🏄‍♀️ American Girl, you shell of an island, don’t sell my data when in California

Surf’s up, Poptropicans! Catch the waves and ride on over to the latest island to surface in the Poptropica seas… American Girl: Joss’s Island.

Yup, as you can probably guess, this isn’t your typical island with a quest—instead, it’s Poptropica’s most extra ad yet, here to promote “American Girl” dolls, and specifically its “Girl of the Year 2020”: Joss Kendrick, surfer.

It’s not the first time Poptropica has built an island solely for advertising—the same tactic was applied with LEGO Island in 2018. Anyway, there’s quite a bit to do on Joss’s Island, which you can find on both mobile and desktop, including HAXE! (Thanks for the tip, Perfect Fish.)

Upon arriving, you’ll hear a jaunty, upbeat tune playing—and there’s more sound to come. But first, a quick overview: you can talk to the doll characters to see what’s going on, like the fact that you can click on interactive objects around the island. There are four buildings you can enter (from left to right): the cinema, Shine Athletics Gym, American Girl Place, and SoCal Board Shop. And if you head left, you’ll see a sign that tells you you’re in Huntington Beach (which is a real city in California!).

As Joss herself will tell you, there are four free prizes to be had on this island. You can pick up a Shine Bright Shirt by the entrance of American Girl Place, a Cheer Competition Jacket above the RV by the SoCal Board Shop, your very own Joss’s Tassel Bag to the left of your parked blimp, and a Catch a Wave Hoodie above the cinema. As usual, members get to keep ad prizes forever!

Inside the SoCal Board Shop, you can play a surfing game with mechanics similar to the cheetah run on Reality TV: Wild Safari. By clicking multiple times, you can jump higher as you ride the waves. However, in both my and Perfect Fish’s experience, it seems there are some invisible obstacles in the game causing it to be hard to win. Still, if you manage to beat it, you’ll win Joss’s Surfboard (thanks, Scrooge200!).

Moving on, there’s the American Girl Place, which is basically one fancy building to promote various parts of the American Girl franchise. If you head to the right, you’ll find a little restaurant with a video you can watch.

Next up is the Shine Athletics Gym, where you can play a Rock Band-like beats game where the goal is to lead a cheer squad by pressing buttons as they come along each of the three colored stripes. If your volume is up, you’ll hear the song “Go Joss” as you jam along. If you do well enough, you’ll win an adorable little Seal Pup that can go on your head!

Finally, there’s the cinema, which is of course playing all things Joss. You can watch eight videos in there: two are music videos, “Go Joss” (the soundtrack to the aforementioned beats game) and “Surf’s Up”; there’s also a doll stop-motion animated series of Joss’s story in six episodes.

That’s all for American Girl: Joss’s Island! What did you think of this most ambitious ad in the history of Poptropica? Did you momentarily get your hopes up about a new island on the map? Will you wear the new prizes? Don’t you think Poptropica should make the Seal Pup the next pet? Comment below!


As we wrap up the month of April, we come into our final week of the weekly store updates. While the costumes have switched around this week, they’re ones we’ve seen throughout this month, so nothing new.

Will we see the weekly updates to the store continue in May? Time will soon tell, as the next month fast approaches…


Last but not least, the Poptropica.com homepage got a little update! We’ve mentioned the new “Pick a Character” screen, but now, when you scroll down below that, you’ll find three square images highlighting Poptropica’s features: Connect with friends! Play epic adventures! Adopt your own pets!

So, although friends in Poptropica has been a little lacking after the post-Flash update, and has yet to appear in HAXE, perhaps this is a reassurance that friends will continue to be a priority for Poptropica’s future.

On another note, if you look at the links below those pictures, you’ll find one that wasn’t there before: Do Not Sell My Info (for CA Residents). That’s CA for California, not Canada, by the way. Apparently, residents of California can request to opt out of having their details shared with the third-party partners of Sandbox Network Inc, Poptropica’s parent company.

