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Mattel Launches New “Play it Forward” Line

Mattel Launches New

On April 29,2020, Mattel toy company announced in a news release its newest line of merchandise as part of its “Play it Forward” platform. The special edition line includes action figures and Little People Community Champions and will eventually spread into the company’s other brands. 

Mattel is a worldwide entertainment company that produces toys and products for children of all ages and was founded in 1945. Their brands include but are not limited to Barbie®, Fisher-Price®, Hot Wheels®, and American Girl®. The company produces film, television shows, toys, games, music, and live events working in collaboration with leading technology and retail companies. 

Their newest line of toys is labeled “#ThankYouHeroes” and is “designed to immortalize and honor healthcare and everyday heroes” according to Chuck Scothon, Senior Vice President of Fisher-Price and Global Head of Infant and Preschool, Mattel. He states that it is the companies hope that these toys help make these hard times easier for both children and adults, whether it is a “gift to recognize someone working on the front lines” or just play time.

The line includes 16 different figures ranging from doctors to delivery drivers. Mattel is also releasing a special five-character Little People set that includes a doctor, nurse, EMT, delivery driver, and grocery store workers.

The new line of toys is also a fundraiser for the “#FirstRespondersFirst” program, a program administered by The Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF). The #FirstRespondersFirst program is helping to a provide range of things from essential protective equipment for healthcare workers, to childcare and mental health support. Beginning April 29th through May 31st, 2020, $15 from each online purchase will be donated by Mattel to The Entertainment Industry Foundation in support of the fundraiser.

According to the news release, in addition to the launch of the #ThankYouHeroes toys, the company is also contributing to the fight against COVID-19 by donating face shields and cloth face masks for medical professionals. The company is producing 500,000 face shields for healthcare workers, a large increase from the original 100,000 commitment.

They are also making toy donations to several non-profits and Bright Horizons Child Care Centers, special childcare hubs offering free childcare for children of frontline healthcare workers. The company has also launched its Mattel Playroom, a free online resource for parents and caregivers providing activities from the company’s iconic brands.

The line of toys is available for pre-order through May 31st, 2020 at “http://MattelPlayroom.com/ThankYouHeroes” for $20, with $15 from each purchase being donated. The company expects these to ship to consumers by December 31st,2020. 

 

About the Writer
Photo of Faith Miller
Faith Miller, Staff Writer

Faith Miller is a senior at Durant High School and is a Staff Writer for the Durant PawPrint. This year will be her fourth season on the varsity Durant...

Disney Springs Prepares to Reopen

As Florida eases social distancing regulations, Disney Springs will be the first major attraction in Florida to reopen.

Courtesy of Walt Disney

As Florida eases social distancing regulations, Disney Springs will be the first major attraction in Florida to reopen.

On Thursday, May 7, Walt Disney World Company made a statement that they will begin to reopen the Disney Springs shopping center in accordance with the current government and CDC guidelines in place.

The parks had originally closed on March 15, 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic as an effort to help flatten the curve and keep guests safe. Late evening on Thursday, the Vice President of Disney Springs Matt Simon announced the partial reopening of Disney Springs. 

The area will begin opening by using a series of phases making sure to keep all cast members, employees, and guests as safe as possible. No word has yet been stated on what exact stores or restaurants will be opening at this time.

The reopening of the springs is scheduled to begin on May 20, 2020, while the rest of the theme parks are currently planning on remaining closed with no plan to reopen in the near future. The initial opening phase will include limitations on capacity, parking, and operating hours. 

The reopening will have new implemented safety measures including increased cleaning procedures, face coverings required by members of the cast and the visiting guests, and limited contact with guest services. Cast members will be required to attend additional safety training to help prepare for the reopening and return to work.

Simon states that the company will begin to use “learnings and ideas from leaders in the health and travel industries” and has been communicating with their unions on the proper ways to go about the shopping center’s reopening.

According to FOX 35, the reopening of the center will be partially modeled after the reopening at Shanghai’s Disney Town, a modified version of Disney Springs, which had reopened in early March, and Shanghai’s Disneyland, set to open May 11. 

The measures that were put in place on this park included a limited capacity of 30%, requirements for getting guests temperature checked at all entrances, and mandatory masks to be worn by guests. FOX 35 also states that visitors will be required to pass a health screening via a mobile app.  Many await the results of this opening in hopes of it shortening the timeline of the phases, causing the parks to open quicker.

Disney plans additional information considering procedures and protocols to be announced closer to the opening date. As the date draws closer they recommend checking  DisneySprings.com for more up to date information.

About the Writer
Photo of Faith Miller
Faith Miller, Staff Writer

Faith Miller is a senior at Durant High School and is a Staff Writer for the Durant PawPrint. This year will be her fourth season on the varsity Durant...

Extreme Weather Hits the Midwest

The Midwest has been experiencing a variety of extreme waether patterns over the past month.

Courtesy of Associated Press

The Midwest has been experiencing a variety of extreme waether patterns over the past month.

 A major outbreak of severe weather came across the southern Plains with portions of Texas, Arkansas and Oklahoma since last week on April 22 and 23 and has continued throughout the week.

Massive hail, tornadoes, and severe thunderstorms with winds up to 80 mph strike the nation’s midsection with dangerous weather stretching from the Midwest to the Gulf Coast. 

The cause for the severe weather came from a battle of air masses that plagued the Plains. 

According to AccuWeather, there have been 492 tornadoes that have been reported across the nation. So far this year, 2020 has been the nation’s top years for tornadoes far above the average of 307 and has resulted in the most tornado-related deaths in the U.S since 2011. 

The first tornado was reported near Springer, Oklahoma and was tracked directly through Madill crossing Highway 377. According to the Storm Prediction Center, there have only been four tornadoes reported in Oklahoma all year. 

A large tornado was also reported in Polk, County, Texas about 80 miles north from Houston. The reports said that there were multiple people trapped and injured after the tornado hit 30 to 40 mobile homes in the area.

 Multiple buildings were damaged and huge trees were knocked down blocking roads. It was confirmed by the Polk County Emergency Management, that there were 20-30 people injured and about three deaths. 

Tornado threats are greatest across eastern Oklahoma and far western Arkansas. Over 14 million people are in the area under a huge risk for hazardous weather. 

According to the forecast’s models, strong tornadoes are likely over parts of Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia. A strong tornado is classified with wind speeds of 111 to 165 mph Whereas violent tornadoes can pick up to speeds of 166 to 200 mph sometimes even more.

Dallas-Fort Worth is at greatest risk since there have been severe weather outbreaks and deadly tornadoes that have struck parts of that same region.

Additionally, flooding has also been a threat with storms dumping one to two inches or more of rainfall an hour for multiple hours. With the number of storms moving through parts of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama there are high chances for flooding.

A cold front has brought an unexpected chill for the rest of the nation and these below-average temperatures stretch from Ohio River Valley, Mid-Atlantic. And Northeast. 

Meanwhile sizzling temperatures are in effect in the desert Southwest and the interiors of Southern California. Phoenix has reached over 100 degrees, the first of 2020, and there has been excessive heat warnings in the area.

About the Writer
Photo of Adamari Jaimez
Adamari Jaimez, Staff Writer

Adamari Jaimez is a senior at Durant High School. She has been part of journalism since her freshman year, involved in both the yearbook and newspaper...

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