Face it: masks save lives 😷

Hey Poptropicans, it’s Slanted Fish here to unmask some updates on July’s new member gifts, store items, and the return of an island! Let’s get started.

It’s the start of a new month (did the time almost slip past you?), which means a new set of member gifts! And this time, Poptropica has joined the pandemic panic with a set of Fun Face Masks. Summer vibes have also arrived in the form of a Flamingo Floatie and Watermelon Purse.

With the face masks, you get three in one: there’s one patterned with the blue mouth of Medicine Man from Shark Tooth Island, a translucent light blue mask that’s also worn by one of the merchants on Arabian Nights (hey, I thought member gifts were supposed to be original items!), and a green monster-like jaw, which doesn’t seem to have a connection to any island.


Non-members, don’t worry — you can get in on the face mask fun too! There’s a new item in the store called the Friendly Face Masks, which comes in with three variations and costs 250 credits. (Interestingly, the item card says “Member Gift” on them, indicating that they were probably intended as such at first before the Creators did us a solid by making these bad boys available for everyone. These come in red, white, and black:

Plenty of other items have popped up in the store as well. The good deals to grab this week for 75 credits each are the Fruity Cutie, Lazy Days* (seriously aesthetic pineapple shirt alert! 🍍), Dangerous Waters, Cool Boy Plush, and Coconut Drink. Also noteworthy: the plush of the character formerly known as Shark Boy is now simply Shark Plush*. Fireworks* have also hit these virtual shelves in time for the Fourth of July! 🧨 Scroll down for the full list of items.

This week’s items are:

  • Costumes: Friendly Face Masks, Boho Chic*, Fruity Cutie, Lazy Days*, Dangerous Waters, Waffle* (round), Waffle* (square), Lumberjerk (female), Lumberjerk (male) (oddly, this one is tagged Poptropolis), Game Show Robot*, Cool Boy Plush, Shark Plush*, Rockstar, Furry Monster 4* (somehow there are two different costume cards both with this name), Mech Pilot* (oddly, this one’s carrying a fish)
  • Followers: Dolphin*, Deer, Mini Astroknight, Dryad
  • Powers: Raven Swarm*, Hypno-Powder, Fireworks*, PopGum (fire)
  • Pranks: Octo-Prank, Hypno-Powder, Zombify!*, Silly Streams
  • Misc: Coconut Drink, Cool Boy Plush, Shark Plush* (yup, these plushes appear here too), PopGum (fire)

In other news, Timmy Failure Island is back to being available for all—but only on Poptropica’s Haxe build! (Thanks to PERCY JACKSON1010 for the tip.) This means that non-members can now venture into its common room store and see Quippy in Timmy’s iconic red scarf.

That’s all for this post! But stay tuned… we’ve got some great festivities planned for this month here on the PHB. Here’s a hint: you may want to get your Poptropican dressed up. Maybe a face mask would look dope with your ‘fit. If you’re venturing out IRL, though, you’ll definitely need one! 😉 😷

~slantedfish 🐠

A 20/20 look into the PHB Readers’ Survey results

Good day, Poptropicans! It’s been a while since we conducted the 2020 PHB Readers’ Survey, but we’re finally ready to bring you the results with our analysis. Thanks to everyone who participated!

A couple months ago, we conducted our annual survey to gain greater insight of our reader base: you guys! In the three weeks the survey was open, we received 108 responses (an increase from last year) from Poptropicans all over the world. Really—here’s where in the world PHB readers say they’re from:

What country do you live in?

By the way, yes, (some of) our charts in this post are interactive, so hover your mouse around to view the data! Here are the rest of the results…

Which of our past surveys did you participate in?

Over a span of 7 years, the PHB has held a total of six surveys to better understand our reader demographics. Once again, we were eager to know how many of you taking this year’s survey have been around long enough to participate in those of previous years. For many of you, it was your first PHB survey, but even more of you had participated before, too.

(Note that the percentage total goes above 100% due to the ability to select more than one answer.)

What is your gender?

