Ask the Joker, Guest Posts

Introducing: Ask the Joker! 🃏

Hey Poptropicans—this is a guest post by Incredible Joker, who is piloting a new series here on the PHB. Got a Poptropica question? Ask the Joker!

Ask the Joker

Ice cubes! Now that I have gotten your attention with something as cool as I am, let me start explaining what this is all about…

Hello there, I am Incredible Joker and I will be trying out a new old idea. Back in the day, the PHB published a Poptropica fan magazine known as POPCORN or formerly The Poptropican’s 911 (you can read the archives here!). One of the segments in the earlier issues was “Ask PHB,” where the PHB team would answer your Poptropica-related questions.

And now, I’d like to bring that back—with a new flavor. As the PHB team is busy creating other amazing things on this blog, I have taken it into my own hands, or whatever it is we Poptropicans have, to host a Q&A segment here on the PHB. It’s called “Ask the Joker.”

This is where I invite all of you, dear readers, to send in your questions, anything at all — as long as it’s related to Poptropica! It can be about the game or the fandom surrounding it—from island help to glitches to crafting a fashionable seasonal outfit to fan-made art, stories, and so much more—I will try and answer what I can, helpfully and humorously (after all, you are asking a joker!). 😜

As this is just the pilot, we are still working out the structure of these Q&As, like how often it will be and how many questions we will answer in each post. It does depend on how popular this gets (or how little 😅)—so go ahead and share a question (or two or three) with me before you forget what popped to mind!

How can you send in your questions to Ask the Joker?

That’s a great question! You can use the following methods:

  • 📧 Send an email to justaskthejoker (at) gmail (dot) com. This way, you’ll get to keep your questions a surprise when they get answered on the blog.
  • 💬 Comment on the latest Ask the Joker post. Your questions will be publicly visible before they appear in a Q&A post, but this allows others to interact with your question if they so choose. If you don’t have an email address, you can enter a fake one in the email field when you post your comment.

I look forward to receiving and answering your questions in the next Ask the Joker! And for anyone still trying to get some inspiration for their questions, how about checking out the old PHB fan magazines?

Hope you enjoyed this guest post by Incredible Joker. If you’ve got a burning Poptropica question or two, Ask the Joker for a fresh perspective!

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 page on how to Write for the PHB, and share blog posts on the PHC, our Discord server.

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

Advertisements, Guest Posts

American Girl: Kira’s Island takes on Australia and its authentic animals 🦜

Hey Poptropicans, this is a guest post by jaekelopterus3 (Perfect Fish), who’ll be reporting on the latest advertisement island to hit the map. Let’s pop in!

Kira’s Island is the latest American Girl ad to rise from the seas of Poptropica. It’s on the first page of the map and stands apart from its predecessors for its setting: we’ve left America for Australia!

For one thing, America has a distinct lack of wild koalas and kangaroos. The dry ground and vegetation resemble Australia’s different climates, and the presence of a koala and male Australian king parrot (red with green wings) on the map icon indicate that we’re entering Australia’s eastern coast, as that is where those species dwell.

We land right in the middle of the Bailey Wildlife Sanctuary, with several buildings to enter, prizes to collect, the star of the show (Kira), and a few other characters to talk to. Unlike with Courtney’s Island, this place is dubbed not with original music but the clubhouse music.

Let’s grab the first prize we see: the Dodger Follower. Like the Australian king parrot from the map image, Dodger is an exact match for a real animal: an Australian magpie. While wild magpies have a reputation for aggressively defending their nests when their young are being raised, Dodger is content to follow you around, flapping like the Blue Woodpecker Follower from Quippy’s store in Survival Island: Ep. 1.

As you can see from the signs on the right, a few facts are given about some of Australia’s most iconic animals. The animals hanging out at this end of Main Street are just as interesting as the rest. The emu has a thicker and more luxurious ‘do than the bristly head feathers of the real thing, but otherwise it’s pretty accurate, and the kookaburra’s distinct cyan wing stripe led me to research its species: the blue-winged kookaburra of northern Australia, consistent with the location of this island being near Townsville.

The Wombat Pair prize, which is a handheld item with male and female variants, can be picked up right in front of the wildlife rescue clinic. Just click on the crate and they’ll come with you.

On Main Street you’ll also find Aunt Mamie and Alexis, whose dialogues add a bit of Australian culture to the scene: “arvo” being Australian slang for “afternoon,” and “g’day” for “good day.” Looks like this wildlife rescue camp is not just located in Australia, but run by Australians who care about their biodiversity.

