Mattel Unveils New First Responder Action Figures to Raise Money for Coronavirus Relief

The collection includes nurses, doctors, EMTs, and delivery drivers.
The collection includes nurses, doctors, EMTs, and delivery drivers.

Today, Mattel unveiled the #ThankYouHeroes collection, a new line of Fisher-Price action figures that includes nurses, doctors, delivery drivers, and EMTs. Not only will the toys help teach kids about the everyday heroes keeping us safe during the coronavirus pandemic, but the net proceeds will go toward helping those first responders themselves.

The action figures retail at $20 each, and $15 of every sale will be donated to #FirstRespondersFirst, an initiative launched by Thrive Global to offer support to healthcare workers in virtually every way possible: providing personal protective equipment like masks and gloves, food, childcare, mental health services, and more.

“Mattel’s iconic brands and products speak to something deep within us,” Thrive Global founder and CEO Arianna Huffington said in a press release. “So it will be wonderful to see this new Fisher-Price collection not only bring joy to children, but give parents and caregivers a new way to honor healthcare first responders and everyday heroes and their families."

The toys won’t be shipped for several more months—the press release says they should be on their way by December 31, 2020—but you can pre-order them now through May 31, 2020, so your donation makes it to #FirstRespondersFirst sooner rather than later. And, since healthcare workers are always saving lives, pandemic or not, there’s really no expiration date on encouraging kids to play with toys that represent that kind of everyday heroism.

“Whether these toys are given as a gift to recognize someone working on the front lines, or used as a tool to help children have conversations about how they are feeling, it is our hope that Fisher-Price toys, and play in general, can ultimately make these difficult times easier for both kids and adults,” Chuck Scothon, a Fisher-Price senior vice president and Mattel’s global head of infant and preschool, said in a press release.

You can shop the collection here, and find out more ways to join in the coronavirus relief efforts here.

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As a recurring feature, our team combs the web and shares some amazing Amazon deals we’ve turned up. Here’s what caught our eye today, December 2. Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers, including Amazon, and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we only get commission on items you buy and don’t return, so we’re only happy if you’re happy. Good luck deal hunting!

Starbucks Is Giving Free Coffee to Frontline COVID-19 Workers All Month Long

Starbucks is saying thank you in typical Starbucks fashion.
Starbucks is saying thank you in typical Starbucks fashion.

Starbucks is showing its support for those individuals on the front lines of the fight against COVID-19 this holiday season by giving the gift of free coffee—all month long.

From now through December 31, any health care worker or other frontline worker can get a tall hot or iced coffee whenever they stop by Starbucks. The offer extends to just about anybody in a medical profession, including doctors, nurses, public health administrators, pharmacists, paramedics, dentists and dental hygienists, therapists, psychologists, social workers, counselors, and other mental health professionals. Non-medical hospital personnel—including members of the janitorial, housekeeping, and security staffs—also qualify, as do emergency dispatchers, firefighters, police officers, and active-duty members of the military.

To address the pandemic’s emotional toll on essential workers, Starbucks has also contributed $100,000 to the National Alliance on Mental Illness to be used for virtual mental health services; and the company will give out 50,000 Starbucks care packages and gift cards to frontline workers across the country. While the main goal is to show gratitude to those keeping the nation afloat during an extremely difficult time, Starbucks is also hoping their initiative can be an example for other companies with resources to spare.

“Hopefully other brands will join us in thinking about how [they can] use their platform to again show support,” Virginia Tenpenny, Starbucks's vice president of global social impact, told USA TODAY. “Little deposits in morale can really go a long way, just so that they feel the support from our community.”

It’s not the first time Starbucks has spearheaded a long-term coffee giveaway this year; between March and May, the company handed out more than 2 million free cups of joe to professionals helping the country through the coronavirus pandemic. The Starbucks Foundation has also donated several million dollars to relief funds, food banks, and local organizations.

[h/t USA Today]