Hey, Poptropicans! It’s finally the end of 2017—what an eventful year for all of us.
To continue an annual PHB tradition, I, Slippery Raptor, present to you… the PHB’s 2017 Rewind! This tradition commemorates and reflects back on to the biggest Poptropica highlights of the year, from the game to the community. It also serves as a yearbook of sorts for the PHB community.
Time flies by us so quickly that we may barely notice when we’re already at its end. Good thing we have this Rewind series to turn back the hands of the clock!
Prepare yourselves as we walk down the memory lane and flip through four chapters of 2017. Now, take a deep breath as we enter a whole new world. Here we go…
Poptropica Worlds was this year’s most-awaited update from Poptropica, but before we talk about its grand release, let’s go back all the way to January…
It all began with a video teaser that announced the forthcoming of the New Poptropica, now with a new name, “Poptropica Worlds,” with hints from the Creators of the features to come with the new update. This was, then, followed by a series of leaked images and scenes from Crisis Caverns (which was then rumored to be part of Poptropica Worlds, and it was)!
Another month went by, and Poptropicans became even more restless and impatient for the new game to come. On the PHB, Slanted Fish wrote an opinion piece on the long wait for the overhaul project that was, by that time, already under significant delay.
Finally, Poptropica released an FAQ page for a bunch of queries pertaining to Poptropica Worlds! To further quench the fans’ thirst for more updates, they even showed previews on Google Play on what to expect in the impending update:
Soon after, Poptropica teased out some more Poptropica Worlds art: a glimpse into a player home and the new avatar style. Excitement continued to grow with the release of an exclusive pre-beta kit sent only to a select few in the Poptropica community, including the PHB team, who were invited to share its #NewPopDrop contents with everyone. The kit contained a massive behind-the-scenes look at what was to come in Worlds.
The final sneak peeks came as silhouettes of various items were posted on the Creator’s Blog and Poptropica social media person Skinny Moon promising that there were “more to come.”
It finally brought joy to the world and the whole Poptropica community when Poptropica Worlds was released in late May, first on Android, and then on desktop shortly after. What an amazing milestone it is for everyone that Poptropica Worlds had finally come! (We wrote a review on the new game in comparison to the old: check it out!)
In June, Poptropica Worlds featured its first advertisement in-game: Cars 3, with a similar approach to how one type of ad worked in the original Poptropica—watch a video for a free item. Sadly, we’ve yet to see any ad games in Worlds.
Also in June, we put out our review for the newly-released Crisis Caverns Island.
July came with a handful of updates for Poptropica Worlds. First, the remastered 24 Carrot Island was welcomed in with brand new characters and a more enriched plot! (Check out our review here.)
We also had a big summer update that featured the first home expansion, color-changing outfits, and brought back the Colorizer—one awesome way to celebrate summer!
What happened next? Well, in August, Poptropica finally released a video trailer for Pop Worlds! It included lots of sneak peeks and references to the original Poptropica and future updates to come. Exciting! The PHB also got a stellar new logo this month.
Onto the last three months of 2017! October brought a new mini-game to Poptropica Worlds: Dr. Hare’s Revenge—quite odd for his disappearance in the initial release, but good thing he was later added in a recent update!
November passed with more Poptropica videos, and then December came with the final update of the year: a hare-raising Dr. Hare update! We got another room expansion for our houses and finally saw the winning designs of the past year’s costume contest added to the shop on Worlds.
It may not be quite as eventful as Poptropica Worlds this year, but we still received a handful of updates on the original Poptropica. So let’s cover some of the other, non-Worlds happenings around Poptropica HQ—and the fandom community!
Fast-forwarding in February, the first major update we got from Poptropica was the announcement of the #MyPoptropicaCostume contest winners, wherein the Mermaid and Hip-Hop costumes were both declared grand prize winners!
We also celebrated Valentine’s Day with a #PoptropicaLove contest using the Valentine-themed Photo Booth, all set to spread the love to the community.
In March, with the snow still falling in Boston, Poptropica added a brand new game to Home Island: Snowpocalypse! The game is a crazy snowball fight with characters from various islands we know and love. Here’s Zeus getting pelted:
Moreover with the madness, Poptropica also decided to bring back classic costumes and power cards to the store! Not only that, we also saw the arrival of the Home Island Movie Theater—although, it wasn’t at all what we were hoping for.
