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Product Review: “Bakugan” Toys

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Bakugan is quickly becoming the latest hit in anime character battle games. It has been selling quickly in toy stores across the U.S. and Canada, and was named one of the top toys of 2008 by Time Magazine and Newsday.

Much like Pokemon, Bakugan features both a cartoon show and a competitive card game, with many accessories to accompany it. The show can be seen on Cartoon Network and features the cards and marble characters who are portrayed as beings from another dimension.

The game components that I received for review include:

  • The Bakugan Battle Arena
  • A Bakugan Starter Pack in red, which includes three red Bakugan marbles, three character cards, and instructions outlining how to play the game
  • Five additional Bakugan marbles and character cards in blue, green, brown, red, and grey

Each card represents a Bakugan Battle Brawler character. Each Bakugan piece consists of a marble that is rolled across the battle arena until it lands on a Bakugan card, thereby unlocking and transforming the playing piece into a particular fighting position. When two marbles from opposing players land on the same card, there is a simulated 'battle' that determines which player captures that particular card. There are numbers on the marble pieces as well as on the cards that indicate the scoring. A quick series of scoring calculations from the numbers on the cards and marbles determines who wins each battle, and ultimately, the game.

When Spin Master toys sent me the latest Bakugan Battle Brawlers game and accessories for review, I went directly to the experts closest to me — my daughter and my nephew. My four-year-old daughter played the game with me first. Although the math involved in keeping score of the battle rankings was a bit beyond her at this age, it certainly wouldn't pose a problem for older kids, and it didn't interfere with her enjoyment of competitively shooting marbles across the battle arena game board until they landed on a card and opened up into a Bakugan character. She now asks to play Bakugan constantly, and has told all of her friends about her new game.

My nephew, being more a fan of the old school Pokemon and Yu-Gi-Oh!, ventured his opinion that the toy was likely a knock-off of the predecessors in this genre. However, the jury is still out in that respect, since he has not actually watched much of the show or played the game yet, and I suspect that at the age of nine, he may simply be starting to outgrow the lure of this toy category. We'll have to see what happens when his younger cousin attempts to eagerly corner him into a Bakugan battle brawl the next time they see each other.

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About Lisa Damian

  • Milla Valkeasuo

    I think it sounds somehow boring.

  • martell

    bakugan is the best tv show ever i have a drago just like dan its at 550 g’s

  • WorkAtHomeMom

    My son has started asking for these toy Bakugan. I guess they’re the new big thing at his school, so I’m trying to read up on at much as possible about them before I make a decision on buying them for him.

    I found some good info on them so far. Anyone considering them might want to read this article on Bakugan Toys and if they’re bad for kids.

  • http://damiandaily.wordpress.com Lisa Damian

    WorkAtHomeMom,

    Thanks for the article reference. It included some good information, particularly the tip about ordering these early in time for Christmas. Most of the toy stores are already sold out, but Amazon.com still has many in stock as of right now. I provided some links above that you can use to place an order, but I wouldn’t recommend waiting until the last minute. According to everything I’ve read and seen so far, it appears as if this will be one of the hot toy crazes this holiday season.

  • Sage bekelian

    Return on chrismas please:legendary solders pleaseon chrismas ok.

  • momo2

    Costco has the mega pak for $33. This includes the arena and 6 balls and various cards (sorry, i don’t know how many exactly). A good deal.

  • http://damiandaily.wordpress.com Lisa Damian

    Momo2,

    Wow, that is a good value for Bakugan products. Thanks for the heads-up.

    Incidentally, the packages usually include one card for each ball.

  • http://www.buybakugantoysonline.com tannage

    It would seem that it’s gettign round to the point where ordering online is gonig to be more time efficient than trawling the shops. Bakugan sells out pretty much as soon as the toys hit the shelves. I found a blog article on shop trawls vs online

  • http://bakuganmall.blogspot.com PopPause

    I think so find Bakugan toys online is another great alternative. Regarding to your comment about the price, after browsing for a while I found that it is quite varies; sometimes you can find it cheaper, sometimes you can find it more expensive. [Edited]

  • Tabitha

    My children attend a religious private school. The administration just recently sent this note to the parents: Recently, we have noticed that some of the students are bringing a new type of card and toys to the school. The name of the cards is “Bakugan” which seems that it is very popular among the boys in general. Unfortunately, these kind of cards contain evil characters and ideas in them. Please, talk to your children about the evil side of this type of cards and games, and I am planning to address this issue to the all students during the assembly. In the past, when we confiscate an item, we usually talk to the parents and give it back to them. Starting next week, if any student brings “Bakugan”, we will confiscate them, and we will still contact the parents, however, we will not return the cards or toys to the parents, instead we will get rid of them right away.

    This note was sent by email to all parents. I have heard of this type of thing happening since the Holiday break is over. Just a reminder that if they bring their $50+ gift to school, the admin may take it based on the perceived religious/mystical connotations . . .

