MarvelKids

Website review by
Dana Anderson, Common Sense Media
MarvelKids Website Poster Image
Marvel dials down the violence (a little) for young fans.

Parents say

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Kids say

age 6+
Based on 1 review

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this website.

Positive Messages

Super Heroes being who they are and doing what they do (even in the name of battling sinister foes), the features on this site often include a lot of growling, slamming, pounding, and other behavior that younger viewers may try to translate into real life.

Violence & Scariness

As with most comics, blasting and pounding and slamming is par for the course, all in the name of a greater good, of course. For example, in one game called "Hulk Bad Attitude" players build up Hulk's "Rage Meter" for more power. Some of the dramatic, foreboding music and intense scenes could be scary for younger viewers.

Sexy Stuff

The "Create Your Own Super Hero" game has over-the-top images of Super Hero bodies (male and female) for kids to dress up. The ultra-thin super-buxom female character (who makes Wonder Woman look flat-chested) and super-muscled male images may promote unhealthy body image ideals to young kids, especially girls.

Language
Consumerism

Ads for brands like Marvel digital comics, Lucky Charms, and McDonalds appear. Some of the games are offered as free trials with an option to buy. A disclaimer states that users are supposed to be 18 to purchase anything from the site.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this somewhat toned-down Marvel site is "for the youngest of Marvel fans." There's still a lot of larger-than-life Super Hero action (some may say violence) and over-the-top body images, but it's all presented in a format that tweens and slightly younger kids can navigate and have fun with.

User Reviews

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Kid, 10 years old August 31, 2009

I used to use it but moved up to Marvel.com.

It's all really a fun website but it's not as good as Marvel.com. Even though Marvel.com is NOT ok for kids.

What's it about?

MARVELKIDS.COM is action-packed fun for tween fans of Spider Man, Iron Man, Hulk, The Fantastic Four, and other larger-than-life Super Hero characters. The games, videos, and comics (viewed in a cool page-turning digital reader), are colorful, fast paced, and full of loud, blasting battles of good vs. evil. Some of the games and comics require a much more solid command of reading than others. There's an incredibly long list of games to try for free, but many then must be purchased. Kids under 13 must have parent approval via email to join the site.

Is it any good?

With games like "Armory Assault" and "Hulk Bad Attitude," Marvel.com presents graphic concepts that some parents will classify as "action" and some will put in the "violent" category. Parents need to gauge whether their younger comics fan can handle this rather intense action and can separate that kind of action from real-life play with their friends on the playground. Some parents may want to steer younger fans to the downloadable coloring pages, mazes, and word challenges. Some material on this site may not be appropriate for impressionable kids who haven't yet learned to distinguish between what's okay for Super Heroes to say and do and what's OK behavior for themselves.

Online interaction: The site says it offers the ability to send friends a "postcard," but that might be a feature they're intending to add later.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about why Super Heroes can do things that real people cannot. Talk about the outrageous super powers, words and actions that these characters exhibit that make them fun to watch -- not imitate. What are the good qualities in Super Heroes? Not so good? Are people ever supposed to look like Super Heroes? Talk about real healthy, strong bodies and how they look compared to the Hulk, for example. How can you be a real-life Super Hero, doing things that help people and fight off bad things? What are some real-life super powers (like kindness, giving, standing up for kids who are bullied)?

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