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Toy Time

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"Say...are we actually inside the Toy Box right now? How could all this be inside that little box? Best not to think about it too much..."
Goombario, Paper Mario 64

Everyone played with toys, right? They're bright, and happy, and remind you of happy children. Why not use that to your advantage when writing a video game?

Toy Time is an area in a Video Game themed around children's toys, set in a toy store/factory/amusement park/closet/box/etc., or even completely made of toys. The toys may or may not be giant. Expect to see a lot of sugary cute enemies trying to kill you.

Toy Time tends to include primarily simple or old-fashioned toys for some reason. Expect to see lots of blocks, toy soldiers, balls, and so forth; this is the case in Super Mario Galaxy. Alternatively, Toy Time might just be bright and colorful with architecture that suggests childishness; this is the case with Paper Mario. There is a good chance that at least some of the level will be made of Lego, but don't expect the game to actually mention it.


Sometimes, the toys are the actual Living Toys especially if the main character is also one. Though in more mundane/realistic settings it isn't uncommon for them to actually be robots or animatronics.

Toy Time is usually played as a lighthearted romp through childhood memories, but with just a change of the background music and a few creepy enemies in the stage, it can get a much darker, dissonant tone. A Toy Time in a Mario game would be far different from Toy Time in Silent Hill.

In the most whimsical cases, it's a subtrope of Wackyland. See also Level Ate, a food themed level.



    open/close all folders 

    Action Adventure 
  • In Luigi's Mansion, the battle with Chauncy takes place in a toybox/crib hybrid supernatural arena.
  • The Cannon of Block Valley from Graffiti Kingdom. As the name suggests, it's a level full of bright colors and things made of blocks, even the enemies and their attacks. Ironically, it is also home to one of the most ridiculous bosses in the entire game.
  • In Ganbare Goemon Mystical Ninja Starring Goemon, both the Ghost Toys Castle and the Festival Temple Castle have elements of this.
  • The entirety of Disney Infinity — everything you see is a toy of one kind or another. Even the Playsets simply add a little child's imagination to what are very clearly toys (for instance, the Lone Ranger set revolves around what is blatantly a toy train).

    Action Game 
  • Toy Commander was a Sega Dreamcast game made entirely of this. The main character was a kid who got a collection of army themed toys for Christmas, and his old toys, led by a masochistic teddy bear, wanted revenge. The player was tasked to perform various missions using toy aircraft, boats, vehicles, and tiny soldiers to take back rooms of his house that were under assault.
  • There are two in Spider-Man/X-Men: Arcade's Revenge. Wolverine's stages have toy soldiers, robotic clowns, and killer jack-in-the-boxes. Gambit's stages feature giant robotic Chess pieces.

    Adventure Game 
  • Chibi-Robo! is a game about Living Toys, but Jenny's Room is explicitly toy-themed. Since she's, you know, 7 years old and all.

    Driving Game 
  • Need for Speed 3 had a hidden track based on a slotcar track, with toy blocks posing obstacles.
  • Crash Tag Team Racing, "Tire & Ice" and "La Brea Car Pits" had a Prehistoria combined with toy shop and Circus of Doom, which much of ghostly clowns, claw machine and tin soldiers in the prehistoric times.
  • "Toy Dream" circuit in Choro Q HG 4.
  • The two "Toy World" tracks in Re-Volt, set in a toy shop after its closing hours.
  • GBA Ribbon Road in Mario Kart 8. The original track from Mario Kart: Super Circuit didn't fit the trope, simply being a track made of ribbons with some presents in the background. The remake of it, included in the second Mario Kart 8 DLC pack as part of the Super Bell Cup, and part of the base game in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, changes the scenery dramatically, having the track take place in and around a toy castle in a child's bedroom with numerous Mario-themed toys in it.
  • In Nickelodeon Kart Racers, some of the Rugrats-themed tracks take place in the Toy Palace from the TV series episode of the same name.

    First Person Shooter 
  • The Playground in Water Warfare has many toy-like constructions. In addition to large piles of blocks you can hide in, there are also castle playhouses, pirate ship jungle gyms, rocket ships, playground equipment, slides, and a giant dinosaur that contribute to the toylike theme.

    Maze Game 
  • 3D Maze Man featured levels set in a child's bedroom with toys, in the "Fantasy Land" world.

    Mecha Game 
  • While most of the Custom Robo games count as this by default, there's a Holosseum called "Little Locomotive" based off of a child's toy train.

  • The Toy Factory dungeon in Ragnarok Online mixes this and Christmas themes. It even has a Santa Claus-like monster lurking by there.
  • MapleStory has Ludibrium, a castle made of LEGO. Although the enemies start out cute, things get uglier and more ghastly as you get deep into the clock tower. You'll start seeing things like possessed damaged teddy bears and evil clocks with teeth. Also, the boss of a Party Quest in the same area is a whale-like monster with Uncle Sam-esque nipples and a clock on its head.
    • In fact, the name of the castle and even the lake it's suspended over is a reference to the place's toy-like nature: Ludibrium is a Latin word derived from ludus, meaning "a plaything or a trivial game."

