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I keep looking around and everything I keep finding about catalogs isn't very specific or doesn't mention it. This is my second Animal Crossing since The GC one so I haven't dealt with a catalog in any of the games and apparently a lot of the shops stuff changed so old answers may be misleading.

Are there any restrictions on the items I can buy from the catalog (i.e. maybe I can't buy fossils or Nintendo items), or can I buy all items from the catalog? Also, how do I unlock an item in the catalog? Do I need to buy it from a shop, or is just finding it from a tree or getting it gifted from a friend enough to unlock it?

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I've cleaned up your question for you. Your original question had a lot of "fluff" in it, which wasn't all that important to your question. I removed all of that to make your question more concise and easier to read. –  Wipqozn Jun 22 '13 at 15:22
    
I had included the links because it seems like a very 'Google-able' question. So I figured I would point out where I had already looked to avoid those comments. But I understand why you cleaned it up. –  Reafexus Jun 22 '13 at 15:24
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2 Answers

up vote 9 down vote accepted
+50

The Animal Crossing: New Leaf catalog is accessable from a machine within T&T Mart and later upgrades to that store, and includes:

  • Furniture
  • Wallpaper
  • Flooring
  • Shirts
  • Pants
  • Dresses
  • Hats
  • Glasses
  • Shoes/Socks
  • Umbrellas/Parasols
  • Stationary
  • Music
  • Gyroids*
  • Fossils*

That said, all items that are available in the catalog are not necessarily available for order. In some cases, this is true for entire classes of objects -- marked with a * above. Some rare furniture (such as furniture you earn as an achievement or receive through a special event) cannot be ordered. I will not list them all here, but some general guidelines:

  • Nintendo items cannot be ordered
  • Special Event items cannot be ordered
  • "Achievement" items cannot be ordered
  • Items dropped from balloons cannot be ordered
  • Items obtained from the island cannot be ordered
  • Certain DLC sets, like the 7-11 series, cannot be ordered. There are some exceptions to this. I'll keep a running list here and edit it as I find out more.

The following DLC sets can be ordered from the catalog:

  • American Best Buy DLC. So far, the Raccoon Wall Clock is available for order from the catalog for 1,920 bells. We can probably assume that the remaining Best Buy DLC will also be orderable, but we will need to wait to confirm that as they are only released every 2 weeks.
  • American Spotpass Content
  • Japanese "Campus" Set

As to your second question -- yes, all you have to do to get an item in your catalog is to hold it. "Holding" is fairly popular in online AC trading right now. I've seen players trade fairly valuable items for the opportunity to "hold" entire furniture sets, or Japanese DLC items. Players do this so that they can fill out and complete their catalog.

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Do the Presents from Pelly count as a special event? For example, I got a Rainbow Wallpaper (iirc) from 'Search for presents' option. –  Reafexus Jun 22 '13 at 15:27
    
Presents from Pelly are Spotpass DLC, and should fall under the 'DLC' discussion as described above. Generally: no, you can't reorder DLC, but there may be exceptions for specific items. –  Hyper Anthony Jun 22 '13 at 15:30
    
Other categories of items that cannot be bought from the catalog: Balloon items, island items –  Yamikuronue Sep 28 '13 at 13:19
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You can buy everything except Gyroids, Fossils, Balloon items, Tortimer Island Items, and Items received from Fortune Cookies. You can unlock an item by putting it in your inventory.

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