What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that like its predecessor, Beyblade: Metal Fusion, BeyWheelz is both a TV series and a product line of toys that replicate the battles kids see in the show, so your kids' susceptibility to marketing tactics like these is a major factor in the show's suitability for them. The battles usually consist of small wheel-shaped objects crashing into each other until one isn't able to continue, so there's little emotion tied to the face-offs themselves. Villains are clearly defined, and their insidious behavior serves to accentuate the positive qualities of the civic-minded protagonists. Kids will see some good examples of teamwork, friendship, and kids taking ownership of their mistakes and making amends for them. That said, this is a real know-your-kid situation because of the show's fast pace, flashy animation style, and, of course, its extensive imbedded advertising.
What's the story?
BEYWHEELZ is an anime spin-off of Beyblade: Metal Fusion that's set in a separate universe and chronicles an ongoing battle between two dominant teams of Wheelers: Team Estrella and the Dominators. Wheelers existed peacefully in their city until the Dominators used their prowess to impose tyranny on the entire population, leading Sho (voiced by Christopher Jacot), Jin, Leon Fierce (Zachary Bennett), and the rest of Team Estrella to band together against the attackers to try to end their reign.
Is it any good?
If you're wondering about the major difference between Beyblade and BeyWheelz, here is: Whereas Beyblade's battle style resembles colorful tops spinning upright, the drones in BeyWheelz roll on their sides like a flywheel. That's it. The world domination plot is nearly identical, as is the theme of young upstanding protagonists giving the hardcore villains a run for their money. But none of this compares to the two shows' most outstanding common goal: Marketing their toy replicas to eager young fans.
The story's not all bad, though. Many of the characters -- including Sho, the central figure -- display positive personality traits like loyalty, humility, and dedication to a just cause. The BeyWheelz sport draws people from different backgrounds who find common ground in their quest for excellence and, in the case of Estrella's members, their desire to return peace to their city. What's more, the Wheelers' star status as a result of their skills welcomes discussions with your kids about our society's treatment and expectations of celebrities.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about facing challenges. How does having people by your side make it easier to cope with a difficult situation? What sources of strength do you draw on to meet tough challenges?
Kids: Are you familiar with the BeyWheelz toys and games? How do they compare to what you see in the show? Are you inclined to want them because of watching this series? How much does what we see in the media influence our desires?
How does our society assign celebrity status? What types of people do we most revere? Do you think this respect is well deserved in most cases? Who are some of your role models other than those we typically consider stars?