In April, the PHB conducted a big interview with longtime Poptropica Creator and author of several Poptropica books, Mitch Krpata, which you can read here. Along with that, for Wimpy Kid Month, Poptropica also hosted some Wimpy Kid/Poptropica giveaways. And the third Poptropica graphic novel, The Secret Society, also dropped—along with our review, which you can read here.
Jumping to July, Mitch Krpata once again came into the limelight with an interview on a podcast called The Oddball Show, where he talked about Poptropica (among other things), and which we recapped here. We also bid our farewells to beloved Poptropica Creator Skinny Moon, who left her position to continue her previous career as a freelance copywriter and social media strategist.
In August, Poptropica challenged players to be a part of the #FreeThe15 challenge that rewarded us with 21 new items for our homes on Poptropica Worlds.
Then in September, we celebrated the highly anticipated 10th birthday celebration of Poptropica, which came with grinning monkey hats—both on Poptropica Original and on Worlds! The festivities also included a membership contest with quite a peculiar task. Nonetheless, the party raged on as Poptropica finally unveiled the concluding chapter to the graphic novel tetralogy, The End of Time. (Check out our book review here!)
Not much happened in October, though the Poptropica Comics did return with Jorge and Oliver still onto their mischievous misadventures. November came with a Thanksgiving giveaway that made us search for missing followers around Poptropica.
In December, we concluded the year with the re-introduction of the mini-game Legendary Swords to Poptropica Original. At first, the re-release was members-only, but the Creators later opened it for everyone.
Wowie, what a 2017 for Poptropica! Let’s head into the next chapter…
Our community has been witness to many events this year, both fun and serious, and it’s these things that make us a formidable community. Let this chapter help us recall the memories we’ve shared in 2017.
In January, we welcomed a brand new post series to the blog: Community Creations! This monthly series features the creative works of Poptropicans that revolve around a given theme each month, with PHB staffer Spotted Dragon spearheading each round. Over the months, we’ve seen some amazing fan art. Here is just a handful:
March came along and, prompted by a PHB post by Perfect Sky calling for giving more love to smaller Poptropica fan blogs, a movement began, known as #SaveTheCommunity and later #PopBlogsMatter. To that end, the Poptropica Bloggers Network (PBN) headed up by Purple Claw and Hyper Gamer—which is dedicated to helping smaller Poptropica blogs—saw a revival, and fan blogs outside of the PHB continued to flourish.
April brought along yet another April Fools’ prank from the PHB: PopFeedz! This was a joke site we made that took the PHB as we know it and spun it into a more Buzzfeed-esque version of our site. Lots of you really liked it! You can check out the original over on popfeedz.wordpress.com.
In May, something pretty exciting happened for the PHB and other fan sites: VIP status! There hasn’t been a ton happening in this department, but it’s nice to get that recognition after so many years.
June was a fulfilling month: we launched our Write for the PHB campaign, to empower all of you with the how-to of contributing to our site. We also had a PHB special that featured Popsonas of the PHB staff. The month concluded with us coordinating Poptropica’s first-ever Pride Party, in which we celebrated love in its many forms.
Then in July, the PHB’s birthday month, we hosted our annual Poppies Awards! From nominations to the awards ceremony, we had lots of fun and hope you did too. To celebrate some more, we also put together a collection of Greatest PHB Posts and walked through a gallery of PHB headers over the years. Happy 9th birthday to the PHB!
In August, we explored the intersection of Poptropica and Age with a mini-series of posts from PHB founder Slanted Fish (see part 1, part 2, and part 3 here). We also wrestled with the almost-pay-to-play direction that the New Poptropica seemed to be going. Also, we took on a new PHB logo design, plus a new, slicker URL: poptropi.ca!
September, of course, was the big month: Poptropica’s 10th birthday! We shared some reflections about the game’s impact on us and threw a big party on Poptropica. Also, we enjoyed a massive compendium of amazing Poptropica wallpapers from our friend napstachill—seriously, check it out!
