How to do a rigid body NOT IN GAME ENGINE with armatures

I have been making a movie and have this character with these metal flanges falling from his shoulder pads. They have bones so I can animate them, but I would like to be able the just turn on physics and let them sway and bounce and dangle as they would based on physics - any idea how I could accomplish this?

you can see an animation with the character here:

Currently you cannot. The only way to get physics sims in BI is to bake them via BGE. People are working on getting Bullet integrated into BI at the moment though.