Toy giant Mattel is now honoring workers on the frontlines of the coronavirus fight by releasing a special series of action figures modeled after the first responders who are valiantly putting their lives at risk to save others from the disease. Last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated that at least 9,200 US healthcare professionals had been infected with COVID-19 during the nationwide epidemic.
“#ThankYouHeroes is designed to immortalize and honor healthcare and everyday heroes,” says Chuck Scothon Senior Vice President of Mattel subsidiary Fisher-Price in a statement.
The brand’s new collectible line features a range of emergency worker figurines, including EMTs, nurses and doctors who come complete with scrubs and stethoscopes. They also pay homage to the heroic delivery drivers who are sacrificing their own quarantine to transport essential items to the millions of US citizens sheltering in place amid lockdown.
Those for whom one hero isn’t enough can even buy “special five-character Little People” that comes with a doctor, nurse, EMT, delivery driver and grocery store worker.
However emergency worker-tributing toys aren’t a cheap way to cash in on a crisis. The collection’s proceeds will benefit #FirstRespondersFirst, a campaign created to support first responder healthcare workers.
“It will be wonderful to see this new Fisher-Price collection not only bring joy to children,” says Arianna Huffington, Founder and CEO of Thrive Global, one of the organizations behind the #FirstRespondersFirst initiative. “But give parents and caregivers a new way to honor healthcare first responders and everyday heroes and their families.”
The #ThankYouHeroes will be available to pre-order on the site for $20 starting on Wednesday through May 31, 2020 – although customers might not receive the collectibles until December 31, 2020, per the release.
If that wasn’t enough, Mattel has pledged to produce 500,000 face shields for healthcare workers in order to help curb the rampant supply shortages plaguing US hospitals.
Unfortunately, the pandemic’s toll on first responders isn’t merely physical. A New York City EMT and ER doctor recently committed suicide due after being overwhelmed by the onslaught of coronavirus deaths, while a survey of Chinese healthcare workers revealed that over half of the hospital employees experience depression.
Chuck Scothon, who’s also the Global Head of Infant and Preschool, Mattel, says: “It is our hope that Fisher-Price toys, and play in general, can ultimately make these difficult times easier for both kids and adults.”