2011 Rewind: Toys & Prizes? We’re Game

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.

2011 was like Poptropica heaven. This was a time of peak popularity for the fandom, and plenty was popping!

Poptropicans had some fun times hanging out on our Poptropica Help Chat (PHC) server, particularly during the PHB Author Night sessions we introduced. Plus, we had plenty of reasons to party, what with events like the PHB celebrating 5 million views in May, the countdown to Shrink Ray Island’s release in June, and the PHB’s third birthday in July!

Three Spree!

A big new thing was pre-island mini-quests, which were created to promote an island before its release. Back in January, Wild West Island was the first to get one: a little horse-lassoing game called Round’Em Up! Every day, you could play for a new prize, like the color-changing Wunder Tonic.

In March, Wimpy Wonderland Island debuted on Poptropica, which was pretty significant since Jeff Kinney, the author of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series, is the founder of Poptropica! (Another fun fact: Before the first Wimpy Kid book was even in print, it could be read online on Funbrain, a website that also promoted Poptropica from its beginning.)

Each island came with its own map, where you could hover over an area to see its name. The PHB would put together fully labeled versions like this.

Other games and islands released this year were: Prepare for Impact! for Red Dragon Island, DC Diner for Mystery Train Island, Money Ladder for Game Show Island, and Spook Central for Ghost Story Island.

Money Ladder, the preview game for Game Show Island

But the general consensus as to the most exciting mini-quest was not a pre-island game. Instead, it was an out-of-this-world (literally, you leave Poptropica for a distant planet) experience filled with mysterious robots and sword fights: Legendary Swords, released on the momentous date of 11/11/11 (November 11, 2011).

A small but helpful feature was also introduced: the pause button. This allowed you to freeze time on Poptropica, which was good for lingering on dialogue or scanning the scenery just a little (or a lot) longer.

Poptropica also released a wide selection of toys, each with a special code that would give your in-game character a bonus item! There were three-inch and six-inch figures, plushies, and even a big ol’ inflatable blimp.

And that’s not all the Poptropica merch. The first ever Poptropica book, The Poptropica Guide, made its debut in October 2011. Poptropica even had a few scavenger hunts from the book to unlock prizes in-game — but of course, the book’s got nothing on the PHB, where we have guides for all the islands that have been released since then… and plenty more. 😉

To round off the year, Ghost Story Island came and gave us a spooky yet sentimental story, making it the 23rd island. Poptropica had released an impressive 7 islands in 2011 — their most yet, and that’s not even counting all the mini-games! Poptropica was really on a roll with this year!


You’ve reached the end of the 2011 page of the Poptropica Yearbook! Stay tuned for the next chapter, and to view the entire collection, check out the Poptropica Yearbook in our Pop Plus collection.

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

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2009 Rewind: Pop-ular Places

This post is part of our Poptropica Yearbook series. If you missed the intro, check it out on the 2007 Rewind and view the follow-up 2008 Rewind.

It’s a fine time to check out 2009! With both the Poptropica Creators’ Blog and Poptropica Help Blog in full swing, the online Poptropica community was growing exponentially, even inspiring new fan sites.

The year kicked off with Big Nate Island in February, after months of Big Nate comics shared on the Creators’ Blog.

While sneak peeks for upcoming islands from the Creators were wildly popular, the PHB took a step further and started a series known as PHB Sneak Peeks. These were glances at things even the Creators hadn’t revealed:

Over on the PHB, we were up to lots of shenanigans as well. In April, for example, we had great success with our “Club Penguin Help Blog” prank that fooled even the Poptropica Creators — if only for a little while.

Before our blog was even a year old, we reached one million site views, so we celebrated by giving away some of those rare and coveted “Monster Carnival leaks.” These were the early days of Poptropica glitching and trading!

That summer, the Poptropica community grew to include a Poptropica Help Forum (the PHF was created by Coderkid, who later became PHB staff) and Poptropica Help Chat (PHC) (which was hosted on Xat). Both brought good times, but only the PHC remains to this day, and we’re on Discord now.

We also began a monthly Poptropica magazine, and PHB readers voted on the name The Poptropican’s 911, for all your Poptropica emergencies. The first issue was published in June, and the series ran for a year. Also in June, the long-awaited Astro-Knights Island was released!

