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"It all comes down to having fun. We spend our lives trapped, when all we really want to do is play. So, let the people play! Let us build a Utopian Playland."
Creator.Entertainer.Visionary.These were just a few words applicable to Dr. Phineas Waldolf Steel. Formerly in the toymaking industry, Dr. Steel became frustrated at the lack of vision and originality, rebelled against his ex-employers and burned the place down. He became a Mad Scientist who sought to Take Over the World, with conspiracy propaganda threaded intricately through music and toys for children worldwide. However, being a mad scientist, said toys are along the lines of Nightmare Fuel: Babies with buzzsaws, acid squirtguns, kewpie grenades, and it doesn't even begin to start there.Most importantly, however, is the music. Dr. Steel defied all genre, having been described by Rue Morgue magazine as "hip-hopindustrial opera", but most importantly is the fact that all of them are So. Damn. Catchy. Though his music only spans about three dozen songs across five CDs, and that most online stores only carry them in .mp3 rather than physical discs, Dr. Steel put just as much love and care into each individual song as many artists do for entire discs. A very underground artist, he nonetheless made an appearance on the Jay Leno show and was even given a nod by MTV. He later started to put more effort into clever and hilarious videos, which can still be seen on YouTube.Sadly, in 2011 Dr. Steel entered an early (and apparently forced) retirement (although some claim he was actually kidnapped by aliens). However, his army marches on, taking his philosophy to the masses and building the Utopian Playland he envisioned.His YouTube channel is here, and his MySpace is here. Listen, and then submit yourself to the movement he spawned, dedicated to taking over the world in his name!Not to be confused with the other Dr. Steel. Or the other Dr. Steel. Or the other Dr. Steel. Or the otherDr. Steel. Or Dr. Steele.
Tropes he displays:
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Acme Products: Dr. Steel seems to order some of his supplies from them; he can produce a large hammer or lit stick of dynamite at will...
Ancient Astronauts: Dr. Steel believes in Zechariah Sitchin's theory that humanity was created by aliens that posed as gods to the ancient Sumerians.
Ancient Conspiracy: Dr. Steel believes (whether in actuality or whether it's part of the crazy act is anyone's guess) that the world is controlled by a cabal of alien "Illuminati".
Anti-Villain: Despite going criminally insane and burning down a toy factory in a rampaging fit of revenge, Dr. Steel is really a kind-hearted soul who only wants to make the world a better place. (For himself...)
On the other hand, he may well be the only person ever to be able to label his propaganda as "Propaganda" and have people totally eat it up, so whyever he's really doing it, he's doing it right.
His public service commercials (as seen on Youtube and other places) focus heavily upon the power of imagination and of improving your general life; very anti-villainous.
Bald of Awesome - Doctor Steel is cleanly shaved bald. Apparently, this wasn't always the case; in a fabricated Los Angeles Time news story, Dr. Steel is seen being dragged away by police, sporting a full head of hair. A fan-made video takes this idea one step further, showing Dr. Steel at the moment of his psychotic break, shaving his head in a parody of Britney Spears.
Black Shirts: In a deliberate parody of fascist paramilitary organizations, Dr. Steel's Army of Toy Soldiers (his fan club base) wear black uniforms.
Bragging Theme Tune: His song, "The Doctor Steel Show". A small bump of this song is played at the beginning of each episode of The Dr. Steel Show, and a slightly altered instrumental loop plays at the end of Episode 1.
Brand X: Dr. Steel's "Ronald McRaygun" mentioned in his song, "The Dr. Steel Show".
Bunnies for Cuteness: After visiting a music website who's anime-inspired animation seemed to consist of "Tiny Little Bunnies Eating Hamburgers", Doctor Steel wrote a song about it.
The Toy Soldiers also celebrate Toy Soldier Day every March 4th, or the nearest Saturday to it (usually by going to the nearest Disney theme park).
Conspicuous Gloves: Steel is never seen without black PVC gloves, even when he's not working in the lab. (His gloves are even convertible: stylish to-the-wrist gloves for day-wear, adding a lower arm-length extension when he wears his labcoat.)
Conspiracy Theorist: Phineas himself, possibly. The manifesto on his official website explains that the human race is an experiment "cooked up in an alien easy bake oven" by the Alien Illumanati, who constantly manipulate our perception. But then again, he freely admits he's crazy...
