Bakugan Hustle

Lars Lion [800x600] Bakugan are action figures and toys based on a show on Cartoon Network. 

Each of the action figures has a G power rating that is a number between 200 and 700 and is printed directly on the figure.  The higher the number, the more powerful the figure is in the Bakugan games. The more powerful the figure is, the more valuable the figure is to people who trade them. 

The Bakugan game is played with the figures and trading cards that, when played, alter the G Power of the Bakugan.  The winner is determined by which Bakugan has the most G after all cards are played.  A Bakugan that has a higher G power to start is much harder to beat. 

Side Note: I actually like the kids playing the game because it requires them to do quite a bit of math in their heads.

At Isaac’s school, Bakugan are like money among the 5 to 10 year olds.  Trades and matches are negotiated and brokered with the seriousness of Wall Street.  And, like on Wall Street there are hustlers as well. 

One of Isaac’s friends claims to have a special card that can permanently boost the G power of a Bakugan, not just in a match, but forever.  Since the card is from Japan and is written in Japanese no one can read it.  Not that anyone would have a chance otherwise; for one reason or another the boy is unable to bring the card to school to show to his friends.  At any rate, this card makes it very hard to beat his Bakugan in matches because at one time or another all of his Bakugan were permanently boosted.

Now if the story ended there with some kid cheating his way through school yard games, it wouldn’t be all that special.  However, like all of the Wall Street stories that have been coming out, it doesn’t end with just a little cheating here and there.  The latest thing is that this kid is now trading Bakugan that have had their G power magically boosted.  For example, just today he traded a Bakugan with Isaac.  The Bakugan is rated at 300G, but Isaac was led to believe that it was really a 600G Bakugan because it was boosted with the special card. 

This isn’t just cheating anymore.  More powerful Bakugan actually cost more real life money with the most powerful fetching up to $50.  Convincing kids to trade high powered Bakugan for lower powered Bakugan by misrepresenting their G power is a form of stealing.  It’s not Bernie Madoff stealing, but on a school yard scale I thought it was still a big deal.

When Isaac got home from school today, he asked me to help him change the number on his new Bakugan and explained how it had been permanently boosted.  That’s when I decided that I would have to explain this to him.  I tried, but he didn’t believe me at first. He really wanted to believe that he had just scored a really powerful Bakugan.  Finally, I sent a message to Action Figure World and they helped me set him straight, but I was wondering if I should leave it at that.  Isaac was heart broken when he realized that he had been cheated.  I don’t know if it was the realization that he had lost a valuable toy or that his friend had lied to him, but he was really upset.  Should I have just let him believe?  Should I have helped him change the number?

Well, I’ve already explained it to him, so I can’t undo that, but is that it?  Do I just let him take care of it and try to get his Bakugan back, or do I take a more active role and make sure that the trade is undone?  And what about the situation in general?  Do I leave the con going or do I alert some of the other parents or teachers.  I really don’t want to make too big a deal out of it.  I was wondering if I can take the geek / web 2.0 way out and just blog about it and hope things resolve themselves.

What do you think?

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