2018 Rewind: a Poptropica Screen Odyssey

2018 rewind

What’s up, Poptropicans? The year is wrapping up, and that could only mean one thing—it’s time for our 2018 rewind!

Every year, we reflect back on the events regarding Poptropica and the community surrounding it. So, what happened this year?


Part 1: Poptropica (Worlds & Original)

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2018 started out with what would probably be the biggest event of the year—the member release of Poptropica Worlds’ third full island quest, Greek Sea Odyssey, in February. (It released to all in mid-March.) Check out our Island Review!

popworldsgreekisland

Things unfortunately took a turn for the worse as the end of the month approached… Several employees (all with senior positions) were sadly laid off. Because of this, we made some speculations regarding Poptropica’s financial status.

In March, the misfortune continued when @Poptropica unexpectedly unfollowed hundreds of accounts (including me… not salty at all, ahem) on Twitter, with no follow-up explanation. (Though the PHB’s official Twitter, @Poptropica_Help, is one of a few still followed by Poptropica.) It caught many people off guard, to say the least. Even former Poptropica social media manager Skinny Moon had something to say about it.

On the flip side, March Prizes went on throughout the month, where special items were hidden on a different island each week. If you found it, you got to keep it!

April brought us a few new series on the Poptropica Creators’ Blog which included Outfits of the Week, Island Highlight, and Guess the Island—all of which have since discontinued. The writing wasn’t exactly high caliber, either.

Also in April, the Creators began rotating items in and out of the shop on a monthly basis, resulting in fewer items available at any given time but also the return of some rare, limited edition items. This still continues today!

In May, a Zombie Photo Machine appeared on the Poptropica Worlds app. Spooky…?

June brought the start of Member Gifts, where every month members get exclusive items as a bonus. Also, Poptropica was trending on the Apple App Store!

In July, Poptropica released their Poptropica Stickers app for iMessage on iOS devices. Soon after, they held a Poptropica Sticker Design Contest, with the winning designs debuting on the app in early October.

Poptropica Digital Stickers

Not much happened in August, but September was a great month for Poptropica. First and foremost, Poptropica celebrated their 11th birthday by releasing a funny-looking Birthday Candle costume—free for everyone!

Also, the long-awaited return of Realms finally became a reality, and Poptropica announced their Halloween costume contest (where the winning design would be added to the store). Finally, the “Dr. Hare’s Secret Lab” mini-quest returned for a limited time with a recolored rabbot costume as the prize.

In October, Poptropica released a brand new login screen, complete with new customization options for appearance and names. Fancy!

Poptropica also held a small-scale #SpookyPop Photo Booth contest, featuring just a couple pics on their Instagram. In larger news was the Home Island overhaul, which brought unopened buildings like the Blast-Off Arcade, Pet Barn, and more.

November saw the release of LEGO Island, which was not so much an island with a quest as it was just a space for LEGO ad games. The Blast-Off Arcade also opened, and the retired mini-quest D.C. Diner returned for a limited time.

December started out with the 12 Days of Member Gifts, an extension of the monthly Member Gifts benefit with, for the first time since it began, new original items. Snow arrived on Home Island, text chat arrived at the Blast-Off Arcade, and towards the very end came the biggest feature of all: clubhouses!

In the new year, we can look forward to a redesigned friends profile and more coming to Poptropica…


Part 2: PHB & Community

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art: “Alice and Fierce Fox” by POP-whitewolf, 2018 Poppies winner of “Best Fan Art”

The PHB posted three times as much as the Poptropica Creators’ Blog this year—about 180 posts to their almost 60.

In fact, at 59 posts in 2018, it’s the Creators’ Blog’s lowest yearly post count yet—even lower than the 64 from when the blog began in mid-2008. While they did maintain a social media presence, the lack of a personable social media manager left a disconnect between players and Creators worsened by infrequent updates.

To make up for the missing communications on the part of the Pop Creators, we at the PHB have been hard at work bringing you the latest and greatest in all things Poptropica. Here’s what we’ve been up to this year as a community:

In January, we welcomed Fierce Flyer to the PHB team, and invited everyone to share their ideas in a discussion post asking, “What Islands do you want to explore in Poptropica?” which garnered 100 comments.

During the month of February, we featured an extensive guest post titled “Dear Jeff Kinney: Poptropica is wimpier without you,” calling on Poptropica’s original creator, Jeff Kinney, to pay more attention to the current state of Poptropica. We also brought back Pop the Difference, a PHB special game, and hosted our annual Readers’ Survey.

