Pop 5: Most Underrated Characters

This is a guest post written by Red Tomato, a Poptropican who’ll be sharing a “Pop 5” list of Poptropica characters who don’t get much attention in the fan community. Enjoy!

Hi everyone, I’m Red Tomato! I haven’t been around for about a year, but now I’m back! Anyway, here’s my list of Pop 5 most underrated Poptropica characters. If I missed anybody, let me know in the comments!

#5: Joe Stockman

Not your average Joe.

You gotta love this guy and his love for Chinese food! This Joe Schmoe was just an average guy until he became Patient Zero on Virus Hunter Island, but he could use a little more appreciation. You never see any fan art of him; poor dude, he’s been through a lot… plus, he’s my Poptropica crush.

#4: Poseidon

Poseidon helped you defeat Zeus in both Mythology and Super Villain Island! (Plus, not Poptropica-related, but he is Percy Jackson’s dad.) He also rocks a cool mustache! Anyway, this Greek god deserves some more attention compared to his bros Hades and Zeus! (Also, that is a cool trident. I want it.)

#3: Mr. Silva

Probably the most underrated villain, Mr. Silva is the evil science teacher from Shrink Ray island. He shrinks you and CJ so that he can steal CJ’s shrink ray and pass it off as his own invention. Pretty devious! For all the villain fan art we see, though, he’s not often among them.

#2: Dr. Lange

Another one from Virus Hunter Island, Dr. Lange wants you to stop a deadly virus. Plus, you can take some funny pictures with her in the Photo Booth. She definitely deserves more love, because she discovered the virus. Without her, Poptropica would be plagued with a pretty serious virus!

#1: Harry Houdini

From Mystery Train Island, Mr. Houdini helps you capture the thief with his expert lock-picking skills. Plus, he is based off one of the most skilled magicians of all time! This guy should get some more love. Other Mystery Train characters get more fan art than he does, but in the end, it’s his water tank that saves the day.

Well, that was my Pop 5 list of most underrated Poptropica characters! As for honorable mentions, pretty much every character on Steamworks Island would fit this list, too. Until next time.

—Red Tomato


Hope you enjoyed this guest post by Red Tomato! If you did, you may enjoy some other “Pop 5” posts here on the PHB.

The Poptropica Help Blog welcomes interesting Poptropica insights from anyone in the Poptropica community with thoughts to share. You can find some tips and guidelines on our Write for the PHB page. We also encourage sharing blog posts on the PHC.

If you have an idea for a PHB post, send it in!

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Pop 5: What would happen if there were no villains

This is a guest post written by Quick Fang, a Poptropican who’ll be sharing a “Pop 5” list of what Poptropica might be like without its villains. Enjoy!

Poptropica is known for its island storylines — and one of my favorite plot twists is whenever someone you had known to be a good person turned out to be the exact opposite (take Black Widow from Counterfeit Island, for example).

Other islands simply identify who the villains are right from the onset. Whichever the case, villains bring a fun flavor to Poptropica, and to highlight that, here’s my list to show what would happen if there were no villains in all of Poptropica.

#1: Super Villain and Super Power Island would not exist

On Super Villain Island, you have to go into the dreams of four super villains and remove the sources of their evil. Without them, the island would not have existed at all. And the same goes for another island based primarily on its crooks, Super Power Island — your motive, pretty much, is to capture the loosed criminals.

#2: No boss fights

On many Poptropica islands, there are final showdowns between good and bad. For example, in Mythology Island, you battle Zeus, and in Spy Island, you face Director D and his army of mini-robots. But if villains didn’t exist… well, there’d be no one to fight!

#3: Less snark from sassy scoundrels

With every villain comes their own personal quirks. Who could forget Mademoiselle Moreau from Mystery Train and her overly fierce allegiance to France, or Ringmaster Raven from Monster Carnival and his sad story that pushed him towards his mania? Without these colorful characters, life on Poptropica might be kind of dull.

#4: No heroism

Your main role on Poptropica islands is to get rid of the problems that each island is facing. But if there are no villains running around causing problems, how can you be the island’s hero? The storyline would have to come from elsewhere. It’s been done (take Mission Atlantis as an example), but to me, it feels less exciting.

#5: No prisons

Prisons in Poptropica, such as Erewhon Prison in Super Villain Island, or the facility in Escape From Pelican Rock, would simply not need to exist. After all, there would be no criminals to put behind bars!

My point in making this list is to show that, without the villains, Poptropica wouldn’t be nearly as interesting as it is. Quick Fang out!


Hope you enjoyed this guest post by Quick Fang! If you did, you may enjoy her post about two female villains or other “Pop 5” PHB posts.

The Poptropica Help Blog welcomes interesting Poptropica insights from anyone in the Poptropica community with thoughts to share. You can find some tips and guidelines on our Write for the PHB page. We also encourage sharing blog posts on the PHC.

