If you played with toys as a kid, then you probably played with those famous little green Army men at one point or another – especially if you’re a male. But the Army men toy game was recently turned on its head when BMC Toys, the company that manufactures those little green guys, received a letter from a 6-year-old girl from Arkansas.
The little girl, Vivian Lord, sent a letter to the company that read, “My name is Vivian. I am six years old. Why do you not make girl army men. Some girls don’t like pink, so please can you make army girls that look like women? I would play with them every day and my friends would too!”
And the folks at BMC Toys took notice and decided to do something about it.
The President of BMC Toys, Jeff Imel, said, “It was a heartfelt letter. And it reminded me of being a kid and always wanting that toy that you couldn’t get in the gumball machine. So I really looked into it.”
Imel said the company did some research and decided to produce a line of female soldier toys that will be available by Christmas 2020. The new female army toys will come in four poses.
Imel said, “What’s been really surprising to me is how many women have contacted me since Vivian’s story aired on national television to say they wish they had little Green Army Women when they were children back in the ’60s.”
It wasn’t an easy decision either. Imel is the only full-time employee at BMC and he explained the process: “I have to pay the sculptor. I have to pay the tooling. I have to make a down payment on production. If it’s coming from China, it’s on a boat for five weeks. By the time you figure out the cost of everything involved in making an original set of plastic toy figures in this size,” he said. “It starts around the cost of a modest new car.”
Imel added, “Every kid wants to be the hero of their story. It shouldn’t be up to us to decide who the hero is. Girls should be able to connect to the toys just as much as boys do.”
It may be pricey, but it will obviously be worth it once these toys hit the market. And it’s all due to young Vivian Lord’s decision to step up and write a letter. I have a feeling this girl is going to be a real trailblazer!
I can’t wait to see what the toys look like when they’re completed!