Marvel bosses gave Guardians Of The Galaxy director James Gunn a birthday gift to remember by presenting him with a powerful prop from the blockbuster film.

The latest movie from the Marvel Cinematic Universe has already raked in more than $313 million (£186 million) at the worldwide box office, and company executives have recruited Gunn for a follow-up film in 2017.

For his 44th birthday on Tuesday (05Aug14), Marvel chiefs showed their gratitude for his role in making the film a big hit, by giving him a replica of the infinity stone, the item of immeasurable power which is coveted by supervillain Thanos, played by Josh Brolin in the film.

Gunn shared a photo of his unique gift on Instagram.com on Friday (08Aug14), showing the handcrafted item next to a plaque with a quote from Guardians hero Peter Quill (Chris Pratt), which reads "That was a pretty good plan."

Gunn added the caption, "Pretty wonderful birthday gift from the folks at Marvel."