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What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Power Players is an animated series about a young boy who transforms into an action doll, and the team of loyal, living toys he fights villains with. Created by the same folks who brought us Ben 10, it has some fantasy violence (battles between toys, firing weapons, energy blasts), and the main villain looks scary. There's also lots of merchandise associated with the franchise that kids might be interested in after watching.
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What's the story?
From the creators of the Ben 10 franchise comes POWER PLAYERS, an animated action series featuring a boy who becomes a doll-sized action hero. The imaginative Axel (Kieran Walton) is staying with his Uncle Andrew, who was once a brilliant toy inventor. When he ventures into a secret area of his uncle's basement, he discovers the Power Bandz, which can transform him into Action Axel, a toy-sized action figure. The new superhero is called on to lead a colorful team of toys that have been brought to life, including luchador Masko (Carlos Salazar), a clay-loving battle doll named Bobby Blobby (Reba Buhr), a lizard toy named Galileo (Todd Haberkorn), and the powerful plush Bearbarian (Jamieson Price). Rounding out the group is a veteran war strategist action figure named Sarge Charge (Greg Chun). But Madcap (Paul Haapaniemi), an evil robot toy, has also come to life, and is using Uncle Andre's Minergy battery to create a destructive gang of playthings. With the help of their neighbor Zoe, Action Axel and the rest of the Power Players are ready to fight the villains in order to save the world.
Is it any good?
The action-packed series combines spectacular animation with a solid premise to create an entertaining narrative. Like Ben 10 and many other superheroes, Axel's power comes from external technology, but he is committed to using it to fight those intent on causing harm. But the addition of living toys to the mix adds a Toy Story-like quality to the show that is playful and fun. Granted, the Power Player toys are a little edgier and more diverse than the Disney characters, but their distinctive personalities make the show more entertaining. No doubt that young action fans looking for a new group of heroes will find some here.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the similarities and differences between Power Players and Ben 10. What characteristics do Axel and Ben share?
Does fantasy violence in media have the same impact as TV shows, games, and movies featuring more realistic-looking violence? Is one type worse than the other?
What kind of toy action figure would you want to be? What would your special strength or skill be?
Our editors recommend
For kids who love animated action
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