Sounds like you are a little younger. By the mid-late 60s, as the Viet Nam war soured the public opinion of conflict, war was becoming a "bad" thing again. Hopefully that trend continues.Never had green army men. Never liked playing Army, Cops and Robbers, or Cowboys snd Indians. Much preferred to play Astronaut, exploring the moon and planets.
My dad (European theater infantry) only talked about the cold, wet, and mud. An odd thing is that I could never once get him to "camp out" with me. He tried it only once, made it to about 11pm, then went back in the house. As a kid, I didn't really understand this. He said he had spent "enough" time on or in the ground during the war. While this is certainly true, as an adult, I now suspect it brought back more visceral memories he spent many years trying to bury.I was never into the toy army stuff but my brother had a number of the little plastic soldiers. My friend Ernie has a huge set, many of which he molded himself from lead, and would stage “wars” with his two armies. He had everything from colonial to WWII toy soldiers.
We played more war type games outside than inside, often with real BB guns and in the woods where we could plan ambushes and such. I think we did more Cowboys & Indians than WWII battles.
I was born in 1950 so WWII seemed a very recent thing to all of us. Most dads had served somewhere and many in combat. I can guarantee none of them set up little combat zones in their yards but instead rarely talked with us kids about it, if at all. One of my friends once had an aftermath picture from a Pacific island battle and it was shocking, but I doubt his dad even knew he’d found it. My dad sidestepped any discussion of his European theatre bombardier role until I was a young adult. He did have a very strong bond with his wartime mates for the rest of his life.
We had Airfix soldiers about 1/2 inch high that you broke off of plastic ‘trees’, a bit like parts of an Airfix plastic kit. There were dozens of types available, American Civil War, Marines etc. etc. They were designed to be painted with modeling paint but we never bothered. So ling as the two sides in a battle were different colours, no problem. They used to turn up everywhere, under tge settee, in the cupboards, often stuck in the vacuum cleaner. Happy days!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.