'Plastic Army Women' Debut at Chicago Toy Soldier Show - NBC Chicago

'Plastic Army Women' Debut at Chicago Toy Soldier Show



    6-Year-Old Girl Leads Charge for 'Little Green Army Women'

    A Pennsylvania toymaker is bringing equity to an old-fashioned plaything, thanks in part to an observant 6-year-old girl. Little green army men are a best-seller for BMC Toys out of Scranton, and they happen to be the toy of choice for Vivian Lord from Little Rock, Arkansas. One day Vivian noticed that none of the little green figurines were women, so she wrote a letter. (Published Friday, Sept. 13, 2019)

    For the first time, little green plastic army women will be stationed near their male counterparts on toy store shelves.

    Plastic Army Women will become available for purchase in time for the holiday season in 2020, BMC Toys owner Jeff Imel announced. In the meantime, the toys make their debut Sunday at the Chicago Toy Soldier Show at the Hyatt Regency in Schaumburg. 

    Imel pitched the project in 2016 but put it on hold for fear of a lack of demand. He said he wanted to create something that connects with people and shows that anyone can be a hero.

    Then the company received an inspiring letter.

    A 6-year-old named Vivian Lord from Little Rock, Arizona, explained she enjoyed playing with Plastic Army Men with her older brother but wondered why there were no Plastic Army Women.

    Vivian’s mother submitted her letter to several U.S. companies that manufacture plastic toy soldiers not knowing BMC had one in the works. 

    Imel said the announcement of women army soldiers has received overwhelming support.

    "I’m especially surprised by the number of messages I've received from women who wanted a set of 'Little Green Army Women' as kids, even back in the 1960s," he said. "Many look forward to sharing a set with their granddaughters and completing the circle of a long-lost childhood wish."

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