Kids are getting on board with recognizing everyday heroes during the coronavirus crisis with help from two family-friendly companies.
As "Sesame Street" revamps its “People in Your Neighborhood” song to celebrate local heroes and helpers in our communities, toymaker Mattel Inc. has expanded its #ThankYouHeroes line, a collection of toys designed to honor those leading the fight against COVID-19 as well as the everyday heroes such as grocery and food delivery workers who are working to keep communities up and running.
The expanded Mattel collection, which is part of the company’s broader “Play it Forward” platform focused on leveraging Mattel brands to give back to communities in times of need, includes new items from Matchbox, Mega Construx and UNO. All net proceeds from the line will go to #FirstRespondersFirst, an initiative created to support first-responder healthcare workers as they serve on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mattel’s new #ThankYouHeroes products include:
• Matchbox #ThankYouHeroes Frontline Heroes Vehicles Gift Set — The set features seven die-cast vehicles including an ambulance, garbage truck, grocery delivery van, news helicopter, mobile hospital, package delivery van and police car.
• Two Mega Construx #ThankYouHeroes Building Sets — The first set features a police cruiser, delivery cart and medical lab, along with five action figures comprised of a police officer, scientist, two EMTs and an ambulance driver. The second set features a food delivery truck and kitchen, along with three action figures comprised of a firefighter, cook and food delivery worker.
• UNO #ThankYouHeroes Tin — The new UNO cards include Mattel’s iconic brands and characters as frontline and everyday heroes, including He-Man as a grocery delivery worker and Barbie as a scientist.
These new items join the Fisher-Price #ThankYouHeroes assortment of 16 different action figures featuring a selection of doctors, nurses, EMTs and delivery drivers, as well as a special five-character Little People set comprised of a doctor, nurse, EMT, delivery driver and grocery store worker. In addition, last week Barbie announced the brand will donate a doll (up to 30,000 dolls) for each eligible career doll that was sold from May 14-May 17 to the First Responders Children’s Foundation, benefiting the children of first responders.
“For 75 years, purposeful play has been at Mattel’s core, and we know toys can have a significant impact, particularly in unprecedented times like these,” said Richard Dickson, president and COO, Mattel. “That’s the intent of our Play it Forward platform, which is about leveraging our brands to drive awareness for, and give back to, important causes. Our #ThankYouHeroes line, focused on honoring and immortalizing frontline healthcare workers and everyday heroes, has already received tremendous consumer response. These new items from Matchbox, Mega and UNO will enable us to further recognize and thank today’s heroes while also driving additional donations to support first responders.”
The new #ThankYouHeroes items are available for pre-order from now through May 31. Matchbox and Mega Construx products retail for $20, with $15 from each sale being donated to #FirstRespondersFirst, and the UNO product retails for $10, with $8 from each sale being donated to #FirstRespondersFirst. Items are expected to ship to consumers by December 31, 2020.
Sesame Workshop, creators of the highly acclaimed "Sesame Street" program for young children, has expanded its Caring for Each Other initiative to help children and their caregivers stay healthy, build resilience and adjust to a “for-now normal.” Its website includes new resources to help families face current challenges like missing friends, while also giving children ways to celebrate the helpers in their neighborhoods, including grocery store employees. The initiative was created in collaboration with AT&T and Walgreens.
“These are stressful days for everyone, and children and families are struggling in their own ways,” said Dr. Jeanette Betancourt, senior vice president of U.S. social impact, Sesame Workshop. “Together with AT&T and Walgreens, we can help families through the different challenges and transitions they are experiencing during this pandemic—giving them the tools they need to build hope for sunnier days ahead.”
The new campaign celebrates the families of essential workers — pharmacists, doctors, nurses, grocers, childcare providers, custodial staff, mail carriers and others — many of whom have young children. New content being released in coming weeks includes a special Sesame Street Muppet video thanking these "Super Families," ideas for ways to show love while keeping a safe distance, strategies for parents to help little ones cope with the unique challenges their families face and more.
In addition, the "Sesame Street" “People in Your Neighborhood” song just got a timely update with lyrics that celebrate local heroes and helpers in our communities.
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