Of course, they will “need to verify your identity to process your request.”

As for the rest of us, um, Poptropica’s been selling our data…??? In their words: “Sandbox Networks Inc. (“SNI”) does share customer information with carefully selected third parties in order to create a superior customer experience and for permitted business purposes.”

It’s not clear what “customer information” entails here, but Poptropica doesn’t collect much personal info to begin with, so it’s probably nothing to worry about. (And to be fair, many other websites are already involved in legal data selling.) What we do know is that when creating a Poptropica account, you’re asked for your age (although this may be disappearing with the new HAXE setup), a username and password to log in with, and you can also connect an email account to your Poptropica account later on. Plus, the aforementioned “carefully selected third parties” are likely advertisers like American Girl, who want to know who they’re advertising to — which is fair enough.

Now that you’ve made it this far into the post, I hope that long title at the beginning finally makes sense. 🙂

That’s all for now. Catch you in the next wave! 🌊

~/🐠

Get on a different level with PHB game guides 💪

Hey Poptropicans, get your game face on! We’re about to blast you into the arcade scene and show you how it’s done…

Some distant time ago, Poptropica brought us the Blast-off Arcade, and with it, three new games. They also refined three other games (and took out seven others, rip). Anyway, here on the PHB, we’ve (finally) updated our Game Guides, complete with pages for the newer arcade games Blaster Attack, Crash-n-Bash, and Poptastic. (Better late than never, right?)

We’ve also updated our guides for the older games Balloons, Sky Dive, and Star Link, which, although they’ve retained the same gameplay and style, did receive slight graphic refinements. Have you noticed, for example, that the background on Sky Dive is colored a little deeper than before? Or that falling too fast doesn’t make a Poptropican-sized hole in the ground anymore?

To get to our new and improved Game Guides, look for “Pop Plus” on the PHB site menu and go to “Game Guides.” From there, you’ll find all the head-to-head and single-player game pages, with tips and tricks to make you a pro.

But that’s not all! Scroll down some more on the page, and you’ll also find a section dedicated to the Bygone Days with info about classic, now-retired games like Hoops, Pathwise, and Soupwords. Plus, we’ve included memories of old multiplayer hangouts like the Multiverse, tribe rooms, and even those good old five-star battle rankings — all gone with Flash’s impending doom.

Oh well, at least we still have all these other flashy arcade games. I mean, did you know that the balloon animals on Poptastic move at different speeds depending on their color? Because if not, you might need that game guide. 😉

🚀 So what are you waiting for? 👇
Get on out there and beat your high scores with PHB Game Guides!

Poptropica’s official island tour pages revamped

Hey Poptropicans, it’s Slanted Fish here with a discovery! Poptropica’s been quietly working on revamping their island tour pages, and it looks like they may even be modeling them after the PHB’s Island Guides.

There’s Blue Tooth’s character, so presumably she’s the one writing these.

These revamped pages aren’t yet visibly linked anywhere on Poptropica’s website, but you can hop on over to poptropica.com/island-tour/ and click around the sidebar links to get to each one. Here’s a sampling of one of the pages: Monster Carnival Island.

Poptropica’s new “Island Guide” pages share a fair bit of similarity with the PHB’s Island Guides in regards to layout and content, but there are some differences too, such as the photo gallery at the bottom and the fact that the written parts aren’t a complete walkthrough, but more like an extended description without any big spoilers.

(Side note: Poptropica has made official written walkthroughs before, distributed via an old mobile app called Poptropica: Tips & Tricks, which used to charge 99 cents (US) per individual walkthrough. As you might guess, with guides like the PHB’s available for free online, the app wasn’t too popular.)

