BMC Toys, a Scranton firm that makes a line of traditional dark-green plastic army men, has decided to make a line of plastic army women.
As the owner Jeff Imel writes on the company blog, he decided to start the line of female figurines after getting a few inquiries this year from a woman who served in the Navy and a young girl:
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June of 2018 I received an email from JoAnn Ortloff, Fleet Master Chief (Retired), US Navy. She was looking for female toy soldiers for her granddaughters, and made a compelling case for why Plastic Army Women should be produced. I spent a good chunk of a weekend putting together the basics for the project, set up an email list, wrote a blog post, and got some art made to illustrate the idea. Initial response was very positive, but my schedule and budget for the year was full, so not much happened until...
Early August 2019 I received a copy of the letter from 6 year old Vivian asking "Why aren't there any girl army men?". I responded to Vivian's Mom to let her know about the BMC Toys Plastic Army Women project. Soon after, I started to get inquiries from reporters, including CNN and Entercom Communications. With the new attention, I posted an update with some new concept art and customer feedback I'd collected over the past year. The story of VIvian's letter spread throughout dozens of local media outlets, and BMC Toys was mentioned in a lot of them.