Pop Places IRL, Wild West Island

Pop Places IRL: Wild West 🏜

Pop Places IRL Header

Welcome back to “Pop Places IRL,” Poptropicans! We’re gonna be moseying back in time today to visit Wild West Island! And if you like this series, sure to check out other Pop Places IRL posts.

Wild West Island quite obviously takes place in the western US during the American frontier period of the 19th century. The time period has been highly romanticized, especially in film, so there’s no wonder we have a Poptropica island themed around it!

Pretty much every building, character, and background matches this old western aesthetic. Details range from apparel, architecture, fonts, dialogue, and beyond! Sometimes the smallest changes can have a big impact on an island’s theme. The setting has this wide open feeling, and I think Poptropica was able to successfully portray that in their own style. Do you agree?

One of the most iconic places in any old western town is, of course, the Saloon (in this case, found in Diamond Plains). And Poptropica did manage to make such a location kid-friendly enough to be included! Anyone care for a round of root beer? It’s on me!

Another noteworthy building would definitely be the Marshal’s Office or Jail (also in Diamond Plains). Whatever the law enforcement may be (sheriff, marshal, constable, you name it), even deputies seemed to be quite prevalent in a time rampant with outlaws, bounty hunters, and gangs. It was cowboys galore!

Since we mentioned the jail, we of course have to bring up the Bank, because the whole “outlaws robbing banks” trope just cannot be ignored. The bank we see in Poptropica is located in Rock Ridge. Stick ’em up!

We could very well look at the Train Station as well, considering it does tie into the bank robbery within the story. Quite different than the train station we see in our Mystery Train comparison, huh?

After all that, I think we simply must talk about the Casino in Dos Cactos next. During such wild times, gambling tended to be a common occurrence. But yet again, Poptropica was able to fit it into its kid-friendly world! Looks like everything’s coming up aces for them!

If we stay in Dos Cactos, we can head on over to a sort of carnival, but more specifically a shooting gallery. Yes, traveling shows did date back to the wild west era—you simply had to travel between the far away towns for profit! And every good cowboy knew how to shoot a pistol.

Curious about other displays of showmanship? Why, just take a look at the local Snake Oil Salesman in Rock Ridge of course! Traveling carts were quite the norm in the wild west, with salesmen often promising miracle cures and obscure tonics of all sorts. Maybe be careful about spending your money around here…

Another cart we get to see in Wild West is owned by a photographer (this one in Dusty Gulch), which could perhaps be considered more of a miracle than the tonics! The world’s first photograph was taken in 1826, perfectly fitting into the frontier era. That makes us pretty lucky to even have photos from around that time to compare with the island!

Dusty Gulch is also home to Rusty’s Ranch, as you may know (though this can also be compared to the ranch in Rock Ridge). Raising cattle and horses and such was so common in fact that it was actually one of the factors leading to the Dust Bowl. So maybe it was only a stable job in one sense of the word?

Something else we can’t forget: the gold mines! The California Gold Rush of the 1800s was a huge population push to the west. Time and time again it seems like people yearned to move west! Though it didn’t guarantee fortune to all, that’s for sure.

Bringing our adventure to an end, the Canyon Hideout feels like an appropriate grande finale. One of the most famous IRL hidey-holes for gangs and outlaws was the “Hole-In-The-Wall,” an isolated area in Wyoming.

Boy howdy, that was a lot of places, wasn’t it? And we didn’t even go into detail about the hotel, clock tower, or trading post! Just goes to show you how much detail goes into one setting/game design.

Do you think Poptropica successfully replicated the alluring aesthetic of the IRL wild west? Yay or neigh? What island would you like to see us compare next in this series? Be sure to leave your thoughts in a comment below!

So long, partners!

~SD

Community Creations

Community Creations: October 2020

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Hello once again everyone! Spotted Dragon here bringing you the October recap for Community Creations! October’s theme was Monsters (and the featured work is not in any particular order). Be sure to check out all the featured artists!

*Spooky warning for the following images!*

No clue what’s going on? Go see our intro post.

Top 5 Picks

The Witching Hour by Purple Paw

Ah, the monsters of… er… well, Monster Carnival! A classic choice! I love all the different monsters featured in this composition, as well as the colors used. There is nice detail in all the figures and the sky, in addition to wonderful texture in the grass. Even that moon is creeping me out! The design definitely feels like it would fit into the island, and it honestly makes me want to dress up as some of those characters for Halloween. Find her on our Discord or in the comment section sometime.

RUN (Poptober Day 20) by Lucky Joker

AHHHH!!! RUN!!! Phew, glad to know this is just a drawing… *ahem* Made for Day 20 of MaryannTheConqueror‘s Poptropica Drawing Challenge, this design features one of the newer monsters of Poptropica. I love the movement that LJ was able to capture here, and I love the composition. AND I think his line-heavy style is super visually interesting! There is so much energy here and the use of colors is fantastic. Find his DeviantArt here.

