Little Green Men

Did you play with army men when you were a child? By army men I'm referring to those little green, plastic soldiers that came in packages of about 100 or $1.00. They were a bunch of tiny dudes with helmets and guns. They were awesome. Simple, yet profound playthings.

If you did play with army men as a kid you might be wondering whether or not they still exist. I know I am. They used to be in every drug store. Back when drug stores had respectable game aisles with fun toys for under $3.00.

Well, take heart, they do still exist. But even little green, plastic army men have suffered from inflation. The once el-cheapo toy that any parent could use to quickly thwart a temper tantrum for one dollar now costs considerably more. But compared to food, clothes and energy prices plastic army men prices have risen at a relatively slow pace. You can get 40 of them for under $3.00.

When I used to play with my friends we liked to melt them. We'd use a magnifying glass or some kid's eyeglasses. We thought we were scientists when we did that. My how times have changed. Any kid nowadays knows better than to squander a covetted plaything. Even the cheap ones are a highly valued commodity.

Many things have changed since the days when a bunch of boys would gather under the heat of the July sun and turn their plastic soldiers into waxy puddles of olive green gook. The one thing that never changes is respect for the military and all that they sacrifice to defend us.

In that respect, an inexpensive bag of little plastic army men are a priceless part of childhood.

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