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 site features five teen girl trolls from the TV series who spend a lot of time talking about boys and fashion in between casting spells and fighting evil. Users have to register to do anything on the site, and registration requires an email address. Kids can communicate with each other via prescripted one-line greetings. There are tons of ads, links to other sites, and opportunities to earn fake money and buy Trollz gear. In several cases, McDonald's advertising masquerades as content. Most of what you can do on the site is related to fashion and beauty and to spending "trollars" (virtual money).
What's it about?
Remember those ugly-cute troll dolls with wrinkled faces and poofy hair? They've grown up (maybe a bit too fast), gotten a makeover, and started their own multimedia empire -- including the Web site TROLLZ.COM. The Trollz are pretty obsessed with beauty, fashion, and consumerism, and on their site, you can be too: Create an avatar, and then use your "trollars" to buy clothes and accessories, get a new hairdo, and decorate your Troll Pad. You can earn trollars by playing games on the site or entering promotional codes off of Trollz products.
Is it any good?
There are a lot of prompts to buy Trollz gear, and many of the quizzes and games are based on Trollz books and DVDs -- so if this is your first time in Trollz territory, you won't make the grade. Some of the stand-alone games and quizzes are fun, though, and even educational. In the arcade, you'll find challenging word searches, memory games, and strategy puzzles, or head over to Trollz High for a pop quiz in history, science, and other subjects. But one thing ... Why is the Amphitheater showing episodes of Punky Brewster?!
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how this site fits into the Trollz marketing scheme. How does the site encourage you to buy stuff, both real and virtual? Can you enjoy the activities without owning any of the Trollz gear? Since Trollz is based on a toy line, this might be a good opportunity for parents to educate their kids about how some media titles are pretty much just product marketing vehicles.