The Top 10 Worst Plastic Army Men of All Time

I was inspired by the post I made Friday to expand a little bit on my childhood passion for those ubiquitous little green army men. I remember having tons of them, of all different colors, sizes, and poses and I could spend hours setting them all up and then spend hours knocking them all down in mock combat.
I've always been passionate about army men. In grade school, while other children fawned over Woody and Buzz, my favorite characters in Disney-Pixar's Toy Story were the true heroes...the army men. In high school, I avoided doing homework by playing Sarge's Heroes on my N64.

I know, I're probably thinking what does any of this have to do with scale modeling? Well, though not directly related to scale modeling, I believe that army men played a role in developing my passion for military modeling and dioramas. I would bet that most modelers, especially those in the United States would say the same. After all, to some degree, aren't we modelers still enjoying plastic army men? They are just a bit more complex now.

Any way, in my eyes not all army men are created equal. Some performed at a higher level than others. And some were quite simply not fit for combat. I have made a list of those plastic soldiers who did not make the honor roll...

10. The Mine Sweeper

The reason he is not higher on this list is due to the fact that he is actually some what useful. As my tactics in army men warfare progressed, both sides began using mines to an effective degree. This did eventually make the mine sweeper and the rest of his EOD buddies necessary. But the fact that he is a character that looks more like a curling champion than a soldier, he was generally left in the toy box...

9. On the March

I understand that war involves a lot of travel, especially by foot. Being in the military I've done enough marching myself to know that it sucks. It isn't fun. Nor is it fun to play with a soldier that is marching. There is a war going on! You can't just show up all nonchalant. I want to see some motivation!!

8.  Hollywood Marine

I like the motivation here. He looks heroic, with his bare chest out, sleeves rolled up, and an M-60 with a belt full of rounds to blow...which for some reason he is attempting to wrap around his waist...He wins points for machismo, but unless he is just going to scare the enemy by firing bullets over their heads, he is fit more for a Hollywood movie poster than any back yard battlefield...

7. Hands-Free Fighting

I never understood this guy. Sort of a multitasker with poor muzzle discipline. Put him in a combat zone and he was never as effective as he could be. It is hard to squeeze off accurate one-handed automatic fire while ordering a pizza...Put the cell phone down and get to work!

6. Short Attention Span

Then there is this guy. At first glance he looks legit - in motion, rifle at the ready, finger on the trigger. Then when the shooting starts its OH LOOK! A SQUIRREL!

5. I'm Here to Help

 If you ever needed to know where something was, this guy always knew it. Perhaps you need directions. Just ask him. Do you want to know where the enemy bunker is? He'll tell you. He had all the answers to all the logistical questions. Though he can't shoot a gun, he could tell you where to find one...

4. Hi Mom! 

It was kind of tough not making this guy the number one pick. We are in the middle of a war and here this guy is waving to the bloke looking back at him through a pair of binoculars. Can't shoot back, but he can give you a mean high five!

3. Fix Bayonettes

As courageous as this guy would have to be to resort to hand-to-hand fighting, he never served that purpose. Often times he became the unlucky prisoner, holding his weapon over his head in surrender. I also found that if you laid him prone he made a good wounded guy.

2. The Salesman

What. Is. He. Doing?
Perhaps he is celebrating a recent victory? Perhaps he is peddling fire arms on the black market? Would you like this 9mm, or this impressive M-16? Maybe he is asking #5 which gun he would like to buy...
THAT one!

And the award for worst army man of all time goes to...

1. The Skydivers
 Oh man, this one is hard to argue. Not only did they come in all the stupid, useless posses detailed above, they came attached to parachutes that they had to drag around the battlefield. They were never as cool as I always imagined they would be, considering my house never had the elevation sufficient enough to deploy the parachute allowing them to descend slowly into combat. More gimmicky than effective, they often got tangled up in their lines, resulting in them ending up as the worst army men of all time.

Hope you enjoyed that little detour from scale modeling! Let me know what you think about army men, or if you have others you would add to the list!


  1. Replies
    1. um no its really not that good he doesn't see what they are doing

    2. You've more than likely missed the point...clearly, from an adult point of view, the roll of these little army men may be clear, but as I stated this is from the point of view that I took as a child, playing war. Who wants to wage war with a trooper that isn't pointing his rifle down range? You? Can't win many battles that way...

  2. #1 they weren't supposed to have much use once they "landed" you would put in a normal soldier to act as the recently grounded soldier. #3 he is attacking with his bayonette OR he is pointing to a dangerous area. #4 no duh he is a scout he is directing the troops he is leading or telling his commander to come and see something. #5 he is pointing to an area for a shooting wall to aim or pointing to wear someone needs to fire. #6 he is standing at attention and waiting for orders. #7 he is contacting hq for ordnance, orders, reinforcements or an airstrike. #9 if you had no mobile soldiers you couldn't move troops. and last #10 if you didnt have them people could say "oh you stepped on a mine" at completely random times.

    1. Haha, oh man you just made my day! Thanks for clearing all that up for me! Man, to think my childhood could have been so much more enjoyable if I had such a humorless friend to pal around with just like you! With that kind of know how and bland personality, you MUST be, like, a general, right? Again, thanks for enlightening me and thanks for reading!

  3. anything for a friend who is in need of knowledgeable allies (i am being sarcastic since you probably couldn't tell)

  4. I still like these guys too. I remember finding one on our lawn sheared in half by the mower. Now that was cool. Some of today's makes of army men make great targets for airgun shooting since they tend to shatter when the pellet hits them. Again, totally cool.

    You're right about the diorama connection. It's not much of a stretch from scale modelling to green plastic army men, though it IS a little tough to admit that. : )

  5. Nice post. In my opinion, not all mentioned above are worse plastic army men. I still like some of them.

  6. I enjoyed this posting - and had a good laugh to boot. I've arrived at Army Men by a very roundabout route, becoming interested in them only after I had reached the big six-o in years. A few of these dudes I rather like as being as you admit, more or less useful in specialist situations. I don't mind 10 (assault engineer) or 9 (aye, well...), or 5 (Platoon commander), or 4, (MG, mortar or artillery crew). But the others suck lemons.

    Mind you, I have seen some of these sorts of soldiery receive paint jobs far beyond what they deserve. And, you know, the reduction in suck value on account of a really good paint job has to be seen to be believed!

  7. hmm. i always thought that #3 is the way the soldiers carry their guns while crossing rivers on the vietnam war to prevent their guns from getting wet...

  8. It is. Hand to hand combat and that. But if they have no bayonet, then it's just them crossing da rivers/mud

  9. you can't even stand them up because they have no stands it looks like
    never had paratroopers


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