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9XM expands merchandise range

9XM and MadRat have entered a three year licensing contract where the former will lend its characters and the latter will be in charge of the production and distribution

Urvi Malvania  |  Mumbai 

Cashing in on the popularity of its animated characters, music channel 9XM will be launching board games in association with MadRat. In the offing are two board games for individuals between 10 and 25 years that are based on characters from the animated vignettes on the channel.

9XM and MadRat have entered a three-year licencing contract where the former will lend its characters and the latter will be in charge of the production and distribution.

The games will be priced at Rs 225 and will be available across 1,000+ leading retail stores in India like Shoppers Stop, Mom and Me, Beanstalk apart from e-commerce portals such as Flipkart.

The first game in the range is called The Bakwaas Game which is a twist on the word association game. The players pick a card with a topic and a letter tile and go on to list all the words they can think of starting from the letter they picked on the topic written on the card. Only the unique words on each player's list will be scored.

The next game is a is modification of the board game classic – Snakes and Ladders. 9XM's popular characters Bade, Cchote and Bheegi Billi have been integrated into this one. This version of the game, incorporates the on screen personas of these characters on the board. So a Bade will scale you up on the board, which is in keeping with his goody-goody character while a Bheegi Billi will cause you to scale down, which corresponds to his personailty on screen. Cchote, being the unpredictable one, may either make you go up, or bring you down. In case a player lands on a Cchote square on the board, the digits of the number on the tile are flipped and that is the next destination of that player.

The Twist Tac Toe board games replaces the traditional X and O's with the characters of Bade and Cchote.

Kapil Sharma, VP-marketing, 9X Media Netwrks, says, “In addition to playing super hit music, the 9X Media Network is also popular for our animated characters across various channels. Our characters such as Bade-Chote, Bheegi Billi, etc are very popular amongst the youth and the kids across India. We are always seeking opportunities to leverage the popularity of our animated characters and engage with our viewers beyond television screens. This series of Board games will help meet the objective of engaging with our fans while they hanging out with their friends and families.”

Manuj Dhariwal Founder of MadRat Games Pvt Ltd says, "In order to gauge the initial consumer response, the games were made available at select stores since January 2013 and have received a phenomenal response from the 10-30 years age group. Games such as Bakwaas Game, Losers and Ladders & TwistTacToe are favoured by the consumers for their originality and fun quotient. "

The channel is gearing up for an official launch this month. The marketing campaign, which includes ad spots on the network channels and on ground activations will kick off next week.

Being a channel network that focuses on offerings in the Bollywood, regional and international music space, the 9X network is concentrating on marketing and creating brand awareness. Apart from extending its merchandise segment (it has an apparel tie up with Tantra with a range of T-shirts carrying the characters), it also launched a brand video titled Tung Tucking Ting which. Kapil reveals that the next step on this road is to tie up with with a suitable partner for a 'back to school' collection and a range of office stationery.

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First Published: Mon, July 15 2013. 14:04 IST