Cut Lex Luthor a Check: The Doc wanted to sell his rather twisted toy designs, but the toy company he worked for couldn't see his vision. So he started his own toy company (after burning down theirs) and started building giant robots to take over the world with.
Dare to Be Badass: Many of his PSA videos encourage the viewer to break past their own limitations to improve themselves and the world.
Dark Is Evil: Somewhat averted (if you accept Dr. Steel as being evil rather than just twisted); Steel usually wears a white lab coat. He does however also have a Dastardly Whiplash-style black top hat and cape (see below).
Dark Messiah: Dr. Steel wants to makeover this current Crapsack World into a Utopian Playland. By force of giant robots, if necessary.
Demonic Dummy: Dr. Steel used to have a ventriloquist dummy as part of his stage show; on the DVD with commentary of his live performance he says regarding it, "As you may already know, ventriloquist dummys, all ventriloquist dummys, are inherently evil."
Depraved Kids' Show Host: Inverted. Dr. Steel plays a kid's show host on his "Dr. Steel Show" films, who is outwardly someone you wouldn't want your kids anywhere near (a mad scientist with world domination plans and questionable scientific ethics who makes dangerous and/or gross toys), but in reality he is a Friend to All Children with a heart of gold.
Epigraph: A lot of Dr. Steel's songs start with quotes, either fictional or real. (See Radio Voice below.)
Everybody Do the Endless Loop: On his website, Steel had a page where you could animate him doing loops of various dance moves (the monkey, the sprinkler, the cabbage patch, the robot, etc.) by pressing buttons underneath him.
This page was parodied in the fan-made video for "Lament for a Toy Factory."
Fist of Rage: Steel is often posed in his propaganda art making one (and it's part-and-parcel of his trademark salute), and does it as he's suiting up for "Experiment Time" in The Dr. Steel Show, Episode 2.
Happy Dance: Dr. Steel jauntily dances at the end of Episode 1 of The Dr. Steel Show. There is also a section on his website where you can make him do several dance moves to some old-timey music. In Caleb Allen's Fan Vid of "Lament for a Toy Factory", the actor playing Dr. Steel breaks into these dance moves as the helicopter spotlight hits him - and the music from the website begins to play.
Harmless Villain: Although having a villainous outer appearance, Dr. Steel's goals are really very positive and even kid-friendly. He just wants to make the world a better place (for himself). A running theme within his videos and songs (besides building giant robots/killer toys) is the virtue of independent thinking and imagination.
Hello, Nurse!: Dr. Steel has "Nurses" (members of his Army of Toy Soldiers that dress in sexy nurse uniforms) attend him - both on stage and other public appearances and in several of his videos.
I Am the Band: Dr. Steel writes all his songs, and plays all the instruments in studio. He'd play live gigs solo, too - except for the fact that his robot band keeps malfunctioning and he has to fall back on a back-up band of live musicians.
The Igor: Dr. Steel's robot servants are all hunchbacks.
Incessant Music Madness: In the music video for "Back and Forth", there's a little kid at the beginning playing an annoying plastic trumpet, while his brother covers his ears. At the end of the video the brother suddenly gets in his face and shouts, "STOP!"
Incredibly Obvious Bomb: One of Dr. Steel's presents in "The Dr. Steel Christmas Special". Complete with loud ticking, bundled sticks of TNT, a nest of wires and a huge clock.
I Reject Your Reality: He's crazy. And a big believer in visualization and subjective reality. He calls himself a "Doctor of Reality Engineering."
Island Base: Shown in the episodes of The Dr. Steel Show. Where his secret laboratory is located.
It's All About Me: "See, I'm gonna make the world a better place - for me." - "Build the Robots" lyrics.
"I Want" Song: Dr. Steel has at least two: "Greedy", about wanting to find success in the recording business, and "Singularity", about his desire for technological integration. But it could be argued several others also qualify.
Lab Pet: Dr. Steel has a lab hamster in "The Dr. Steel Show" episodes 1 and 2. The one in episode 1 dies, giving him a moment of grief (but only a moment...), and prompting him to get a new one for the second episode. While he's shown as being fond of them as pets, he's apparently not too attached to them (either that or he's not very good at naming pets); the second one seen has the imaginative name "Hamster 65".
McDonald's: In one song, Dr. Steel sings that he has a "Ronald McRaygun".