If you have an idea for a PHB post, send it in!

Is Poptropica turning into Mocktropica Island?

Now there’s a question. Is Poptropica now fulfilling the prophecy about itself it set out in its own self-parody in the 36th island—and not in a good way?

I’m Slanted Fish, here to examine just how much Poptropica is falling into the traps it once warned about. Let’s take a look at the evidence.

For those who need a refresher, Mocktropica Island is a bit of a self-parody of Poptropica, imagining what things would be like when development of the game world goes haywire. It’s a fictional tale, but like many good stories, it does contain some truth.

And lately, it seems like Poptropica’s development is in crisis: we don’t hear as much from the Creators as we used to, and when we do, they’re tinkling with visual updates here and there, rather than the meat of the game: the story quests. In fact, it’s been a whole year since the latest island, Greek Sea Odyssey, was released on Poptropica Worlds, and Poptropica Original hasn’t had a new island since 2016’s Monkey Wrench. So, robot boss battles aside, has Mocktropica predicted the fate of the game?

Pets: the focus on aesthetics

photo credit: Maroon

One feature Mocktropica played with was the idea of pets for Poptropicans. Back when the island first came out in 2013, there weren’t exactly pets in Poptropica, though we did have “Followers” available from ads or in the store (such as the dragon in the picture above). But the Creators knew when they were making this island that pets were a popular requested feature for the game, so in the story, we have kids cheering for the introduction of pets.

And don’t get me wrong, Poptropica pets are great! This year the Pet Barn on Home Island finally opened, offering cute critters for players to adopt.

Pet chameleons introduced to the Pet Barn in 2019.

But that’s just the thing, too: while the Creators focused on aesthetic updates like pets (not to mention the redesign of Home Island and various features like the Arcade, Clubhouses, Friends profiles, the upheaval of the store into a rotational system, and more), they neglected the heart of Poptropica itself… the island quests.

Coins: the allure of membership

Pop Coin currency is suggested on Mocktropica Island.

While Poptropica hasn’t gotten quite as extreme as Mocktropica when it comes to currency, the Pop Coin system does hint at something sinister: charging players to pay real-life money for basic features of the game. In Poptropica, we know it as membership.

Membership wasn’t always like it is now. These days, every update seems to come with a significant portion exclusive to members only: store updates, pets, the new friends profiles, and so on. But back when we saw new islands every once in a while, each update wasn’t so member-focused, in part because membership already had a big draw: early access to new islands. With no new islands, the Creators have to find more ways to make membership attractive for the sake of profits, but it’s only causing players—many without the means of purchasing power—to resent them for it.

Read more in this 2017 PHB article: Is Poptropica becoming pay-to-play?

Pop-ups: Achievements and Ad Units

Achievements? Well, Poptropica has had ways of marking a player’s achievements with features like island medallions and album photos, and fortunately, they’re not annoying pop-ups like on Mocktropica—in fact, they’re pretty creative.

But not so fast. Remember the ad sales lady on Mocktropica and the obnoxious pop-up ads she made float around on your screen? While Poptropica hasn’t quite reached that level of distaste, it has since introduced a pretty off-putting pop-up ad at the bottom of the screen that re-appears whenever you change scenes. Sadly, it’s been there for a while and looks like it intends to stay. As if the banner wrapper ads weren’t enough!

Advertising your own game on your own game? Not exactly effective, either.

Developers: Where have they gone?

On Mocktropica Island, Poptropica developers were fired by new management.

A year ago, Poptropica inexplicably let go of some valuable senior-level employees who had contributed to the game for about a whole decade. A former Creator, Jessica (aka Skinny Moon), even confirmed in March 2018 that “most of the company is gone,” referring to employees she’d worked with prior to that point. Since then, we haven’t had names—not even aliases!—to connect us with the Poptropica team.

On this front, Mocktropica definitely predicted a bleak turn for Poptropica. These days, Poptropica rarely updates their official blog, on time if it all—even for bigger releases—and as outlined above, game updates are not only fewer and farther between, but when they do occur, they’re not what anybody really asked for. Sure, releasing some new items and redecorating some interfaces is mildly interesting, but they’re not going to keep anybody’s attention for long. But you know what will, Poptropica Creators?

Stories—specifically, islands!

Former president of Poptropica, Jess Brallier, says it best in this video from 2013, recently discovered by Osmium and re-posted from “Future Think” by idk:

Right out of this publisher’s mouth: “We’re not doing a virtual world to create a social networking opportunity, not to house games, not to host a virtual economy, but to tell stories… the point of Poptropica is to tell kids stories in the literacy of their choosing.