The Readers’ Survey results came in March, which showed, among other things, that the older populations of PHB readers (ages 15+) has increased. We looked at the question of “What’s going to happen to Poptropica Original?”, as well as featured another detailed guest post, this one making a case for a Poptropica movie. Meanwhile, the Creators finally put up a couple of posts on their blog.

Inspired by the Creators’ rehashed blogging and frivolous tweeting, we kicked off April with a prank that brought just that to the PHB. That month, we also debuted a new series: Pop Fan Artist Spotlights!

May wasn’t so eventful, but June came with another new PHB series: Pop Places IRL. Then in July, Sporty Boa joined our staff, and the PHB started an Instagram @PoptropicaHare (follow us!). We also hosted our fourth annual Poppies awards, celebrating 10 years of the Poptropica Help Blog in the occasion. What a milestone!

In August, we held our first ever PHB Header Contest, and the winning design (by Gentle Dolphin) was displayed as our blog banner for the month of September!

gentle dolphin

October was the time for our yearly costume competition—this time, our 10th one, and with two themes: casual and creepy. Also, Gentle Dolphin joined our staff, and to round off the spooky season, we released a “Guess the Horror Scene” special.

November and December were quieter months here on the PHB, but they were surprisingly active ones for Poptropica (see above). To conclude 2018…


Tributes

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There is one final section to go in this Rewind post, and that’s the tributes for the 4 PHB staff authors who left this year. (Poptropica isn’t the only place with departures, but at least these were willingly so.) Thank you, again, to these delightful Poptropicans:

Happy Lobster (2016–2018) 🦀

Napstachill - Happy Lobster, Happy Cuddles

Before joining the PHB team, Happy Lobster blogged on several Poptropica fan sites, including his own, the now-defunct A Quota of Poptropica. Having worked with the PHB for about a year and a half, HL has contributed some fun posts including a Pop-over of Inside Out characters, a Pop 5 for beautiful scenes, and more. Wherever he goes, we hope he stays happy!

Purple Claw (2017–2018) 🐾

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Purple Claw brought with him a critical eye and a penchant for joy. Prior (as well as during) his time with the PHB, PC ran a Poptropica fan site called Clawtropica and the Poptropica Bloggers Network, a directory of small Pop fan sites. Among his PHB posts are a review of the New New 24 Carrot Island, a Pop 5 of the most detestable updates, and an educational perspective on Pop. Peace, Pea Sea!

Silver Wolf (2017–2018) 🐺

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Long before blogging with the PHB, Silver Wolf was running her own Pop fan site, Poptropica Tips for Poptropicans (PTFP). Since joining the team, Wolfy has written on topics like a Pop 5 for immersive islands, YouTubers playing Pop, and mysteries like closed doors in player homes. She’s a talented writer and animal lover, and we wish her all the best!

Brave Tomato (2012–2018) 🍅

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Ah, Brave Tomato, a PHB legend. The longest-staying PHB staffer thus far (other than Slanted Fish, the creator of the PHB, who’s still around), BT has been with the blog since 2012. In her six years here, and more within the greater Poptropica community, BT has done a lot: she’s revisited most of the islands on her YouTube channel, created tons of Poptropica fan art and fan fiction, and more. Named the 2018 recipient of “Best PHB Author” at the Poppies, BT is known for her love of mythology, accuracy in Pop theories, and hunger for lore, among many other great qualities. We give her 10/10 fresh, brave tomatoes.


That’s 2018! We the Poptropica Help Blog have been around for 10+ years now, and we look forward to even more poppin’ times with all of you. Thanks for being a part of our journey, and we’ll see you in the new year. Keep on popping, Poptropicans!

2018

thank u, next

✨🎆 Happy new year! 🎇✨

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Welcome to your clubhouse!

What’s up, Poptropicans? It’s Lucky Joker here with big newsclubhouses are here!

Once you log in to Poptropica and land on Home Island, you’ll notice the “coming soon” sign has been removed off of the front door of the clubhouse and you can now enter. Welcome to your clubhouse!

clubhouse open

picture credit: Poptropica Girl

If you pull the “switch room” lever next to the door, you’ll find that there are three different interior models: a treehouse, castle, and diner. However, only the treehouse style is available to non-members.