Like last year, girls make up the majority gender of PHB readers, but it’s mellowed out a bit with 63% this year compared to last year’s almost 70%. The proportions of boys and nonbinary people remains similar as well.

What is your age?

Most of our readers say they’re aged 15–18, which is on par with last year’s results. Notably, the 19–21 age group has increased. They’re now tied with the 12–14 group, compared to last year when they only matched about half the amount of 12–14s and were only the fourth largest group.

If you live in the US, which state or territory?

Like before, the most represented states tend to be the more populous ones. California leads this time, with Florida not too far behind. A few of you claim New York and North Carolina as home, and Poptropicans scattered all over the country are reading this blog.

When did you discover Poptropica?

As previous surveys have shown, many of you found Poptropica in its earlier years, particularly during their prime era when islands were released much more frequently. 2010 and 2008 are the top answers at nearly 15%, followed by 2011 and 2012 at 11%. 

How often do you play Poptropica?

Most of you said you play Poptropica about once every couple weeks, down from last year when the most common answer was a few times a week (which was the second most common answer this year). Looks like Poptropica’s weekly store updates and daily credit rewards do interest some of you enough to log in, but let’s be real, they’re going to need more than that to reel everybody back in! As always, though, this chart is otherwise fairly evenly split between all the other options.

Are you a member on Poptropica?

Continuing the trend from last year, a ~64% majority of you have never been members nor have plans to be. More of you are saying you used to be (27%, up from last year’s 20%), and a smaller sliver are saying you currently have membership (7%, down from 11.6% last year) or that you will be (~2%, down from ~3%). Note, these answers came in before the classic islands were re-released for members only a few weeks ago.

When did you first find the PHB?

The results for this question were pretty evenly distributed over the years, with the top answers being more recent years: 2015, 2018, and 2019 all shared 12%, with 2016 and 2017 at 11% and even 2020 at 9.3%! Earlier years got smaller slices of the pie, but it still overjoys us to see that there are few who’ve been with us since the beginning.

How did you find us?

Not surprisingly, most of you (73.6%) discovered the PHB through searching the web. Other answers, tied at 8.5%, include hearing about us through a friend or sibling, as well as through another website, which is similar to results from before. But “a website link written on the school playground”—now that’s a new one!

How often do you visit the PHB?

Maybe asking on the PHB brings biased answers to this question, but hey, most of our readers say they’re checking in on us a few times a week—which is more than how much they’re logging into Poptropica itself! However, the second and third top answers are down from last year’s, being once every couple of weeks, or once a week, rather than once or a few times a day in 2019. We can’t promise to post every day, but we do try for a couple updates (or more) per week, so stay with us!

Which types of PHB posts do you enjoy?

Multiple answers could be selected here, which is why percentages add up to over 100%. As with previous years, the top answer continues to be news, which works out well as it’s the main thing we post! Many of you also enjoy our blog updates (which covers every time we post, basically) and Community Creations series. Lots of you like our walkthroughs too, but we didn’t count them as posts since they’re not exactly blogs, but are separate pages! Anyway, we’re always looking out for cool bits from the Pop fandom to spotlight, so consider sending in a guest post, too. 🙂

Besides the PHB, what portions of the Poptropica Help Network (PHN) do you regularly browse?

Although a chunk of survey respondents opted not to answer this one, among those who did answer, the Poptropica Wiki continues to be the most popular of the non-PHB sites in the Poptropica Help Network. The other options were only about half as popular, but hey, consider them checking them out! Even with lower activity, these places still have some good content from the past to look back on, and the DeviantArt group in particular still gets new art entries fairly often!

What other Poptropica blogs/fansites do you frequently visit?

We also wanted to know what other Poptropica fan sites you like to keep up with so we can share more Poptropica joy in different spaces. Although there aren’t many active ones these days, some of you mentioned places like Poptropica Tips for Poptropicans, Shiny Bird’s Poptropica Blog, Sporty Boa Blog, Quick Fang’s Poptropica Fun Blog, the Poptropica Club Discord server, Poptropica blogs on Tumblr, and the Pop community on Instagram.

