A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Scan2Go is an action/adventure series tied to a line of toys marketed toward kids, much like Bakugan or Pokemon. If your kids are susceptible to wanting the toys they see on TV, then this show will just fuel that fire. Happily, though, this series changes up the format in small ways that make a big difference in the messages that reach your kids, focusing on a race rather than a head-to-head battle that's riddled in violence. There are also some positive take-aways in the characters' relationships with their friends and respect among their competitors, as well as in watching kids learn a new skill. Expect some playground-style language ("shut up," "punk," etc.), especially during the races, as well as a few car crashes without injury.
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What's the story?
SCAN2GO is an anime series about teams of kids who face off in an intergalactic competition using toy race cars. Central to the story is Team Jet, a foursome of novice competitors who have traveled from the distant planet Earth to take part in their first races. Led by Kaz (James Beach), Team Jet's members are ready to take the Scan2Go world by storm . . . once they perfect their skills, that is. Being surrounded by the universe's top teams can be intimidating, but it also has its benefits, and Kaz and his friends find some guidance in unlikely places on the circuit.
Is it any good?
Scan2Go joins the ranks of Pokemon, Beyblade: Metal Fusion, and Bakugan, yet another action/adventure series that's geared toward kids (boys in particular) and serves as its own best commercial for an accompanying merchandise line. It's nearly impossible to expect kids to watch the thrill of the car race and see the relationships evolve between each character and his or her respective vehicle without wanting to feel that firsthand, at least as much as buying a toy replica will allow.
On the plus side, this story is less violent than its genre predecessors, thanks to the fact that the plot's focal point is a race rather than a battle. There's also time for the characters to strategize, reflect, and learn from the outcome of each contest. Parents will notice some instances of mentoring and respectful relationships between competitors as well. Ultimately, as this type of show goes, Scan2Go isn't a bad choice for kids, but it's still a well-conceived marketing tool designed to influence your kids' buying habits.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about this show's intention. What role does advertising play in the design of the show's characters and plot? Does watching the show make you want your own Scan2Go car? In your experience, do toys from TV usually live up to your expectations?
Kids: What do the characters learn from their competitions? How do their experiences help them improve their skills? How does experiencing a loss encourage a player to do better the next time?
The kids in this series are celebrities because of the popularity of the Scan2Go game. How does our culture assign star status? Is it always deserved?
Themes & Topics
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