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Fandom Shopping

A whole bunch of merchandising start-ups are cashing in on pop culture

The Souled Store

For The Big Bang Theory fan, Ajay Bhatia, finding T-shirts like the ones his favourite character Sheldon Cooper sported was a pain four years ago. There was no website or offline store that he did not comb through, but none of them offered what he was looking for. That was until he landed on VoxPop, an online store for pop culture merchandise. Today, the 20-year-old enthusiast is a frequent buyer at VoxPop and has an impressive collection of posters, T-shirts and more. As for Sheldon Cooper, many of his popular zingers, especially ‘Bazinga’, can be found on VoxPop’s T-shirts, wallets and even, socks.

Pop culture fans are not restricting themselves to the apparel of their favourite personality. It’s everywhere — from phone covers, coffee mugs to stationery. Young India wants to collect them all and homegrown merchandise companies have stepped in to cash in on this frenzy.

Maulik Desai Head, Crossword BookstoresVoxPop received seed funding from numerous investors, including Blume Ventures, before it was acquired by the US-based Bioworld Merchandising in 2016. Bioworld had entered India in 2014 after tasting massive success in the US with its self-designed licensed merchandise. Here, it has now partnered with Landmark and Crossword to sell its products offline.

“There is a good market for fandom merchandising in India especially after the advent of social media. People are lot more aware about television and movie franchises. Besides, every time a movie or TV show releases and its merchandise is launched, there is an immediate increase in the demand for its books t

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