Toys as we know are only a physical manifestation for the figment of imagination of children. But, when these toys start spreading social messages among the public, it catches the attention of society. 6 year old Vivian Lord from Little Rock, Arkansas has put this pivotal question on toys. She has observed a gender inequality when it comes to toy soldiers, where all of the soldiers were boys.
The 6 year old used to play with her brothers toys. She was used to lining up her toys according to male and female. But when she tried playing with her brothers military toys, she noticed the difference. Thus, this infuriating incident charged her so much that it impelled her to write an indignant letter to the toy companies which caught huge attention from the media.
The word “Army men” has “men” in its very title. And from the very start when toy soldiers started to rip the market, the manufacturing companies have stereotyped an ideal toy soldier. For them, a toy soldier is supposed to have a “man’s spirit” depicted by their lethal weapons and ferocious garments made of plastic. It probably didn’t occur to any of the companies or their workers that the profession of soldiers is not exclusively reserved for men.
On an interview, Vivian has said that she has a friend whose mother is in army and she has seen all sorts of toy armies, even the ones in pink are designed as males. When she asked her mother, she has told her to write a letter directly to the toy companies. Even though Vivian’s mom didn’t take it seriously, Vivian was grave about it and she indeed wrote a letter to three companies. However, Mr.Imel, an owner of a toy manufacturing company, BMC Toys, has read her letter. He had a unique view about toy soldiers, where he believed that women toy soldiers would teach the children to view this profession in equality.
Even though Imel wanted to launch new toys, it was expensive and challenging. However, after Vivian’s complaint reached huge media coverage, he has been very occupied in making sculptures and designing new toys. His first batch of 24 soldiers would be launched shortly. Imel was very pleased to receive the thank you letter from Vivian.