Go check them out! Keep in mind that these sites aren’t affiliated with the PHB, though, so we can’t be responsible for their content. And if you contribute to those spaces, keep it popping—you’re doing great!

Anything else you’d like to add?

For those of you who took the time to write in a comment at the end, we want to affirm that we read each one and appreciated the feedback! Some common themes were keeping the community spirit alive despite the lack of game updates, doing more interactive contests with fans, plus more special posts like fashion ideas (check out our Pop-over series!), Pop Places IRL, and even tribe wars (have you seen our Tribal Tournament?).

Here are a few of the comments we received below, to give you all a taste of the thoughtfulness behind the PHB community:

I really enjoyed the Poptropica trivia and the costume closet page. Please post more behind the scenes stuff if you get exclusive access to it. I really appreciated your blog back in the day, when Poptropica was way more active, but since it kinda died down due to the whole Adobe Flash situation, I started playing less and left for a long time, but alas, the quarantine brought me back. Just wanted to let you know that I really appreciate your efforts in keeping the blog and the fanbase active despite Poptropica’s current status and decreasing popularity.

Anonymous

Thanks for those kind words, they mean a lot! For those who want to revisit our trivia, we post fun facts about each island at the end of all our Island Guides. You might learn something new! Plus, over the years we’ve created a lot of good stuff collected under our Pop Plus page, so check that out too. 🙂

Island trivia

I think we should focus more on maintaining our small community. Poptropica’s getting old as well as the audience. I think it’s best that we do more events, getting to know each other, and do activities. We could probably do some brainstorming via social media. I haven’t been in touch with the Poptropican Discord server because the last time I checked (which was probably a year ago), the server was kinda dead. I might try to see which places Poptropicans are the most active and figure out how we could gather up everyone and increase activity without things getting boring pretty quickly.

Also, we should make sure that the Poptropica creators are aware that us Poptropicans are still here waiting for new content. As well as there a plenty of us who are willing to volunteer for beta tests or what not. I hope that Poptropica will live long enough to become a legend that will continue on for generations like the Pokemon and Mario franchises. I think we as a community should play a part in trying to market Poptropica and get more people to join in. We could probably make up fan stories, legends, make more memes that are actually funny, and build connections within other communities so that they’ll get interested. I don’t know what else to think of. But I really don’t want to let go of another childhood memory. I’m proud to be a Poptropican veteran. Long Live Poptropica!

Popular Biker

We love our Poptropica community, and we’re glad to hear it from you guys too! If you’re looking to get plugged in, we’ve list some places on our Community page. Although our PHC Discord server isn’t as active as it used to be, we do post updates there from time to time, and Poptropicans can be found on other servers including the aforementioned Poptropica Club. And we’re still keeping the PHB active, including the comments sections!

The Poptropica Creators have mentioned in their posts that they’re listening to what players want, even suggesting that there may be future opportunities to beta-test their Haxe build. All the other suggestions about spreading the word are great too. As our survey results show, it’s true many in the fandom are also Poptropica veterans who have stuck around (or re-found the game) for nostalgia—which is a pretty powerful force. Long live Poptropica, indeed! 👑

The Creators brought back the classic islands by popular demand.

Contests are a pretty good way to keep people engaged in the game, it would be especially good now since people are staying inside and I have a feeling that they are bored. However the blog seems to be doing pretty well right now, especially with the lack of updates the creators are putting in. Keep doing what you guys are doing!

Kashews

Contests are always fun, and since several of you brought it up, we hope we can bring you more of them in the near future! Stay tuned; we just might have something planned… 😉

Thanks for tuning into our PHB survey results, and we’ll see you next time!

—the Poptropica Help Blog—

Between the shifting cracks on Haxe

Hey Poptropicans, how’s it hanging? With Poptropica’s post-Flash developments, things have been changing on Haxe, but if you’re not a new player, you might not have noticed because they’re designed for newbies. And if you are a new player, well, you might not be aware of what’s different!

