Everyone old enough to remember 9/11 has very specific recollections of that morning. Fisher-Price executive Chuck Scothon was awaiting news of a a press conference for what now seems an eerily prescient product launch — an FDNY action figure. It was an addition to the company’s “Rescue Heroes,” series, sales of which would benefit an FDNY-related charity. The press conference never happened. The action figure did, with Fisher-Price and Toys ‘R’ Us, its partner in the project, upping the philanthropic aspect to 100 percent of sales.
Last week, Fisher-Price and parent company Mattel debuted another Heroes series, an uplifting, feel-good/do-good effort, the timing of which is not accidental. #ThankYouHeroes is the first initiative under Mattel’s new cross-brand Play It Forward platform, focusing on ways to give back to communities in need. The Fisher-Price launch features action-figure heroes of the coronavirus era — doctor, nurse, EMT, delivery worker. Each comes in female and male versions, as well as different skin tones (if not specific ethnicities), a total of 16 total doll options. In addition, there’s a “Little People Community Champions” set, part of an ongoing Fisher-Price line. It’s a lineup of five essential-worker heroes, those noted above, plus a grocery worker. “It’s about saying