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Mattel sends box full of Hot Wheels to boy with autism who lost everything

You know, sometimes we lose sight of what the true purpose of toys are, and how some companies are really in touch with that.

I just read this article on CNN:

"(CNN) -- After the fire, all that was left of Jonathan Reyes' massive Hot Wheels collection was a piece of metal that once was part of a toy car.
Jonathan Reyes shows off his new Hot Wheels cars sent by Mattel after they heard his own toys were lost in a fire.

But on Wednesday, the arrival of two cardboard boxes at his grandparents' house sent 7-year-old Jonathan flying to the door, said his mother, Jan Reyes.

Mattel, the company that makes Hot Wheels, sent racetracks, play sets, stickers, folders, T-shirts, hats and hundreds of toy cars.

"He was speechless," Reyes said. "He didn't say anything. He just smiled. He opened it up. It was like Christmas. All of us were bawling, crying. He was so happy."

Jonathan, who has autism, meticulously collected more than 500 Hot Wheels. But all that was destroyed when his Sylmar home, along with hundreds of other structures, were burned down by wildfires in Los Angeles County.

Toys are like anchors for children with autism, psychologists say. They like to play with the same toys, eat familiar foods and be in a consistent environment. When faced with unpredictable changes, they can feel frustrated or anxious and become disruptive, according to experts. "

Jonathan Reyes shows off his new Hot Wheels cars sent by Mattel after they heard his own toys were lost in a fire.

Posted 21 November, 2008 - 11:17 by JoshB


9 comments posted

Damn...that's pretty incredible. Go Mattel. It's kinda remarkable when corporations don't suck even just for a fleeting instant.


Sanjeev's picture
Posted by Sanjeev on 21 November, 2008 - 15:56

This is of those times were I don't say " It's just a toy".....We forget sometimes how important toys are to a child... great going Mattel for remembering what it's all about!

Leonardo Flores
CollectionDX Staff Writer-West Coast Bureau

Showapop's picture
Posted by Showapop on 21 November, 2008 - 16:20
Wow, reminds me of those

Wow, reminds me of those huge carboard boxes I get from Hasbro once in a while...

Anyway, I'd never expect a toy company to do something like that, I'm really impressed and happy that giants like Mattel DO care.

Now all we have to do is to enroll him here :) He could bring in hell lot of reviews :P

Wallas's picture
Posted by Wallas on 21 November, 2008 - 16:41
A happy ending. I know full

A happy ending. I know full well how he could have lashed out at others for circumstances beyond his control. After all, I'm autistic as well.

YuushaFan's picture
Posted by YuushaFan on 21 November, 2008 - 20:39
Re: A happy ending. I know full

Yeah, that was super-generous of them.

I, too, am autistic- specifically Aperger's Syndrome- and I would be devastated beyond words if I lost my collection. The same goes for all of my stuff on my computer- files, pictures, links, many irreplaceable things.
CollectionDX Staff

EVA_Unit_4A's picture
Posted by EVA_Unit_4A on 24 November, 2008 - 14:56

some toys meant everything...

Good work, Mattel...

Berserk's picture
Posted by Berserk on 23 November, 2008 - 19:48
Wow....I'm truly lost for words here

Wow....I'm truly lost for words here. I'm deeply touched with this story. It's nice to hear that some toy corporations do have a heart for children. I am very sad for the boy and his family but I'm also happy that to hear that Mattel were very humane and generous to donate all those toys to resuscitate Jonathan's spirits.

I'm very happy and blessed for the kid and his family. This is truly a blessed miracle and an unexpected one at that.

This kind of story gives me hope for the future of this nation's morale. I really hope and pray that everyone rich and poor have a safe thanksgiving.


Rodimus78's picture
Posted by Rodimus78 on 27 November, 2008 - 10:24
Autism is such a serious

Autism is such a serious condition and the life of a child that has it can't be improved sometimes. I'm very touched by the action of the toy company.

maryadavis's picture
Posted by maryadavis on 26 February, 2009 - 15:44