At home with El Chavo and amigos
Did you grow up watching the El Chavo del Ocho sitcom on the local Spanish-language station, laughing at the antics of El Chavo and his amigos in his vecindad? Did your kids inherit this Mexican heritage TV viewing habit from you? Then you’ll be happy to hear that, as of August 2013, the beloved, ragamuffin character is coming to the U.S. and he’s bringing friends like Popis and Quico. Toymaker JAKKS Pacific is launching a line of 18-inch talking (“Eso, eso, eso …”) El Chavo and friends toys, and the product line will include action figures, plush dolls, role-play products, dress up, seasonal toys, table top games and novelty items that celebrate the world of El Chavo, including a variety of characters seen in El Chavo animado, the animated series that is broadcast on the Univision Network on Sunday afternoons.
“With a rich history of successfully bringing popular entertainment properties to life and strong nationwide distribution at retail, JAKKS was the right licensing partner to enlist as we bring El Chavo animado to the ever-growing population of Hispanic youth,” said Francisco Arenas, vice president for consumer products, Univision Communications, Inc. “The new El Chavo product line will include some of the most innovative and popular toys of today, while connecting Hispanic consumers with their heritage.”
The orphan title character was created and played by Roberto Gomez Bolaños, and first aired in Mexico in 1971. Today the show reaches 100 million viewers daily in more than 90 countries, including the United States. With Hispanic children constituting the biggest bulge in a growing population, the toymaker and TV network hope for gangbuster sales. The products (available at Target, Walmart and Toys R Us) are aimed at kids three years or older. Some older Latinos, though, will probably pick up a Chavo doll for around the office: When the boss is pushing on a deadline, push the doll’s button to say, “Bueno, pero no se enoje” (Alright, no need to get angry).