Rare now had the chance to own a Super Rare themselves. This all led to the ever-increasing value of all three items, especially the Holoboy and Russian Samovar which were greatly undervalued when compared with the Throne.

As the weeks passed and the crisis came to a head, trade rooms all over the hotel were buzzing with buyers aiming to snap up these cheap rares and sellers aiming to push the price up more. This led to a severe shortage within a short period of time. Eventually at the peak of the crisis, the value of the Russian Samovar had increased from the 1.5 CS mark to 28 CS-30 CS (1T) and the Holoboy from 1.5 CS-2.0 CS to a value of 10 CS-15 CS. It is worth bearing in mind that whilst these values may not seem much today, at the time the Club Sofa (CS) was worth around 75 RD.


With this extraordinary rise, accusations started flying that Habbox had engineered a stunt intended to profit mainly the Rare Values Manager -:Undertaker:- but also other management figures as well including the Owner sierk. In response and equally as controversial, the General Manager 8Freak8 dismissed -:Undertaker:- from the role of Rare Values Manager whilst admitting that both shared responsibility for reaching that compromise in the first place which led to weeks of speculation which in turn led to the sustained price rise of the items themselves. Following this dismissal, around half of the Rare Values Department resigned and many followed -:Undertaker:- over to Habbo Hotel Guides which was a rival fansite of Habbox.

Other issues surrounded the fact that the Rare Values Manager had befriended a girl Habbo called 'Roasy' on the hotel who owned hundreds of Russian Samovars, but it was stressed by both that they had only just met because of the price rise rather than being friends before the price began to increase. -:Undertaker:- himself maintained that he only had one Russian Samovar himself, and made the point of keeping it until it fell in value again to 1.5 CS.

In the end -:Undertaker:- was de facto acquitted of wrongdoing, and returned to Habbox Rare Values years later.