The PHB’s Halloween Eleven: Heavenly & Hellish

This contest is now closed. Check out the winning costumes!

The Poptropica Help Blog presents

Halloween Costume Contest Eleven:
😇 Heavenly & Hellish 😈

As is our tradition here on the PHB, we’re hosting a Halloween costume contest on Poptropica! It’s our eleventh year doing this, and this time around we’re hosting two categories: Heavenly (for all things cute, charming, and classy) and Hellish (for the devilish, deviant, and depraved).

Here’s what you need to know about entering:

  1. Assemble your costume for either category on Poptropica. You may enter each category as many times as you like. Each individual person is eligible to win just once per category.
  2. Take a screenshot of your costume entry in the Costumizer window.* Here’s how to take a screenshot — the instructions will vary depending on your device. For Windows, you’ll also need to paste it somewhere to save it as an image file on your computer. Also, use the in-game Costumizer window (pictured below) as that will display your character at a high resolution. Ideally, crop the image to show just your character.
  3. Upload the image to the web and share the link in the comments of this post. You can use a site like imgur to upload your picture and obtain a web link for it that can then be shared so others can see it. Once you’ve got a link, comment on this PHB post you’re reading right now with the link. Include details such as what category you’re entering, what you’re naming your costume, and anything else you’d like to share about it. Look for my sample entry comment (it’ll be by Slanted Fish) for an example.

*Note: Though we’ve used Avatar Studio (AS) links in the past, many of the newer items in Poptropica are not visible through AS. If your entire costume is still viewable by AS, you’re welcome to provide a link or username in lieu of a picture. However, since AS is no longer a complete guarantee for displaying costumes, we recommend taking a screenshot.

Share a screenshot of your costume in the Costumizer window, like so. You can access this screen from the green shirt button in the menu.

📝 Things to Note ✨

  • If you send us an Avatar Studio link, you’ll have to keep your costume intact until Halloween so we can see it throughout the month. That’s something you won’t have to concern yourself with if you send a screenshot instead, and it’ll be easier for you to capture multiple costume entries!
  • Tips for seeking out costume parts: We know Poptropica has changed a lot in the past year, making lots of old methods obsolete, but there are still places you can go for cool costume parts. Dig through old store items, buy new store costumes, crank the switch in the New You shop on Home Island, snag something off an NPC from PoptropiCon, sneak your way into old islands with this link from idk the glitcher, and use MAP (for individual parts) or the ASG Machine (for full costumes) along with usernames from our ASG collection.
  • Disclaimer: Our “heavenly” and “hellish” themes refer generally to the imaginations of pop culture at large, and do not necessarily reflect theological perspectives on the nature/ideas of heaven/hell.

👑 Prizes ✨

  • The contest closes on Wednesday, October 30. We’ll announce the winners the next day.
  • On Halloween (October 31), we’ll post our favorite costumes from each category on the front page of the PHB for all to enjoy.
  • Two grand prize winners will be selected, one in each category. Each grand prize winner will receive a 1-month Poptropica membership.
  • Featured costumes will also be immortalized on our Costumes page, but we’ll also have honorable mentions for just the post, not page.

Happy Costumizing!

🎃✨😇 Watch out, guardian angel…
the devil is in the details 😈👹👻

2010 Rewind: Crazy for Crawfish

This post is part of our Poptropica Yearbook series. If you missed the intro, check it out on the 2007 Rewind and browse the collection here.

Wish you could’ve been in 2010! But we’ve got you covered with a flashback to what Poptropica was like back in those days, which former Creator Mitch Krpata would later call the peak of Poptropica’s popularity.

It might be hard to imagine these days with all these updates that seem to be geared toward the privileged few, but believe it or not, membership didn’t always plague Poptropica. Even when it was first released in January of 2010, membership status offered some nice perks like early island access and free store costumes — but free players had plenty to enjoy, too.

Membership wasn’t the only thing players had been itching to discover. Reality TV Island, two years in the making and much delayed, finally arrived in early access for members in February. (Nearly a decade later, it would appear that a sequel is on its way!)

