SCRANTON, Pa. (WHTM) – A toy manufacturer in Scranton is one of the only makers of toy plastic Army men and soon will expand the line to include Army women.
Jeff Imel, owner of BMC Toys, told WNEP the little green Army men will never go out of style. Imel says a few hundred thousand soldiers march out of the factory on Penn Avenue each year.
Starting next year, Imel will start something new. He showed photos of the prototype for the first female combat toy soldier on their Facebook page.
Imel told WNEP he’s received several requests for female figurines for years.
“To do a new set of figures like this, it’s about the cost of a modest new car, you know, so I checked the couch cushions, came up empty,” Imel said.
Then, according to WNEP, he received letters from a retired female Navy sailor and a 6-year-old girl asking for representation that gave him the confidence and proof of concept to draw up some plans.
“When you’re talking about modern combat soldiers, they’ve got a lot of heavy protective gear. You shrink that down to two inches, getting kind of hard to tell gender at that point. And so, I went another route where we kind of expand the pop culture universe of plastic Army men to include women,” Imel said.
Imel said, “Army women will help some kid somewhere be the hero of their own story at playtime, and I think that’s a good thing for everybody.”
BMC Toys’ female soldier line should be ready by Christmas 2020.
Information from WNEP-TV; https://wnep.com