Vivian wrote letters to toy companies in July 2019, asking why they didn’t make girl soldiers. Now, Vivian’s wish has come true just in time for Christmas 2020!
LITTLE ROCK, Ark — A young Little Rock girl made a discovery so many of us adults had never taken the time to think about.
None of the toy army soldiers looked like her. She had a problem with it and wasn’t willing to stop until she saw change.
“I see some with buns, pony tails, long hair… It’s so cool,” said Vivian.
To understand the genuine excitement from 7-year-old Vivian Lord over a bag of toy soldiers, you’d have to go back to the first time we met in July of 2019.
“I’ve been wanting to have girl army men but there’s no girl army men, so it’s kinda weird,” she said.
Vivian had just written a letter to toy companies across the country expressing her disappointment that there weren’t any female toy soldiers on the market.
“Why do you not make girl army men? My friend’s mom is in the army too,” Vivian asked.
Nearly 1,200 miles away in Scranton, Pennsylvania, her letter landed in the hands of Jeff Imel.
Imel, the president of BMC Toys, agreed to grant Vivian’s wish. He and a team of others immediately got to work. Commissioning the prototype, producing the mold, manufacturing the soldiers and shipping them off.
“I never expected how important it was going to be to women veterans and women military people,” Imel said. “It was something that really touched something within them that they felt gave them a sense, from what they told me, just a little bit of validation and they often feel overlooked even though they’ve been a huge part of the military for a very long time.”
As promised, just in time for Christmas 2020, Vivian got her female toy soldiers in the mail.
“It says BMC toys — U.S. Soldiers plastic army women figures. It says 38 pieces, also it says a kickstarter up there,” said Vivian. “And if you notice that, that person in the middle, it used to be a boy but now it is a girl. They changed their logo to a girl.”
“I don’t think anyone that knows Vivian was surprised about how she went about correcting it. That’s her,” explained Brittany Lord, Vivian’s mom. “She’s always been really into justice and things being equal and fair and treating everyone the same.”
A major accomplishment this 7-year-old, and others just like her, can be so proud of.
And for anyone wanting to change the way history has been written, Vivian has this advice…
“Never quit stopping your dream. Keep going until it happens.”
The plastic army women haven’t been officially released just yet, but Imel is taking pre-orders and simultaneously manufacturing and shipping them.
You can find the female toy soldiers online at www.BMCtoys.com, Amazon, and small hobby and gift shops.
If you’d like to mail Vivian a letter, you can reach her at: P.O. Box 7222, Little Rock, AR 72217