Avengers: Infinity War isn't out until May, but Disney and Marvel are starting the superheroics a little early. Just one day after announcing a $1 million donation to the Boys and Girls Clubs of America for the construction of new STEM Centers, Disney has unveiled Marvel: The Universe Unites, a fundraising and charity campaign built around the launch of Avengers: Infinity War consumer products that will benefit hospitalized and critically ill children.
Infinity War stars Sebastian Stan, Karen Gillan, and Paul Bettany helped unveil the project Tuesday on Good Morning America, and revealed the massive toy care packages members of the cast will be giving out to various children's hospitals as part of Hero Acts, a Marvel charity initiative launched two years ago.
As part of the Hero Acts giveaways, the Marvel Studios cast members are encouraged to take photos or videos revealing the new toys to fans online. If they get 1 million cumulative likes, Marvel will donate $250,000 to Starlight Children's Foundation, a charity benefiting hospitalized children and their families.
“Being a Marvel Super Hero gives us a powerful platform to directly influence positive change. Giving back to kids is the most impactful role you can play," Black Panther star Chadwick Boseman said in a press release. “Marvel: The Universe Unites and #HeroActs is just a fun way to support a noble cause while entertaining kids and fans around the globe.”
Marvel's partners are also getting in on the giving. Hasbro has announced a $1 million donation in both cash and toys to Give Kids the World, an organization that gives comfort to critically ill kids and their families by, among other things, providing trips to Disney World. Funko, known for its popular Avengers POP! figures, is also making a $1 million toy donation to Starlight.
“From our fantastic cast to our toy and retail partners, it’s great to see the Marvel Cinematic Universe come together in this way to support children’s charities,” Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige said. “The launch of the products for Avengers: Infinity War is a fun way for fans to celebrate the countdown to the movie, and this initiative underscores that moment in a really special way.”
Avengers: Infinity War products go on sale March 3, and that's when another phase of the giving kicks in. During the weekend of March 3-4, 10 percent of all sales of Marvel products (up to $50,000) from physical Disney stores and the Disney online store will be donated to Make-A-Wish. Also on March 3, Disney will launch an Amazon Wishlist for Marvel: The Universe Unites, where fans can purchase toys that will then be donated to Starlight.
So, if you've been waiting for ages to get your hands on that new Winter Soldier action figure, now you can do that and maybe buy an extra one to make a sick child happy while you're at it.
Avengers: Infinity War is in theaters May 4. Check out Stan, Gillan, and Bettany discussing The Universe Unites in the video below.