2008 Rewind: Into the Blogosphere

This post is part of our Poptropica Yearbook series. If you missed the intro, check it out on the 2007 Rewind. And now, let’s turn back the clock…

It’s not too late to revisit the year 2008! Though Poptropica had started off just the year before with one island, six more had appeared by the end of the following year: Shark Tooth, Time Tangled (known as Time Twisted before its release), 24 Carrot, Super Power, and Spy. They all fit on one map page!

It was right in the midst of the launch of Super Power Island that two big hotspots in the Poptropica universe made their debut. First, on July 17, 2008, the Poptropica Creators’ Blog was born.

The OG Poptropica Creators’ Blog in 2008. This is their first post.

Just nine days later, on July 26, this very blog — the Poptropica Help Blog, then known as Scary Tomato’s Weblog — was created! As the only active Poptropica fan site around, it soon gained lots of interest, garnering over 100K site views by November. In addition to island guides, sneak peeks of upcoming islands from the Creators also generated tons of buzz.

The first staff members were recruited to join 11-year-old Slanted Fish (then known as Scary Tomato): Smockers, an 11-year-old blogger; and Codien, a 16-year-old graphic designer who gave the PHB its name, first logo, and redesigned headers (this one was for Halloween!):

But back to Poptropica. It was a much simpler time back then, and believe it or not, even the Costumizer tool was new, released in early 2008. To make things interesting, the Creators would occasionally release bonus customizables to be found. Rather than being items, they’d simply be put on your character.

But the most exciting customization came when some strange new parts leaked, not intentionally placed by the Pop Creators. They were known as “Monster Carnival” leaks, named after a then-fabled island that would be enshrouded in mystery for many years to come.

Monster Carnival leak

Pretty cool, right? And the fun was just getting started…

You’ve reached the end of the 2008 page of the Poptropica Yearbook! Stay tuned for the next chapter, and to view the entire collection, check out the Poptropica Yearbook in our Pop Plus collection.

While you’re here, sign the yearbook by commenting? ✏️

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Hippopotamus on an isthmus

Hey Poptropicans: we’re less than two weeks away from a new island, according to the Pop Creators’ latest Instagram post!

It was only last month that a new island was announced, and even more recently that we saw some sneak peeks, but Poptropica is back with another set of preview images, this time featuring a hippo, campfire, and giraffe!

Based on sneak peeks we’ve seen, this next island will be an adventure filled with safari animals and a film crew — and what’s more, according to a little intel from Poptropica glitcher idk, it’ll be a sequel to Reality TV Island, first launched nearly ten years ago!

Poptropica has already confirmed that the island will be on Poptropica Original. And, if the past is any indicator, it is likely that members will get early access to this island, while non-members may have to wait for a period of time before the island is released to all. Consider treating yourself to a membership to get first dibs on Poptropica’s first island in about 17 months!

July’s a big month here on the PHB as well, with our annual Poppies event. Have you made your award nominations yet? Deadline is Friday! 🏆

2007 Rewind: Early Poptropica Beta

Hey Poptropicans! Have you ever wondered what Poptropica was like in its earliest stages? You’re about to find out.

Over the next few weeks, here on the Poptropica Help Blog, we’ll be bringing you our Rewind series for years past, culminating into a full Poptropica Yearbook. We thought it would be fun to take a nostalgic look at where we’ve come from, and where Poptropica has taken us, so get ready for a blast into the past! Our first stop: the year 2007.

Poptropica was officially launched to the public in September 2007, although the exact date has been forgotten in the sands of time. From what we’ve heard, even the yellow blimp hadn’t arrived yet — with Early Poptropica being the only island around, you simply fell into a hole to begin your adventures.

While no Poptropica blogs had yet sprung up to document these beginnings, an old YouTube video uploaded by Codien, an old friend/former staffer on the PHB, gives us a glimpse into what Poptropica was like back in the day.

Notice the ‘BETA’ beside the Poptropica logo at the top (and ignore the recording software watermark). Apparently, the game was still considered to be in a beta testing stage back then — look at those primitive icons for the Items and Map!

Here’s some more fun stuff. The Poptropica Creators shared these images of some prototype designs of what Poptropican characters might’ve looked like, as well as concepts for how Poptropica gameplay might’ve turned out.

And one final tidbit: did you know that Poptropica was almost named Poptropolis? In that same post about concepts, the Creators shared, “If a competitor didn’t come up with a similar-sounding name, we never would’ve had the islands of Poptropica.”

That competitor, by the way, was Nicktropolis, a virtual world by Nickelodeon that, unlike Pop, didn’t last. As former Creator Mitch Krpata confirms in an interview years later, it’s because of the “tropic” part of the name that they came up with the idea of separate island adventures.

Anyway, that concludes the 2007 page of the Poptropica Yearbook! Stay tuned for the next pages… we’ll be traveling from 2008 to 2013. (From 2014 onwards, we started our end-of-year Rewind series, which pretty much covers the same thing!) In fact, you’ll be able to view the complete series on a new page in our Pop Plus collection, titled The Poptropica Yearbook.

While you’re here, sign the yearbook by commenting? ✏️

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Spotted: Dr. Hare in despair

Hello, Poptropicans in the know!

Looks like Dr. Hare has had a rough night, as he was seen earlier today on the Poptropica Creators’ Instagram story keeled over, while fellow Poptropica elites Shark Boy and Sir Cador stared straight on with indifference. Nearby blimps surrounded them, ready to give a lift to the hospital.