Step inside the wildlife rescue clinic for two prizes and a minigame! Inside, click on the koala on the table and it will hold you, leaving your hands free and granting you the Bean Piggyback Rider. Considering that Dodger can be seen in a kennel on the left of this screen, I assume that Bean is the same full-size koala we saw drinking milk outside. (Aren’t you a little old to still be nursing, Bean? Maybe Bean is still a juvenile koala and the adults are supposed to be bigger in this universe.) 

You can trigger the minigame by talking to Kira or clicking on the card deck. It’s a card-matching game that starts with the cards face-up then shuffled around, like the mahjong tiles from Time Tangled Island. Pair together the kookaburra, wombat, emu, and other animals within the time limit of 3 minutes to win!

Your prize is Blossom in a Satchel, the baby kangaroo hanging on the wall. Blossom looks like an Eastern gray kangaroo, unlike the other two we’ve seen so far. At least the satchel serves well as a makeshift pouch. (Hey Bean, do you mind leaving some milk for Blossom? The ‘roo joey probably needs it more than you do…)

In the middle of Main Street is the American Girl Store, which doesn’t offer prizes, but offers a peek into the American Girl doll line. Inside, you’ll find Kira’s predecessors, Joss and Courtney. A few items on either end can be interacted with: on the left, the boombox plays music, the care-bear jumps, and the phone rings.

On the right, you can eat damper bread (a traditional Australian soda bread) at the Brekky Cafe (though it’s traditionally cooked in the ashes of a campfire rather than in a cafe).

Heading next door, the movie theater (both inside and out) lets us know that there will be new videos every week (unlike with the previous American Girl ads, which released a bunch of videos all at once). For now, there’s only one — a music video — but it seems that this island will be updating with new clips for at least eight weeks.

Moving to the other end of Main Street, there’s another area with a minigame. This Wallaroo Tent doesn’t house wallaroos (macropods in between the size of a kangaroo and a wallaby) though: it’s the makeshift base of Kira herself. From the middle poster, we see that Kira calls Michigan home, making her an American girl by nationality, even though this is Australia. You can also grab two glittering prizes here: Kira’s Outdoor Outfit (left) and Kira’s Hiking Boots (right).

Talk to Kira to start the minigame. Similar to the recent Wolfwalkers ad minigame, the goal is to search high and low through a forest setting to find objects. The path varies, so I will not be posting a walkthrough, and in fact would advise against playing this, as it caused my web browser (Chrome) to crash. Anyway, there are four clues to look for.

At the end of the game, you find the Paradise Parrot, a creature whose name belongs to a real but sadly extinct bird. Normally I don’t enjoy looking at taxidermy, but only from it can we see that Poptropica’s Paradise Parrot here is supposed to be the male of the real animal.

The real Paradise Parrot is thought to have been driven out of existence by a double threat from cattle ranchers, who exposed the parrots to egg predation by rats and competition for food with cattle. However, even though the Paradise Parrot has not been seen alive since 1927, Kira seems to have evidence that in her universe, it still hides in the Australian bush. Maybe it’s out there laying low, but that seems unlikely.

Going back to the prize from the minigame, the Tropical Bird Power is a pair of earrings that can summon a flock of three species, the Australian king parrot and two others I can’t confidently identify.

The parrots with blue heads may be rainbow lorikeets or red-collared lorikeets, but the coloration is not an exact match. However, out of all parrots including the rest of the lorikeets, they are the closest candidate. And again with only partial confidence, I identified the non-parrot as the black-headed variant of the gouldian finch. They do look similar to the “Paradise Parrot” tropical birds from the minigame.

That’s the end of our tour of Kira’s Island! As time goes on, maybe the upcoming theater videos will offer a deeper message about conservation and the biodiversity of Australia, or it may just expand on Kira’s story and promote the merchandise. We will see. In any case, this island is fairly well-researched, if lacking in original music. 2021 brings a different kind of American Girl ad to the table, that’s for sure.

Hope you enjoyed this guest post by jaekelopterus3 (Perfect Fish). If you did, you might also enjoy our other deep dives into Poptropica’s American Girl Islands for Joss and Courtney, two ad-ventures released last year.

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 page on how to Write for the PHB, and share blog posts on the PHC, our Discord server.

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

Guest Posts

Branding do’s and don’ts, explained through Poptropica icons 🤔👩‍🎤

Hey Poptropicans, this is a guest post by Mud Bub, who’ll be diving into some do’s and don’ts of personal branding from a Poptropica perspective. Enjoy!

Whether through local shops or worldwide figureheads, Poptropica is riddled with examples of personal and brand designs.

Brand design can be used in many ways. Businesses use them in order to stand out against competitors and to attract consumers—that’s corporate branding. Even other entities can use corporate branding to stand out, like schools and sports teams. And people can use personal branding if they want to stand out as an influencer or on a resumé.

