Mattel debuts Mecard in the U.S., abroad
Following 2017 launches in Australia, Canada and South East Asia, Mattel is finally introducing the South Korean hit Turning Mecard to audiences in the United States and most other international markets. Now simply branded Mecard, the first season of the show debuted on the company’s Mattel Action YouTube channel last Friday.
Jason meets an alien talking car who can transform into a giant legendary Mecardimal warrior! But he’s not the only one out to tame Mecardimals. Now Jason must learn how to master every weapon, attack and ability before the other guys do!
New episodes will be uploaded weekly. The show is suitable for ages 8-11.
The subtle name change isn’t the only difference. The new English version of the show was produced by Studiopolis in Studio City, California with an entirely different voice cast. Each 22-minute episode has been split into two 11-minute episodes. While the original background music has been retained, this rendition features a completely new theme song composed by John Majkut. Additionally, there are minor content removals and slight changes to the script. What were once Mechanimals are now Mecardimals. Banter that wasn’t present in the original dialogue has also been added. The first English dub that launched internationally was recorded in Hong Kong and was entirely faithful to the Korean source material outside of a few name changes (that have largely been carried over to the new version).
Originally debuting in South Korea in 2015, Turning Mecard quickly became one of the country’s biggest toy brands with kids enjoying the kinetic vehicle transformations. A co-production between Sono Kong, Choirock Contents Factory and Heewon Entertainment, the franchise was conceived in part by Bakugan alumni Atsushi Maekawa. The original series ran for fifty-two episodes and has since inspired a fifty-two episode sequel season, a theatrical film, a side story mini-series (that’s now being turned into a theatrical film), a reboot and a spinoff. American toy manufacturer Mattel picked up the franchise in 2016 for an international launch and invested significantly in its Korean creators. Assuming all goes well, international Mecard fans have a lot to look forward to.
Competing toy manufacturer Alpha launched a similar toy property called Screechers Wild! earlier last week. However, instead of dubbing pre-existing material (which in this case was from China), the company opted to produce its own western material.