Fairy Tale Island, Sneak Peeks

The magical designs of Fairy Tale Island 🧚‍♂️🎨

Once upon a time (a few months ago, to be exact), a Poptropica fan named Perfect Crab had an idea for a fairy tale-themed island called… well, Fairy Tale Island. The Creators of Poptropica loved the idea so much that they selected it as one of the three winners of the Create Your Dream Island contest.

Many fans such as Perfect Crab awaited the arrival of the winning islands, yearning to go on more adventures in the great wide somewhere. Suddenly, the Creators shared some concept art for some of Fairy Tale Island’s many characters. Now let us take a look at what stories are awaiting us in this magical adventure!

The first image shows some character designs for the cast of Little Red Riding Hood. Our human characters are a modern Red Riding Hood(ie), a sweet grandma, and a hairy woodcutter. Of course, you cannot have Little Red Riding Hood without the Big Bad Wolf and his many expressive faces. While this isn’t the only modern adaptation of the story, this will definitely be an interesting take regardless.

Next, we have six of the seven dwarves from Snow White. It’s interesting that the dwarves are drawn in a different style from normal Poptropicans; they even have noses and fingers! Why are the dwarves drawn this way? Why are they wearing a human disguise like the gnomes from Gravity Falls? Where is the one other dwarf? Some of their secrets will be revealed shortly.

Moving along, here are some costumes fit for royalty. Amongst the kings and queens, we can easily spot Cinderella thanks to her iconic glass slippers. Interestingly, Cinderella also has a wild hairstyle and punk rocker outfit. Is that her normal attire before she goes to the ball, or perhaps her disguise at the ball?

There is also a lady dressed in purple accompanied with a note which says “Modify Kira scrub outfit and props”. We currently have a named character who is likely a medical professional. Could she be Cinderella’s fairy godmother?

Finally, here is concept art for the island’s possible villain: Rumpelstiltskin. His longer limbs and devilish features help him stand out from Poptropica villains of the past. Perhaps he has something to do with the fairy tales going awry? What is this sinister imp’s master plan, and is he working alone?

All of these character designs give us a lot to think about regarding the island’s story and tone. The modern takes on classic fairy tales are reminiscent to 2000’s fairy tale parody movies like Shrek, Hoodwinked, and Enchanted. Wouldn’t it be interesting to defeat Rumpelstiltskin and celebrate with a dance party?

Now these designs are a taste of what is to come. The full story of Fairy Tale Island is set to be told before this summer, so keep one eye on the Creators’ Blog and another on the Poptropica Help Blog. We cannot wait to see what Perfect Crab and the Creators have in store for us!

Thank you for reading, and have a good day!

—Gentle Dolphin 🐬

Member Gifts, Membership, Social Media

March right in with member gifts and story features

Hello, everyone! March has finally arrived, and a new month means new member gifts. As always, active members will receive their gifts by logging in to Poptropica any time this month. Let’s take a look!

The March member gifts are admittedly simple but still pretty cute. The first exclusive item is a Handheld Game (sadly not playable), and the second is a Clear Backpack complete with school supplies.

Last but not least, members also receive three adorable Plush Hugs. These three plushies based on a bear, a cat, and a pig are as adorable as they are huggable. If you’re interested in owning these items and more, feel free to purchase a membership or enter the PHB’s Free Membership Giveaway!


Yesterday, the official Poptropica Instagram page featured more posts from talented fans. We have art starring iconic Pop characters such as Shark Boy and Ringmaster Raven (drawn by the PHB’s own Maryann), comedic creations like the Bardito and Dr. Hare’s transformation, and even some Poptropica-inspired costumes made in Animal Crossing!

That’s all for now, but there’s more news to come. Stay tuned for a behind-the-scenes look at a magical island coming soon this year!

Thank you for reading, and have a good day!

—Gentle Dolphin 🐬

Creators' Blog Guest Posts, Membership, Poptropica Store, Social Media

Hearty items and love, to and from fans 💝

Hello, Poptropicans! Gentle Dolphin here with our first pieces Poptropica news in February. Today, we’ll be seeing new items for players and features of fan works. Let’s take a look!

