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/ Source: TODAY
By Ronnie Koenig

Six-year-old Vivian Lord was tired of not seeing women depicted in a classic toy that she wanted to play with, so she wrote a letter.

The first grader from Arkansas wrote to BMC Toys, the maker of green army men toys and asked a straightforward question, "Why do you not make girl army men?"

Vivian Lord, 6, loves playing with her green army men toys but would also love to play with green army women toys too.

"My friend's mom is in the army, too," wrote the girl. It's one of the reasons that led her to search for female heroes in her toy box that matched the ones she knew in real life.

Although the face of the U.S. Army now includes tens of thousands of women, the plastic ones have remained thoroughly male, reported NBC News' Sarah Harman.

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Jeff Imel, the president of the northeast Pennsylvania toy company, was moved by Vivian's letter and took action.

Imel plans to introduce female army figurines in four different poses by December 2020. The new version of the classic toy that's been around since the 1930s has also been requested by women in the military and female veterans.

"We did some rough sketches to see if people liked it. We moved into some more detailed drawings and then I hired a sculptor," he told TODAY.

The first prototype is a female captain figure holding a handgun and binoculars. Imel says he's committed to developing at least four female figurines in different battle poses.

The reaction to the idea has been positive, especially from women in the military.

"I'm currently in the Army, my husband currently is not, and now I can buy my kids toys that actually represent *me* when I have to be away from them," wrote one user on Twitter.

When another Twitter user questioned whether female enlistees really faced combat, another female Twitter user was quick to respond.

"I was an Engineer. I built roads schools bridges in 4 countries. I was S2 in gulf war in a front line engineer unit ( breached the VII corp sector). I also commanded an Engineer company in Europe. I planed and executed Bright Star in Egypt."

Clearly, there will be a market for a new iconic toy.

"I promise to have them for Christmas shopping next year," said Imel.

Meanwhile, Vivian is looking forward to getting her hands on the figurines next December.

"It made me so happy," she said.

"I might just get the boy army men out of the way and just play with the girls."