Does that sound like the Poptropica of the present to you? Well, I’ve been following Poptropica through the years, and let me tell you: the success is in the stories it tells. The most anticipated updates have always been the islands—those quirky quests were what made Poptropica “Poptropica.” Pets, member perks, fun items—those are best left as secondary.

I think it’s pretty clear that Poptropica has, in not all, but some ways, followed right into the footsteps of Mocktropica Island. An island created as a cautionary tale is unfolding right before us, and the Poptropica Creators of the present would do well to pay attention and revisit what the Creators of the past have tried to warn us all about when they created Mocktropica.

What does Poptropica need right now? Well…

I think I speak for many Poptropicans when I say that I truly hope to see Poptropica return to what made it successful: the stories, or in other words, the islands. Oh Poptropica, where will your yellow blimp take us next?

—Slanted Fish 🐠

*sparkle sparkle* clubhouse decor *uwu*

Hey Poptropicans, Slanted Fish here with a sparkly clubhouse shop update. Of course, some (half!) of what glitters is members’ only gold.

Head on over to the furniture store at your Poptropica Original clubhouse and you’ll find some new, cutesy items to decorate with:

Specifically, you’ll find a moon-and-stars hanging mobile, pink unicorn head beanbag chair* and throne seat*, crystal ball, pony head on a stick, plushie unicorn toy*, “Pop’s” pink wallpaper*, and unicorn wallpaper. It’s quite the kawaii aesthetic!

*indicates for members only (4 out of 8 new items)

Here’s a snapshot of some of that stuff in action. (Side note: I still don’t know why my non-member account gives me the members’ diner clubhouse layout and then refuses to save anything, but until that’s fixed, here’s what I’ve got.)

That’s all for now! Still waiting on a new island, Pop Creators. It’s literally been a year since the last one…

~🐠

My Place in Poptropica: Quick Fang

This is the My Place in Poptropica story of Quick Fang, who created lots of one-day-old characters before finally making her Quick Fang account. See below for details on how to send in your MPIP story to be published here on the PHB!

Hello, this is Quick Fang and I am going to tell about how I came to Poptropica, which is my “My Place in Poptropica” story. My username is password291 if you want to add me. 🙂 I belong to the same tribe as Thinknoodles, which is the Black Flags. Alright, let’s start.

2015 | Discovering Poptropica

While searching for good books to read, I came across the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series. The author, as you may know, was Jeff Kinney, the founder of Poptropica. I searched for a free version of the book, which is how I found Funbrain. There, I came across an ad for something called Poptropica. I thought it was a weird name at first, but when I clicked on the ad, it took me to the so-called Poptropica—which turned out to be pretty interesting!

First came the login screen, where I saw several characters (or Poptropicans) running across the screen. I created my first Poptropican and played islands. But I didn’t know about how to save my Poptropicans. (Poor little one-day-olds, they must be lonely.)

I remember playing Vampire’s Curse Island and how I enjoyed watching my poor Poptropican continuously get hit by Wolfy. 🐺 (Poor little thing…)

2016 | Goodbye (but not forever)

I stopped playing Poptropica at some point, but I don’t really remember why! 😶 Maybe it had gotten boring. Just think about it, coming back every time to just stare stare at the screen, where it asks you to create a new character every time you want to play (again, this was before I knew about saving my characters!). 😥

2018 | Getting back, and finding the PHB

One day, while wondering about what to do, the thought struck me like lightning: “What about Poptropica?”

I immediately typed in Poptropica.com and found the same login screen, with the Poptropicans running across. I was really happy to discover a way to save my characters: just click on the Save button on the bottom right and rescue your character from the vast lonely space. 😉 That’s how I created my first account, Quick Fang.

I tried to play Poptropica islands, but couldn’t finish them. Some parts were too hard, like on Super Villain Island, where you have to freeze the rotating spikes at the right time. I searched for help on Google, and like many other people, that’s how I found the Poptropica Help Blog.

When I learned that Slanted Fish was only 11 years old when she created this blog, I was impressed. The guides on the PHB were very helpful to me and have helped me complete several islands. I even dream of being an author on this blog. I am grateful to Slanted Fish for posting my story. Wishing the team good luck! 😊

                                                                                                          —Quick Fang


Hope you enjoyed this “My Place in Poptropica” story!

If you haven’t already, we invite you to send in your own. Please include your username and a minimum of 500 words, typed with good spelling and grammar, and divided into labeled sections. If you send in your story, we will continue to post new community MPIPs!

Interested in writing for the PHB under a different Pop-topic? Take a look at our Write for the PHB page for ideas, guidelines, and more. We always welcome new guest posts!

~the Poptropica Help Blog

Popspiracy: Two Villains as Young Girls

This is a guest post written by Quick Fang (her username: password291), a Poptropica player in the community. In this post, she’ll be sharing her fictional, but inspired backstories for two popular villains, Black Widow of Counterfeit and Scheherazade of Arabian Nights. Enjoy!

