Creators, Social Media, Website Updates

#ThanksKinney, for the Poptropica memories

Hey Poptropicans! The Poptropica Creators have been on a roll lately with their social media, bringing us throwbacks, fun facts, and even a splash of magnanimity! Let’s pop in and take a look.

The Poptropica Creators’ Blog and Instagram spotlighted Jeff Kinney — the man who started Poptropica, yet is better known as the author of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series — and invited fans to “let Mr. Kinney know how much Poptropica means to everyone” by sharing Poptropica memories that they promise they’ll share on social media and even with Mr. Kinney himself! You can create fan art, write letters, make videos, and more with the hashtag #ThanksKinney so the Creators can see.

On Instagram, the PHB (we’re @poptropicahare) asked if Jeff Kinney still gets involved with Poptropica’s development. The Creators liked the comment, but didn’t answer. Guess we’ll take that as a no…?

Other fans have been wondering about the founder’s silence about the game he created as well. In 2018, the PHB published a guest post that touches on Mr. Kinney’s deep investment into Wimpy Kid at the expense of leaving Poptropica behind. Even if he doesn’t come back to Poptropica, we hope his vision for the game can remain.

Still, #ThanksKinney for starting it all! And if you have Poptropica memories or creations to share, the deadline is September 20 (Sunday).


The Creators have been active on Instagram with two new stories featuring fan posts: one an animation of a dancing Binary Bard from @neon.bug, the other a fun fact about Monster Carnival characters from @happyclonetrooper. By the way, for more Poptropica fun facts, check out the trivia section at the end of all our PHB island guides!


Oh, and there’s more from Instagram: in an unusual act of spontaneous generosity, the Creators also reached out to Dimension Bros, the YouTuber duo behind Poptropica Month, to offer them free memberships! Here’s Theo’s first reaction of experiencing the Poptropica heavens open with access to newly unlocked features, including thousands of bonus credits to spend in the stores:

Theo also shared with the PHB that the gifted membership doesn’t expire until December 31, 2022 according to his account settings—which adds up to about 2 years and 4 months! That’s literally impossible for us regular plebs to attain, not counting auto-renewals, since you can only buy up to a year of membership at once.

The screenshot of the holy grail of Poptropica status.

This also seems to be the first time the Creators have ever given out free memberships outside of people winning their (and occasionally the PHB’s) contests. Pretty cool—hey Creators, want to hook us up too? 😉


In other news, as you may have noticed, the PHB website has a new look! Our previous theme from WordPress (which is the blogging platform we use) has been retired, so to keep things running for future updates, we’ve switched over to a new theme called Dara.

It may take a little getting used to, but we’ve tried to find one with similar elements to the previous. This new theme comes with bigger fonts and easy access to the PHB’s socials via the buttons on top, so we hope you’ll come to love it like we do!


And finally, after 8 days of tasks, achievements, and recycled gameplay, the activities on Paradise Island have come to a stop—at least for now. If you’ve made it past the day with the PoptropiCon “festival,” future days simply consist of logging in for daily credit rewards, which you can use to decorate your island, home, pets, or character.

At last, kick back and enjoy the waterfront… and the calming tropical music.

With Poptropica’s birthday month in full swing, there’s plenty going on in the fandom these days! Join in on creating and/or watching Poptropica Month videos, party with Dr. Beev stans next week, make something mask-related for Community Creations, and of course, give a #ThanksKinney for making this all possible. Pop on, Poptropicans. 🎉

~Slanted Fish 🐠

24 Carrot Island, Advertisements, Membership, Website Updates

Road to Poptropica’s membership-laden future

Hi, everyone! Gentle Dolphin here bringing the latest news. Let’s take a look at some of the latest updates over on Poptropica’s Haxe build

This feature is similar to the quest log from Poptropica Worlds. The main difference is that the Worlds quest log has a more detailed list of objectives, while Haxe’s quest roadmap only highlights the main story points. So far, the roadmap feature is only available on 24 Carrot Island, but it’s likely to make its way to other islands in the near future. For more in-depth guides, though, check out our written walkthroughs!

quests


Remember the three loading screens that were added to the Haxe build last month? Well, they have been replaced with six brand new loading screens, full of Poptropicans flexing their fanciest selves:

These new screens look cool and give a sneak peek at some future items (bubble tea? AirPods??), but they highlight a key element that has been plaguing players for a long time: membership.

All but one of the new screens mention the incredible perks of having a membership (exclusive items, access to all islands, and so on). It’s no secret that these constant reminders leave many of us unamused and annoyed, especially since not many people are able (or willing) to shell out ~US$3.50 a month for extra items. Is Poptropica prioritizing membership over the general player experience? That’s an entire debate that’s been going on for years, and not dying down anytime soon, it seems.


On a lighter note, saving a new account now rewards you with 350 credits instead of 75 credits. This is a nice start for new players, so they can go ahead and buy more items like a new outfit or a few pet accessories.

350credits-signup

Our final Haxe update is a rather odd one. When you walk around Home Island, you may notice that the area appears to have been cropped so you can’t see the outer edges of the island. This is most noticeable when you walk to the left and discover that you can not access the movie theater. I know the theater wasn’t too popular, but why would they basically crop it out of Home Island? Do you guys have any ideas?


Ever since the massive advertisement that was American Girl: Joss’s Island ran its course, some of us have been wondering when a smaller ad on would appear on Poptropica. Suddenly,  a new advertisement magically appeared to charm players across both Haxe and Flash platforms.

Our new ad is for the upcoming Disney Channel movie Upside-Down Magic, based on the titular book by Sarah Mlynowski. Watch a short trailer to receive the adorable Dritten Follower.

That’s all for now. What do you think of these little changes? By the way, don’t forget to cast your votes for this year’s Poppies before Wednesday, July 22! Stay tuned for the big celebration on Saturday, July 25, where we will announce the winners and hang out in the PHC Discord server

Thank you for reading, and have a good day!

—Gentle Dolphin 🐬

Advertisements, Poptropica Store, Website Updates

🏄‍♀️ 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! 🌊

~/🐠

Website Updates

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!