Some plastic army men were the very essence of heroism and fury, injection-molded into an easy, pocket-size form. Others, not so much.

Just The Facts

  1. If you didn't have Plastic Army Men growing up, you turned out to be a sociopath.
  2. If you're saying "well, that's not true!" or "but we were poor!" right now, you should know denial and justification are both sociopathic traits.
  3. Authorities have been notified.

Cracked on Plastic Army Men

Back in the days where youngsters had legs and a shape, one of the best ways to entertain yourself was with little plastic army men: Even today, roughly half of all grown men cannot help but see trenches in the garden walls and cliffsides in tree roots. These little soldiers, sometimes based on actual national armies, watched their friends die face down in the mud for this patch of sidewalk. They taught us all about tiny duty, itty-bitty honor, wee sacrifice and bite-sized heroism.

Some people took the lessons literally.


The Rules of the Game

For a toy that's been around so long, there surprisingly still seems to be no consensus on what the rules (if any) are for Plastic Army Men battles.

Though after a particularly vicious barrage of "yuh-uhs" and "nuh-huhs," these are the general outlines we eventually agreed on:

  1. Both sides have to have an equal team. One guy can't have all the grenade throwers and machine gunners while the other just has a squad of people pointing to their left.
  2. The only exception being if one side has a base. If that's the case, the person who has the base has less soldiers. This works well if there are only 5 yellows, but 15 greens.
  3. The game progresses by pointing at one of your soldiers, or grabbing him, and making the appropriate sound effect. The power and effectiveness of each soldier is based entirely on how good your sound effects are.
  4. When you've done the correct sound effect, you then tell the other player who got killed. This is accomplished by grabbing the other person's guy, making a sound that signals death ("uurggh") and knocking him over.
  5. The other player can challenge this death if he thinks that the kill was unrealistic.

Some common challenges:

  • No - he can't die because he was behind this stick.
  • Why are you making machine gun noises when he's got a flame-thrower?
  • No but wait, my tank got in the way (move tank in the way).
  • You can't kill him because he's my captain and you can't kill captains because they're stronger than the others and anyway he's on a secret mission so actually your guy is shooting at nothing because my captain is hiding and he's only pretending to be dead.
  • You're stupid.

Some common rebuttals:

  • No, you're stupid.