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Archie comics come closer to India

entertainment Updated: May 18, 2010 15:27 IST
Naomi Canton
Naomi Canton
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

Do you love reading about the infamous love triangle between Archie, Betty and Veronica, and their high school dramas in Archie Comics? Do you enjoy reading about his rival Reggie Mantle or his passion with cars?

Mumbai merchandise
Now, Kids Media India, which owns Spacetoon Kids TV channel, has bought the rights for the licensing, merchandising and promotion of Archie Comics in India. Now Archie-related stationery, puzzles, games and more will be on sale in Mumbai.

Rajiv Sangari, CEO Kids Media India, says there are potentially 800 categories of Archie merchandise that could be sold as a result of the deal. Kids Media India will give out licenses to Indian companies to either import or produce the merchandise.

It is expected that Archie clothes, shoes, back-to-school items, handbags, sunglasses, mugs and make-up, will soon hit the city’s shelves.

“We have already given the rights to one company for Archie puzzles and games and we intend to import or produce Archie stationery ourselves,” Sangari says.

“We are also looking at bringing out an Archie magazine here. There are a couple of players in India who are keen to take up the licence for that. It would be about the characters’ fashion and style.” There will also be special events held such as Archie freshers’ parties at colleges, he continues.

“Western, especially American culture, has always fascinated Indian teenagers. Much of what happens in the Archie Comics storylines differs from the life of the average Indian teenager. That is what makes them so appealing. In the past, Indian teenagers were not allowed the kind of freedom these characters have, to be sociable with each other, and so reading about it was aspirational, like a fairytale,” he adds.

There are approximately one million copies of Archie Comics sold in India every year. “There is no Hindi version at present but discussions are on to convert it into regional languages,” Sangari reveals.

Riverdale to Mumbai
To kickstart interest in the development, Kids Media India has tied up with the Oberoi Mall in Goregaon to create a Toon Town, taking over the entire atrium of the mall.

Houses designed around different characters, including Little Kitty, Garfield and Doraeman, have been built. One is an Archie house, featuring cardboard cut-outs of characters like Archie, Betty and Veronica and games. Lifelike versions of Little Kitty and Doraeman characters will visit Toon Town next week.

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