Film merchandising has been picking up the pace in India with changing cinema viewing habits, and there is a growth in terms of strategic alliances between filmmakers and merchandising partners. Bollywood has a larger appeal to the Indian masses as films are believed to be in the blood of most Indians. They identify with the film stars and try to imitate them in their day-to-day activities.
The concept of movie merchandising existed in Bollywood as early as 1973, when the Rishi-Dimple starred film, Bobby, was released. At that time, fans could buy hair clips and pins worn by Dimple Kapadia. However, the idea was not known to everyone.
Thanks to Bollywood maestro Yash Raj Films, who went a step further and became the first Indian film studio to launch its own e-commerce store to sell merchandise.
Let’s take a look at some of the merchandises that created a spur in the industry:
Maine Pyaar Kiya:
Costumes and props used in the films became so popular that they went on sale as merchandise – like the cap that read ‘FRIEND’, that was worn by the actress Bhagyashree.
Na Tum Jaano Na Hum:
Hrithik Roshan and Esha Deol’s outfits from the film became the film’s official clothesline. A stuffed doll named Tutu was also available at toy stores.
Aamir Khan Productions and Archies brought out exclusive Lagaan merchandise such as writing pads, jigsaw puzzles, greeting cards, posters and photo albums.
Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge:
The movie that redefined the love-story on celluloid completed its 1000 successful week run in Bollywood. The Shah Rukh Khan-Kajol starrer epic romance, directed by Aditya Chopra under the Yash Raj Films banner set a benchmark in the cinema industry around the world. The die-hard DDLJ fans got a chance to relish the memories of SRK-Kajol greatest love story by getting hold of merchandise and collectibles made available on Amazon.in.
Forget Conjuring dolls, our Bhoot dolls scared the hell out of you! It was really surprising when Ram Gopal Varma’s company got a toy manufacturing firm to make and sell the ‘bhoot’ dolls in the market. However, absurd the idea was, it worked. Spooky right?
Love Story 2050:
Starring Priyanka Chopra and Hrithik look-alike Harman Baweja, Love Story 2050 was a major disaster. However, since it was a futuristic movie, the merchandise included some really cool stuff such as spy gadgets, hovercraft, special masks et al. It was an instant hit with the kids. Even Priyanka’s cuddly robot pet Boo was a sought-after item for pre-teen girls.
India’s first superhero franchise, Krrish, raked in on the success of first two films, to create action-figurines. The action figure was modeled on its lead character, Krrish, played by Hrithik Roshan, and turned out to be a hit among children. Not just that, the Krrish 3 collection also included toys, apparel and publishing material as part of its merchandise line.
Cocktail: Thanks to its perfect star cast, Saif Ali Khan, Deepika Padukone and Diana Penty, Cocktail was a huge hit with the youngsters; especially with college going kids. Cocktail’s t-shirts just flew off the rack when it hit the selected stores. Even the coffee mugs were popular.
The solid black hoodies and yellow smiley badges that marked the identity of the antagonist aka Ritesh Deshmukh became a rage after the release of the thriller that also stars Siddharth Malhotra.
Salman’s trademark silver pendant from the movie has been admired by all his fans. The makers of Bajrangi Bhaijaan had decided to include Salman’s club-shaped pendant, as part of the movie’s official merchandise.
Everything that Salman Khan wore immediately grabs attention and becomes the talk of the town! Remember those heart-shaped glasses from Dabangg? That was a hit among the fans!
Shahrukh Khan is known to leave no stone unturned for marketing his movies or his cricket team. As part of Ra.One’s promotions, an online store had been set up to sell movie merchandise. The actor’s production house, Red Chilli Entertainment in partnership with IndiaGames, released action game for iOS and Android.
Dhoom 3 is rumored to be the costliest Bollywood film ever at a budget of Rs 150 crore, and producers Yash Raj Films aim at recovering a sizeable chunk through brand tie-ups and the launch of over 200 related products.
Several brands have been licensed for merchandising including Mattel, Ceat, Bombay Dyeing and Archies.
Products being launched include USB drives, calendars, jewellery, belts, key chains, tie-pins, cufflinks, bags, hats, diaries, scarves, bed linens, cushions, and helmets.
The makers of ‘Baahubali’ rewrite the rules of India’s film merchandise business, which has never taken off due to factors such as the lack of franchises. They launched the figurines of Baahubali and Bhallaladeva, the two key characters from the epic Telugu film franchise. Fans also got the option of buying replica weapons and swords from the Indian magnum opus instead of lightsabers from the US sci-fi franchise ‘Star Wars’.
However, unlike the West, Hindi film merchandise contributes meagre part of overall revenues.