For the last few years Jeff Imel of VictoryBuy, & BMC Toys has been asked about any plastic female soldiers. Women have served in the Armed Forces of a lot of countries for many years now. Jeff started to look into making an Army Woman set. After receiving a letter from a 6 year old girl the project really picked up. You can read about this over here, Her Own Toy Story: How A 6-Year-Old Girl’s Letter Launched ‘Plastic Army Women’.
Recently Jeff started a campaign to raise money to fund the project on Kickstarter. You can fund it over here, Plastic Army Women Kickstarter. They met their goal in the first day. A couple of days later that had reached Stretch Goal #3 and probably by the time this post is finished it will reach Stretch Goal #4. They have collected over $26,000 so far. I have pledged $25.00 and will do a review of the figures once I have them next year. The sculpting looks really nice.
When they started the project they had 6 poses planned. Now that they have met the goals it has increased to 12 poses.
I recently talked to Jeff about the Army Women. He said “I had read your post about the Cunningham Collectibles Confederate set that mentioned James Van Schaik as the sculptor. I made a note at the time so he was on my list of potential sculptors when looking for someone to make the Plastic Army Women prototype in a hurry this summer.” I am glad that my site helped in some way.
I asked him a few questions. Are you surprised that the goal was met so quickly? Do you have any plans to expand on the set to included anymore poses?
He answered. “Yes, I was shocked goal was met in 12 hours. I have ideas for expansion, but not sure I can work those into the Kickstarter. I designed the Kickstarter to primarily fund production and fulfillment there’s not a lot left over in the budget for Sculpts and tooling. Currently, it could still be a couple of years before I break even on the development side of things. I am thinking about it though. Another idea I’m kicking around is adding a couple of playsets as rewards in the campaign. I have 2 ideas, one is a WAC Training Camp, the other is a Tan vs. Green Plastic Army People Playset. I’m not certain I’ll have time to pull any of this together though.”
We talked about some other things like where are these Army Women going to be made? He said “I haven’t finalized the factory yet. I currently with 2 factories in the US and one in China. I am leaning strongly towards having them produced in the US.”
He also stated, “The key to the Kickstarter success was having a good base of supporters at the start. I have an email list for the Plastic Army Women Project Newsletter. Those supporters are the reason funding happened so quickly.”
Here is a good link to read about Women serving in the armed forces, Women in the United States Army.
Jeff also mentioned that “they are scheduled for molding this week and should be available early to mid-December. I had the holes in the bases closed up so they match other figures better. There’s a ton of these out there in lighter gray, so these will be charcoal gray.”
There are a bunch of new BMC Toys products on the way. The latest BMC Toys American Hero Collector Series production is on the way and scheduled to arrive by early December. The shipment includes 6 new items:
WW2 D-Day Tank Battle Playset 36pc
San Juan Hill Buffalo Soldiers vs Spain 32pc
Border Wars US Army vs. Mexican Villistas 34pc
Civil War Battlefield Accessories 18pc
United States Presidents Series #1 Figure Set
Blockhouse Walls Accessory (off-white)
Jeff also said that, “Also, I’ve purchased the Sell Toy Co. inventory and mold of the Jagdpanzer IV Tank Destroyer.”
Jeff keeps bringing sets back that have been out of production for a very long time. He was happy to find or acquire other molds to bring these vintage figures to a new generation.
As I predicted as I started writing this article they reached the next Stretch Goal #4. Now we will see the figures in both Green & Tan.
When I was on vacation last month in Georgia & Virginia I found a few vintage Tim Mee Army Men. I will take more pictures of all of that in the future. Here are some of the hidden gems that I found in bags of figures I got.
The small change of the hand with these figures makes a big difference. One is encouraging his fellow Soldiers to come forward. The other is attacking by throwing a grenade.
The Tim Mee Army Man with the grenade in his hand was the original pose included when the set first came out.
At some point the mold had problems or got damaged. The new figure had his hand changed to be open.
Here is the missing marching Tim Mee Army Man. At some point the mold was damaged and this figure was taken away from the set.
There is a mystery about what had happened to the mold or molds. Either it was damaged some how or just worn out. Some of the figures I have look like bad casts, showing wear. Maybe some of the last marching Men to be cast?
Here are some older Tim Mee Army Men & one Army Woman. I think this set was from the late 1950’s or early 1960’s. There are two stretcher bearers, one wounded Soldier, a Nurse and rescue dog. The Red Cross flag was in the bag, I do not know it if is original.
I think Jeff will meet all his goals with the Army Woman set and will continue to bring us more vintage sets back from the grave.
That is it for now. Thank you for reading.