A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this website.
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.
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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