Does anyone know how He-Man got so big in Brazil?
They seem to love the series out there.
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I remember to watch journalistic shows about Brazilian "He-Mania" back in the 80s and all adults knew the characters and lines like "I have the power". It doesn't sound too impressive but go ask today's adults if they know anything about Ben 10 or Naruto.
He-Man is still highly recognizable. If someone chooses to dress as a superhero in a Brazilian Costume Party people he/she will probably choose classic superheroes (Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman) or He-Man / She-Ra.
Comedy shows in Brazil also made many sketches about him (also "promoting" He-Man including him among traditional heroes):
More than 20 years later there are occasional He-Man mentions - and everyone still get the jokes:
A musical group for kids in the 80s ("Trem da Alegria") released a song about He-Man and everybody still remember it (Alessandra quoted the lyrics a few posts ago). Trem da Alegria was a famous group and sold more than 6 million records:
My guess: He-Man in Brazil was successful because it was licensed and represented only by MAJOR companies - specially Globo TV.
Filmation's cartoons (He-Man and She-Ra) aired daily on Globo TV. Globo is one of the biggest media companies in the world and they are powerful enough to decide what will become a hit. In fact Globo is so influent they elect (and unseat) our presidents - just brainwashing us thru TV. There's an excellent (and censored) BBC documentary about Globo: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beyond_Citizen_Kane
MOTU cartoon aired in Brazil since 1984 probably to test the audience. In 1986 He-Man entered aggressively in Brazil in 3 different ways: comics, toys and other general products. It all happened at the same time - so I'm sure it wasn't a coincidence.
Comics were released by Abril (a publisher that almost monopolizes our market). They used to publish Disney, DC, Marvel and all these other comics were filled with He-Man ads.
Giant department stores like Mesbla made unprecedented campaigns (since marketing for kids wasn't common here at the time). If you entered a store like Mesbla in kids department (back in 1986) you would only see He-Man products: Underwear, toys, notebooks. Everything.
Action Figures were released by Estrela (the main toy company in Brazil back in the day). Different companies were responsible for He-Man but they were all connected: Ad's from Estrela aired on Globo and were also published by Abril.
I recently posted about the GIANT effort to reunite the 1983 cast in Brazilian airing of the 2002 cartoon: http://www.he-man.org/forums/boards/...d.php?t=190999
This is not usual. If you watch new versions of cartoons like Ninja Turtles, Transformers or Justice League in Brazil the cast is completely new. He-Man was really treated in a special way.
But the new cartoon failed. Miserably.
Why? 2002 figures were not made in Brazil - all of them were imported by Mattel. We had packages in English but only He-Man and She-Ra are known here by their original american names. Skeletor is "Esqueleto", Man-at-arms is "Mentor". Even Orko have a different name in Brazil ("Gorpo"). Since the cartoon was made to sell toys Mattel ordered to keep the original american names ALSO on the new TV show. So we had the original 1983 cast but the old voices from our childhood were calling and refering to themselves with "new", strange names.
Globo TV bought the 2002 cartoon and was preparing another massive marketing campaign for the new He-Man. But TV executives didn't liked to hear the characters with English names. And they are so powerful they simply said: "You'll have to redub all episodes or we will not air this show". Since Mattel is not located in Brazil I bet they tought Globo was bluffing. Mattel refused to redub and the new He-Man cartoon airing was aborted.
So the 2002 toys failed, we only watched a few season 1 episodes in Cartoon Network and Mattel probably learned a lesson: In Brazil you can't mess with Globo (which is a sad thing)
Last edited by macbee; December 11, 2012 at 11:11am.
Very informative post Macbee. Thanks!
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Macbee, thank you for that explanation, it makes sense to me now.
IMO, the 2002 line didn't do very well here either. Mattel has seemed to drop the ball stateside as well. Don't know nearly as much detail as to why as you explained above. Out of touch execs. is all I can come up with. Personally, they changed the look of some of the characters, which was a big turn off for me.
Sorry for bringing an old topic back - but I think it's for a good reason.
On my previous post I talked about Mesbla department store.. Today I've found some Mesbla He-Man ADs:
All these adverts have been published on a single comic book: He-Man #3 published in March, 1986. This comic is in terrible shape - but I was six years old when I bought it
Os Trapalhões! I used to watch them all the time on the Portuguese channel here. LOL. I didn't know they put He-Man and pals in their episode! Very cool.
The Trem da Alegria song is stuck in my head now. Aaah!!
I ask because 'Trapalhoes' comedy is also based on visual gags - so must be easy to understand many of their sketches with any Portuguese knowledge
The guy that played Orko on Trapalhoes skecth also played He-Man on a Supermarket TV ad back in the day:
After Trem da Alegria's success Xuxa recorded a She-Ra tune in the following year.
The lyrics are about a party on Crystal Castle. Xuxa is invited, gets a crush on He-Man and begs to She-Ra to introduce them. It was a hit in 1986.
That Xuxa video was a blast! LOL! I love that she gives a beijinho to the camera. And thanks for posting the supermarket ad too!
Haha! Well, now I have two songs stuck in my head because of the Xuxa She-Ra song, so I can go back and forth between the two of them!Ha, welcome to my personal hell!
Thanks again for these videos and comic scans!