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Robert Downey Jr. gives young fan his very own Iron Man-style bionic arm

7-year-old Alex had no idea what was waiting for him behind that door.


Aja Romano


Posted on Mar 12, 2015   Updated on May 29, 2021, 7:57 am CDT

By now the world has a conclusive amount of evidence proving that Robert Downey Jr. is actually Tony Stark in an alternate universe. But if you were still in doubt that RDJ is Iron Man in real life, watching him give a bionic arm to a 7-year-old superhero fan will convince you once and for all.

In a video released Thursday by Downey and Microsoft, a 7-year-old boy named Alex gets his very own functional prosthetic arm thanks to the wonders of 3D-printing technology. Even better, Alex’s sporty red number comes hand-delivered by Iron Man himself, who tries on his own while he’s at it.  

The gift comes courtesy of an organization called Limbitless, which uses 3D-printing technology to design affordable limbs for children. Limbitless is the brain child of Albert Manero, a University of Central Florida engineering student and Fulbright scholar. Manero partnered with Microsoft’s program Collective Project which helps visionary students fund empowering technology. 

In the video, Manero takes an unsuspecting Alex to meet his real-life hero. Though Alex was shy about meeting Downey, he was clearly delighted. RDJ gets in character for the part, informing Alex that he’s a “bionics expert” himself. He also delivered Alex’s arm in a genuine Stark Industries case to complete the blurring of reality. 

Maybe Tony Stark’s tower in downtown Manhattan isn’t so obnoxious after all.

H/T Mary Sue | Screengrab via officevideos/YouTube

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*First Published: Mar 12, 2015, 5:08 pm CDT