BMC Toys: Plastic Army Women Project: Update #1

Posted by Jeff Imel on

Here's a long overdue update on the BMC Toys Plastic Army Women Project idea I posted last year.

The general concept is a set of female combat toy soldier figures in the style of the plastic army men from WW2-Cold War era that would blend in with existing figures from a variety of manufacturers and look like what the average person thinks of as 'little green army men' that just happen to be women. The initial response to the idea was very positive and indicated this concept is generally on the right track. The main feedback received has been the figures in the sketches didn't have regulation hair as they were referenced from WAC (The Women's Army Corps) WW2 era photos. I acquired an M1 combat helmet (the type used by the US from WW2 through 1985) and had artist Tina Imel consult with some female service members and draw some portrait sketches to see how regulation hair might look:
BMC Toys Plastic Army Women Helmet and Hair Sketches

I'm not entirely certain the regulation hair will translate well in small scale, but since it's important to many project supporters I'll keep it in the mix going forward to see how it looks. I'm developing these figures as toy soldiers that are an extension of the generic 'Army Men' universe of pop-culture rather than historically accurate hobby models. I think there is some room for artistic license with hair regulations as the figures represent more of a 'what if' women had served in US military combat roles in WW2 and Cold War conflicts as opposed to accurate models of contemporary female service members that do currently serve in combat roles. A set of contemporary US soldiers that includes a mix of men and women could also be a good project at some point. There have been some requests for female figures representing the different branches of the military, which is also a good idea but beyond the scope of this particular project.

I recently received this letter from Vivian (age 6) and was given permission by her Mom to share it: 
Letter asking for Plastic Army Women

Vivian's Mom has shared this letter with a few different manufacturers, and has also received interest from a couple of reporters that got in touch in with me regarding Vivian's letter and this project. CNN just posted this article:

The next steps for this project are to commission more detailed drawings and choose a sculptor to create a single prototype figure sculpt. I've got a huge backlog of reissue projects on my to-do list right now, but would really like to continue working on this, so if you think it's a good idea please subscribe to the BMC Toys Plastic Army Woman Project newsletter to me know I should keep it a high priority. Tanks' for your help:

Original concept sketches by Tina Imel:
BMC Toys Plastic Army Women Concept Sketch

Original Blog post:

August 30, 2019: BMC Toys: Plastic Army Women Project: Update #2 (IT'S HAPPENING!)

September 8, 2019: BMC Toys: Plastic Army Women Project: Update #3

Update: Links to more articles about Vivian's letter:

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  • I’m and Army vet that collects green Army men things. PLEASE notify me when these are available for purchase! I am ecstatic for the possibility of adding these to my collection!

    Kate Noble on
  • These would sit proudly next to my Army Barbie, an Army medic, and G.I. Jane, an Apache pilot. I was a Cold War era soldier.

    Patricia on
  • Will you be taking pre-orders on the Plastic Army Women? How many will be sold in a bag? My spouse in retiring this year with thirty years in the Army. She collects green Army men memorabilia, having the Plastic Army Women would be Amazing!

    Pilar on
  • I’d love to see female pilots too! I’m a pilot and was a Navy helo pilot. I’m always looking for female military toys.

    Melissa Ashby on
  • Yes, I agree past time to make Green Army Women too, and with Radios. I was a Ratt Operator. Thank you for expediting this project and making little girls and women soldiers proud. Retired SFC

    Peggy Zuber on

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