My son knows who Harry Potter is. He’s 2 and 1/2. He’s never seen a movie or been read a book about it.
He knows who Batman is (it’s him, most of the time), and who his major archenemies are. This one we’ve enabled – he’s seen the old Batman and we’ve “read” him some of the books. He knows the basic Star Wars ensemble, including a strange mix including Darth Vader and Annakin as separate people. He’s never finished the first movie.
He doesn’t know if he’s gone to the bathroom or not. He’s unreliable on basic questions like “Is your hair wet.” He gets his colors mixed up.
He knows Superman, Spider-Man, and Iron Man. We don’t watch cable. We have the Net of Flix.
I know, basically, that this is my fault as a parent. I could keep this stuff away from him, like we tried to do with the princess stuff our daughter got into at this age. My experience is that keeping it away, once they’ve been exposed to it, just reinforces their drive to see it more. We decided to let her go through it.
This stuff is just in the water, apparently. I think I was the same way, about G.I. Joe and He-Man, though I had the advantage of absolutely terrible TV shows (half-hour long commercials for toys interspersed with commercials for fruit drinks and different toys) that I will never return to again. Stuff these days seems to be a little better produced, so kids may actually go back to it. It’s almost as if the content comes first and the toys come second, sometimes. This is not the case with Legos, who have yet to produce any really solid media. Which is FINE since they’re TOY MAKERS.
I’m just alarmed, I guess. Either the Color Spectrum and Going Potty patrol need to get better advertising (this would be internal advertising, I suppose) or the marketers for the others are really good. Probably both, I guess. I’m not saying they’re evil – I like Harry Potter, Batman, and Spider-Man. I’m saying, I guess, that I’m alarmed at the rate of absorption.