Bakugan Battle Brawlers
What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this anime-style action cartoon is very obviously tied to an extensive line of Bakugan toys, and young fans may quickly start begging their parents to buy them. Characters in the show frequently play the central tie-in card game, and, when they aren't playing, they spend most of their time discussing it. That said, other than the obvious commercialism and some cartoon fantasy violence involving the Bakugan beasts, the show is age-appropriate for tweens.
What's the story?
Dan (voiced by Scott McCord), the main character in BAKUGAN BATTLE BRAWLERS, has only one ambition -- to be the top-rated Bakugan player -- and most of this anime series focuses on his efforts. It shows him playing Bakugan (a complicated game that combines playing cards and small monster figurines that transform into huge creatures and attack each other), making plans for his next match, coming up with new strategies, and gossiping about other players. In fact, the entire show centers on the Bakugan game. The series tries to add another dimension to this fairly limited story by introducing a parallel plot about a different dimension, Vestroia, where an evil monster is trying to take power. Through a mysterious accident, the monster ends up on Earth as a Bakugan beast. His rival, Drago (Jason Deline), follows, hoping to foil the nefarious plan, and becomes the most powerful Bakugan creature in Dan's collection.
Is it any good?
Though many modern kids shows are tied to merchandising campaigns, the marketing message in Bakugan (which is associated with an extensive line of toys and other products) is much more overt than most other programs and will be obvious even to tweens. But young kids may not notice it, and those who like the show will almost certainly start clamoring for a trip to the toy store.
Bottom line? The show isn't much fun for anyone who realizes it's just a big commercial, and it's consumerism waiting to happen for anyone who doesn't.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about the connection between entertainment and marketing. Do you think this show can be enjoyed on its own, or is it too much of a toy commercial?
How has connecting toys and TV shows two changed the way we choose what shows to watch -- and what toys to buy?
Do you think a TV network would want to air a show that didn't have any good toy tie-ins? Why or why not?