March 13, 2015

Robert Downey Jr. Brings Georgia Boy Bionic Arm (DaddyTube)

The line between Robert Downey Jr. and Iron Man is growing slimmer every day. Here is a video of the actor bringing a Georgia boy named Alex Pring a real bionic arm.

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It’s OK if you get a little misty-eyed. We’ll wait.

The important bit here is that a group called The Collective Project made a bionic arm for a child, Alex, who was “born with a partially developed right arm,” according to the video. The arm was made by Albert Manero, “a college student who builds and donates low-cost, 3D-printed bionic limbs to kids around the world,” according to the YouTube video. Here’s a quote from the Fox 5 DC story where we found this:

“The arm doesn’t have a lot of supernatural powers, but it makes life easier on Alex both physically and mentally.”

The two then compare arms, with Downey pulling his out of a case with the Stark Industries logo.

Which brings us to what we were talking about when we said the line between Robert Downey Jr. and Iron Man is getting slimmer every day.

Remember in 2012 when we posted that Robert Downey Jr surprised kids at Comic Con? (Heck, remember 2012? I’m not sure I do.) Here’s what we had to say back then:

Marvel could easily drop this footage into ‘Iron Man 3‘ if they want to. … Have the kids shouting out “IRON MAN!”, people cheering when Downey Tony Stark shows up… Free idea from me to you, ‘Iron Man 3? filmmakers. I’ll take a special thanks and perhaps a repulsor ray if you’ve got an extra one lying around.

(They didn’t take my idea. Maybe for Iron Man 4, or a future Avengers movie.)

The second best thing about this new video (the first, of course, is the kid getting the arm, because that’s actually real-life awesome) is the moment when someone off-camera asks Alex, “Do you know who that is?” “Iron Man,” Alex replies, to the delight of everyone in the room (and us home viewers). But then comes the follow-up:

“What’s his name?”

“Robert.”

Downey does nothing to correct Alex, nor does anyone else. In Alex’s 7-year-old mind, Robert Downey Jr. is Iron Man. To Downey’s credit, he’s a good enough actor that playing the super-rich Avenger has not hampered his film career; he can play other roles just as convincingly as he always has. But if he keeps this up, he might have to change his name to Tony Stark. Or maybe Marvel will just change Iron Man’s name to Robert Downey Jr. Both are about as likely to happen as me turning into Thor. But this particular blurring of fact and fiction is fun to watch.

On a more serious note, huge, massive, supremely large shout-outs to Albert Manero, who is apparently making bionic arms for kids who need them (it’s OK if that makes your head explode a little bit), and to Mr. Downey Jr., whom we like both on and off screen. And best of luck to Alex, a young man growing up in very interesting times.

‘Iron Man’ surprises boy in Georgia – DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG.

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