Comic by Green Seal, who later became a PHB staff blogger.

Another big thing that happened in Poptropica in 2009 was the launch of the store. (Can you even imagine a Poptropica without the store??) A hundred credits were given for each island completed, and players happily bought cool new items like the Colorizer, Electrify, and more. Credits could also be bought with real money. The store looked a little different back then, too.

On July 26, the PHB celebrated its first birthday – and by then had reached 1.5 million site views. A few days later, the Multiverse feature was released, and that became the staple way of partying it up on Poptropica. (Too bad it’s no longer around… but we do still have common rooms and clubhouses.)

To wrap up the year, Counterfeit Island finally came out (in its early access period, and after half a year of waiting!) in late December, bringing the map total up to ten islands. (Counterfeit and Astro-Knights were the only islands with early access tickets.)

Before membership, players could buy an early access ticket to a new island for 500 credits in the store.

That concludes the 2009 page of the Poptropica Yearbook! Stay tuned for the next pages, and soon you’ll be able to view the complete series on a new page in our Pop Plus collection, titled The Poptropica Yearbook.

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

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PHB’s Summer Kickoff Party 2016: You’re All Invited!

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Hey, Poptropicans! What time is it?!

SUMMER TIME!! (Yes, High School Musical reference fully intended.)

Oh, and the PHB recently reached 25 million hits! That’s two reasons to celebrate! And that means… we’re hosting a party! The party will be held at the PHC, a place for Poptropicans to talk, share Multiverse codes, and just have a good time!

If you’re not familiar with the PHC, it’s the PHB’s official chat hangout, and it stands for Poptropica Help Chat. Anyone is welcome to come and chat at any time, even when there isn’t a party going on. You can access it anytime at the link discord.me/thePHC, and we highly encourage you to make a Discord account – it’s easy and free! You might even meet a Poptropica Creator!

It’s important to note that the PHC is a kid-friendly chat, with certain guidelines in place. You can find these under the #tutorial text channel, where you’ll also find other things like formatting help, a channel guide, and more! Our party will most likely take place in the #main channel, but feel free to explore the other channels as well! Since moving away from Xat a while back, this will be our first PHC party on Discord, and we hope it’s a good one!

This year’s summer solstice is Monday, June 20, 2016 at 6:34pm EST, so if you come a little early, you can join us in counting down to the summer kickoff! From there, the festivities could go on for a few hours, so feel free to come and go as your schedule permits.

Anyway, you’re all invited, and here are the details for the event:

  • WHO: Everyone is welcome to come and talk to other Poptropicans and PHB staff!
  • WHAT: Chatting on the PHC (Discord) with other Poptropicans
  • WHEN: Monday, June 20, 2016 at 6:30pm Eastern (that’s 5:30pm Central, 4:30pm Mountain, 3:30pm Pacific Time – for all other time zones, please check a time-zone converter to find out what time that is in your area!) You are welcome to join in earlier or later as well.
  • WHERE: The PHC! Click here to get to the PHB’s official chat.
  • WHY: We’re celebrating the PHB’s milestone of 25 million hits as well as the official start of summer beginning with the solstice on June 20, 2016 at 6:34pm EST!

If you have any questions about the party, ask in the comments and we’ll answer you as best as we can! To get an idea of what to look forward to, check out our past PHB party recaps!

Well, see you there, Poptropicans! Don’t miss out on the fun. 😀

summertime

–the PHB team

Creator Q&A: PHC Discord Edition

Heyyo Poptropicans, it’s Ultimate iPad Expert here. Today, I was simply minding my business on the Poptropica Help Chat (PHC), chatting here and there with the community.

And then suddenly, she appeared… At around 1:20pm EST, the one and only Skinny Moon (Poptropica’s social media manager) decided to drop in to the PHC and chat some with the community. We thought it would be a good idea to compile this little impromptu Q&A session in a post for you guys, and so, without further ado, here it is!

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Tall Cactus: Any news about the New Poptropica?
Skinny Moon: Nothing I can say yet. Trust me, when I have news, you guys will know!