  • http://www.EurocriticsMagazine.com Christopher Rose

    Tabitha, it’s a toy! You would serve your children well to remove them from such a lunatic environment as this school presents…

  • http://damiandaily.wordpress.com Lisa Damian

    There have always been fanatics in society who rush to ban the simplest of things. Some of my favorite books that have been banned over the years include “James and the Giant Peach,” “The Catcher in the Rye,” “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer,” “The Color Purple,” and “Harry Potter,” just to name a few.

    I can assure you that I saw nothing threatening in the game characters or in the simple math skills that make up the overall gist of the game. My daughter didn’t think that the pictures looked mildly scary or intimidating in any way. Personally, I teach my own children that it is a person’s deeds and actions that could be construed as good or evil, not some inanimate object.

  • juanita anderson

    Has anyone had a problem with them breaking. We did, I think the plastic was very weak at the joint.

  • Pastor Matt

    Hi, I just wanted to share my two cents. I am a youth pastor and after my son brought home a bakagon I started doing some research. I believe these toys do have evil spirits attached to them. I know it may seem crazy but its true. I am not a religious fanatic but just a God fearing man that wants whats best for my children. We are in a spiritual battle everyday. Every time we are tempted to do something wrong, like lusting, coveting, or even gossiping we are in a battle. I don’t think all the books that were listed above are evil but I do know first hand how controling the Harry Potter books are. I use to work in a Juvenile Detention facility and if the teenagers got in trouble they would loose points and if they lost too many points they would have their books taken away. Anytime we had to take the Harry Potter books away they would become violent. Not just sometimes but every time. If you don’t believe me just try taking away your childs bakagon and see how violent they become. I recommend that you remove the bakagons and pray with your children. Please always pray before you buy toys, we must protect what our children see and play with. Please don’t just wright me off but truly seek out God’s will for your life and your family, He will be faithful to answer you. God bless you!

  • Thomas

    THank you very much, Pastor Matt for your advice as my 3 year old son has been pestering me to buy this Bakgan toy for the past few days. THanks and God Bless you.

  • http://damiandaily.wordpress.com Lisa Damian

    I can attest that neither of my children have ever become violent over Bakugan or any other toys, books, or ideas, whether they are taken away or not. In fact, they have never become obsessive or irrational about any inaninimate object.

    We work hard to teach our children to express themselves with their words in a calm manner, to share their thoughts and emotions through communication, not physical actions. We have taught them to also do the same with other children, even when other kids are sometimes unkind. We provide an environment where they feel comfortable doing this, where they can talk to us about anything. We teach them to respect and love themselves and to respect and love others. I know all kids are different and respond to situations differently, but this seems to be working well in our household.

    I respect that everyone’s experiences are unique, but I have to say that I have never personally witnessed anything like what the youth pastor describes.

  • http://bakuganpriceguide.com bakuganexpert

    First off, I can certainly respect everyone’s opinions.

    If you analyze practically any action figure show or toy, you can certainly find forces of evil within. It is the main premise since the beginning of time, black and white, good vs evil… Adam vs. temptation… It is just as important to learn the dark side – to be able to understand the path of righteousness etc. If you shun this game, you can essentially shun EVERY action game and show. If you exemplify only the goods in life, how can you expect that person to make the right decision when the inevitable “evil” presents itself? Another article to read that emphasizes more the educational values.

  • WILLIAM ROGERS

    WHAT IS THE PRICE OF BAKUGAN BATTAL BRALERS.

  • b.v.

    why are Bakugan so much and the cases only come with two of them.On the photo it shows it with a lot of bakugan and children spend a lot of their money just for two bakugan.just for Three is $12.99 with about six cards.

  • c.m.v.

    you should lower the prices on the cases because it only has two bakugan and kids just look at the photos.put atlesst three more bakugan in a case and put the cards that belong to the bakugan.

  • CAIDEN

    I HAVE A LOT OF BAKUGAN I LIKE AQOUS I HAVE A PREYAS I HOPE YOU CAN SEND ME SOME AQOUS BAKUGAN PLEASE.

  • Debra

    we recently bought my son the triangle shaped Bakugon,… they need to reconsider the need shapes,… my son fell backwards on the triangle one and it pierced his head. It was a long night in the er and he had to have staples and now has a bald spot on his head because it had to be shaved.

  • http://damiandaily.wordpress.com Lisa Damian

    Yikes! Debra, did you contact the company that makes the Bakugan products? I hope your son is okay.

  • harrsh

    i want data dragonoid

  • robertx

    someone can battal me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • owen

    Hi… I like cheese, but do you no what I like more?.?! bakugan!!! Ho dosn’t like bakugan?!?!

  • cathy

    Some comments here are hysterical. Whatever happened to common sense/reason!

    Anyway, both my boys are really into Bakugan and they are 6 and 4 years in age.

    The calculations are too advanced for my four year old but they are fine for my 6 year old. My children get upset whenever any type of toy is taken away, not because they possess evil spirits.

    I wonder if the pastor thought the Elmo craze was evil too some years back?