Anatomy of a Poptropican by Magniventris

Woah… uh… this one is a bit unsettling to say the least, huh? That is, perfect for spooky season! This submission is quite a fresh take on our theme, portraying our very own Poptropicans as the monsters. It is horrifying to imagine a Poptropican’s insides, and yet I can totally picture this being a page out of an actually anatomy textbook. I absolutely love the detail put into all the textual descriptions, as well as the detailed imagining of the Poptropican skeletal system. From the lack of wrists, to the specialized legs for jumping, to the “nest” of young Poptropicans, this is such a clever design. I just have one question… what is up with that neck??? Find their DeviantArt here.

Poptober Days 11-17: Island by Gentle Dolphin

Eek!!! Now this one brings back some… horrifying memories. It was made for happyclonetrooper’s Poptober prompt list (Days 11-17)! The Jersey Devil jump scare, from Cryptids Island, is certainly one of the most frightening scenes from any Poptropica Island, and that horror is well captured here. The dramatic lighting is quite appropriate for this dark setting, and the eyes of the monster definitely give me the chills. I simply love the composition! Find her DeviantArt here.

Pixel Carnival by Kid Whom Has a Hat

Oooh, looks like the Monster Carnival monsters have been a favorite this year! This pixel design is super cute, and I’m really impressed with all the details that the artist was able to capture with such a limited technique. Is it weird that I kinda want an entire 8-bit video game for Monster Carnival Island now? These icon-sized creatures are wonderfully diverse and intriguing to say the least. Find them on Discord!


Honorable Mentions

Wow, super spooky submissions this month, everyone! I am thoroughly creeped out by all your monstrous creations. I hope you all had a fantastic spooky season, and a safe Halloween! Keep up all that creativity.


November: How Do I Participate?

Community Creations is a cool series for anyone in the Poptropica community to join in on. To sum up what it’s about, it’s basically a chance to show off your artwork, creepy fan-fics, Pop clubhouses, costumes, and anything else that pops into your mind.

If we really like the piece you submit, we will feature it here on the PHB! As long as it relates to that month’s theme. So what is November’s theme? November’s theme is…

Pirates!

Avast! National Talk Like a Pirate Day may have been back in September, but that’s not gonna stop us this month, matey! We can’t do much traveling IRL right now, though we can still travel across the open seas online. So let’s set sail for November!

Skullduggery is obviously a go to in terms of pirates within Poptropica, but remember that your options go beyond that one island! Maybe send in your best pirate costume in Poptropica without using the pirate costume in the store? And don’t forget our favorite Home Island pirate that guards the booty of the daily wheel spin! The possibilities for your creations only know the bounds of your own creativity. Arrrrrrre you ready to get creating???

  • Comment below with a link to whatever you’ve created OR share it with me (SydVC aka Spotted Dragon) on DeviantArtTwitter, or Discord.
  • Results: I will feature 5 of the submissions as well as some honorable mentions.
  • Limitations: Nothing NSFW, and make sure you relate to the theme.
  • Due Date: I will take any entries before the end of this month. Submit as many things as you’d like!

I will be sure to let you know I have seen your creation. While quality counts, I’m mainly looking for something to simply catch my eye, so don’t be afraid to join in!

So what are you waiting for? Go make something awesome!

~SD

Community Creations

Community Creations: September 2020

community-creations-logo

Hello once again everyone! Spotted Dragon here bringing you the September recap for Community Creations! September’s theme was Masks (and the featured work is not in any particular order). Be sure to check out all the featured artists!

No clue what’s going on? Go see our intro post.

Top 5 Picks

Duma Mask (Medieval Style) by CrazyPaintbrush

Wow! How cool is this submission??? Based off actual African mask designs, this project combines Sir Cador’s helmet with a fan role-play helmet design on the other half. It is super cool to see such a tactile and crafty submission! I love all the different elements, colors, and textures that come together here. I’d love to see it in person! Find her DeviantArt here.

Mask Selfies! by ray-of-flight

Aww, cute! During the pandemic, many of us have taken to social media more than ever to stay connected. Which totally works, because it is super, super important to socialize safely! Thus, these trendy photos are perfect for the times. I love the differing compositions across the three pictures, along with the different mask designs. Each goes great with their relative characters, and it sends out a fantastic message! Find his DeviantArt here.

Valdus, the Lord of Decay by sinnabinbun (previously ArtisticAsianBunny)

Ooooh, now here’s an interesting character design! The mask on this villain is definitely one of the most eye-catching elements of his outfit (even if it isn’t exactly regulation for the pandemic). The blue/gold/neutral color scheme is simple and really effective too. I love how everything in the outfit ties together, like the skull of the mask and the skull in the staff. I already want to know more about him! Find her Instagram (with other super cool Poptropican designs) here.