But how do Poptropica icons use branding, and what can we learn from them? Let’s take a look…

Don’t: Set a bad example

Who could forget Sir Rebral’s clever moniker or Gretchen Grimlock’s pink spunk? Memorable names and imagery are key to gathering an audience. However, while lovable villains may get publicity, they can’t reap the benefits behind bars. Be humble, instead. Like Ned Noodlehead.

Do: Appeal to the masses

Talk about knowing your audience! These logos for the Tribes of Poptropica are all alluring in their own ways that is bound to attract players. Not only can players excitedly pick their own teams, but the designs certainly bring about a sense of identity with community.

Don’t: Be a cliché

We love Black Widow, especially that hair! But, really? She couldn’t have thought of a more unique gimmick? Been there, done that.

Do: Be consistent, memorable and applicable

These icons representing Poseidon (trident), Zeus (lightning bolt), and Hades (skull) from Mythology Island are so well applied! They’re found on the mirror, island logo, and even on the medallion and merchandise. On the other hand, while they ​aren’t​ the most original, they are still easily recognizable to all Poptropicans and make the trio of gods truly memorable.

Don’t: Be afraid to expand your horizons

Because of Elf Archer’s persona and multi-media presence, she is beloved by many Poptropican geeks and is recognized as one of the biggest faces of PoptropiCon Island. She prevails not just on paper, but on cardboard, plaques, and theaters.


Not to preach to the choir here, but Poptropica does this best. The very vessel of transportation for the player — the yellow Poptropica blimp — is a giant free ad of Poptropica in and of itself. We don’t just recognize Poptropica from its logo, but from its other iconography as well, from unique character designs to the tropical blue patterns and yes, the yellow blimp. These designs have truly stood the test of time.

Don’t: Communicate a bad message

Sheesh, who would write something like that? Anyway, healthy competition is fine and all, but it is never appropriate to put others down or get a big ego in the process.

Do: Advocate for yourself

CJ on Shrink Ray Island is known for more than just being a science genius. She thought quickly on her feet and helped you return to normal size, fighting against evil! CJ’s noble character makes her the literal face of the island, on par with Big Nate and Greg Heffley on their respective islands. While CJ is not an overt example of branding like the other two, being the face of an attraction is certainly comparable and commendable.

Additional tip: Be inspired

There’s so much to see on Poptropica — have a look around, and you’re bound to find some inspiration for how you want to portray yourself. Be inspired, but be uniquely you!

–Mud Bub

Hope you enjoyed this guest post by Mud Bub. If you did, you might also like her other posts, Museum of masks, Poptropica-style and Pop 5: Islands From an Artist’s Perspective.

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 page on how to Write for the PHB, and share blog posts on the PHC, our Discord server.

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

Guest Posts

Museum of masks, Poptropica-style 🎭

Hey Poptropicans, this is a guest post by Mud Bub, who’ll be sharing a gallery of masks from throughout the Poptropica universe. Mask on!

Poptropica may have recently given us new face masks for this pandemic season (and more recently for winter),​ but this is by no means the first time masks have been introduced to the game.

Many a time in our Poptropica adventures, we use masks and similar facial coverings as disguises, protection, or just for the fun of it! They can be found virtually anywhere, much more than we think. Enjoy this gallery of various masks throughout Poptropica!

Whether from Medicine Man from the nostalgic Shark Tooth Island, to fandom fanatics at PoptropiCon, or from ninjas to warriors to the modern-day superhero, all Poptropicans are bound to have embraced the versatility of masks at some point or another.

Even fan artists got in on the masking fun a few months ago in September’s Community Creations here on the PHB. Masks can truly be functional and fashionable!

Poptropica Masks” by AdventurersNHunters

What other masks of Poptropica would you add to this collection?

Don’t just keep on poppin’ on, keep on maskin’ on! 😷

—Mud Bub

Hope you enjoyed this guest post by Mud Bub. If you did, you might also like her other post, Pop 5: Islands From an Artist’s Perspective.

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 page on how to Write for the PHB, and share blog posts on the PHC, our Discord server.

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

Guest Posts, Pop 5

Pop 5: Islands From an Artist’s Perspective

Hey Poptropicans, this is a guest post by Mud Bub, who’ll be taking a look at Poptropica islands from her perspective as a college art student.

She shared with the PHB, “Poptropica allowed me to get more in-tune with my passion for art. Similar to other Flash or After Effects products like Wow Wow Wubbzy or this video, I get the most thrill out of flat yet bold and colorful designs, and this has greatly affected my art style.

