Look alive, Santa Claus: Plastic Army Women will be deployed into toy stores by Christmas 2020.
As Chicago’s NBC 5 reports, the gender-reversed toy troops from BMC Toys made their debut at the Chicago Toy Soldier Show on Sunday, thanks in part to some nudging from a 6-year-old girl who was underwhelmed by the standard green Army men.
"She wanted us to do a Google search to see if they did in fact exist because if they did she wanted us to get some," Vivian Lord’s mom Brittany told Good Morning America. "We could only find some pink ones and she quickly pointed out those were not women but just men in pink and Army men don’t wear pink."
The Little Rock, Ark. youngster wrote to several toy companies urging them to create a female version of the classic figurines.
“Why do you not make girl army men[?],” she wrote in her letter. “My friend’s mom is in the Army to[o] so why don’t you make them to[o]?”
It was just the call to arms BMC Toys owner Jeff Imel needed to actually manufacture the idea he’d first toyed with a few years ago.
The Scranton, Pa.-based company got to work, and the figurines are now a reality, with green female soldiers wielding binoculars and guns. According to his blog, Imel hopes to expand the poses — adding running figures, rifles and bazookas — and has already received requests for Navy and Air Force sets.
And while the toys won’t be available to buy until the 2020 holiday season, Imel has already received an enthusiastic response both from girls like Lord — who told GMA she’s “happy and proud” about her role in getting them made — and the generations that came before her.
"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 wrote in his blog. "Many look forward to sharing a set with their granddaughters and completing the circle of a long-lost childhood wish."
“Nice to represent the female sacrifices and contributions to all military for real,” read one Twitter comment.
“Being a female veteran ... this speaks volumes!!” a fan tweeted.
“It helps show that girls can be soldiers too,” another commenter noted. “This is not an attack on anyone's masculinity.”
And yet, some are already complaining.
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