April’s “bazaar” Member Gifts have blossomed

Hello, Poptropicans!

It’s Lucky Joker here with the member gifts for April! If you’re a member, these items will be automatically added to your account’s inventory upon logging in.

The special gift items this month are:

  • Blossom Power
  • Daisy Pot Hat
  • Bunny Car

I quite like these items as they’re perfect for the season, well… for those of us living in the northern hemisphere that is. It’d would’ve been really cool ,though, if we got a Dr. Hare car instead of just a generic bunny, haha! What do you think? Are you a fan of these items? Sound off in the comments!


In other news, over on the creators’ blog, new author Blue Tooth gave some sound advice on how to get passed the palace guards on episode 1 of Arabian Nights: How Bazaar. They also shared this cool artwork to go along with it. Pretty neat!

If you need help on completing the entire episode, or any island for that matter, be sure to check out our full island walkthroughs right here on the PHB! 😉


Also, don’t forget to fill out our reader’s survey! The deadline is Saturday, April 6. Thanks for reading as always, I’ll talk to you soon…pop on!

-Lucky Joker🍀

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Incredible Suggestions Needed!

Hello, everyone, how’s it going? It’s Lucky Joker here, and good news: the Poptropica Creators want our feedback!

On Instagram and Facebook, the Poptropica Creators asked us, the players, to give our thoughts on Poptropica’s islands by commenting on their posts.

Unsurprisingly, most people wanted more new islands on Pop Original. I would strongly agree with that. But the Creators are also interested in knowing how they can make islands better, so be sure to leave them your suggestions!

Personally, though, I’d like to see Poptropica host another Create Your Dream Island Contest — because if the reason we’re not getting any new islands as frequently as we used to is due to a creativity/idea shortage, then I think it’s the perfect time for a second one. I’m sure any Poptropican would love a chance to have their island idea in the game!


In other news, there’s an advertisement for Disney·Pixar’s newest movie, Incredibles 2, which is accessible from the island map. It’s basically the exact same as the ad we saw before when we were still awaiting the movie’s premiere back in May.

The object is to escape the underminer by making it to the finish line while dodging and blasting obstacles without losing all six of your lives. Your lives are represented by the movie’s logo, which you’ll find in the top left corner along with a progress bar (to see how close you are to the finish).

Poptropica Incredibles 2

Once you complete the game successfully, you’ll earn a Grow Power card and Laser Eyes Power card (which we saw the last time). (The Grow Power card looks a little odd, but oh well. 😛 )

So what are your thoughts on Incredibles 2, and more importantly…what are your opinions on the islands of Poptropica?

That’s it for now! Thanks for reading and I’ll talk to you all very soon…pop on!

– Lucky Joker 🍀

A berry cool sneak peek!

Hello, everyone!

It’s Lucky Joker here sharing with you an update, and for the first time in forever, it’s a sneak peek from the Poptropica Creators’ Blog! Let’s pop into it!

First off with the more exciting news, Poptropica posted this GIF of two images on Instagram and on the Creators’ Blog yesterday.

zomberry

At first glance, it seems obviousZomberry Island is coming to Poptropica Worlds. If you take a second look, however, you can see a zombie machine in one of the clips. In the already existing Zomberry Island on Poptropica Original, there is no zombie machine of any sort. So this could be a new addition to a potential remake. As we know, 24 Carrot had some new characters and added plot points that differentiated it from the original.

Regardless of what exactly this is—at this point—almost any update on Poptropica Worlds is something to look forward to.

Moving on to something else worth noting from the Creators’ Blog: the comments under all of the latest posts have been approved for us to read!

Creators' Blog comments.png

Not as rousing as the sneak peek, but a good update nonetheless. Perhaps the Creators have seen our recent post regarding this subject. 😉

Well, that’s it for now! What do you think of the possibility of Zomberry Island coming to Poptropica Worlds? Personally, it’s not one of my favorites, but I am still excited to see something new. Share your opinions in the comments section below!

Thanks for reading, as always! Talk to you in the next one.

– Lucky Joker 🍀

Calling all Creators to listen to their fans!

Hello, everyone!

It’s Lucky Joker here today with news from the Creators’ Blog, and, to be quite honest, it’s more of the same from last week’s disappointments.

About the most interesting thing to occur is the new header at the top, but the design itself isn’t new—it’s a crop of the main screen from Poptropica Worlds.

pcb worlds header

As far as post content, in the past week, there have been two Island Highlights (for GHD Island & Timmy Failure Island, both of which are old news) and another Outfit of the Week post.

The Island Highlights are about as bland as before, and as for the Outfit of the Week, this time the writer didn’t even bother to list the steps of how to put the costume together. Well, at least it’s not littered with inaccuracies this time.

Outfit of the Weak Grim Reaper

As far as this Grim Reaper outfit goes, it’s not very original. You can literally get the costume in its entirety from the Haunted House mini-quest. At least mentioning some sort of description would’ve made the post just that much better in terms of quality.

