The 5 Worst Army Men Of All Time

SFGate column–The worst army men:

  1. The mine sweeper.
  2. Marching infantry.
  3. The radio operator.
  4. The dead guys.
  5. The WTF?

IMHO the dead guys were the worst–what good were they? As for the “WTF?” man, he’s obviously getting ready to toss a grenade–that’s a valuable guy in my plastic platoon. I think my two favorites were the kneeling rifleman and the guy with the bazooka.

The WTF guy is half of a mortar team. The author must have lost the other guy who has the mortar tube.

And he’s holding a mortar in his hand, which he hopes will do some considerable damage when it reaches the enemy lines.

The mortar squad in my platoon was just one guy.

I never got marching guys or dead guys.

My army guys were all disfigured. We would mix up “napalm” consisting of suntan lotion, lighter fluid, and maybe some other stuff. We would fill a trench with this liquid and call it a river. Army men would be wading the river and crossing the bridge we built. Then we would ignite the river.

A mortar loading guy? :smack:

I thought he was holding one of those “potato masher” grenades. Army man ignorance fought! :stuck_out_tongue:

The minesweeper should be #1! Who sets up a war scene that has artillery launchings, planes dropping bombs, riflemen dug into a hillside (aka bedspread) but has this buffoon out there, standing upright, sweeping for mines?! Dude’ll get this head blown off in 5 seconds. Then he becomes one of the dead guys.

Which brings me to my next point: Why are the dead guys on the list? They’re essential to any complete battle scene. War isn’t pretty. I want blood and carnage in my setups! How am I supposed to do that if everyone’s still alive? You need dead guys to really bring your scene to life.

I loved the mortar guys. I’d trade my friends riflemen for more mortars. I’m a firm believer in indirect fire support.

Of course all that firepower proved useless against the fiery breath of Smaug (a can of Aqua-Net and a Bic).

I have never used a sig, but I may have to start just to give this line the audience it deserves.

If they’re already dead, it ruins the fun of killing them.

But you’re supposed to make your own dead guys, with a lighter, or wirecutters, and some red paint. Much more realistic and exciting than the pre-killed guys.

Hehe. If my parents had any idea how much hairspray I went through as a kid, they’d have taken me for therapy.:smiley:

Radio guy and binoculars guy are actually the ones who do most of the killing, though the average child doesn’t understand that. Those two are the ones directing artillery fire, calling in air strikes, and the like. .45 guy, who is an officer, also raises the body count; he’s the one who directs the fire and such from all the other guys.

The marching guys were less useless to me than the fording guys. Those were the guys holding their rifles above their heads. Unless you know they’re supposed to be wading (or perhaps coming ashore during an amphibious assault landing) it isn’t at all obvious what they are doing. Lots of kids I played with thought they were supposed to be surrendering or bayoneting somebody. Since most of my campaigns were short on water obstacles, I had little call for fording soldiers. The marching soldiers could always be used as reserves coming in from the rear echelons.

Now that I took a second look, WTF guy could also be half of a bazooka team.

Kids today don’t get what a big deal mines were for these WWII battle sets (I had Battle of the Bulge, Blitzkreig and Navarrone sets).

We used buried pennies for mines, and if you didn’t use a sweeper you lost all of the men in one hands width from the penny.

WTF is, as already pointed out, the other half of the mortar team.

The dead guys could go on the stretchers. My set had two stretcher carriers that could carry dead guys off of the battle field.

Marching Nazis were there to be killed, of course.

Someone has put a lot of effort into army man research: The Army Men Homepage (lots of other miniature plastic figures, too!)

According to the “Classic Army Men” page, the WTF guy is indeed a mortar man (Marx 54mm US soldiers Set #1).

Oh, THAT’s what they’re doing! Well, they’re still #1 on the useless list, though now in the ‘not relevant’ camp rather than the “either a surrendering coward or really spazmodically trying to bayonet a giant” camp.

Well, actually they’re not completely useless-- they do make OK dead guys once you cut the base off.

Naw, he’s making that guy get off the damn phone.

The sets I saw as a kid had a guy that I couldn’t understand. He appeared to be dancing a jig while shooting straight up into the sky. It wasn’t until I had a flash of the blindingly obvious (Years later) that I realized that he was a machine gunner lying on his stomache.

We cut their rifles away, making them surrendering guys. But then we always put bayonet charge guy right in front of them.

We’d also stick a pin into a pencil eraser and heat it up on the gas range until it was red hot, and use it to make sucking chest wound guy, Charles XII of Sweden, etc.