At least one eagle-eyed player, though, has been keeping track: PHB reader Perfect Fish reported some developments seen in Poptropica’s Haxe build over the past week. Last Monday, for example, new players would get a tutorial pop-up screen explaining the basics of the game’s mechanics:

That’s now gone, though, along with this character naming screen we’ve seen before in Flash (albeit in different colors) and more recently in Haxe. Perfect Fish says he was able to keep his customized pre-scripted name (“Lucky Jumper”) on Haxe in this short-lived experiment that could’ve freed us from the names assigned to pre-made characters. Will it ever return?

While the naming option didn’t stay long — perhaps the Creators are still fine-tuning it? — the second step of character customization does remain, and new players can find it by talking to Amelia (that’s the girl by the blimp) on Home Island and saying, “Customize how I look!”

By the way, notice that new pop-up in the lower right corner nudging you to create an account? Looks like the Creators are putting a lot of energy into showing the ropes to new players.

Anyway, after you choose that customization option with Amelia—and remember, it only shows up for newbies—you’ll be greeted with this “Choose Your Style” screen. We’ve seen this appearance editor screen before too, back in 2019, although it used to show up before you even made it to Home Island.

With all these subtle changes on Haxe, it seems the Creators are still trying to figure out the best way forward when it comes to the new player’s experience on this new platform, and it’s possible different features will keep moving around as the Creators keep experimenting.

What suggestions do you have for the future of character customization and newbie tutorials? Leave them in the comments below — maybe they’ll inspire the Poptropica Creators!

~/🐠

📺 Pop YouTubers: making art, rapping smart 🎨🎤

Hey Poptropicans, we’re back with another spotlight on YouTubers fuelling their creativity with Poptropica!

This first video comes from an artist called roseshards, who typically posts animations and paintings of cats on her channel. Here, however, Rose takes on a challenge to make good art using the easel on Counterfeit Island. Can it be done on this limited drawing feature? Watch her struggles and successes:

With just a computer mouse (for the most part) and no undo button, this talented artist was able to turn out a pretty spectacular painting, wouldn’t you say? If you’d like to try out this easel for yourself, check out our post on the situation with classic islands to find your way to Counterfeit Island.


Onto a different art form, a little-known rapper going by the name Yung Boy recently dropped a track called “Garrett” and dedicated it to Poptropica. This rap follows a guy named Garrett, who finds himself on 24 Carrot Island, explores a bit, then moves on to Mythology Island. Check it out:

This Poptropica rap seems to be the first of its kind, and it was pretty slick, right? The gameplay captured in the video goes great with the beat, and the seemingly simplistic lyrics flow well. Sure would be cool to see more of these!

That’s all for this post. Hope you enjoyed these creative videos! And if you’re inspired to make some Poptropica fan art of your own, check out the PHB’s Community Creations. Keep on rocking, Poptropicans! 🤘

Bargaining Clover & Singer, Lightning shocker

Hey Poptropicans! We’re entering a new week, which means another rotation of store stuff. Here’s what’s in for week 3 of June:

Half of the costumes have switched from last week, as did all the powers and pranks. It’s a good time to snatch up the Clover Kid and Rock Singer, which are currently in store for just 75 credits! But it’s a shame that the Lightning Wielder, which was the winning design of Poptropica’s costume contest, was made members only, after it had been released for free earlier this year.

This week’s items are:

  • Costumes: Lightning Wielder*, Hiker Cutie*, Gone Fishing, Unicorn Girl*, Navy Raglan, Red Heart*, Clover Kid, Rock Singer
  • Followers: Deer*, Chick, F.R.E.D., Classic Pack*
  • Powers: Snow Fall
  • Pranks: Squirrel Prank*, Bunny Wand, Hypno-Powder*, Silly Streams
  • Miscellaneous: Marshmallow Roaster, Hiking Shoes, PopGum (classic flavor)*, Balloons

Nine out of 21 items (about 43%) are members only this week. The store items are the same in both the Flash and Haxe versions of the game.

That’s all for this week’s updates! In case you missed it, check out last week’s post to see the recent updates to two other Poptropica stores—the pet barn and clubhouse decor store. Keep on popping, Poptropicans! ✨

~/🐠