October was filled with fright as we hosted our 9th annual Halloween costume contest, which took entries from both Poptropica Original and Worlds, with both games putting out their Halloween costumes at the front of their stores. Also, we were finally introduced to Dave, who had been making videos for Poptropica’s YouTube channel for quite some time.
November passed with some more videos from Dave and livestreamer Stephanie, and we also hit a biggie: 30 million views on the PHB! Thank you all so much!
In December we held our annual Holiday Party, with a special guest: Unwilling Santa Zeus! PHB staffer Lucky Joker also debuted one of our biggest blog specials ever: 100 Years of Fashion, Poptropica-style.
This year on the PHB, we also had a ton of posts for many of our series: Poptropica Portfolio, Pop 5, Pop Petition, and My Place in Poptropica. Be sure to check out those post categories while you’re here—and maybe even make a new year’s resolution to Write for the PHB in 2018!
To continue a tradition from last year’s Rewind, I now invite you to the Tributes, a section dedicated to keeping the memories of the PHB staff who left us this year:
Ultimate iPad Expert 📱 — 2015–2017
Before he joined the PHB team, Ultimate iPad Expert served as an admin on the Poptropica Wiki. A meme entry for HPuterpop’s fan art contest led to inspiration for more memes, and soon enough, Poptropican Meme Face Mondays was born. PMFM lasted a whopping 70 rounds, and UiPE himself earned his legendary moniker, “Meme King”—plus the 2016 title for Best PHB Author! Wherever he is now, I trust that he’s living his ultimate best. Long live the Meme King!
Perfect Sky ⛅ — 2016–2017
Long before she became a member of the PHB staff, Perfect Sky was renowned for her Poptropica movies on YouTube. Besides her creativity, she is known for having a passionate heart for the Poptropica community who is never afraid to stand for what she believes in. She’s someone with a heart of gold and we thank her for everything she has done for the community. Thanks for making the skies perfect, PS!
Slippery Raptor 💦 — 2014–2017
I’m sure you’re least expecting this thing to happen here, right? But, this is really happening. Prepare your tissues.
This is the end for me, everyone, and I would just like to extend my deepest gratitude to the whole PHB staff (both current and former) for giving me this opportunity. Being part of this community and blogging here has simply been a surreal experience. Before I joined, I remember dreaming of joining the staff by spamming the comments section with “Can I be an author here?” It’s so funny that, years later, I found my place here, and would actually stay for a few years more than I had expected.
I’m also thankful for the whole Poptropica community: you all are so amazing, crazy talented, and even so silly sometimes. I’m so happy to have witnessed so many changes in Poptropica and in our community that I felt very much involved with, and that’s something I won’t forget. Thanks to all my friends out there! I hope I can still drop by on Discord here and there.
Just to briefly explain my departure: I have a lot on my plate right now, with college around the corner, academics and organizations to balance, and other things. I also cannot deny the inevitability of growing up and my feelings of “outgrowing” the game. Another factor would be the arrival of Poptropica Worlds, which is not a bad thing, but it isn’t quite the same as the Poptropica I grew up with—plus, updates have been more scarce. I do hope you understand that and trust me, it’s something everyone will go through eventually.
To the next author who will succeed me, I hope you enjoy being a PHB staff member! And to everyone else, stay awesome as you always have been doing, and continue the awesomeness we’ve started. I don’t want this to be too much of a long, melodramatic piece, but I hope you’ll all keep moving forward for me. Carpe diem—seize the day. I wish you all the best of luck!
May God bless you all so much. Thank you, and that will be all.
2017, everyone! What a crazy rollercoaster ride—filled with ups, downs, and even loops! In the midst of all the good and bad that have crossed our paths in the past year, let’s put them behind us and look forward to the new year. As we all transition to a whole new world in Poptropica Worlds, I do hope that you’ll enjoy every update yet to come.
Thank you all for riding with us in 2017. As we ring in the new year, a new chapter in the PHB’s life begins as we look forward to our 10th birthday in July. We wouldn’t want to miss it for the world!
We here at the PHB hope to continue what we started back in 2008: our unwavering passion towards Poptropica and its community. We hope you enjoyed 2017 as much as we did! See you in 2018, Poptropicans!