Slanted Fish: Any behind the scenes info? 😄
Skinny Moon: Ummmmmm… well…. hmmmmmm…. 😉

Tall Cactus: When will you have news? lol
Skinny Moon: I know you guys are starved for info, but I don’t have the go-ahead to give any out. 🙁 We are SUPER busy working on both the current Poptropica and new Poptropica!

Slanted Fish: Any info about the contest winner’s call with Jeff Kinney?
Skinny Moon: The call got SUPER delayed because of a ton of things – health problems, business trips, etc. – and I just got access to the video recently. It’s on my list of to-dos to watch it and figure out if it needs editing before posting on YT!

Slanted Fish: Any news about officiation of the wiki/other sites?
Skinny Moon: Wiki also on my to-do list!

Slanted Fish: Would you guys be able to update the Daily Pop at least with some old pictures of the creative process and such, since you can’t share anything new at the moment?
Skinny Moon: I asked about posting older stuff on the Daily Pop and we’re going to look into it!

idk: Is the new membership page mobile-friendly? That’s what it looks like.
Skinny Moon: Yes, new membership page is mobile friendly

Tall Cactus: When do you think New Pop will be released, at least? And will there be a new island on the current pop?
Skinny Moon: New Pop scheduled to be released late this year and there will be new islands (plural!) on it!

Ylimegirl: Are we still going to be able to play the old Poptropica islands with the new Poptropica?
Skinny Moon: The old Pop won’t just disappear when the new Pop debuts, so you’ll still be able to play old islands there.

Slanted Fish: Are all the current islands going to be on the new Pop, with the new art style?
Skinny Moon: Can’t yet talk about on specifics regarding current islands and New Pop. We’re super busy working on new features for both the current Poptropica and making the New Poptropica. I know you guys are used to bunches of islands coming out each year and this year isn’t typical. But trust me, we have SO MUCH awesome coming your way!

Perfect Sky: I think I’m the only one wondering if there will every be new popgum….
Mad Apper:  Every new PopGum? Even Island-Flavored? What am I saying? Yep. New PopGum to go with every island.
Skinny Moon: Oooooh, I like the idea of new PopGum for every island!

Ripley: Wait aren’t you the one who runs the FB page?? I’m Lizzy, that chick you roasted in January. ^w^
Skinny Moon: Hi! Nice to see you! All you PHC people – if you’re on Facebook, come say hi there, too – like Lizzy!

Tall Cactus: So, will there be a new island on the current Pop?
Skinny Moon: I can’t comment on potential new islands. Sorry! 😦

Criaha: What’s your personal favorite island?
Skinny Moon: Hmmmmmm… that’s tough… I like MOTM a lot.

Slanted Fish: If it’s okay to ask, how is Poptropica doing financially? There have been a few rumors in both directions, but they’re mostly speculation.
Skinny Moon: Poptropica is doing great!

idk: Since the new Poptropica is being built in Unity, have there been any changes within Poptropica’s development team? Any new creators because of this change?
Skinny Moon: Our Creators are loving working with Unity. I’ve seen some awesome early animation – I wish I could show you!

CraftyPoptropiqueen: Is Binary Bard ever gonna come back? ;w;
idk: E. Vile come back, please. 😢
Criaha: Wait, I don’t want to sound annoying, but will ringmaster raven come back? O3O
idk: Dr. Cumulo Nimbus gets no attention either.
Tall Cactus: What about Black Widow?
Skinny Moon: I will let the Creators know you all want to see the villains come back!

Brave Tomato: How’d you get the community contact job? ^^
Skinny Moon: I’ve been working for the company since January 2015 and was hired to manage the GHD blog and social. That went well, so they gave me Poptropica. And then that went well, so they gave me everything social media-related under the StoryArc Media umbrella – though right now I’m pretty Poptropica-focused.

Tall Cactus: Is there gonna be a Pop TV Show?
Skinny Moon: Though we’d LOVE a Pop TV show, that’s not something in the immediate future…

Angry Tomato: Any new islands?
Skinny Moon: All I can say about new Islands is there will be new islands in the New Poptropica!

Criaha: I was just wondering, will you ever have LGBT characters?
Skinny Moon: Excellent question. I don’t think I can officially say anything about this yet, but trust me when I say allowing full customization of a player’s character is something we’re discussing for the New Poptropica.