You’re started off with a handful of furnishing which includes your very own mini Poptropica blimp, as well as a rope, vanity dressing table, couple of plants, mole (how interesting…), and wallpaper (the stone and brick wall ones are for members only). Start decorating by clicking the paintbrush icon in the bottom left corner of the screen.

Also, you can shop for more items if you click the credit (green coin) icon next to the paintbrush. Prices vary, and some items are for members only (marked by the yellow bar and icon). Here are the wall decor options:

Just like the housing store on Poptropica Worlds, you can click on the other tabs for other categories of decoration. Here are the items available for furniture:

And these are the offerings for lighting and smaller objects, which include a range of food items, sporting equipment, potted plants, wild animals, and more:

Finally, there’s a category for wallpaper:

In general, these items are pretty different from the ones on Pop Worlds, so the Creators must have spent a fair amount of time designing these. It would be cool to have the Worlds decorations too, though Worlds itself hasn’t been updated for quite some time! It seems Pop Original might be replacing Worlds, its original replacement, after all…

One PHB reader, Poptropica Girl, even noticed another player avatar in her clubhouse. It’s not clear how they got there, since the upcoming friends profile redesign, which includes a link to one’s clubhouse according to the sneak peek, has yet to be released.

In any case, you’ll find that the chat and emoji options from the Blast-Off Arcade have also made it here, so you’ll get to interact with people once that feature does get released.

people in clubhouse

picture credit: Poptropica Girl

What are your thoughts on the new clubhouses? Discuss in the comments! And stay tuned to the PHB for a rewind look back on the past year, coming out New Year’s Eve…

– Lucky Joker 🍀

 

Mary POP-pins returns to Poptropica

Hello, Poptropicans! It’s Lucky Joker here with a practically perfect Photo Booth update for the movie everybody’s talking about—”Mary Poppins Returns.”

It’s just one new backdrop and three new props (including two human characters 🤷‍♂️). Fly a kite with Mary and Jack in front of a neat backdrop in this latest update. Check out my snapshot below featuring a festive Lucky Joker:

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In addition to the Photo Booth update, an advertisement for the sequel film can be accessed via the island map. Simply watch the video, and you’ll receive a supercalifragilisticexpialidocious Balloon Power which makes everyone around you float.

So, have seen the movie yet? What did you think of it? Let us know down in the comments (but no spoilers!).

Thank you for reading as always, I’ll talk you all in the next one. And to those who celebrate… have a Mary Christmas from the PHB, and from the Creators! Pop on!

– Lucky Joker 🍀

Keepeth out of my clubhouse!

Hello, Poptropicans! It’s Lucky Joker here back with another sneak peek. Yup, another sneak peek within just a couple of days! (Thanks, Creators. 😉 )

This one is a video of the upcoming clubhouse feature! More specifically, it’s the castle clubhouse, which seems to mean there will be other kinds, too. Check it out:

There’s a lot to see here: the house itself is made up of various short and long ledges, offering several levels of space to incorporate furniture. You can shop for furniture from a store using your credits, with items like stained glass windows, “keepeth out” signs, banners, bookcases, and more, with prices generally around 75–250 credits for an item.

It’s basically a lot like the current player home feature that exists on Poptropica Worlds, but based on recent pics, we’re anticipating that you can interact with other players’ clubhouses and invite them to your own. The sneak peek for the upcoming friends profile update includes a “clubhouse link,” and the video above shows text and emoji chat in the corner, which are features of the multiplayer-interactive Blast-Off Arcade.

We’re not sure when the clubhouses will launch—it could be as early as before the new year—but in any case, we’re excited! Stay tuned to the PHB for the latest updates on all things Pop. Until next time… pop on!

– Lucky Joker 🍀

🎶 It’s the most POPtastic time of the year! 🎶

What’s up, Poptropicans? It’s Lucky Joker here with exciting news! Let’s pop into it.

This just in from the Poptropica Creators’ Blog… there are soon going to be more ways to connect with friends on Poptropica!

For a feature coming soon to the Blast-Off Arcade, you can see in this sneak peek below a wider array of fun emojis as well as a chat icon, indicating a new text chat feature! It’s unclear at this point whether we’ll get to type out our messages or if we’ll at least be able choose from a larger amount of chat options, like before.

