Every little boy and even quite a few little girls, nowadays, enjoy playing with army toys. With a rich history of military action and maneuvers, the possibility for history lessons that can last a life time can happen with this kind of play toy. It is not unheard of for some children to reenact such battles as that at The Alamo, Battle of the Bulge, Normandy and others with the necessary number of soldiers and accompanying battle weapons.
The price range for action figures runs from about 99 cents for a small pack of army men toys, weapons and even a few barbed wire fences and other such fare to well over $50 for a full-out, army battle set complete with 7-11” action figures and their accompanying weaponry. There are even more sets available, entire platoons of toy soldiers from an older era, that can be fetched at a bit higher of a price.
The older figures date back from as far back as the days before American Independence, when British “Red Coat” soldiers were put into place by King George III of England to keep law and order in the Colonies. Children playing with “Red Coats” in today’s world are probably mimicking some of the more important battles of the American Revolution.
Additionally, Civil War-era figures and their horses and other accoutrements cannot only be found as modern play toys for today’s child, but also can be viewed in historical museums along the East Coast or within the Southern states as well, depending on where such items were created and whether or not they were found on the North or South side of the fight.
The battles of World War I and II, as well as the Korean and Vietnam war have provided plenty of army figures, although mostly generic so as not to encourage racism in children. Not only a good-will measure for all, but it also keeps the children within the perspective of what they might try to learn about the various battle formations and reasons behind what battles were won or lost.
Many people feel that army toys should not be encouraged, due to the violent nature of war. But if we are to teach children about war and about the fighting forces that have been behind the world’s and nation’s wars, then perhaps showing them through play toys can be at least considered one method of doing so. Ultimately, the choice remains with the parent of the child who has shown an interest in such a toy.