Never fired one of those, but I've seen them at Gander Mountain.
I gave some thought to picking up a kiddee sized .22 for a while, but so far none of my grandkids has shown more than passing interest in shooting.
The only one that wants to shoot the BB gun doesn't like the noise from the .22.
Oh well. Maybe later on they will change their minds. I'm not going to beg them to go shooting.
As far as the Marlin goes, I remember thinking it was nicer than the Cricket. Seems like it cost a little more, too.
If you have young ones that want to shoot, I don't think it matters much what rifle you use to get them started. As long as you don't scare them and they have fun they will pursue it if they want to.
And maybe you can work some quality time in there with that if you are lucky.