Sharing the Geeky Fun with Toddlers
It’s an understatement saying that parenting isn’t easy these days. Sharing the things we loved as a kid with children just isn’t as simple. Sometimes our excitement for sharing these things that we loved when we were younger overshadows our judgment for what the children may and may not be ready for. The littlest kids are always the hardest to share with. While they may not always be able to determine the difference between reality and fiction, they still want to enjoy things like comic book heroes and robots in disguise.
My nephew is creeping closer and closer to the giant age of five and is a big Marvel and Transformers fan. He has been a big fan since he was three. This excited both my brother and I greatly, because we are big fans as well. The problem was that my nephew was not quite ready for the live action motion picture versions then and isn’t quite ready for that now. We did manage to find something for the little guy to enjoy, The Super Hero Squad Show and Transformers: Rescue Bots.
The Super Hero Squad Show
Marvel has several animated television shows and films out, but most of them were and still are a little too mature for my nephew. It is usually due to either too violent content he is not ready to be exposed to or complex story lines that he cannot understand or relate too. Then Marvel came out with Super Hero Squad Show in 2009. The show is a toned down version of the Marvel world focused around Super Hero City which houses all of Marvel’s beloved comic book heroes. The heroes come off as silly and simpler versions of themselves while they battle even sillier versions of Marvel’s villains. My nephew just loves it. He gets to root for his favorite heroes like Captain America, the Hulk, and Iron Man. We don’t mind watching the show with him, because Marvel understood that parents would be watching the show along with the kids. There are several jokes littered throughout the entire show that fans of the comics and movies would find entertaining. I personally love watching it with my nephew, because I think it’s hilarious.
The best part of my nephew having a marvel outlet is that we can go out and buy the costumes and some of the toys from the shows and movies and now he understands what they are. The unfortunate thing is that there were only two seasons made of the show. That being said, the entire series is currently on Netflix, and I think it still runs on The Hub from time to time. The show may be gone, but they still make toys and video games for tots to enjoy as well.
Transformers: Rescue Bots
This Transformers show is extremely toned down compared to the rest of the family. It is has no Decepticons. Before you freak out over that, please understand that this show was made for a specific market, and it needed to be comparable to that market. The market is toddlers and they didn’t want bots tearing and blowing one another up. Instead we have a small group of Transformers that have taken the forms of the main public service vehicles in a small town. They were sent to help out the community and learn about humanity by Optimus Prime himself. The city believes that the Transformers are just experimental robots that also turn into rescue vehicles. The fact that they are alien beings is only know to a family that tends to the rescue and public needs of the town. Yes, it does have Optimus Prime and even Bumblebee in a few episodes, but they are not featured. The bots pretty much help out with whatever mystery or shenanigans is going on with the town at that time. It is a specifically toddler focused show. As an adult watching it with my nephew, it is not any more entertaining than the Nick Jr and Disney Jr shows, but the little guy loves it. He adores the theme song as well and sings it all of the time.
Show has one season under its belt, which can be found on Netflix also. It has just started its second season and has no plans as of yet to finish. It currently airs on The Hub as well. The show has spawned several toy lines that are specifically geared to toddlers with simple and easy transformations that won’t discourage the little ones. Because he now has a point of reference, I always joke with my nephew that I see Bumblebee at my work. He gets really excited about why Bumblebee was there, and it can get really fun thinking of stories to explain it. I joke with his parents that the day he gets old enough to watch the live action movies his poor little mind is just going to overload the first time he sees the very real car turn into a giant robot. It will be a fun day.
I really hope other companies and franchises like DC Comics hone in on this niche and add to this market. There is a lot of potential here since honestly these are the only two shows of its kind that I know of. I believe that not only having these types of shows can be entertaining for these age groups and exciting for parents, but it can be quite the lucrative market for these companies to roll into. I really hope that Marvel comes back with something like The Super Hero Show Squad especially in light of all of the recent film adaptation success. Finally, I hope that these two shows help you share some nerdy love to the sons, daughters, nieces, and nephews in your life.