Mechanical Evolution: Dr. Steel believed that machines would eventually get so sophisticated that they would develop sentience. And we would screw up the world so much that only they would be fit to continue to survive in it.
Minsky Pickup: In the beginning of his song, "The Dr. Steel Show."
Mockumentary: Dr. Steel's "propaganda" film, Building a Utopian Playland is shot as a documentary.
Morally Ambiguous Doctorate: No one's sure what he's a doctor of, exactly (he's said he's a Doctor of "Reality Engineering"); he's hellbent on taking over the world using an army of robotic toys and brainwashed "toy soldiers" so that he can make the world a better place (for him).
Motionless Chin: The hamster in The Dr. Steel Show, Episode 2. ("God, you're weird.")
No Hit Wonder: Dr. Steel has a large and growing fanbase, though he's only released five albums (three of those via digital download) and never charted.
Nonuniform Uniform: While Dr. Steel did give the Toy Soldiers a general guideline for uniforms, he also encouraged incorporating individual expression into them, resulting in a myriad of interpretations on the theme.
Now Buy The Merchandise: Dr. Steel's homage to the Home Shopping Network in The Dr. Steel Show, Episode 1. (Dr. Steel is a toymaker, so what do you expect?) Also sung about in his song, Back and Forth: "You can think for yourselves / Or you can buy all my toys ... Consume and gobble it up..."
Obfuscating Insanity: "Hello, my name is Dr. Phineas Waldolf Steel and I'm crazy. At least that's what they tell me. It's a real load off of my mind too. I mean you can get away with pretty much anything if you're bonkers. It really relieves a lot of pressure and responsibility for me."
Omnidisciplinary Scientist: Dr. Steel's PhD is never elaborated on (according to him, he is a "doctor of reality engineering"), but he's "displayed" skills in engineering, mathematics, biology, medicine, chemicals...
Passing the Torch: In his final letter to the Toy Soldiers, Dr. Steel claimed that he was forced to give up being Dr. Steel, and everything that went with that name. But in one last act of defiance, he handed ownership of his fan club, Toy Soldiers Unite, to his fans, that they could continue on.
Percussive Maintenance: In The Dr. Steel Show, Episode 3, Dr. Steel's last resort in silencing a broken videophone is to take a giant sledgehammer to it.
Polka Dork: Averted. Dr. Steel played the accordion and was pretty damn cool.
Power Born of Madness: "I am crazy, and I will become World Emperor." "You can get away with pretty much anything if you're bonkers."
Powers That Be: Dr. Steel refers to them as the "Alien Illuminati", and at times as "The System." He believes that government, media, religion et. al. are all being controlled by an unseen cabal, which in turn are controlling us.
Precursors: Some of Steel's music and videos, most notably his song "Planet X Marks the Spot", deal with the Ancient Astronauts theories of Zechariah Sitchin.
Present Peeking: In "The Dr. Steel Christmas Special", Doctor Steel gets impatient and decides to open some of his presents early.
"My Christmas tree is simply overflowing with kind gifts. Thank you ever so much. I certainly cannot wait until Christmas. And so... [Record Scratch] I won't!"
Propaganda Machine: Actually more Voice of the Resistance against the modern government/media propaganda machines (and supposed alien influences). Dr. Steel is a master of using propaganda and propagandic art to spread his Utopian Playland message, which his fans/followers (known as Toy Soldiers) happily disseminate.
All that said, I defy you to find another revolutionary and/or government who can (as noted below) actually put the word "Propaganda" on all his propaganda and get away with it.
"My christmas tree is simply overflowing with kind gifts. Thank you, ever so much. I simply cannot wait until Christmas. And so... <skrrrrtt!> I won't!"
Red and Black and Evil All Over: Inverted: The Toy Soldier color scheme, until around 2011, was black with red (and yellow) accents. Somewhat justified, as they are a parody of evil organizations. (Since the Doctor's retirement, use of red has been diminished.)
Robot Master: Creating an army of giant robots, and having a robot band. And a lot of robot toys.
Robot War: Dr. Steel self describes himself as "The man with a plan and a mechanical band", has a song called "Build the Robots", and has a giant robot army as one of his backup plans for world domination if the whole musical brainwashing idea doesn't pan out.
Rushmore Refacement: In The Dr. Steel Show Episode 2, a team of Toy Soldiers call Dr. Steel from the top of Mount Rushmore, informing him of their plans to alter Lincoln's head to look like Dr. Steel. It doesn't quite go according to plan...