February has a new pack of member gifts all themed around love. Active members will receive the following items: the Lifted in Love power, which makes NPCs float; the Love Bomb, which explodes in a flurry of hearts; and the Love Rocket Scooter, which allows you to zip around in sweet style. How lovely! ❤️


The store now features cozy winter fashion, Valentine’s goodies, and other miscellaneous items! We also got seven new items: Space Bounty Hunter, Slice of Pizza Tees, King and Queen Hoodies, Baby Alicorn Follower, L.E.D. Me, Valentine Minefield, and Heart Bubble Wand. Two of these items remind me of some shows I heard of, but my little brain can’t figure out what they are. 🤔

With so many hearty items around, you’re bound to fall in love with something!

Think I’ll name my new baby alicorn “Cool Whip.”

Two days ago, Poptropica featured a bunch of fan content ranging from art to writing. Poptropica’s latest Instagram story showcased a whopping ten art posts from seven different artists! We have art featuring iconic Pop villains, locations, and community members (including the PHB’s resident jokers).


Last but certainly not least, two new guest posts have appeared on the Creators’ Blog! Monday’s post was from none other than the PHB’s own Purple Paw, who details some of Poptropica’s greatest strengths, such as storytelling and visual design. You can read her full post on the Creators’ Blog as well as some of her other posts here on the PHB!

The second guest post comes from BraveSky, a Poptropica veteran (13 years is as old as the game itself!). She wrote a sonnet based on memories from the distant past, referencing classic bits of the game like breaking out of a box (the old account creation process) and hypnotic fried dough (Monster Carnival). The final couplet wraps it up beautifully:

Who says Poptropica is too different; is that truly so?

Ever stop to realize we have again rooms, shoes, pets, my beautiful afro?

BraveSky

If you’re at least 13 years old and want to join the blogging bandwagon, then you can apply to be a guest writer for the Creators’ Blog. But whether or not you meet those arbitrary age requirements, you can still guest write for the Poptropica Help Blog! Details are explained in our Write for the PHB page.

Thank you for reading, and have a good day!

—Gentle Dolphin 🐬

Reviews

PHB Review: Grapple-Gift Side Quest 🎁❄️

Belated season’s greetings, Poptropicans! Though the major winter holidays have passed, we thought it would be “cool” to gift you all a review of Poptropica’s holiday-themed side quest: “The Grapple-Gift.”

This side quest is set during a fictional holiday called Grapple-Pap, which is Poptropica’s version of Christmas. The holiday is named after a Krampus-like figure who delivers gifts and takes away people who don’t spread cheer. Much like other fictional holidays such as Merry Walrus or Life Day, Grapple-Pap gives us a look at some of Poptropica’s history and traditions. It’s a nice touch and makes me want to see more Poptropican holidays.

The story is very simple, but it has a strong hook: you help an old man deliver a small wooden horse to his sister Clareta. However, Clareta hasn’t been seen in years, and the villagers believe that Grapple-Pap took her away because she became “mean.” Now, you have to travel the frigid Cold Cliff Pass and find out what happened to Clareta.

When you travel up the pass and enter a rundown cottage, you are greeted by Clareta (now a mean old hag) frantically shouting at you to get out. How did she become so mean and reclusive? What caused the rift between her and her brother? What will it take to show her the true spirit of Grapple-Pap?

To answer your questions: we don’t know, we don’t know, and destroy her cottage with a giant Grapple-Pap statue. …Yup.

The story started so well but ended way too quickly. It’s ironic that a side-quest with the tagline “solve the mystery” left some of its biggest questions unanswered. It feels like the quest didn’t have enough time to explore all of its ideas, possibly due to being rushed in time for the holidays. We know very little about Clareta and her unnamed brother aside from small clues in her cottage. Also, there’s some evidence that Grapple-Pap himself could have had some role to play in the story other than as a holiday mascot.

All of the Grapple-Pap iconography in the locales, the large hoofprints on Clareta’s roof, and his silhouette on the start screen may have been foreshadowing his appearance in the game, but he was cut for whatever reason. But what if he did appear? Imagine an alternate ending in which the real Grapple-Pap kidnapped Clareta and you had to save her and show her the true spirit of the holiday. That would have had a much better payoff than scaring her with a statue.

