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Cartoon Network riding high on merchandising

Jiggy George, Executive Director, Cartoon Network Enterprises (India and South Asia) explains to Radhika Pancholi the rationale behind his firm's new move to come up with Bollywood-related merchandise.

business Updated: Jun 19, 2008 23:28 IST
Radhika Pancholi

When Cartoon Network launched the series Pokémon two years ago, it became a rage among children, and the company made a killing on associated merchandise. Other serials such as the Power Puff Girls turned out to be equal money spinners for Turner International’s subsidiary. Now, the company plans to move up a notch, with Bollywood-related merchandise. Jiggy George, Executive Director, Cartoon Network Enterprises (India and South Asia) explains the rationale behind this move to Radhika Pancholi:

Why this shift from television characters to movies?

We began with merchandise from the film Bhootnath with toys such as ‘Buchki’. Now we have tied-up with Baweja Movies to launch and exclusive collection of LoveStory 2050 merchandise, which will be marketed under the brand ‘POGO Inspired’. We have also tied-up with a couple of other movie houses. These tie-ups are a unique precursor to our own venture into full-length animated movies soon.

Does merchandising from your TV shows take a backseat?

Television and full-length films are two mediums.... the two can co-exist.

Apart from toys, apparel and home furnishing, do you plan to take the Cartoon Network merchandise into any other categories?

We are working on launching these characters for food-based and personal care products. We are already working on the Power Puff girls series for products that would be rolled-out in 2009. We are also working on opening two theme-based amusement parks just outside Delhi… the development is taking a little longer than expected.

What’s your take on the merchandising business in India?

Film-based merchandising is the latest buzz and is just taking off in India. Character-based merchandising is pegged at Rs 350 crore and is just taking-off.