What’s the problem, doc? Couldn’t get enough carrots to supply your next evil plot? Lost the ability to toy with victims? The Creator who snapped this story certainly doesn’t think he’s up for whatever he’s up to.

Y’know, we’re not entirely sure why we’re still gossiping about this has-been villain who is fast falling into irrelevance considering his last stunt happened more than a year ago, but here we are.

Speaking of relevance, did you hear that Poptropica’s getting a new island? Looks like cheetahs are in, and hares have been beaten out of the race!

xoxo,

— the PHB 😘

Poptropica Portfolio: Abigail Grigg

Hey Poptropicans! It’s been a while since we’ve had one of these, but the PHB is back with another Poptropica Portfolio post!

Who’s the smirking dude? Don’t know, but he’s on the cover of this Creator’s portfolio.

We’re spotlighting Abigail Grigg, also known online as Zukitz. She’s been working with StoryArc Media, Poptropica’s company, since October 2018. On her portfolio website, she features characters, props, and environments you might recognize — and a few you might not. Click to enlarge images:

You may recognize many of these characters as recent additions to the store costumes, many of the props from monthly members’ gifts and clubhouse decor, and scenes from the Milk It! ad campaign. What we haven’t seen before are the two pink, romantic scenes — perhaps never-released Valentines-themed background art for the Photo Booth?

Abigail’s portfolio also features sketches and concepts for some of the above creations and other similar items. (Some of the Valentine sketches did make it into the Poptropica Stickers app earlier this year.) Again, click to enlarge pics:

On her website, Abigail had this to say about working with Poptropica:

I’ve been lucky to create artwork for the famous online game, Poptropica! I’ve had the pleasure to create characters, environments, concepts, and graphic design work for this longtime cherished game.

Abigail Grigg

If you liked this, check out more of Abigail’s artwork on her website! In addition to her own projects, she’s worked with clients like the Pokemon Company, Disney, and more, so there’s plenty to see.

Hope you enjoyed the work of Abigail Grigg! For more from Poptropica Creator artists, check out other Pop Portfolios we’ve featured here on the PHB. Stay awesome, Poptropicans.

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Redesigned buzz page and flexing Buzz Wings

Hey Poptropicans, it’s Slanted Fish. In this update, we’ve got redesigned pages and two new ads. Let’s pop right into it!

As you can see for yourself, the Poptropica Creators’ Blog has finally received its design update, so we can now catch up on the latest buzz on a page that matches the modern look of the rest of the Poptropica website which had a makeover two months ago. (Curiously, the icons on the sides don’t currently hyperlink to anything…)

Included in that makeover was a matching design for the other pages linked at the top of the Poptropica website, including the FAQs, which have been updated to reflect some recent changes regarding features like friends. (RIP to the good-old, gone-but-not-forgotten “add friends by username” feature!)

And, just days ago, the Poptropica homepage changed visuals to display the promo image for 2017’s release of Crisis Caverns Island, which is only on Poptropica Worlds. Could this mean a revival for Pop Worlds?

Still no link to Worlds on the Pop website yet, but will that change? That remains to be seen.


In other news, Poptropica’s got a couple of ads going! These may look familiar, but they’re slightly different from past iterations. On this ad for the upcoming Toy Story 4, watch the quick trailer video to get Buzz Wings Power! Tapping the space bar while wearing this will make you fly up for a moment before coming back down to touch the ground.

There’s also an ad game for Big City Greens, the Disney Channel show. Like last year’s version of the ad, the prize is a Cricket Follower (if you already got it last year, you may not get it again) (thanks for the tip, Mighty Pear!).

Anyway, it’s a fun little find-the-items game that’s more of a challenge than usual. See pics below for answers:

And that wraps up this post. Share your thoughts on what’s buzzing in the comments, and as always, stay popping, Poptropicans!

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P.S. Want a place to hang out with other Poptropicans online? Check out our Discord server, the PHC (Poptropica Help Chat). 🎉

Moved by Pride: drawing easel coming to Home Island

Hey Poptropicans! Happy Pride Month! 🏳️‍🌈

Poptropica is promoting the LGBTQ spirit with their latest Instagram post, featuring a Pride-themed fan art piece made with Poptropica’s drawing easel.

In fact, they were so impressed by the fan drawing of the happy Poptropican at a rainbow parade that they’re promising to move the easel to Home Island for easier access. Comments on their post indicate that they’re considering adding a save button to the easel as well.

Right now, the drawing easel can only be accessed on Counterfeit Island, in front of the Moldy Baguette Inn on Main Street. But based on Poptropica’s post, it seems that’s about to change!

The artist, who’s also known as CraftyPoptropican elsewhere in the Poptropica fandom, has created other great pieces of fan art as well. We featured his work with a Pop Fan Artist Spotlight last year on the PHB, and you can also find more of his stuff on DeviantArt and Instagram.

In fact, here’s another piece from Crafty on Instagram, also made with the drawing easel! This one’s a parody of the 18th-century rococo painting The Swing, featuring Poptropica villain Binary Bard.

In addition to all of this, our theme for Community Creations this month here on the PHB is “Pride”! Hopefully this inspires you to create something—and maybe you could give it a try on Poptropica’s drawing easel! Ours isn’t just about sexual orientation, though. You’re welcome to share anything you’re proud of… more details here.

That’s all for this post! Share your thoughts in the comments, and as always, stay popping, Poptropicans. May your pride shine in the right places. 🌈

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