PHB Specials

Which Poptropica character are you, according to the Chinese zodiac? โšก๏ธ๐Ÿงง

Happy Lunar New Year, Poptropicans! ๆ–ฐๅนดๅฟซๆจ‚๏ผ(xฤซn niรกn kuร i lรจ)

Do you know your Chinese zodiac animal? Each creature symbolizes personality traits that correspond with the lunar calendar, and yours is determined by your year of birth, with one rotating every 12 years. We matched each one with a Poptropica character โ€” read on to find yours!

“Happy New Year” by Gear

You can also figure out which Pop character matches your astrological zodiac sign, which is based on your birth month, here! โ™’๏ธ

๐Ÿ€ If you were born in 1996, 2008, or 2020, you’re a Rat. You’re resourceful like Ratman from Super Power Island, who embraced the sewers and its rats for his own powers!

๐Ÿ‚ If you were born in 1997, 2009, or 2021, you’re an Ox. You’re strong like the half-bull Minotaur from Mythology Island!

๐Ÿฏ If you were born in 1998, 2010, or 2022, you’re a Tiger. Like the Tigercopter on Astro-Knights Island, you can be a bit competitive!

๐Ÿฐ If you were born in 1999, 2011, or 2023, you’re a Rabbit. This is the year for ubiquitous Dr. Hare โ€” time for the elegant to shine.

๐Ÿฒ If you were born in 2000, 2012, or 2024, you’re a Dragon. You’ve got confidence like the Cloud Dragon of Red Dragon Island, ready to defeat every evil thrown your way.

๐Ÿ If you were born in 2001, 2013, or 2025, you’re a Snake. Like Medusa from Mythology Island, you’re a clever one not to be messed with.

๐Ÿด If you were born in 2002, 2014, or 2026, you’re a Horse. You’ve got energy like El Mustachio Grande, prancing about the plains of Wild West Island with his legion of horses!

๐Ÿ If you were born in 2003, 2015, or 2027, you’re a Goat. Like the half-goat, half-man Satyr from Mythology Island, you carry an aura of calm.

๐Ÿต If you were born in 2004, 2016, or 2028, you’re a Monkey. Like Ack on the Baron’s ship, you’re clever and curious, with your wits about you.

๐Ÿ“ If you were born in 2005, 2017, or 2029, you’re a Rooster. You’re observant and hardworking, like Ringmaster Raven, but hopefully towards better ends than revenge.

๐Ÿ• If you were born in 2006, 2018, or 2030, you’re a Dog. Like the three-headed Cerberus guarding Hades’ throne room on Mythology Island, you’re a loyal keeper.

๐Ÿท If you were born in 2007, 2019, or 2031, you’re a Pig. Not only do you match the three little pigs from Fairytale Island in terms of species, you also think logically like they do.

There you go โ€” the 12 animals of the Chinese zodiac represented by Poptropica characters! Which one are you? Do you think it suits you? Anyway, enjoy the Lunar New Year if you celebrate, or just have a good one! Happy Year of the Rabbit โ€” or whenever you’re reading this. ๐Ÿ™‚


PHB Specials

Poptropica DIY Paper Crafts โœ‚๏ธโœจ

Want a cool IRL Pop prop but can’t splurge on a plushie? ๐Ÿ˜œ Over the years, Poptropica has released a handful of templates for DIY paper crafts, and we’ve gathered them all for you right here!

You can make your own Rabbot and Dr. Hare from 24 Carrot, the Neon Wiener spaceship from Galactic Hot Dogs, the Henchbot from PoptropiCon, and even the Svadilfari hammer from Realms. Download and print them out by clicking on the hyperlinked text below:

If you don’t have a printer, you can try your school or local library for one, or ask a trusted friend or adult to help you print them at their home or office. Once you’ve got the printed sheet, just follow the instructions on them to cut the shapes with scissors โœ‚๏ธ, fold and glue where indicated ๐Ÿ“„, and have a bit of patience so they turn out nicely.

Check out some of the finished products below from the Pop Creators! They’re great as shelf decorations. โœจ Try to collect them all!

