ISLAMABAD: Burka Avenger is known for its many firsts – Pakistan’s first female superhero, its first animated superhero series and its first multi-award winning 3D animated TV series. Now, it is the first Pakistani TV character to have associated action figures and merchandise.
The launch of Burka Avenger’s exclusive merchandise took place in the crowded Centaurus foyer, and had people leaning over the railings from the floors above to watch the event.
Decorated with images from the series and hundreds of yellow and black balloons, the space also had face painting counters and photo booths.
The series has captured the imagination of children and adults alike, as it puts a women empowerment spin on the old ‘Clark Kent-Superman’ hidden identity trope with Jiya – a school teacher – whose alter ego is the superhero Burka Avenger. Jiya’s fight for justice, peace and education has resonated with millions of Pakistanis and around the world.
Speaking at the event, the show’s creator Haroon Rashid said: “We have received many emails from people who have wanted Burka Avenger merchandise and many other people have shared pictures of Burka Avenger themed parties on our Facebook page. It showed us that people wanted these products.”
Unicorn Black, the production company behind Burka Avenger, joined with Leisure Club to produce a range of Burka Avenger products, including action figures. Rs100 from the sale of every action figure will be donated to The Citizens Foundation.
“The Leisure Club’s Omar Zaman said: “We are committed to sending this merchandise everywhere, because we want to send a simple message to Pakistanis: that superheroes are always foreigners but Pakistanis can be superheroes too. This is why we joined hands with Burka Avengers.”
The event kept children enthralled with dance and singing competitions, quizzes and a lucky draw. Groups of young children also sang the ‘Baba Bandook’ song from the series.
Zeeshan Sohail said: “I really like the show. The episodes have a social message for children that improves their learning process – for instance, there are messages on environmental protection, freedom and women empowerment, which are all very important.”
Izza Tanveer, a student, said: “It’s a good show. There’s a superhero who wears a burka. They say that girls shouldn’t be getting educated but there is this superhero who is a teacher and defeats villains.”
“I’ve seen all the episodes. She is a very cool superhero,” Amir Mohsin, 7, said. His mother however, was less enamored with the show, if only because the television is constantly tuned to cartoons.
Published in Dawn, November 8th, 2015