Hey Poptropicans, this is a guest post by White Fox. Enjoy!
Hi, guys! Today I want to talk about the ads in Poptropica.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I totally understand that Poptropica isn’t making as much money as it used to, and advertisements bring in tons of cash, but things have been getting out of hand.
Remember Survival Island? The creators didn’t put a lot of ads there, because they wanted you to feel like you are stranded, and you don’t usually find advertisements for Rolex watches in the middle of the woods. Not having ads helped set the mood of the place.
Now, I find ads everywhere, and I don’t feel that stranded-in-the-forest vibe at all. Then there’s the matter of all the ads in your inventory.
I didn’t even watch the ad videos for these items! I just logged on one day, and I got a ton of stuff that I didn’t want. And it really fills up your inventory space! I wish Poptropica didn’t give you ad items without a choice, because it makes you scroll through a bunch of stuff just to get something you need for an island, and sometimes, you might not even like the stuff you get.
Even for people who do like the advertisement prizes, not keeping it separate from the items you need on an island is maddening. I can’t speak for everyone, but I really wish the creators would give you a choice, instead of stuffing random ad prizes into your inventory, where it takes up space and pushes your important items to the back.
As Slanted Fish noted in the 2019 PHB post “Is Poptropica turning into Mocktropica Island?,” the game has been falling into the traps of user-unfriendliness the island warned about in its cautionary tale. In Mocktropica, ads for Mega Fighting Bots popped up everywhere, and recently, when I was playing through 24 Carrot Island, Dr. Hare’s face was covered by an ad.
It’s upsetting that such an important part of the story — one of the most famous villains in Poptropica — was hidden because an advertisement for clothing had popped up. This could really make it hard to win islands, because I couldn’t see what he was saying. Even though I’d played the island before and knew what to do, it was still annoying.
Anyway, that just about wraps up this post! I hope the creators were reading this, because all this advertising stuff is really getting overwhelming. Thanks for reading!
Hey there, Poptropicans! First things first: another week has flashed by, and that means another store rotation! There’s not a whole lot of new items this time around, but the costume section has got a few cool outfits added. Let’s take a look!
The newest items added this week include:
Sunny Sport, Tie-Dye Hoodie, Rock Star (male & female), Elf Costume*
The Little Candy Cane, which remains in the store from last week’s rotation, is oddly showed in both the Power section and the Costume section. Strange, but the more candy canes, the merrier!
The store isn’t the only place to find fun new gear, as 12 Days of Member Gifts festivities are still going strong! For Day 7, Poptropica members received the fabulous—and ever so slightly ridiculous—Snowflake Costume! Just perfect for winter.
Or, if sporting the giant snowflake look is too cold for you, there’s always the option to take the warmer route and bundle up in a Cozy Seater (Day 8)! (Perhaps they meant “Sweater”?)
Once you’ve finished your holiday shopping, maybe pop on over to the newest ad: Spirit: Riding Freeis available to play on Home Island, or you can access it through the in-between scenes on any island.
The ad doesn’t involve much; all you’re asked to do is watch a short trailer video, and you’re given two themed prizes. The prizes are Lucky’s Racing Gear and Free Spirit! Check out what happens when you tap the space bar on that second item…
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. 🙂
In the spirit of Thanksgiving, we here at the PHB would like to wish you a happy Thanksgiving and thank you for being part of the Poptropica community! 😀 But there’s more than turkey on the platter today – check out the latest helping of Poptropica news below.
Along with the thankful festivities comes Black Friday, a day characterized by long lines and shopping deals – and according to this tweeted pic, it’s coming to Poptropica! What exactly that means remains to be seen. Deals on Pop merch, membership, or Store items bought with credits? We’ll find out soon!
To get a peek at what else is coming to Poptropica, check out the PHB’s Daily Pop Sneak Peek Archive – just updated for the month of November! A few pics seem to indicate that some renovation is underway for Home Island’s Shop and – Adventurers’ Club? Could be the common room, which is currently different on mobile and online.
Beached: Your ship has come in.
Trading Post: Exotic treasures from all around the world.
Join the Club: Looking for adventure? Look no further.
There’s also been some trickery going on with the Phantom gold card from the Store – the slider to adjust how transparent you appear recently made a subtle disappearance! Now there’s only one mid-range opacity level you can play with. Poof.
If you’ve logged into Poptropica recently, you may have seen a few new ads. There’s the SuperChargers ad mentioned in the last post, but it’s not the only one. On Mystery of the Map Island, watch the video for Disney Infinity 3.0 to get the Disney Infinity Gear!
Also, there’s a View Master ad on Timmy Failure Island with a room you can enter. Go in and claim your 360 Teleporter Power and Island Warper Power! Press space bar to activate their special effects. (Thanks to Hyper Gamer for the tip!)
🦃 Happy Thanksgiving, Poptropicans! 🦃
Even if you’re not celebrating today – we’re thankful for you. 🙂
Two new ads have been popping up around Poptropica lately, one for boys and one for girls. Thanks to Prickly Monster for the tip!
Let’s start with the ad for the boys. This advertisement is for Lego Mixels, and all you have to do is click on the ad to receive the Boogly Dash, which gives you a handheld green-and-blue Lego object and makes a creature across the screen when you press space bar.
Next up is the ad for girls. This one is for the upcoming movie, Cinderella. Again, all you have to do is watch a short video and you will earn a Cinderella costume: an Enchanted Royal Gown!