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A new profile page is showcased in another sneak peek—and it’s completely different from the current one we’re accustomed to! This one is a lot more social media inspired, I’d say. It’s got likes, friends, a display of photos from the Photo Booth, and more. I wonder what the sticker wall is all about… 🤔

profilepage

I personally think the new profile page looks really cool! As much as I’ll miss the old one, I can definitely say I’m looking forward to this version being put into the game. Both of these updates will be effective sometime this month, according to the Pop Creators.


Next up, we have some new holiday stickers in the Poptropica Stickers app! There are 14 new stickers and they’re all so cute! Check them out:

This app is only for iMessage for the time being. You can find the app in the App Store on any iOS device.


And lastly, you might’ve noticed a blank medallion for a Clubhouse Island (just like the Lego Island one from a few months ago). Thanks to Popular Noodle for the tip!

clubhouseisland

Though we’re not entirely sure why it’s here, my guess is that it’s related to the “clubhouse link” button on the new profile page sneak peek from earlier. Seems like Pop is going to be introducing personal clubhouses to Poptropica Original—probably accessed through the closed tree house door on Home Island. Pretty neat, huh?

treehouse soon


And that’s it for today! I appreciate Poptropica listening to their fans on social media and adding all of these cool updates. Poptropica, if you’d take one more suggestion… I’d really really like a new island in 2019, or maybe even a “Create Your Dream Island” contest if you guys are running short of ideas over at Pop HQ. 😉

Welp, you’ve heard all of my opinions, but what do you think of all these upcoming features? What other stuff would you like to see in Poptropica?

Thanks for reading as always, and I’ll talk to you all in the next one. Pop on!

– Lucky Joker 🍀

Chat about the new LEGO Minecraft ad!

How’s it going, Poptropicans—it’s Lucky Joker here! Let’s pop into the latest news.

Over on Poptropica’s Instagram (@poptropicacreators), which seems to be the primary source of Poptropica news these days, we’ve got a bit of a “sneak peek” (if you want to call it that 😛 ) regarding the Blast-Off Arcade:

As the Creators’ post says, new chat features are coming to the arcade! That’s pretty cool. (Too bad it isn’t an island… it’s kind of been a while…) I wonder what the “gazillion other new things” they mention in the caption will be? Hmmm.


That’s not all. There are also a couple of new advertisements. Let’s start off with the LEGO Minecraft one, which can be found on Home Island.

The goal of the game is to escape the Creepers by dodging obstacles with the click of your mouse—without losing your six lives. (Tip: click multiple times for a higher jump)

Once you successfully make it to the finish, you’ll earn a batty Bat Follower and a Crazy Minecart. Cool!

For the next ad, Disney’s Mary Poppins Returns, you can access it via the island map.  There’s no game for this one; all you have to do is watch the short video trailer to earn a Kite Power card. The movie premieres in theaters on December 19. 🙂

Well, that’s it for now! What do you think the new chat options will be like? Are you going to see the new Mary Poppins movie? Let us know down in the comments!

Thanks for reading as always, and I’ll talk to you all soon… pop on!

– Lucky Joker 🍀

🎵 On the seventh day of member gifts, Poptropica gave to me…🎵

Hello, Poptropicans, it’s Lucky Joker here with new stuff to share with you today.

First off, Poptropica has finally updated the Photo Booth since the Halloween update back in October—but, it’s probably not what you’d think. I kind of expected to see some new  holiday props and characters for the season, but I was little disappointed when I discovered that wasn’t the case.

There are 5 new backgrounds that appear to be from a few familiar islands, like Astro-Knights, Mythology, and Wimpy Wonderland (oh look, there’s a winter one!).

It’s safe to assume these new backgrounds will be replacing the good old ones we’re used to since they’re no longer there and these new ones aren’t exactly seasonal. Small update, but still neat in its own right.


Secondly, the third wave of member gifts is coming our way, starting off with some cool Snowboard Gear. Tomorrow (Saturday, the 8th), watch out for the Snowball Toss card, and the next day (Sunday, the 9th), an Elf Follower not too far behind!


And lastly, Home Island has received a full, fun winter makeover! It’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas now, wouldn’t you say? ❄️🎄 (Even that LEGO ad tucked away in the corner of the sky, that probably isn’t meant to be visible, is coated in snow… 👀)

So, how are you liking these member gifts so far? And what do you think about the rest of these updates? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section down below. Thanks for reading as always and I’ll talk to you all very soon… pop on!

– Lucky Joker 🍀