Three hours of a superhero film doesn’t really end at the climax. We all imbibe a little bit of the fantasy and when the going gets tough (read boss, traffic, pot holes), many of us mentally arm ourselves with that Harry Potter’s knife, a crusader’s helmet and even a metal armour.
Perhaps to give us all a better chance at winning our mind battles, 58-year-old Sudhir Windlass launched Collector’s Heritage last August — an online shop that sells collectibles, such as swords, larp (modern weapons) helmets, statues, sculptures, period clothing and knives that are exact replicas of those used by Vikings, Ancient Greeks, Renaissance era warriors and Medieval kings!
The parent company, Windlass Steel Craft, used to make Khukris in the 1940s, and has been exporting these items all over the world for years now. “Last year we launched Collector’s Heritage for Indian buyers. The website was launched in November,” says COO Sugandh Windlass, adding that Collector’s Heritage also manufactures latex and foam toys for children. While the knives are priced between Rs 700 and Rs 3,000, the swords cost Rs 14,000 to 20,000 and suit of armour Rs 90,000.
Funnily, about the same time that Windlass was taking the plunge into history, two friends in another part of town were discussing the future of fantasy! Over a cup of coffee in January this year, Sumit Shah and Karan Rai rued the absence of stores dedicated to superheroes. Shah, 27, who has a professional background in retail, says, “Unlike in Singapore and the US, India has no store where fans can buy superhero-inspired clothes. We decided to fill that void.”
After initial research, they went to the best — Marvel publishing house, Disney television network and other production houses for original prints to make T-shirts. “We have got a marvellous response, with requests for more merchandise. We want to grow slowly,” says Shah, adding that Spiderman, Hulk and Iron Man are their hottest selling tees now, and available in small to extra-large sizes.
Both the stores entertain kids as well as adults who have not let age blunt their sense of fun and adventure.
Go on. Now that we’ve let out the secret, unleash the real superhero in you!