Some of Poptropica’s new island tour pages also contain little segments labeled “POPTROPICA TIP” and “Did You Know” (trivia). They also link to fun downloads (like wallpapers) near the bottom of their pages, while the PHB puts these near the top and calls them “Island Extras.” Features that Poptropica’s guides share in common with the PHB’s are the inclusion of video walkthroughs, screenshots of gameplay, and the official synopsis.

Most of the islands that are currently left in the game (that is, the SUI/sound-updated islands, since many others had disappeared this summer) have gotten their island tour page revamped. Reality TV’s (Wild Safari) is marked as coming soon in the sidebar, and the sponsored islands (Galactic Hot Dogs and Timmy Failure) still have yet to get their pages revamped. Curiously, Snagglemast Island is simply referred to here as “Tutorial Island.”

Anyway, I’ll leave you to explore the new island tour pages. What do you think of the revamps? Share your thoughts in the comments!

See you around, Poptropicans~ ✌️

Falling so I’m taking my time on my ride

Buckle in, Poptropicans, because there’s a long ride of updates coming your way! Who knows where this is all going, but let’s keep our eyes on the road.

For starters, we’re going to have dessert… in the form of a flower cake car. That you wear. What? Bizarre, I know. But it’s Poptropica’s 12th birthday this month, and Poptropica has deemed it fit to hand over some new wheels to all her friends. So head over to the store to pick up this free, limited-time item!

Maybe twelve is a little young to start driving, but not on Poptropica! Blue Tooth over on the Pop Creators’ Instagram has already posted a video of her zooming through town on the new ride:


Let’s take a right here, and—oh! Looks like the birthday gift isn’t the only new item stocked in the store. Fall seasonal items are here!

Let’s see what we’ve got here…

  • Poptropica’s 12th Birthday (the cake car we just saw)
  • Warm Vibes
  • Cozy Cocoa
  • Tie-Dye Hoodie
  • Splatter Tee
  • Elephant Follower
  • Flower Planting Power (members only)
  • Snow Fall
  • Jellyfish Prank
  • Autumn Scarves (comes in four colors: blue, green, yellow, red)

Pretty neat, and best of all, most of them are available to everyone (with only one member item)!


Speaking of fall, Home Island got a fall seasonal makeover! It’s currently only on mobile, but the autumn colors are lovely, and even the buildings were treated to some touch-ups. There’s even a new cocoa stand, although it’s just for show, next to the Blast-off Arcade, which is now pushing out steam. Plus, brush up against any of the leaf piles and leaves will flutter!

(As you can see, that magic carpet from the Aladdin ad is pretty good for taking screenshots! Plus it’s just so fun to glide around with.)


Stay with us—we’ve still got a couple more updates to share. Poptropica has hit us with quite the swerve with this web browser layout change:

New layout on Poptropica.com
Thanks to Gentle Dolphin for the screenshot.

They’ve kept the sidebar ads but also added a new element below the game screen: a call-to-action segment to read the Creators’ Blog, and beside it, a random auto-playing video. Videos I’ve seen in this space include ones from Poptropica’s YouTube channel as well as outside content from Kidspiration. You can click on the video to hear sound, pause it, or enlarge the screen.

Not only that, but the new layout also shrinks the screen of the game itself (wasn’t having a bigger screen one of the perks of SUIs?). With all the distractions around the game screen, this really seems to inhibit players’ ability to enjoy their time on the site, don’t you think?


And finally, Poptropica has picked up its Poptropica Lookbook again. They first mentioned #PoptropicaLookbook on their Instagram three weeks ago, asking Poptropicans to share their outfits, and Mighty Rock, clad in blue hues, has been selected for a feature!

By the way, Poptropica, that’s the glass from the Carrot King Diner on 24 Carrot Island, with which you could mix drinks of various colors. A long time ago, you could dye your Poptropican’s hair this way — just by mixing the color you wanted. Ah, how times have changed!


Whew, we made it to the end. Let’s park it right here, and don’t forget to leave your thoughts below. Thanks for riding along, Poptropicans. See you next time!

😎🚘🍁