6-year-old Vivian Lord prompts production of “plastic army women”

“Why don’t you make girl army men?”

That’s the question 6-year-old Vivian Lord had for manufacturers after playing with her brother’s “green army men,” those inexpensive little toys that became popular in the 1950’s and 1960’s. Not content to sit and wonder, Vivian wrote to several companies that produce the little figures, including BMC Toys, which is in my home town of Scranton, Pennsylvania.

Since then, BMC launched a Kickstarter campaign to help fund an initial run of figures depicting female soldiers, with a goal of $11,400. As of this writing $55,401 has been raised, and BMC says the figures will be available by Christmas, 2020.

Of course, Vivian wasn’t the only one to make this request. As NPR’s story outlines, adult female members of our military have written to manufacturers as well. You can listen to the story and hear Vivian herself via the player above.