Serious Business: The old lady on the phone in The Dr. Steel Show, Episode 1 thinks she is calling about Beanie Babies, not buzzsaw babies. She is obsessed with Beanie Babies and has every last one of them except "Little Puddin, the blue and white sea lion", and needs her collection to be complete so she can finally sleep at night.
The Singularity: Song title, word for word. The song deals more with transhumanism (merging humanity with AI and nanotech) and other possible consequences of the Singularity than with the Singularity itself, though.
Steel has also been interviewed by a transhumanist institute and authored a paper on the subject.
Strange Salute: In several of his propaganda posters, Dr. Steel is shown saluting with his fist over his heart, looking up and (usually) to his right (toward a better future?). This has become the de facto salute of the Toy Soldiers.
The multimedia displays during his stage shows also contained such messages.
Subverted Kids Show: His video series, The Dr. Steel Show is largely this. Also his song, "Smokey's Theme". His live performances include puppet shows, some of which are extremely subverted. (One of his recurring gags was he would be interrupted by a Lamb Chop-esque puppet, who was so annoyingly cute that he would eventually pull a revolver out and shoot it.)
Supervillain School: in the web video, Reunion, Dr. Steel calls up fellow mad scientist Agamemnon Tiberius Vacuum and invites him to the 10th annual Mad Scientist's reunion - implying that they may have attended some Mad Scientist school together in the past.
That Makes Me Feel Angry: In his PSA, Reality Engineering, After ranting about how we are being manipulated by the government and media, Dr. Steel says people might dismiss him as a conspiracy nut, a madman. To that he says, "Oh, I'm mad. Very mad. Very very mad."
Theremin: Several of Dr. Steel's songs encorporate the theremin (or at least samples of theremins).
They Called Me Mad!: Dr. Steel originally worked quite happily at a toy plant, until his more...radical toy ideas. They said no.
Too Many Belts: The doctor has a three-belted cummerbund-like leather garment that he wears atop his waistcoat, in his Steampunk attire.
Tripod Terror: The album cover for People of Earth shows an attack by giant tripod robots reminiscent of The War of the Worlds - only in the foreground it shows Dr. Steel controlling them. (A similar tripod is seen in the background of the album art for The Dr. Steel Read-A-Long.)
His publicity is so good that his propaganda can be directly labeled "Propaganda" and we don't even give a slap because he's that awesome.
Vocal Dissonance: In The Dr. Steel Show Episode 1, Dr. Steel gets an email from a fan. The voiceover as he reads the childlike letter sounds like a three year old boy. But if you read the screen closely at the bottom of the letter, it says, "Billy Ramos, 34 years old."
Waistcoat of Style: When not in his labcoat, Dr. Steel often wears a cool leather waistcoat that buckles in the front.
We Interrupt This Program: Dr. Steels song, "Greedy", starts out with a news bulletin about three escaped prisoners of an insane asylum (one of them, we gather, is Dr. Steel).
You Look Like You've Seen a Ghost: In Episode 1 of The Dr. Steel Show, Dr. Steel sees a ghostly vision of a magical transforming toy ("Winky") hovering about his lab, but it disappears into an air duct before he can get a Polaroid snapshot of it. Slightly inverted as he was more awed by it than scared.
As the credits roll, he apparently sees it again, but this time only he sees it, and his nurses look at him like he's crazy.
YouTube: You can find most of his propaganda videos and PSAs here.
Villain Has a Point: He wants to control the world with giant robots. But only so we can all be released from our drudgery and fear to play and have fun in life.
We Need a Distraction: In "The Dr. Steel Show" Episode 2, the Toy Soldiers deploy a "distraction division" of girls washing cars in bikinis so that their activities will go unnoticed.
What Do You Mean, It's for Kids?: Dr. Steel's whole concept for "The Dr. Steel Show" was that of a kid's show that was just a little bit... warped. He also had a song, supposedly for a proposed kid's show, called "Smokey the Kid-Loving Trout" (graphic for this song on his website showed a stinking hobo-like anthropomorphic trout, complete with stogie, walking with children).
The Wonka: Dr. Steel was president of his own toy company, World Domination Toys.
WHAT Band: Steel was both weird and funny. (How could "babies with buzzsaws" be anything else?)