Big Army or Little Army

Larry F

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I grew up in a kid-rich environment in the 50s-60s. It was common to find at friends' house some small, olive green WWII action figures. We played with these for several years before growing out of it.

We also played Army ourselves. I had a Vic Morrow style submachine gun. Our Army play was mostly about shooting, getting shot, and dying in elaborate ways.

When we would. meet up after school, the question was always "Big Army" or "Little Army."

I predict that many of the older forumers did the same thing as kids.
 

Bruxist

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My dad said he used to still find army men in the yard when mowing, mostly near where our sandbox was as kids.

As we got older, we played different games with them. I remember making fortifications on each side and taking turns trying to shoot the other side's men with BB guns.

We also would melt them and they would drip flaming napalm-like goo. Don't tell my mom.
 

beyer160

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Our question was "teams" or "invisible enemy".

Teams meant dividing into teams and trying to outmaneuver and "shoot" each other ("BANG, you're dead!"). Invisible enemy meant we were all on the same side against an imaginary adversary... nearly always those dastardly Germans in occupied France, where my friends and I were usually either a ragtag commando squad sent to blow up some key installation or other, or a scout team cut off behind enemy lines. I would sometimes "script" our encounters with a rudimentary plot- once we were a team sent to ambush German reinforcements on D-day, but got re-routed to take a network of gun emplacements instead when the British airborne troops sent to take it got shot down. In the winter, we were sometimes British SAS sent to help the Norwegians sabotage the heavy water plant in Telemark.

Regarding the army men, we all had the generic green guys but then someone discovered Airfix model soldiers which were more expensive, but highly detailed. I had German Paratroops, Japanese Infantry, German Mountain Troops, British Paratroops, British Commandos, British 8th Army, and some Napoleonic ones, too.

Airfix WWII German Africa Korps, gray, 54mm, 54mm Toy Soldiers+WWII Figures  (54mm)

Good times, thanks for the trip down amnesia lane!
 

P Thought

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I grew up in a kid-rich environment in the 50s-60s. It was common to find at friends' house some small, olive green WWII action figures. We played with these for several years before growing out of it.

We also played Army ourselves. I had a Vic Morrow style submachine gun. Our Army play was mostly about shooting, getting shot, and dying in elaborate ways.

When we would. meet up after school, the question was always "Big Army" or "Little Army."

I predict that many of the older forumers did the same thing as kids.

For me it wasn't, but that whole game should have been a clue to all of us as to how strongly World War II impacted our whole life and all the lives around us, and how close we were in time to that event; to me at least it seemed like some history thing, like the Magna Carta or the tribes that once occupied my town.

My house was close to only one friend, and we rode bikes between our houses. He didn't play army, I didn't have any figures like the ones you tell about, so all my army-play was in my own head. There was a lot of it, though, in there, in fact some of it still remains!

Sometime in my forties it finally occurred to me how close that wartime was to my life, and even now, every day I see threads connecting those war days to some event in the here and now. I doubt that I'm the only person in the world who sees this that way, and I'm sure many saw it at an earlier age than I did.
 

Bruxist

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When I was in my '20s, my grandfather gave me an army man he'd found in a tree in their yard that I must have left there a decade earlier.

That's so cool!

Back in 2010 when visiting my parents, I was walking around in the woods behind their house where I used to play and found my toy Han Solo blaster pistol by our old fort (which was mostly just a dug out pit next to a beech tree).
 

Brad Pittiful

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we play cowboys more than big army...but we played it

then little army was second

big army was third

followed by cops and robbers...we hardly played that though
 

runstendt

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We used to hide little army pieces in our Christmas tree every year. Since it was an artificial tree and we would always forget to take all the pieces off when we put the tree away we would find some little green plastic soldiers ready to ambush us when we put the tree back up in December.
 

stxrus

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We played both until girls came into the picture
The funny thing is that in my late 50s I got involved in Airsoft.
Running around shooting each other was way cooler than the pretend version as a kid.

it was also a chance to introduce kids (12 yo minimum) to gun safety, cooperation, problem solving and communication.

Airsoft dried up down here a few years ago and I don’t know what to do with $$$$ of Airsoft stuff. I’d hate to toss it but it’s just going to rust, seals dry out, and slowly eroding into junk
 

Happy Enchilada

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We played both until girls came into the picture
The funny thing is that in my late 50s I got involved in Airsoft.
Running around shooting each other was way cooler than the pretend version as a kid.

it was also a chance to introduce kids (12 yo minimum) to gun safety, cooperation, problem solving and communication.

Airsoft dried up down here a few years ago and I don’t know what to do with $$$$ of Airsoft stuff. I’d hate to toss it but it’s just going to rust, seals dry out, and slowly eroding into junk

Kids still dig Airsoft - you might put it on eBay for a reasonable price.
 

unixfish

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My brother and I got some little green army men from somewhere, I don't remember where. We never really played army or cowboys. We did sometimes set the army men on a fence post and try to shoot them with a BB gun.

At some point, we would hang them off a fence wire by their base and try to shoot them off. One of us, I don't remember which, lit one on fire. When the plastic dripped, it made this really cool zipping-whistling sound.

I have not thought about that in decades.
 

Dave Hicks

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I still have the scars on my head from when one of my little comrades dug a pit trap at the edge of a dropoff. :(:mad:

D.H.
 

StoneH

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I played with little green army men, but when "The Man From Uncle" came out, that became our "role playing" game.
 




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