Black Widow

“Black Widow” by Happy Lobster

Black Widow was originally a young girl with a deep interest in art. She loved to paint. Each day she would paint at least three paintings.

But her parents did not support her interest. They criticized every painting of hers. And soon enough Black Widow hated art. She wanted to destroy every piece of art she thought was better than hers. So she ran away from home, took up the name ‘Black Widow,’ and formed a team of people who also hated art. Together, they built a secret underground base and they stored the stolen art in the base.

This team of anti-artists wanted to destroy all the art at once. It happened when you try to stop her at the end of Counterfeit Island. After that, she gets caught and reappears on Super Villain Island. When you get her Paintbrush Totem on that island, she escapes and swims toward her freedom—hopefully as a changed person.

Encounter Black Widow and more on Counterfeit Island!

Scheherazade

“I Just Want You Back” by 1313cookie (Brave Tomato)

Scheherazade was a princess in Arabia. Her father, the Sultan, was very rich. But she was not happy where she was. The Sultan no longer seemed to care about his daughter—all he cared about was how to get richer.

Instead of enjoying her family’s riches, Scheherazade ran away from home as a young girl and helped the 39 poor people of the kingdom become expert thieves. Counting herself, there were 40 thieves—she was their leader. Together, they swindled their way to a great pile of wealth, which all sat in their hidden hangout spot in the middle of the desert. At least that way, others got to enjoy some riches, and Scheherazade could get back at her father by taking some of his wealth away…

Encounter Scheherazade and more on Arabian Nights Island!


Hope you enjoyed this guest post by Quick Fang! If you did, you may enjoy more villains’ backstories here or here, explored by other guest posters.

The Poptropica Help Blog welcomes interesting Poptropica insights from anyone in the Poptropica community with thoughts to share. You can find some tips and guidelines on our Write for the PHB page. We also encourage sharing blog posts on the PHC.

If you have an idea for a PHB post, send it in!

Poptropica House Tour: Spotted Thunder

This is a guest post written by Spotted Thunder (Percia Jackson), a Poptropica player in the community. In this post, she’ll be giving a tour of her player home on Poptropica Worlds. Enjoy! 

Is the camera working? Yes? Okay!

Hey guys, it’s Spotted Thunder, AKA Percia Jackson here, and welcome to my house! It may look tiny from the outside, but the truth is, inside it’s HUGE.

Anyway, once you enter from the front door, you will be welcomed by the elk antlers my friend sent me. That’s my closet over there, and above that is this awesome Viking shield, just in case there is an attack.

(Man, I think I should have got a Greek shield, because my Poptropican was born on Greek Sea Odyssey Island.)

Okay, enough about the shield! To your right is an art corner, if you’re feeling crafty, like me. I know there isn’t much, but well—it’s what it is.

On the other side is my computer, which I use for coding on Scratch (my username there is Howlarmoon), playing games, or texting friends. There’s also my huge TV and my Nintendo Switch, where I can play “Let’s Go Eevee” or any other one of my games, while sitting on the couch trying to catch a Pokemon.

This is my kitchen. There’s plenty of food in the fridge—*snowy owls fly through the open window and hoot*—don’t mind the owls, they’re just guests, and I’m not getting attacked! Anyway, I’ve got a good table here, and chairs. Also, see that door? It’s all storage.

To the left of the kitchen is my band stuff, AKA the stuff that didn’t fit in the storage. What’s funny is I don’t use most of it, but my brother does—speaking of him, where is he right now? Anyway, my band—The Elemental Guardians—only use the guitar, drum, keyboard, and microphone. The band has four members, including me!

Upstairs, you’ll find the bathroom. The floor is very slippery—it’s not my fault! How did this happen? Let me show you. *turns tap on* So let’s say I want a dragon made out of water! *turns water into the form of a dragon* TA-DA! Yeah, that’ my power—controlling water. *turns tap off*

And finally…. my bedroom! As you can see, I have all four trophies, windows to keep the light in, this awesome poster of a rock star I like to listen to, a nice lamp for before-sleep reading, and a fan to keep myself cool—it’s been like 36 degrees Celsius here lately.

*scratches head* Okay, I think I’ve done all of the rooms. Thanks for listening, guys!

–Spotted Thunder/Percia


Hope you enjoyed this guest post by Spotted Thunder (Percia Jackson)! If you did, you may enjoy our other Poptropica House Tours, and perhaps even be inspired to share yours too!

The Poptropica Help Blog welcomes interesting Poptropica insights from anyone in the Poptropica community with thoughts to share. You can find some tips and guidelines on our Write for the PHB page. We also encourage sharing blog posts on the PHC.

If you have an idea for a PHB post, send it in!