I feel bad for ragging on the ending, so let’s spread some cheer by talking about the presentation. This side quest is like hot cocoa and sugar cookies for the eyes and ears! The locations are beautifully designed and expansive, the NPCs look festive in their traditional Grapple-Pap attire (or rags in Clareta’s case), new NPC animations add more life to the scenes, and Jeff Heim’s music never fails to immerse the player in their adventure.

I give “The Grapple-Gift” a solid 3.5/5 Grapple-Pops. It’s a fun holiday side quest with an intriguing plotline, even if the ending left some people out in the cold. Make sure to play this quest before Grapple-Pap takes it away for one whole year. What did you guys think of this little holiday special? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Happy Grapple-Pap and New Year to all!

—Gentle Dolphin 🐬

Haxe Javascript, Pets, Poptropica Store, Social Media, Video of the Week

What’s in store for Poptropica’s future?

As 2020 draws to a close, we are dreadfully awaiting the end of an era on the internet: the Flash shutdown.

This event will drastically change the internet at large with countless Flash games being rendered unplayable. Not wanting Poptropica to become lost to time, the Creators have been hard at work moving the game to a new platform and preserving it for (hopefully) more years to come. Now to answer the burning question: “What’s in store for Poptropica’s future?”

Players may have seen a new pop-up appear when they boot up the Flash version of the game. This pop-up, along with a more detailed Creators’ Blog post, lets players know what’s going to happen to the game in the coming days.

On December 28, Poptropica will officially make the switch to Haxe as its sole platform. Players don’t need to worry about their years-old accounts being lost to time. The Creators assured players that existing Flash accounts will make a smooth transition to Haxe. You still get to keep your username, inventory, medallions, friends, and more!

What about the islands that have yet to be converted? While the Creators are still converting all of the islands, they are also working to make the old Flash version of Poptropica accessible to players! Sounds crazy, right? Here’s what they said regarding the matter:

For those of you who are members and are playing the Early Poptropica islands – this will stay on the map and can be accessed in the newest version of the game. We’ll keep this access up for as long as possible and recommend not updating your browsers! Newer versions of browsers are starting to block Flash which will keep you from being able to access these. 

To summarize, members will still be able to play the classic islands as long as they don’t update their browsers. While we understand why the Creators say not to update browsers as it’s the only readily available way to access the classic islands, there are some notable flaws with this approach.

First, not updating your browser can leave your computer vulnerable to performance issues and security flaws, which is one of the big reasons why Flash is being retired. Second, some browsers automatically update without the users’ knowledge. Some browsers like Chrome have been warning users that Flash is going away after 2020, so it’s unlikely that such browsers will be supporting the classic islands after this year.

Although it’s uncertain if these classic islands will be accessible for long, their memories will live on in the hearts and minds of players. If you’re feeling nostalgic, you can watch playthroughs on Youtube or read our island help walkthroughs right here on the PHB.


Man, that was a lot to take in. There shouldn’t be too much left to cover, right? Right?

Anyway, a new item rotation has graced the Poptropica store. Players can buy classic and contemporary items to customize their avatars. A few holiday-themed items such as Tangled In Lights and Snowman also arrived just in time for Christmas. 🎄

The Creators didn’t want pets to be left out of the fashion fun, so the pet store also saw a new rotation of items. There a lot of accessories that we have seen before, though the Blue Sunglasses may be new.


Now let’s take a moment to highlight some awesome stuff from fans. Our most recent fan art features come from Instagram artists quria.kressly, birdswithshoes, and grandmother_duck. We also got a Poptropica merch feature from an unknown fan who bought a Binary Bard phone case.

Our “Video of the Week” comes to us from Zany Ice, who created a walkthrough video for the new Wolfwalkers ad game. I recommend playing the game if you haven’t already; it’s one of my favorite Pop ads from this year.

Aaand now I’ve covered everything! Phew!

How do you guys feel about the upcoming move to Haxe? Nervous? Excited? Nervouscited? Feel free to discuss with others in the comment section below. Though Poptropica’s future is uncertain, we can come together as a community and face the new changes ahead.

Thank you for reading, and have a good day!

—Gentle Dolphin 🐬