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February 9, 2002 | 1710 IST
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Egmont unwraps Lagaan comic book, game for kids

Vivek Fernandes in Mumbai

Click here for a bigger image: The Lagaan merchandise Egmont Imagination India Limited, a subsidiary of Egmont International Holdings, Denmark, and one of the largest children's entertainment company in India, joined hands with Aamir Khan Productions Limited to launch its new range of Lagaan books and merchandise on February 8, 2002.

Aamir Khan, the star of Lagaan launched the comic book Lagaan: The Story and other merchandise, which includes two colouring books, a mask book and a cricket board game, at St Anne's High School in Mumbai.

Lagaan director Ashutosh Gowariker and Uday Mathur, Managing Director, Egmont Imagination, were present at the function.

Speaking to reporters, matinee idol Aamir Khan said, "Even before we began shooting for Lagaan -- during the pre-production stage -- we were keen that the film be turned into a comic strip. The subject of the film lends itself naturally to the story line of a comic book. But we were not too sure how practical it was for us to publish the book. After the release of the film, we were thrilled that a company like Egmont too shared our enthusiasm. I must admit that it feels great to see yourself now as comic book hero."

Lagaan: The Story, a graphic novel and the flagship product of the entire range, will be available in English and Hindi. It captures the essence of the film and allows fans of the blockbuster to relive their favourite cinematic moments.

The products, targetted at children between the ages of 6 and 14, are priced from Rs 20 to Rs 195, and will be available at all gift stores and bookshops, supermarkets and malls across the country.

Speaking at the launch, Mathur said that Egmont was proud to be the first to launch a whole range of publishing merchandise based on a Bollywood film. "We see this concept becoming a rage in the film industry with producers looking at such extensions for their films," he said.

Egmont, one of the largest licensees of Walt Disney and Barbie books, has published many foreign film-based products and is responsible for introducing the world famous Asterix and Tin Tin series in India.
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