Following the Bakugan-fest that we experienced at Christmas, we decided to use a similar theme for our boy’s birthday this year.

I know that I had my own favorites as a kid, such as ThunderCats, Transformers, SilverHawks, GI Joe, TigerSharks, etc.  It’s likely that those shows also intended to serve as a mechanism for selling toy products to children.  Nonetheless, I don’t think they were quite as blatant about it.  While Bakugan’s slogan isn’t quite as obvious as “Gotta’ Catch’em All,” they are definitely about product placement.

I’ve actually pinpointed the thing that frustrates me about things like Pokemon, Yu-Gi-Oh, and Bakugan: there seems to be an unhealthy obsession with something that doesn’t really matter that much.  Of course, the same thing could be said about the upcoming SuperBowl, but the background thing driving the SuperBowl is the livelihood of thousands of people.  These games don’t seem to have that element.

I’m not suggesting that kids should be thinking about the families that survive as a result of the NFL while they are playing Madden 2011.  It just makes sense that those background elements are there.  In the Bakugan series, there seems to be an emotional connection between the players and their Bakugans, and yet the players are being asked to place these Bakugans in a life threatening situation.  And for what?

“The world seems to rely on the result of these battle.  Why?  Because it does!  Don’t look at the man behind the curtain!”