Mystery Train Island, Pop Places IRL

Pop Places IRL: Mystery Train 🚂

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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

Game Show Island, Pop Places IRL

Pop Places IRL: Game Show 🤖

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Welcome back to “Pop Places IRL,” Poptropicans! SD here to take you on a trip to Game Show Island, which coincidentally takes place all over the world! Liking this series? Be sure to check out other Pop Places IRL posts.

Even though Game Show Island primarily consists of, well, game shows, each competition does take place in a distinct, very real city. So, despite the constant immersion in mini games, pay closer attention and you’ll notice some world destinations!

Let’s start off with Tokyo, home to the big baddie of the adventure: Mr. Yoshi’s Game Show. The city, located in Japan, is actually one we’ve visited before in this series! Remember Red Dragon Island? Familiarity aside, however, Game Show Island takes place in a much more modern version of the city. We can clearly see the inspiration for this location as far back as the concept art! The city is clearly known for its bright advertisements, technology, animation, and much more!

Moving on, why don’t we head to Miami next? Located in Florida (USA), this city is home to the Spin for Riches Game Show. While the state does have a lot of retirement homes, I think the area is more well known for its bustling beaches! I think the coastal colors translate well in-game.

What’s next, you may ask? None other than Istanbul (not Constantinople)! In Poptropica, this is where we get to play the Scaredy Pants Game Show, but fear not! IRL, we’re just taking a trip to Turkey. Look at that remarkable architecture!

Next up on our list, Moscow! Here we will find the Brainiacs Game Show, in the capital of Russia! Isn’t it kinda cool that you can even see the resemblance of the city in the simplest of concept art? It’s pretty interesting to see the unique architecture of each city translated into Poptropica, that’s for sure.

Turning back round to our last big city, we have Buenos Aires! This one is the capital of Argentina, but in Poptropica it’s known for the Kerplunk Game Show! Perhaps not as flashy as some of the other tourism hot-spots on our list, but noteworthy nonetheless.

Wow, who knew you traveled so much on Game Show Island? It’s like trying to fit the whole globe into one island! And that’s not even considering Main Street, Club Nouveau Riche, the Factory, Holmes’ Lair, and—oh! The Museum!

Before I adjourn our travels for the day, I will leave you with one more fun comparison from the Museum we see on Main Street. Remember that robot statue? Fun fact: it’s based on “The Thinker,” a sculpture by Auguste Rodin.

And with that, I think our trip is just about coming to an end. What did you think of the journey? Do you think Poptropica captured the real nature of these cities? What other islands do you want to see in this series? Be sure to leave a comment with your thoughts below!

So long, Poptropicans! Keep on traveling!

~SD

Arabian Nights Island, Pop Places IRL

Pop Places IRL: Arabian Nights 🐪

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Welcome back to “Pop Places IRL,” Poptropicans! Miss the series? I know I did! This time around, we’ll be traveling to Arabian Nights Island! Like this series? Be sure to check out other Pop Places IRL posts.

As you might already know, Arabian Nights was the winning idea from Poptropica’s “Create Your Dream Island” contest back in 2013. The pitch? “On Arabian Nights Island, Poptropicans go on a quest across the desert to rescue a sultan’s genie from the Forty Thieves.” And it turned out to be quite the tale!

The adventure, like Disney’s “Aladdin,” takes place in Arabia (hence the name). This Middle Eastern peninsula is certainly a distinct location, and it definitely shines through in the island! Don’t believe me? Let’s take a closer look.

Right away on our Poptropicans’ adventure, we are greeted with “Episode 1: How Bazaar.” The title itself is a pun, playing off the term “bazaar” to sound like “how bizarre.” A bazaar, if you were unaware, is a type of Middle Eastern marketplace, which (not coincidentally) is a prominent location on the island.

Pretty cool, right? The colorful fabrics, clothing, and items for sale certainly catch the eye. But perhaps even more impressive, we have the palace to visit!

