Island Flash-backs

Island Flash-backs: 🌳 Twisted Thicket and Skullduggery πŸ΄β€β˜ οΈ

I ought to explain myself, shouldn’t I?

As some of you have noticed, there was no Island Flash-back in May. Mostly because of IRL things getting in the way and my poor planning. I’m sorry, as I did say this would be a monthly thing, and I’ll try to be more consistent in the future! To make up for this, TWO islands will be announced, one for May and one for June…

Twisted Thicket and Skullduggery!

While not the most popular, both of these islands have their fans! Skullduggery (2010) is known for its iconic villain, Captain Crawfish, as well as its focus on trading and travelling over action and boss fights. On the other hand, Twisted Thicket (2012) is most remembered for its references to Norse mythology and its beautiful scenery and designs!


🌳 Twisted Thicket was very much a story about environmentalism, though the fantasy elements helped the point feel more natural rather than forced (as is common in children’s media with moral messaging).

The island is on a medium difficulty level, balancing the twisted and dangerous forest with fun puzzles and, once again, amazing scenery. The Poptropica Creators have consistently gone above and beyond with their art design, even with such a simple art style!


πŸ΄β€β˜ οΈ Skullduggery revolved heavily around an archipelago map, where you could travel to other mini-islands within the island’s storyline using a boat. (The same feature was later to get around Hemlock Harbor in Ghost Story Island.)

While Skullduggery’s main plot is about the evil pirate Captain Crawfish threatening the peaceful islands, the focus of the gameplay is on trading goods and basic economics of saving for bigger and better ships, until you can finally buy the beautiful Phoenix Warbird. The Creators’ Blog has an interesting series of articles on the design process for this ship! Though some players found the cycle of trading and buying and selling tedious, others found it to be an educational experience, unique from that of previous islands.


To wrap up, I’m going to showcase some awesome past fan art for these two islands that are no longer in the official game. And let’s encourage the Creators to preserve these stories with more!

Until July (hopefully πŸ˜…)!

Castori honorem ~ Maryann/Smart Bubbles

Fan Art Features, Social Media, Uncategorized

Illustrative Instagram stories and bizarre bunny memes πŸ‡

Happy beginning of hot blazing horrible weather, everyone! 🌞

Poptropica’s social media activity has been up this week, with tons of new Instagram stories, as well as an odd Twitter post recalling our dear Dr. Hare. First, let’s turn to the ‘gram…

Among the feature are highlights to the latest Poptropica store update and the nearing end to the first of the new Monthly Costume Contests.

There is also a particularly large number of shares for fan art features:

There’s some really cool art in here! Glad to see entries for the Monthly Costume Contest as well. I personally love the sharp design and dramatic color scheme of the Black Widow piece! πŸ•·


Meanwhile on Twitter, the Creators tweeted a “Feel old yet?” joke, featuring Dr. Hare and a Snapchat photo of actor Matthew Gray Gubler in pink bunny ears with the caption “I hate it here.”

Wait, what was that?

While memes can be a fun way to spread hype and provide some comedy to a community, this more obscure and random one is a bit out of character for Poptropica’s usual social media antics. Several people were quick to comment with a mix of amusement and confusion.

What do you Poptropicans think? Are there any particular artists or pieces you like from the gallery, and what do you think of this odd addition to the Twitter timeline?

Until next time (yes I do remember the Island Flash-backs, they will be returning!) stay creative, maybe by making some Poptropica memes and joining our Community Creations this month!

Castori honorem ~ Maryann/Smart Bubbles

Advertisements, Contests, Fan Art Features, Social Media

Monthly costume design contests, strange art shares, and… questionable ads?

As we continue to wait on news for the porting of old islands and the imagined futures of Fairytale Island, the Pop Creators made an announcement regarding a new Costume Design Contest.

This event has been held a couple times in the past, but now, a new contest will be held every month! According to the Creators’ Blog, the contest will be open for two weeks each time, so the current one closes June 7 at 8 pm PST.

If this continues, plenty of fans should have the chance to see their designs become a virtual reality! Unlike past versions of this event, no prizes (such as membership) were mentioned, other than having winning costume designs implemented into the game. Good luck to all!


Continuing with the subject of fan art, Poptropica shared six new Instagram stories today. But there’s something a little odd…

Look closely and you’ll find that two of these pieces are not Poptropica relatedβ€”with one being a non-Pop original character, and the other being fan art of a character from the game Resident Evil, which does not exactly share Poptropica’s demographic. They are done by arts.n.darts, the same artist who also recently made fan art of Betty Jetty that the Pop Creators did not recognize.