MissEligon: I have a question, I feel like this might be something to hide until later, but will we ever hear more about the infamous for villains?
Skinny Moon: Hmmmm… TBD… 😉

––

Quite the interesting Q&A session, despite being an unexpected visit. It really was a fun time, and we’re hoping Skinny Moon will stop by more often! 😀

Jessica also showed off her 5-month-old puppy, Toby, while on the chat, so I gotta add that in here. 😛

JessPuppyToby

If you’re not already part of the PHC community, we would love for you to join. It’s a friendly place where you’ll get to hang out with lots of Poptropicans, including PHB authors, other Poptropica bloggers and artists, and as you just saw, even the occasional Creator! Find out more on our Chat page!

Meme King out. 👑

• Ultimate iPad Expert •

Hold your horses, there are Poptropica English apps!

Hey Poptropicans! Are you smarter than a fifth grader?

Although it doesn’t seem to have been mentioned anywhere, there’s a Poptropica English app out there for iOS devices – and it’s created by Pearson Education, the company that owns Poptropica. It’s targeted to 6-11 year-olds and is free on the App Store, but comes with in-app purchases.

The game is populated with Poptropica characters and contains mini-games such as City Hub, Word Factory, Word Race, and Word Tower. If you’re looking to brush up on elementary-level English vocabulary, or know someone who might want to, check it out!

UPDATE: There’s another one! Thanks to PHB reader Why are you reading my name for the tip. It’s also by Pearson, and it’s called Our Discovery Island: Phonic Tricksters. You can get it on the App Store or Google Play for free, but it does contain in-app purchases.

In Phonic Tricksters, the Tricksters (masked Poptropicans) are stealing English letter-sounds (phonemes) and you can catch them by taking photos with your phone camera. This game is for ages 4 and up. Unlike the other app, this one doesn’t seem to explicitly say the characters are Poptropicans.

In other news, the PHC (Poptropica Help Chat) recently had a (hopefully more eye-pleasing) makeover! If you haven’t already, check out the PHB’s Christmas party 2014 recap, which includes a video introduction to the PHC community and the things we get up to. Think of it as the PHC trailer. 😉

Also, I’ve changed my Poptropican’s look, which you may see around various places, including the new PHB Twitter header. The maroon hair matches my scarf! Rad. 😎

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Plus, the PHB recently hit 15 million views! Stay tuned for a special treat… 😀

Poptropica’s 7th & Sam’s 15th birthday party!

note: The party has ended; thanks to all who came! Click here for a recap! 🙂

PopBirthday 2014

Hey everyone! As you may have gathered from the invitation above, you’re all invited to join the PHB in celebrating Poptropica’s 7th birthday this Saturday, September 20th on our official chat, the PHC! I’ll also be turning 15, and I’d really love to celebrate with you all! Just to reiterate, here are the details:

  • WHO: Poptropicans of all ages who want to hang out & have fun!
  • WHAT: Partying in Multiverse rooms on Pop, playing games, and chatting on the PHC, and possibly playing some music on plug.dj
  • WHEN: Saturday, September 20th @ 7pm EST / 6pm CST / 5pm MST / 4pm PST (for those who don’t live in America, use a time converter to check when that’ll be in your time zone!)
  • WHERE: the Poptropica Help Chat (PHC) – click here to access it!
  • WHY: Birthday celebrations – Poptropica’s 7th and Samwow5’s 15th!

Update: Poptropica retweeted our tweet about the party! Whether they’ll come remains to be seen, but it would be so cool if they did! Anyway, thanks for spreading the word, Poptropica!

For those who are unfamiliar with the PHC, that’s the Poptropica Help Chat, the official PHB hangout. It’s a great place to chat with other Poptropicans anytime, not just when we’ve got a party going on, and sometimes you might even get to meet PHB staff – I’ll be there for this, naturally!

The chat is moderated for safety and we do have rules to maintain harmony, so be sure to familiarize yourself with our chat policy and ranks on our Chat page, which you can find by clicking “Chat” in the menu above. Also, it’s okay to chat about other topics besides Poptropica while you’re on the PHC!

Anyway, hope to see you there! Bring your 7th birthday balloons for the big event! 😀