You can also find these paper crafts under the Art tab on the PHB, or under the island extras on their corresponding guide pages.

Enjoy the process of creating, and have fun with your new paper pal! ๐Ÿคฉ


PHB Specials

An Open Letter to Poptropica II

Back in 2016, the PHB wrote an open letter to Poptropica with suggestions based on players’ frustrations. And Poptropica responded! While not every tip was taken, the letter did kick off some good discussions. Now in 2022, we’re back with another, and we’d love to hear your thoughts again. Enjoy!

Dear Poptropica,

Six years have passed and many things have changed since the last letter, from the fanbase to the state of the game as a whole.

The Poptropica community has largely been very passionate. We’ve loved how an online Flash game for kids could have such interesting concepts and fun characters. For years, the Creators spilled their hearts into this game, and it showed. Poptropica was not only intended to be a fun game in the present, but to “inspire a next generation of creators” in the future. But lately, that fire seems to have gone out. And it really boils down to one major point:

We’re not seeing convincing signs that Poptropica can or will fulfill the promise of bringing back the old islands, or at least bringing to newer content the quality we’ve come to love from the classics.

Sure, we know it’s not easy to rebuild the islands that used to live on Flash. But considering the pace in which they were made (at its peak in 2012, Poptropica released 9 islands in a year), it’s a bit baffling how they’re now taking months and years to be ported into Haxe. It doesn’t help that we haven’t heard many updates on this front, beyond the news at the beginning of this year that episodic islands are up next.

Bay Bees Illegal rafting? That’s a paddling.

While we can’t speak for everyone, we do know that many fans (including myself, Maryann) rarely touch the game in its current state. A significant portion of the fanbase we know are only passionate about the Poptropica of the past, not the present.

Poptropica may have always been branded as a kids’ game, but its older stories held a special depth that made it more than a superficial experience. The many fans who grew up with the game and still find things to appreciate about it as teens and young adults can attest to that. But Poptropica’s newer content doesn’t quite capture that magic. Some Poptropica fans, like Jia, who created the Poptropica Dating Sim as a silly but genuine “love letter to the game,” don’t see the appeal in sticking around if Poptropica only gets more childish. For Jia, “That love’s lost.”

Yes, there are still regular players and fans with a more positive outlook about the game’s current state. But how much longer do you think you can keep them with unfulfilled promises and little content in the game? Why should players bother with cool costumes and pet accessories when our avatars barely spend any time wearing them in island adventures?

The Drop: Wait for it…

We know the Poptropica team has changed. We’ve seen top staffers let go unwillingly, confirmed that founder Jeff Kinney no longer works with Pop, and heard the news of former CEO Jess Brallier resigning after his team was devalued by new ownership. All that obviously changes dynamics, but we’re not here to stir up drama. This letter is about the quality and longevity of the game, and compared to the golden days, the current team just hasn’t matched the creative passion of what was.

Poptropica is at a great risk of becoming lost media, and that is sad. You show ads and references to beloved characters from the old islands who aren’t even present in the game. Are you showing that you still hold onto the promise of old islands, or are you just leading us on?

We’re not making insane demands. We just want a quality game, and to know if we’re hoping for something that won’t happen. It’s hard to believe you are hard at work porting lost islands when you put so much of your time and energy into side-quests with detailed and new animations, and even expanding into Roblox โ€” building onto a game that isn’t yours. It’s fine to try new things, but are there resources left for what players want most: the old islands?

Ascend: You will have seen the mountaintop.

You can tell us Poptropica is doing fine now โ€” that it’s not dying โ€” but that’s becoming harder to believe when we look at what the game has become. It’s hard to believe when you used to publish bestselling books and were even within reach of a TV series. Even the player activity and fandom isn’t as big as it used to be. Young and old, we’ve always wanted our perspectives heard by the Pop team, but a lack of communication on our key questions and concerns has not helped.

I love what this game could have been. I love telling other fans how Astro-Knights is still on the Wikipedia explanation of clockpunk, because it’s one of the few examples of such a niche but interesting genre. I loved Jeff Heim’s music scores that went above and beyond, including the soundtracks for islands that have yet to return.

