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Toymaker to expand plastic Army women line

Posted at 1:00 PM, Dec 17, 2019

SCRANTON, Pa. — A Scranton toymaker decided earlier this year to expand a line of plastic toy soldiers to include one female figurine.

BMC Toys in Scranton, Pennsylvania is one of the largest makers of little green Army men in the United States.

Owner Jeff Imel says a request from a female Navy officer and a little girl pushed him to create women as well.

It turns out, it's something toy lovers have been wanting for a long time.

"Just this morning, I got an email from a woman who is 67 years old. She said she wanted a set of women soldiers when she was little, and this is just a six-decade-late Christmas wish fulfillment for her. And I got a lot of messages like that," Imel said.

He started with one figurine and then launched a Kickstarter campaign hoping to expand the line. He more than quadrupled its goal, and now Imel plans to make 12 figurines showing women in combat.

Imel said his typical consumers are collectors who take the historical accuracy of the toy soldiers seriously. But even those collectors have been supportive of the project.

"I was worried about criticism from all sides, and it was way less than I ever expected. What that tells me is that most people are just good people," Imel added.