Poptropica Masks by AdventurersNHunters

Looks like we almost get four pieces in one here! I love that each panel incorporates a different kind of mask, and even creates a story around them. The Japanese style masks in the top left feature Game Show Island, the students on Shrink Ray Island (top right) are wearing some everyday masks to class, even Grande (Wild West) is staying safe with in his bandana in the lower left, and we have some masquerade masks from Cryptids Island in the lower right. So much detail, variety, and intrigue!!! Find her DeviantArt here.

Happy 13th Birthday Poptropica! by Gentle Dolphin

Not only does this submission prominently feature masks (on both the Poptropicans and the cake!), but it also simultaneously celebrates Poptropica’s birthday AND features Dr. Beev! Dr. Beev has been super popular this month… popular enough to spark an art contest of his own, so be sure to check all that beev art out! AND, yes, on top of all that, this submission is also in celebration of the Dimension Bros’ Poptropica Month event! So be sure to check out the video recorded around this artwork too. Phew, this one really is checking all the boxes, huh? And I love all the movement and colors of the design. It definitely deserves a feature! Find her DeviantArt here.


Honorable Mentions

Wow guys, amazing work! Even with such a seemingly specific theme, you’re always able to knock it out of the park. Remember to send me any theme ideas if you’ve got them! And most importantly: remember to wear your mask and stay safe!!!


October: How Do I Participate?

Community Creations is a cool series for anyone in the Poptropica community to join in on. To sum up what it’s about, it’s basically a chance to show off your artwork, creepy fan-fics, Pop clubhouses, costumes, and anything else that pops into your mind.

If we really like the piece you submit, we will feature it here on the PHB! As long as it relates to that month’s theme. So what is October’s theme? October’s theme is…

MONSTERS!

Oh yes, it’s finally October and you know what that means! Spooky month! *ahem* What I meant to say was… SpooooOOOOooooOOoooky month!!! Can you tell I really like Halloween? Anyway, it’s that time of the year when we can all embrace the dark side a bit, so why not embrace it in Community Creations too?

Luckily in Poptropica, there’s a wide range of monsters that you can work with. Maybe draw your favorite monsters from Cryptids Island? A mythological beat from Mythology Island, perhaps? And if Monster Carnival isn’t your jam, maybe you’re more into Time Tangled’s Fact Monster! Or maybe just dress up your Poptropican in their scariest monster costume! The only limit is your own creepy creativity.

  • Comment below with a link to whatever you’ve created OR share it with me (SydVC aka Spotted Dragon) on DeviantArtTwitter, or Discord.
  • Results: I will feature 5 of the submissions as well as some honorable mentions.
  • Limitations: Nothing NSFW, and make sure you relate to the theme.
  • Due Date: I will take any entries before the end of this month. Submit as many things as you’d like!

I will be sure to let you know I have seen your creation. While quality counts, I’m mainly looking for something to simply catch my eye, so don’t be afraid to join in!

So what are you waiting for? Go make something awesome!

~SD

Mystery Train Island, Pop Places IRL

Pop Places IRL: Mystery Train 🚂

Pop Places IRL Header

Welcome back to “Pop Places IRL,” Poptropicans, and all aboard! For this post, let’s chug on over to Mystery Train Island, shall we? And if you’re liking the series, be sure to check out other Pop Places IRL posts.

Though we spend most of this island on—can you guess?—a train, we do still visit some very important stops along our adventure. And, truth be told, Mystery Train is certainly one of the more historically founded islands! From the train, to the cities, and even to the passengers, Mystery Train features very real people, places, and things (however we’ll focus more on locations today, not figures). So… full steam ahead!

On Main Street, before we even board the train and begin the mystery, we find ourselves in none other than Washington, DC. We can see the US Capitol Building in the background, but we aren’t staying for long!

But beyond the very real cities, even the train itself is historically accurate! The John Bull locomotive, which is named on our ticket, is the main location of our adventure but is also an IRL train that journeyed to the IRL Columbian Exposition in 1893. Yes sir, all the way from DC to Chicago!

Our next stop is Chicago, but before we pull into the station, let’s take a very quick look at our train’s interior first. The train in Poptropica had large individual rooms for its passengers, which is quite fancy if you ask me. But hey, traveling back in the day seemed to be quite the luxurious feat! Can you believe those big cushy seats?

Alright, now let’s pull into the great city of Chicago, Illinois. The station has obviously grown and changed a lot since 1893, hasn’t it? Well, we can’t stay long anyhow! Mademoiselle Moreau is getting away!

It’s time to chase Moreau into the Chicago World’s Fair. Though one can’t help but stop and stare at that huge Ferris Wheel!

