Pidgin 2.4.1 in Mint 5 only comes with one set of smileys/emoticons. I remember previous versions having some blue ones. Not sure why there is only one set now. Also, if you had a blue set, only you could see them. i would still see what I had installed.
If you are talking about the number of smileys/emoticons available to use in the default set, that is dependent on which protocol you are using. AIM has something like 16, whilst Yahoo has somewhere around 80.
I still think you will be happiest with using what is standard in Mint 4. When you upgrade the total system to Mint 5, Pidgin upgrades, too. No more hassles of trying to match up certain files. Once you move to Mint 5, you will see what I was talking about.