Not only does this “Outfit of the Weak” (as we’ve dubbed it) not include a description, there’s also no signature, so we’re left to wonder who even wrote this post—and the several bad ones before it.

However, there’s a glimmer of hope: the unnamed Creators have also this week issued a post titled “We Want to Hear From You!”, where they ask what we would like to see on the blog and in the game itself. Granted, they asked this already about a month ago on social media, to little effect on their part, but we’ll see where this goes.

Calling all Poptropicans!

Our answers to this question should be pretty clear if the Creators have been at all paying attention to their fans, including here on the PHB.

To start with what we’d like to see in the game, we’ve listed many ideas in our Pop Petition series, plus Poptropicans in the comments of these posts have agreed and added their own ideas as well. Take a cue, Creators.

As for the Creators’ Blog, it’s not rocket science: we want to see more relevant, quality posts and communication with fans. Right now, it’s a far cry from what it used to be with former Creators like Skinny Moon (social media manager) and Captain Crawfish (writer). With months of waiting between island releases, we as fans want to see something that will keep us interested—simply throwing out old news isn’t going to do the trick. Accurate descriptions for each Outfit of the Week would be a good start, but sneak peeks every once in a while wouldn’t hurt either. 😉

What would you like to see in Poptropica and on the Creators’ Blog? Leave your thoughts and opinions in the comments section below!

Thanks for reading, as always! Talk to you in the next one.

– Lucky Joker 🍀

Outfits of weak communications from Creators

Hello, Poptropicans!

It’s Lucky Joker here and if you’ve been following the Poptropica Creators’ Blog lately, then you know a new series has been introduced called “Outfit of the Week.”

You might also have noticed some discrepancies between the image and the actual descriptions on how to get the costume. We poked fun at this in our April Fools prank when contradictions appeared last week, but the inaccuracies have only continued. In this week’s Mermaid costume, again in contradiction to the image itself, the avatar’s skin is anything but blue, and there is no fin to be seen. See for yourself:

OutfitoftheWeek-Mermaid.png

“So the writer made a mistake—cut ’em some slack!”

Well, considering it’s not the first time, we’re worried that the bad blogging will be a pattern. Take a look at the inconsistencies from last week’s Hippie Hitchhiker outfit:

outfitoftheweek-hippiehitchhiker

As you can see, there are a lot of issues here, starting with the lack of a beanie or dreadlocks. On top of that, they didn’t even bother to give that post a title.

We know that Captain Crawfish, who signs off most posts on the Creators’ Blog, used to be the alias of Mitch Krpata, one of several Poptropica staff who was recently let go. Crawfish is still signing off these posts, so it seems likely someone else has taken over his alias to resume the blogging.

But still, it’s not unreasonable for us to expect them to write something better than the short and irrelevant posts we’ve been getting—that’s if we get anything at all.

We do appreciate that the Creators are giving us some content between island releases, but we’d appreciate a little more effort in their communications. In fact, while they’ve been silent on the blog for three months, then writing about islands that came out more than two years ago (which we also poked fun at), they’ve made zero mention on the blog of their most recent Worlds island, Greek Sea Odyssey. The lack of proper attention in recent posts is concerning and even a little saddening.

On the topic of Outfit of the Week ideas, here at the PHB we’ve got 100+ creative outfits over on our Costumes page with contributions from many Poptropicans over the years. We can guarantee that, for the most part, the descriptions there are pretty accurate.

What are your thoughts on the Creators’ communications lately? Share them in the comments below. Thanks for reading, as always! Talk to you in the next one.

– Lucky Joker 🍀

Old sketches, Original updates, and a mass unfollowing

Hiya, Silver Wolf here with some social media news and special art!

To start with, Nate Greenwall, the inventor of Dr. Hare who was recently let go from Poptropica, tweeted some really cool sneak peeks of old sketches! These drawings include costumes, buildings, and diagrams of islands.

The first photo contains many of the costumes we know and love today (including Captain Crawfish’s costume itself), but the second photo is where it gets more interesting. Most of the drawings are of scenes we have already seen from Shark Tooth, but there is one piece of paper that is cut off, describing an unknown island. It appears to end with an R, and there is a sketch labeled “GHOST SHIP” that has jellyfish obstacles, requiring you to talk to ghosts to get a combination for a chest. It looks less fleshed out than the other sketches, so it’s likely that it was never planned to be released.

The items in the third photo are also interesting, especially since you can see a small portion of what looks like an early version of the Flying Squid tribe room. There are also some sketches of the cheese curd factory on Mocktropica, including an odd drawing of a machine twisting a cow to get milk.


In other news, recently on Instagram, user karin2_arts asked under one of Poptropica’s photographs (@poptropicacreators) whether there will be any more updates coming to Poptropica Original. And somewhat surprisingly, they said yes!

Pop Update

So what could these updates include? Well, I have a feeling there won’t be a new island; after all, Poptropica Worlds will likely have all of the Original’s islands eventually, so there wouldn’t really be a point. Some more plausible updates could be new costumes, updates to Home Island, or possibly even a new mini-quest if we’re being ambitious. But who knows? Maybe the Creators will surprise us again!