While it would be admirable if this is simply an effort to show more support towards artists who have previously made Poptropica fan art, the shares are nevertheless uncharacteristic, and also raises the question of whether Poptropica’s social media person (or people?) is once again unaware of Poptropica’s content. Sus?


On a final note, a couple changes appear to have happened to the ads that appear on the website and in-game.

From past observations, most ads on Poptropica are specifically targeted towards its younger audience, similar to how they are sponsored to make in-game advertisements that showcase books, toys, or movies and shows that its general demographic may enjoy.

However, lately the ads appear to be more random and not exactly geared for kids. PHB staffer Gentle Dolphin reported seeing ads for Honey, which is a browser extension for online shopping, as well as for Morgan & Morgan, an injury law firm.

It’s understandable that a game needs to make a profit to survive, but this does raise some suspicion towards Poptropica’s insistence that they are still getting a large amount (“over a million”) of players. Why would they need to accept more advertisements if that was the case? The COVID-19 pandemic has had an effect on businesses, but as an online game, has Poptropica been growing or shrinking in attention? The branching out on ads seems to suggest the latter.

As of now, fans have many questions, many of which we may not see answers to soon. Hopefully we can still have fun while we wait with contests, upcoming quests, and the next Dream Island!

Castori honorem ~ Maryann/Smart Bubbles

Fan Art Features, Social Media

Artistic additions, instant and imminent πŸŽ¨

As we in the Northern Hemisphere pass through spring (and allergy season…it’s not nice being allergic to almost every native plant where I live!) and reach the end of the school season, many Poptropica fans have more time to be creative! The Creators have recently showcased 15 new fan drawings on their Instagram story, which you can see here.

We have several Fairytale Island fanarts, as well as crossovers with Pop and other games! It’s nice to see this burst of creativity in the fandom, especially while we wait for updates on the other Dream Island Contest winners.


On a similar note, the Creators have also posted a reminder that the Fairytale Fanfic Challenge ends this Friday, so if any of you are still interested in participating or are still finishing up your works, keep that in mind!

And that ends all the news for today! Good luck to all your artistic endeavors, whether they be prose or pictures!

Castori honorem ~ Maryann/Smart Bubbles

Contests, Fairy Tale Island

A fairy whimsical walkthrough with fashionably late fan art 🧚 πŸ–ŒοΈ

Hey there everybody! Purple here with a couple tidbits of news on Fairytale Island; and the long-awaited winners of its own fan art challenge. Let’s pop to it!

As you’ll see on their official YouTube channel, the Poptropica Creators recently posted a brand-new video spotlighting none other than good old Fairytale Island itself! In this video, Silent Frog from Poptropica HQ brings us on a full walkthrough of the newly released island. (For a written walkthrough, check out the PHB’s Fairytale Island Guide!)

It’s the first time we’re hearing the name Silent Frog, but it’s possible she’s posted for the Creators before without using a screen name, since her character looks familiar. 🐸

Silent Frog speaking with the prince on Fairytale Island.

If you watched all the way to the end of this YouTube walkthrough, you’ll find something especially exciting waiting in store. As it turns out, the Creators didn’t entirely forget about the Fairytale Fan Art Challenge, and decided to showcase three promised winners at the end of the video! Congratulations to criahacesium, v.a.m.p.y.r.a, and elisabethian1912 for winning the art contest. (And check out more fairytale fan art features here, here, and here!)

Silent Frog tells us that there was so much talent in the art submissions that the Poptropica team ended up having to randomly pick three winners from a hat, which brings up some suspicions about the delay in announcing the winners (which were originally meant to be revealed on April 23). How did picking names from a hat take such a long time?

We get an answer from an email that the Creators sent to one of the official blog’s guest writers, Invisible Ring, who asked them directly. Ring shared the message with us on our Discord server, the PHC:

As it turns out, they waited to release the winners in their walkthrough video instead of posting it on the date they’d promised. This isn’t the first time they’ve deserted us and only bothered to explain why after a fan directly asked them about it, but at least they apologized for their mistake and are aiming to do better!

Finally, to wrap up this post, the Creators mentioned briefly on their blog that a new fan challenge will be making its appearance sometime soon. I wonder what this one could be? πŸ‘€

Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you all next time!

~πŸ’œ