There’s our beloved Hippie Harry!

Over on the Creators’ Blog, we started hearing more from Captain Crawfish, whereas before there were several Creator aliases taking turns on the blog. (We had plenty of fun trying to guess and track down who was who, too. Dr. Hare, aka Jordan Leary, may have called us “12-year-old stalkers”…)

Anyway, with that came a new PHB inside joke in which we’d write about nomming the Captain in our update posts, and he even seemed to catch on!

We continued enjoying tons of sneak peeks from the Creators — here’s a sketch of what later became Apollo’s temple on Mythology Island. It was released in April and players consider it to be one of the best islands!

The PHB community was growing, too, and we thought it was time for a couple of upgrades. We got our own custom web domain, poptropicahelp.net, to reflect our Poptropica Help network that encompassed the blog, chat, and forum. And we also changed our site theme to something more blue — more Poptropica.

Even back then, collecting advertisement items was a popular pastime on Poptropica. Here’s a peek at a cool and colorful Magic Paintbrush special ability item from a Ramona and Beezus ad!

The Creators were also busy adding tons of fun new items to the store, like fireworks, robot suits, and various flavors of good old PopGum.

Poptropica Creators popping gum.

In November, the Creators launched a big feature that got players hopping on Poptropica daily. The Daily Pop featured comics, games, creator clips (stories from Creators), and best of all: a new sneak peek every weekday. In fact, we’ve got a whole Daily Pop Sneak Peek Archive here on the blog.

Here’s what the menu looked like once the Daily Pop was added:

Also, in addition to RTV and Mythology, 2010 saw several more islands added to the map: Skullduggery (known in its early stages as Pirate Trade Island), Steamworks, Great Pumpkin, and for members, Cryptids closed out the year, bringing Poptropica’s total to 16 islands — 6 from 2010 alone!

A succession of sneak peeks of the Hub on Steamworks Island.


That concludes the 2010 page of the Poptropica Yearbook. We hope it brought a nostalgic look to a booming time! Browse the rest of the collection over at the Poptropica Yearbook, accessible from our Pop Plus tab.

While you’re here, sign the yearbook by commenting? ✏️

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Pop Petition: Unlock all islands

This is a guest post by Incredible Hamburger (username: popguy6) petitioning for all islands, especially member-locked islands, to be made available to all. Enjoy!

Hey there, I’m Incredible Hamburger! (But not the kind of hamburger you would have for dinner…)

The reason I’m writing this Pop Petition is to convince the Poptropica team to make all membership-locked islands playable for non-members too. You know, the ones that say on the map when you roll over them, “demo for non-members.” I think a demo’s not enough, and here’s why:

First, there are kids like me who for one reason or another can’t get a membership. For me, it’s because my parents won’t let me pay for anything, because the cost is not in our budget. If I tried to buy a membership, they’d probably ban me from playing the game altogether! (Yes, Poptropica membership costs less than other games, but still.)

Besides, I really want to play the Wimpy Kid islands, Wimpy Wonderland and Wimpy Boardwalk. They’re the best! The graphics are very fun — they’re in the Diary of a Wimpy Kid style, so it feels like you are actually there. And the gameplay is even more fun. Your character (Poptropican) can talk to Greg, Manny, Rowley, Grandpa, Gramma, and more Wimpy Kid characters! Jeff Kinney really created something magical with Wimpy Kid.

On that note, I could say the rest of the member-locked islands have a similar effect, too. The members-only islands are all sponsored islands, meaning they’re based on other franchises, such as the Magic Tree House books for Red Dragon Island. Again, Poptropica makes it feel like you’re actually there in those worlds and with those characters (like Big Nate, Greg Heffley, Charlie Brown, and more). That’s why I love Poptropica so much, and I’d even say I feel like life is Poptropica.

It’s true that there are a couple of sponsored islands that are accessible to all (Timmy Failure and Galactic Hot Dogs), and I sure hope it stays that way. I’d also love to see a Captain Underpants Island in the future. But the point is, everyone should get to play every island.