I personally find the architecture of the Middle East to be a particularly remarkable characteristic of the area, but maybe that’s just my inner art history nerd coming out? Either way, the design in Poptropica seems to match up pretty well to its inspiration, so let’s take a look on the inside as well!

Poptropica’s palace atrium (left) is busier than our reference photo (right), but it sure does add interest to the adventure! I think that the game really did stay true to its inspiration, even with their color/detail additions. What do you think?

Stepping further away from the bustling market, however, we could also take a look at the less populated areas of the island. Even if a huge Lair of Thieves is tough to find IRL, there are definitely still cave systems we could investigate. And, like in Poptropica, maybe we can find some salt and other minerals to trade!

Why don’t we take a camel and keep traveling away from the market, further into the desert next? And now we happen upon an oasis!

Even in this largely desert landscape, it’s cool to see the pops of color that show up. The Poptropica Creators really took advantage of their inspiration when designing this island, huh?

But what do you guys think? Have you ever been to the Middle East? Does the comparison match up to your expectations? What other islands do you want to see in this series? Be sure to leave a comment with your thoughts below!

Farewell, fellow travelers, and good night!

~SD

Community Creations

Community Creations: July 2020

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Hello once again everyone! Spotted Dragon here bringing you the July recap for Community Creations! July’s theme was Classic Islands (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

Cowgirl Return by Nongmind

Though this piece was not made in time for our Wild West theme, it certainly still fits among the classic islands! The blurry effect adds a lot of hilarious motion to the scene, perfectly capturing a great photo from the island. It has a lovely composition and demonstrates wonderful craftsmanship! Very well made! Find her DeviantArt here.

The 4 Knights by BlazingAngel123

Wowza, what a heroic looking scene! Astro-Knights won “OG Island We’ll Miss the Most” in the Poppies this year, so it is obviously a fan favorite adventure. The symmetrical composition is excellent and I love the strong contrast between colors. Each knight is showing off their unique set of powers, but certainly remaining strong and unified. It really captures the atmosphere of the island! Find her DeviantArt here.

Here Comes a Giant Fist by WitchyArtistGal

Although Shrink Ray eventually got its own sound update, I think it’s fair to say that it’s still a classic considering its initial release. So this submission deserves a spotlight all the same! Comics are always a refreshing format, and a challenging one at that. Luckily, the framing and humor in this one turned out excellent! The dialogue and build up are great, bringing together the perfect little story. Keep up the great work! Find her DeviantArt here.

Spy Island by MissEligon

Oooh, another very interesting composition! Though busy, all the figures are portrayed in such a way that they are not lost within the frame. I love the subtle effect of Director D.’s hair, the incorporation of background scenery, and even the inclusion of the spy in the trashcan! This piece really acts as a summary of the whole island without giving too much away. There’s a great variety of emotion, poses, shades within a unified color scheme, and a wonderful sense of mystery! Find her Twitter here (where she has also recently posted art of some other classics).

Game Show Island by AdventurersNHunters

Hmmm, intriguing! As I previously mentioned, the format of a comic is always refreshing! And the added challenge of having no dialogue is very interesting. This long visual story really builds a world, and draws the viewer’s eye all down the page. The detail is fantastic, the shading is quite dramatic, and the diagonal lines of the frames create a great sense of action! You can really see the effort poured into the work. Find her DeviantArt here.


HONORABLE MENTIONS

Gosh guys, all this amazing work is really making miss the classics! These adventures have really been immortalized by your submissions this month.


AUGUST: 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 August’s theme? August’s theme is…

Poptropolis Games Tribes!

Although the summer Olympics have been postponed until next year, why can’t we still celebrate with some fun “athletic” competition, right? That’s why we have the internet in times like these! We all have witnessed the sinking of Poptropolis and the mystery that surrounds it, but we have also gotten to experience the excitement of the games! Let’s revisit those games in this month’s theme, shall we?

No matter what tribe you’re a part of, we want to see your artwork! We want to see your stories! Your costumes! And all the crafts in between! So show us your tribal pride this month, and I promise that I won’t be biased in favor of the Nanobots (or at least I’ll try).

  • 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 3 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