I’ve written quite cringey fanfiction which fortunately was made prior to my online presence. I’ve posted fan art on Instagram of characters that I thought could have been so interesting if they were to return in future islands, or if Pop made more spin-off books focusing on them. And currently, I have been writing and sharing The Villain Saga, a spec script with said characters. But I don’t know how much longer I can keep creating hype for something that doesn’t exist anymore save for a fan-made archive that one person made in their free time.

Dust to Dust: This gemstone is a smash hit.

Without a passionate team putting out quality islands, Poptropica looks bound for its end in the coming years. Other games and media can, and have, grabbed the attention of your once loyal fans. At the rate things are going, most of the old islands will still be lost to time, and your aging fanbase may not stick around for your next surprises. Whether we’re talking from a business or creative standpoint, it could be game over.

Please prove me wrong.

Castori honorem ~ Maryann/Smart Bubbles

Counterfeit Island, PHB Specials, Super Villain Island

Interpreting the Main Fourโ€™s dreams, pt. 3: Black Widow ๐Ÿ–Œ

Hello and welcome to a third dream interpretation! (If you haven’t already, you can check out the previous installments in this series here and here.)

In this post, I’ll be exploring the dream world of the crafty art thief Black Widow. Let’s pop into it!

Overall, there’s not a ton of material to work with in this dream. While the player enters stolen paintings and cleans up graffiti, the Black Widow herself mostly stands around and watches. The setting isn’t particularly interesting either, seeing as she spends a good deal of her waking life inside art museums; it’s likely just a reflection of her life and isn’t meant to represent anything.

With that being said, this dream isn’t useless. Not at all. For one thing, it gives us a new look into Black Widow’s shining personality, something we didn’t get to see much of in Counterfeit Island alone.

Her dream suggests that she’s a bold, fierce villain with a fiery temper and a disregard for hesitation, as shown when she chases and attacks you with nothing but her own two fists! (In a dream, attacking someone might represent confrontation against a threat or a defensive attitude.) And when she’s called out for her villainy, Black Widow refuses to listen and keeps focusing on her goals–traits she might share with the Binary Bard.


Another key part of this dream is the destruction of Black Widow’s own portrait. Dreams about any sort of damage and destruction could represent a number of things: guilt, failed expectations, hopelessness, or, most interestingly, a ruined relationship.

Remind you of anything?

The Strange Man (also known as the Brown Recluse) fits this interpretation perfectly. Throughout the happenings of Counterfeit Island, the Strange Man works as Black Widow’s right-hand man; until for reasons best known to herself, Black Widow betrays him, leaving him tied to a chair alongside the player in her underground lair. The Strange Man proceeds to side with the player and ends the Black Widow’s art-stealing career once and for all.

Could it be that Black Widow’s reflecting on this dismissal? From what I can tell, her betraying the Strange Man was entirely unprovoked, but then again, they don’t call her the Black Widow for nothing…

Looking closer at Black Widow’s attack, a final point I’ll bring up is her chasing the player to reach them, which could represent an attempt to be in control or get ahold of something.

Gotta run fast!

Here’s what I’ve gathered based off of these hints: Black Widow is missing her right-hand man, but is trying to act as though she isn’t, hence the defensiveness suggested by her attacking the player. After all, she’s a solitary being akin to the spider she’s named for; she uses someone for what she needs them for and then lets them go. She’s the opposite of loyal.

But why? Pretending to trust someone only to betray them will only turn them against her, as shown when her entire villainous career slips down the drain thanks to the Strange Man. Wouldn’t it be more useful to have kept her servant instead of creating another enemy? The confrontation against a threat also suggested by her attack could add to this. As for trying to assert control over a situation, well, maybe she’s just frustrated that she’s hopelessly trapped inside a cryotube in Erewhon Prison instead of out resurrecting her art-stealing life. ๐Ÿ•ท๏ธ

That’s it for today, everyone. I’ll see you for my next but possibly not last post in this series, highlighting the Binary Bard and his spectacular dream! Pop on,