So, Poptropica Creators, please: make the islands open to all! There are lots of people like me who just don’t have the means to get a membership, but would love to play every island, especially the ones that are currently locked for non-members. Give us a chance at them, too!

Until next time! Buh-bye! Incredible Hamburger out… for dinner. 🍔

—IH


Hope you enjoyed this Pop Petition guest post by Incredible Hamburger! If you did, be sure to check out our other Pop Petitions!

The Poptropica Help Blog welcomes interesting Poptropica insights from anyone in the Poptropica community with thoughts to share. You can find some tips and guidelines on our page on how to Write for the PHB. We also encourage sharing blog posts on the PHC.

📰 If you have an idea for a PHB post, send it in

Is Poptropica becoming pay-to-play?

Hey Poptropicans, it’s Slanted Fish, and I’m here to talk about a question that’s been asked more and more lately: Is Poptropica becoming a pay-to-play game?

Now, Poptropica has always been a free game, and hopefully, it always will be. However, that line is becoming more blurred than it used to be, and that’s concerning.

Earlier this week, a big update was released on Poptropica Worlds, offering tons of cool new features, both expected and unexpected. We got costumes, house expansions, the Colorizer, and new furniture. There was just one major issue… most of it was for members only.

popworlds summer update 1

You might not have seen that coming from the Creators’ Blog’s breakdown of the news, which didn’t once reference membership. But let’s take a look at the facts:

  • 2 Color Changing Outfits: When you go to select the individual parts you want to buy, you’ll find that half of each outfit is for members only.
  • 8 Summer Outfits: Of these eight outfits, four of them (that’s half!) are for members only in their entirety, while the other four are completely available to all. You only find out that they’re members only when you click the costume to see the individual parts.
  • House Expansions: For members only. We did see this one coming from the descriptions for membership, though.
  • Colorizer: Those alluring “endless color options”? Members only. Non-members are stuck with a six-color palette for skin tones and another for hair.
  • Beach Decor: 19 new items, literally all of them for members only. Interestingly, the key and wallpapers are free for members, but the other items still cost coins.

Not since the Members Only Islands (which, by the way, has won “Worst Poptropica Update” in the Poppies community awards two times) has there been a massive update that’s been so… member-centric. And for many Poptropicans, that’s a huge turn-off.

Since the update, many have voiced out their criticisms, including LillySparkle$ on the Pop Blog, Purple Claw on Clawtropica, and those in the PHB comments. Some players have compared it to Club Penguin, which was notorious for a gameplay experience that amounted to waddling around and making new enemies if you weren’t a member.

The Poptropica Creators have responded on social media, but gave a more detailed reply about the situation on Purple Claw’s post:

pophq comment

It’s good to know the Creators are still taking our thoughts into account and re-assuring us that Poptropica will continue to be “a free game that can be enjoyed by all.” I definitely agree that the Poptropica Creators deserve to be compensated for their hard work, as do creators of all kinds who make quality, enjoyable content.

If you’re looking at Poptropica gameplay as being able to play islands, then Poptropica isn’t becoming pay-to-play. In fact, they’ve even gotten rid of having to wait through a members-only Early Access period for a new island on Worlds, which is a plus.

Why are we worried about membership then?

Remember, though, that the Poptropica experience is more than islands: it’s also customizing your character and your house. In that sense, the focus on membership that is so evident in this update, as well as other aspects of Pop Worlds, remains disconcerting for many Poptropicans – and for good reason.

A big reason is that, on Worlds, more of the experience has been put behind a paywall – compared to Poptropica Original, where many more aspects were accessible to all, including aspects that are now for members only on Worlds. This includes the endless Colorizer and certain costumes like the Dark Knight and Midnight Ninja, as PHB commenter GreedyShadow points out. Shouldn’t they be free on Worlds too?

Another concern is simply that it’s hard for some players to get memberships. Many Poptropica players are kids without money, who were attracted to Poptropica because it provided quality entertainment for free. Many parents may be reluctant to spend their money on a membership for their kids, and it can be hard to ascertain the value of, say, having an extra beach-themed room in your virtual house. Or as another commenter, Icy Cloud put it, “I don’t exactly want to use my money to buy pixels on a screen!”

