A 6-year-old's letter is the reason plastic army women are being made
If you ever played with those little, green plastic army figures when you were a kid, you may have wondered to yourself, "Why aren't there any female soldiers for you to play with?"
Well, the lack of female soldiers is still very much an issue in 2019. And some people have quite rightly drawn attention to the lack of visibility given to women in the armed forces.
Watch the heartwarming moment a soldier returned home to surprise these five kids at Badger High School:
But it wasn't until Jeff Imel, the president of BMC Toys, read a particularly poignant letter - written by a six-year-old girl, no less - that groundbreaking changes were finally made to the range of plastic troops available.
"My name is Vivian. I am six years old," wrote Vivian Lord from Arkansas. "Why do you not make girl army men? My mom's friend is in the army [too]."
"It was a heartfelt letter," Imel told NPR. "And it reminded me of being a kid and always wanting that toy that you couldn't get in the gumball machine," he said. "So I really looked into it."
Imel makes hundreds of thousands of plastic soldiers each year at his factory in Scranton, Pennsylvania. Per CNN, he's thought about producing female versions for years but he was unsure if the changes would be feasible in terms of the costs.
"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," he told CNN affiliate WNEP.
In any case, Imel did look into the potential demand for female soldier figurines, after which he responded to little Vivian's letter to inform her that, "It's happening."
The female range should be available by Christmas 2020 and will be made up of a captain armed with a handgun and holding a pair of binoculars, a soldier kneeling and one holding a bazooka.