And with that, it looks like we’ve finally reached the end of the line. It was quite an adventure! Considering Mystery Train is one of Poptropica’s more historically founded islands, just how well do you think it holds up to its IRL counterparts? Did it seem on track, or was it a full on train wreck? What other islands do you want us to compare in this series? Comment your thoughts below!

Until next time, Poptropicans! Safe travels!

~SD

Community Creations

Community Creations: August 2020

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Hello once again everyone! Spotted Dragon here bringing you the August recap for Community Creations! August’s theme was Poptropolis Games Tribes (and the featured work is not in any particular order). Be sure to check out all the featured artists!

No clue what’s going on? Go see our intro post.

Top 5 Picks

PHB Poptropolis Games Banner by Gentle Dolphin

Hey!!! I’m in this one!!! *ahem* Potential biases aside, this banner design totally rocks. Featuring each one of the Tribe Representatives from our recent Tribal Tournament (which included current PHB authors as well as other community members), a display of pride for each tribe is shown in this piece. I love the respective color schemes, with each section containing a unique style (background, posing, expression, etc.). Insane detail and variety in such seemingly simple color blocking! Find her DeviantArt here.

Seraphim for the Win by happyclonetrooper

Oooh, this one is practically glowing! Practically… flying? The subtle lighting of the sun behind Maroon Ring, as well as the misty layering of the clouds, creates such an immersive environment. The colors and lineart are super clean, and I love seeing how the texture of the rock differs from the grass and trees. Plus, the square framing is quite unexpected! And yet the Poptropican is still able to feel as if they are leaping out at the viewer. Seraphim is lucky to have this artist on their team! Find her DeviantArt here or her Instagram here.

Wild Fire by Fierce Flyer

This submission has some pretty stunning lighting as well, wouldn’t you say? A simple composition, but effectively bold in its execution! The smooth movement and bright colors of the flames are quite an excellent display of Wildfire pride. And the jacket really makes FF look… well, fierce! The expression and setting make him appear ready for competition! Flameo! Find his DeviantArt here or chat with him on Discord.

Black Flags Costume by Greedy Shadow

Nice, I love a costume submission! We certainly saw an outstanding amount of Black Flags representation this year, huh? And for good reason! This outfit perfectly matches the dark/mysterious, yet powerful aesthetic of the tribe. And the setting of this overcast overhang just adds to that brooding theme! This costume was without a doubt well put together. Find them in the comment section!

The Poptropolis Games by Celeste (Purple Paw)

Another cool representation of all the tribes! Though we each are steadfast with pride for our individual teams, it is nice to see them come together in creations such as this. The composition features so many classic Poptropolis Games, er, games, but which one is your favorite? I love the diversity yet simultaneous unity among these scenes, along with the energy that they display. A fantastic submission! Find them in the comments section or on Discord as Purple Paw (and congratulate them on being the MVP for Round 2 of the tournament!).


Honorable Mentions

Going hand in hand with the PHB’s Tribal Tournament, this month was so much fun! From artwork, to trivia, to poems, and games, wasn’t it a blast? For the results of the tournament, along with a ton of other amazing Poptropolis Games Tribal artwork, be sure to check out our recap post.


September: How Do I Participate?

Community Creations is a cool series for anyone in the Poptropica community to join in on. To sum up what it’s about, it’s basically a chance to show off your artwork, creepy fan-fics, Pop clubhouses, costumes, and anything else that pops into your mind.

If we really like the piece you submit, we will feature it here on the PHB! As long as it relates to that month’s theme. So what is September’s theme? September’s theme is…

Masks!

During times like these, it is super important to wear masks and try our best to keep one another safe. But masks aren’t just hassle! They can be creative, fashionable, and fun to wear too. So why not bring something we all have in common to this month’s theme, and spread a little awareness along the way? This month is for all those super creative minds out there!

Poptropica has already gifted us with some in-store face masks (both fun and friendly), but do you have any cool mask designs for our Poptropicans to wear? In fact, your creations can really bend the limits on what “mask” really means. Maybe you want to take inspiration from Super Power Island and PoptropiCon and design your own masked Poptropican superhero! Maybe the masked Medicine Man from Shark Tooth Island deserves more fan art? Or maybe you could even design some DIY Poptropica themed masks for yourself IRL!

  • Comment below with a link to whatever you’ve created OR share it with me (SydVC aka Spotted Dragon) on DeviantArtTwitter, or Discord.
  • Results: I will feature 5 of the submissions as well as some honorable mentions.
  • Limitations: Nothing NSFW, and make sure you relate to the theme.
  • Due Date: I will take any entries before the end of this month. Submit as many things as you’d like!

I will be sure to let you know I have seen your creation. While quality counts, I’m mainly looking for something to simply catch my eye, so don’t be afraid to join in!

So what are you waiting for? Go make something awesome!

~SD