PHB staffer and Poptropica member Silver Wolf has a different complaint: the allure for membership is worse than before, not better. “Despite paying for membership with real money, I still have to collect enough credits to buy all the items I want, rather than them being free as before. To me, it seems as if they’re just making it worse for everyone,” she says. Members do get a 20% discount, but perhaps that amount could increase.

So, what’s a Poptropica Creator to do for cash?

Honestly, it’s hard to say, especially without knowing the numbers of how much they’re getting and wanting. Given the market of kids, however, I’d advise against them putting all their proverbial eggs into one basket, that being the basket of membership. They’ve experimented with other things before, and they should continue to find ways to get financial support outside of paid subscriptions, which not all players are able to get.

They should keep doing creative ad partnerships with other companies wanting to advertise on Poptropica. Players have always enjoyed getting fun ad prizes and playing games in new buildings.

They should work on more awesome merch, from toys to books, particularly with a range of aesthetics beyond just childish: they can be cute like Disney Tsum Tsum toys or inspired by trending designs, like what you’d find in a Hot Topic store.

They could even open a Patreon or other funding page and offer exclusive perks – like specially-made costumes, house decor, or signed copies of the graphic novels. This gives those who are donating a more visible sense that they are contributing to the success of a game they love, while offering them good incentives that don’t interfere with everyone else’s game experience.

Now back to the players…

If you are a Poptropica player who loves the game and who has the means, please consider supporting the game! The Poptropica Creators do work hard to create a great and generally free product, but they still need money to keep things running.

If you can, support their work by buying the graphic novels or other Pop books, bringing home a new Pop toy, or even (gasp) getting a membership. You don’t even need a credit card anymore thanks to the apps – if you have credit from an iTunes or Play Store gift card, you can make an in-app purchase for membership. For a list of other Poptropica merch you can buy, take a look at our Merchandise guide.

Regardless of the existence of some paid content, however, Poptropica will remain free to play for all. Hopefully, the Creators will take this feedback and continue to consider the full gaming experience – not just with islands, but also with customization of house and character – in relation to non-members and the higher amount of free access we could enjoy on Poptropica Original. From the Creators’ comments, we can be assured that the game will continue to put out fun content for both free and paying players.

Thanks for reading! What are your thoughts on the colorful new Worlds updates? What might convince you to get a membership, if possible – or what’s stopping you from getting one? What suggestions do you have for the Creators to make membership an attractive option that does not detract from the non-members’ experiences?

Leave your thoughts in the comments below, and the Creators may check them out and consider them for future updates!

Keep popping,

~slantedfish 🐠

Crisis Caverns, Deep Dive, & Membership Makeover

Heyo everyone! SD here with another update. So let’s get to it!

First up, credit to idk for an entire album of Crisis Cavern themed Daily Pop sneak peeks! Too many to list in fact, but they’re there, so I suggest you check them out! 😛

crisis caverns sneak peek

Second up, credit also goes to idk for finding two cool test scenes for Deep Dive Island, now known as Mission Atlantis of course.  In both, you can explore and interact with a few things, but it was just a test so there isn’t much else to it.

deep dive test

While on the topic of Deep Dive Island, or Mission Atlantis, an unused diving suit was also found! As you can see below, it was all black instead of the yellow one that ended up being used. Pretty neat, huh?

deep dive suit

Lastly, credit goes to WimpyKidFan for noticing that the Membership page for Poptropica has a new design! While it does look new, improved, and sleek, is this really what we want the Creators’ to be focusing on? Don’t get me wrong, it looks pretty cool! But it does seem like a small step towards “New Poptropica.” And don’t get me started on new islands.

membership redo

Anyway, that’s it for now guys! If you’re already on summer break, I hope you’re having a blast! Or at least relaxing. If you’re almost there, I believe in you! Hang in there! If you don’t have a summer break… then, uh… *shrug*

~SD