As a college art student, having an influence such as Poptropica is very much needed for me, both with art and being a general stress reliever… I may be older… but time has given me a better understanding, excitement, and idea-fueled drive for the game. This [guest post] is more than just a Pop 5 list to me, but finally articulating the artistic passion that I’ve had for over a decade. Without the openness of the PHB accepting blog post submissions, I would not have finally gotten to express that.”

Thank you, Mud Bub! And with that wonderful intro, let’s get into the post

Greetings! I’m Muddy “Mud Bub” Bubbles, an art student at Ephraim University and collector of black-framed glasses. Professor Max McPatrick assigned me to analyze only the finest of Poptropica’s island artistry, and I can only hope that he won’t deduct points for not including his native island, Mocktropica.

Poptropica islands are known for their vast adventures, but their visuals are also notable. I’ve discovered that they are all worthy of praise, but there are a mighty few that stand out in their attention to detail and interactions with art.

#5: Counterfeit Island

This wouldn’t be an article on Poptropican art without mentioning Counterfeit Island! This island arguably offers the most extensive art collection of them all, although the genres are a bit narrow, and seeing less represented forms of art would have been nice. It does beat Early Poptropica’s Pop Art Museum by a mile, though. There may be French stereotypes, but Counterfeit Island’s store logos and calming interior design of the abandoned house make for an authentic island experience. Most of all, it allows for literal hands-on experiences with fine art and learning its value, which makes for a great introduction to art history.

#4: Mythology Island

It’s no myth that this island has lovely Greek and Roman art. Although the meandering may be overdone, they make the island more unique and memorable. The fonts and architecture also stay true to ancient form. Hades, Zeus and Poseidon have their own icons that are presented consistently, from the island logo to the Mythology Surfer costume. These are examples of brand design, a modern form of art, that other characters use as well, such as Dr. Hare and his rabbit gimmick. The pictures above show how two forms of art (wall art and iconography + sculpture and iconography) can merge into one to truly showcase the personalities of the gods.

#3: Steamworks Island

This island is more inventive than just its gadgets! Steamworks Island takes on a truly vintage and trinket-y form that makes it hard not to love. The color palettes perfectly show the dullness of the tools in a somehow bright way. There are banners with gears and stripes on them, as well as buildings covered with beautiful vines. So many bits and bobs to be found that make it easy to understand the intricate stylings of steampunk. Exploring this town can get kind of isolating though.

#2: Red Dragon Island

This island truly deserves recognition for the interactions with art it allows us. From literal bridge-building to bonsai trimming and calligraphy, Red Dragon Island is an authentic celebration of Eastern art. Despite the wild ninja adventures, one can feel relaxed, too, while wearing a beautiful kimono as cherry blossoms fly in the breeze. Seriously, this island could be Black Widow’s next strike. The land of Edo leaves Jack and Annie’s neck of the woods in Frog Creek with a little more to be desired, but that stark contrast may make ancient Japan look all the more unique.

#1: Nabooti Island

This island is a real gem, and I’m not just talking about its logo! Nabooti Island allows you to explore many environments and rare items of Africa. It’s also a rarity to see how an entire continent can fit in one island, and note how the starting point isn’t even a separate piece of land. Still, there are artful features such as masks, sculptures and animal photography that allow us to see the beauty of the island’s culture. This is also shown in its fashioned natives, shimmering minerals and detailed hieroglyphics. Nabooti Island gives its players a diverse and unforgettable artistic appreciation of Africa.

Honorable mentions

  • Arabian Nights Island: This island proves that there is beauty to be found everywhere—even in a desert hijacked by forty thieves! The mansion in particular shows bold application of Middle Eastern architecture and design.
  • PoptropiCon Island: Yes, PoptropiCon, and this is not just because of my love of puns! This place is riddled with costume-makers, comic book writers, and other artists that connect over their craft. PoptropiCon is a testament to the ever-changing mediums of art and its content. That said, they could have shown more of the communities that conventions have to offer.
  • Big Nate Island: This unique island allows us to jump in a graphic novel. What it lacks in detail it makes up in its dynamic character design and a bright, consistent style. If nothing else, this one wins for the most colorful and characteristic island logo.

This list was so difficult to narrow down. Will you fight for the royal aesthetic of Astro-Knights? Maybe I wimped out on the Wimpy Kid islands and owe Greg Heffley an apology. Or will you be bold and claim the best art comes from your own Home Island? Share your favorite art from Poptropica in the comments!

– Mud Bub

Hope you enjoyed this guest post by Mud Bub. If you did, you might also like the PHB’s tour of the art museum on Counterfeit Island or our Pop Places IRL series, which explores the real world inspirations of Poptropica islands.

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 page on how to Write for the PHB, and share blog posts on the PHC.

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