Speaking of Creators, the official Poptropica Twitter (@Poptropica) has unfollowed hundreds of people, narrowing it down to just 19 accounts (the PHB’s Twitter is one of the few not unfollowed). One of the people unfollowed includes Jessica, also known as Skinny Moon, the previous social media manager. She tweeted:

She’s not wrong. After all, she brought the community together and made people excited for updates; Poptropica should value her opinion. Elitism creates isolation, and isolation creates unhappiness. Jessica also mentioned that this new social media direction could be because of employee changes:

We’ve known that some senior Poptropica employees have recently been let go, but she says “most of the company is gone.” What does this mean for Poptropica’s future? How will updates be done in a timely manner with few employees? Right now, the future of Poptropica is looking pretty grim…

What do you think of the sketches? Or the promise of updates coming to Poptropica Original worked on by unfamiliar employees? Leave your thoughts below!

–SW 🐺

Several Creators sailing away on Greek seas

Hello, Poptropicans!

Captain Crawfish is back with a new video walkthrough for the newest island release, Greek Sea Odyssey—complete with sass and sarcasm!

We’ve also got a written Greek Sea Odyssey guide here on the PHB, and it’s got more than just walkthroughs—we even have trivia and museum info.

popworldsgreekisland

But back to that video… well, we’ve got some news. If you watch all the way to the end, at around the 15:55 mark, Captain Crawfish (who we know is voiced by Mitch Krpata) makes an unusual closing statement that’s rather sentimental:

Friends, Poptropicans — I’m Captain Crawfish. It has been the privilege of my life to bring you Poptropica over the last ten years. I love you!

Although it’s very subtle here, other sources show us that the Captain, aka Mitch Krpata, has parted ways with Poptropica, after ten years of service. Shocked? So are we.

Mitch Krpata, in case you’re not familiar, is a senior story developer and narrative designer for Poptropica, and author of three of the Poptropica graphic novels (The Lost Expedition, The Secret Society, and The End of Time).

The same day the Greek Sea Odyssey video came out, Krpata tweeted:

He’s also updated his LinkedIn page to show that he no longer works for StoryArc Media, Poptropica’s parent company:

mitchkrpatalinkedin.png

And he’s not the only one.

Nate Greenwall, who went under the alias Shark Guy (formerly Shark Boy), and was the inventor of beloved Poptropica icon Dr. Hare, also put out this tweet about working for Poptropica, in past tense:

Greenwall also had a few tips to share about his experience doing game design for a younger audience (or any age, really):

And we know of one more who’s gone: Lance Fry, a senior artist at Poptropica. You may be familiar with some of the work he’s done, featured here in this Pop Portfolio.

Well, his LinkedIn page indicates this was also his last month with StoryArc Media, and Fry has been tweeting about looking for full-time work, too.

lancefry

We also haven’t heard from Creators Dave and Stephanie in a while, either, suggesting that they may not be around either—though there isn’t any solid evidence on this yet.

The PHB reached out to Krpata for comment, and he confirmed that he and several others were let go this week. He also adds: “I’m so proud of the work we did and I can’t tell you how much your support mattered. Whatever Poptropica’s future, I’ll always be proud to have been a part of it.

And Greenwall gave the PHB a shout-out:

So, why did this happen?

One thing to consider is the dwindling popularity of the game. It’s no secret Poptropica isn’t as popular as it once was. Krpata even stated this himself in an interview on The Oddball Show, which we covered here on the PHB.

As far as numbers go, Mitch reports that there are well over 500 million avatars created, and over 100 million players. However, he also says the game is “definitely not as cool now as it was before.” If you go to a school now and ask, “who knows Poptropica?” you might get about a dozen or so hands raised. But at the peak of Poptropica’s popularity, in 2010, every kid would be raising their hand – it was, for that while, the biggest site in the world for kids.

When companies become less popular, there is less of a need for a large number of employees to work for them, since the demand to produce content isn’t as high. This means that they’ll have to let some employees go. Poptropica is no exception.

This leads us to an even bigger question: What does this say about how Poptropica is doing financially?

When a company lets employees go, it usually indicates that they cannot afford to keep them around. It’s especially telling that these guys—Krpata, Greenwall, and Fry—all had senior positions, years of experience (a whole decade, even), and did not seem to want to be let go (the job searching indicates that it wasn’t like they had planned to move on elsewhere). We can’t confirm financial motivations, but we can speculate…

The fact that StoryArc Media chose to drop some of their most valuable team members (as opposed to those less experienced, if there were any) is pretty alarming. It could be that they had to make budget cuts because they couldn’t pay their best workers the salaries they deserved, or perhaps they had a falling out with the higher-ups that we don’t know about. Whatever the case may be, we’re sorry to see them go.

Update: Mitch Krpata published a blog post on his website about his current unemployment that offers some more insight into the incident, saying:

On Monday, I was informed that my position was being eliminated. Here I am.

Read more: The future, great and terrible.

– Lucky Joker 🍀