Flavored tobacco and nicotine products, fruity alcoholic beverages — a number of potentially harmful products have been spotlighted for targeting kids.

So should parents be alarmed by the growing trend of retailers luring in youngsters with “digital playgrounds” in the emerging metaverse?

Walmart is the latest corporate heavyweight to announce plans to do just that.

It unveiled two online experiences Monday on the gaming platform Roblox — Walmart Land and Walmart’s Universe of Play.

Both target people age 25 and younger.

As CNBC put it, “The retail giant’s first foray into the virtual world will feature a blimp that drops toys, a music festival with hot artists, a bunch of different games and a store of virtual merchandise, or ‘verch,’ which matches what customers may find in Walmart’s stores and on its website.”

“We’re showing up in a big way — creating community, content, entertainment and games through the launch of Walmart Land and Walmart’s Universe of Play,” William White, chief marketing officer for Walmart U.S., said in a statement.

“Roblox is one of the fastest growing and largest platforms in the metaverse, and we know our customers are spending loads of time there. So, we’re focusing on creating new and innovative experiences that excite them.”

To be sure, Walmart is far from alone in planting flags in the metaverse, a virtual-reality-driven digital environment that proponents — hi, Facebook! — hope will be the Next Big Thing in digital entertainment and commerce.

But it seems the lines between amusement and marketing are becoming increasingly blurry, sort of like what once happened with Saturday-morning cartoons until broadcast authorities weighed in.

Sure, it sounds fun that Walmart is offering a “physics-defying Ferris wheel giving users a bird’s-eye glimpse of the world.”

But it also wants digital visitors to buy stuff for their online “avatars,” or characters.

It seems important that officials keep a close watch on these trends and be vigilant for possible missteps that expose young people to financial harm or loss of privacy.

We already know how easily digital technology can be used to manipulate user behavior and decisions. The metaverse is all that but on steroids.

And kids shouldn’t be Guinea pigs.