    Party Game 

    Platform Game 
  • Super Mario Bros.:
    • The Mario Zone in Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins, though taking place in a giant Mario robot, has the insides composed of giant toy blocks and simple toys serving as background items and obstacles. The level in robot Mario's groin is full of balls.
    • Toy Time Galaxy from Super Mario Galaxy, the Trope Namer, is a level made entirely of toys and other stuff straight out of a children's bedroom (which incidentally, is what the background is). It's also the Macro Zone to an extent.
    • Large portions of the Rightside Down Galaxy in Super Mario Galaxy 2 are made out of wooden building blocks, as with the Upside Dizzy and Puzzle Plank Galaxies; also, Flipsville Galaxy appears to take place inside a giant dollhouse. A similar level with wooden building blocks appears in World Star in Super Mario 3D World, which in turn serves as the basis for the Sky setting of the 3D World style in Super Mario Maker 2.
    • The Topaz Passage in Wario Land 4, with its four toy themed levels (Toy Block Tower, Big Board, Doodle Woods, Domino Zone). The boss is a small mouse floating around on top of a giant stuffed bear.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog:
    • Toy Kingdom in Sonic Advance 3 is an amusement park themed after toys.
    • In Sonic the Hedgehog CD, the "Good Future" version of Wacky Workbench is a bright and whimsical toy factory.
  • The Adventures of Batman and Robin for the Super Nintendo has an abandoned amusement park as the first level taken over by, of course, The Joker. One of the first areas of this level contains a fun house, consisting of giant moving blocks, and features a gigantic toy soldier as a Mini-Boss.
  • The second world of Castle of Illusion is a town made entirely of toys.
  • Toy Tracks in Kirby's Epic Yarn.
  • James Pond 2: Codename Robocod is set at Santa Claus's castle, and so a large proportion of the areas and enemies are based on toys of one kind or another. In general, Christmas-themed settings are likely to contain toys.
  • Mischief Makers doesn't have any explicitly toy-based areas, but there are many toy-like objects scattered around the game world, like brightly colored rubber(?) balls and blocks with faces on them and enemies that bounce on springs or roll on wheels in a toy-like fashion.
  • Cool Spot contains several toy-themed levels.
  • Donkey Kong 64 has a level in a toy factory, Frantic Factory. It is much creepier than your average toy level, though. The Toybox levels in DK: Jungle Climber also have a bit of a sinister feel to them.
  • Wacky World in The Lost Vikings falls into this as well.
  • The old (1984) Activision game Toy Bizarre for Commodore 64 and Sinclair Spectrum.
  • The Evil Toy Corporation, the main setting of Nicktoons: Attack of the Toybots. It also qualifies as an Eternal Engine as it consists, well, approximately 90% of the game and it's evil.
  • Castlevania has several darker versions of Toy Time.
    • In Chronicles, Stage 6 is the Tower of Dolls and Mirrors, where toys come to life and attack you.
    • Dawn of Sorrow revisits this with the latter half of Demon Guest House, with faded playroom wallpaper, broken toys in the background, and demon clowns and living dolls as enemies. To top it off, the boss is a giant wooden head on strings that spits out dolls to attack.
  • The third level of Little Nemo: The Dream Master consists almost entirely of riding a toy train while toy airplanes crash all over the place.
  • The Mega Man series has several. Spring Man, Clown Man, & Magic Man's levels in the original series are probably the best examples. Cloud Man's level in Rockman 7 EP is a toy palace with Spring Man's original tileset.
  • The first Mega Man ZX game has a dark version as the light mood the level tries to achieve is completely ruined by the fact that it's also the place where Vent & Aile's mother was murdered when they were little.
  • The second level of the Jazz Jackrabbit Gaiden Game Holiday Hare '95 was set in a gigantic Lego construct stuffed with toys, many of which tried to kill you. One of the giant rabbit dolls seen in the level was the design basis for Jazz's brother Spaz in Jazz Jackrabbit 2.
  • The entire Clockwork Knight series was this. You controlled a toy knight that went from room to room in one house and fought evil toys.
  • The Tom and Jerry video game for the Super Nintendo had Jerry traverse through a world consisting of Lego-block stages and toys out to get him. (Maybe Tom had too much free time on his hands?)
  • Toy Land from Chameleon Twist 2.
  • There was a Toy Store level in Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers.
  • A level in Harley's Humoungous Adventure is about that.
  • The Toy Room in the SNES version of The Addams Family.
  • The fourth world of Rainbow Islands is Toy World. It's even more bright and colorful than the rest of the game, which truly is saying something.
  • The final chapter of Alice: Madness Returns is a horribly twisted version of this trope, consisting of broken, decrepit toys, hideously deformed porcelain dolls, and mutilated animals and their bones attached to doll parts for decoration.
  • Bio Miracle Bokutte Upa has levels where the platforms are alphabet blocks and LEGO-like bricks.
  • Putty has the fifth level, Toytown, full of killer toys.
  • "The Tall Tower" in Yoshi's Story.
  • Yoshi's Woolly World has the World 3 level "Wobbly Mobile Jaunt".
  • Yoshi's Crafted World is made entirely out of arts-and-crafts toys. Most of the in-game designs were even made in real life first before being recreated as 3D models.
  • Due to the nature of the setting of Dynamite Headdy, all areas in the game have at least a little bit of this, if only in the enemies (the Keymasters are so named because they are giant wind-up toys, and plenty of Mooks have smaller keys), but the toy theme is especially strong in Act 2.
  • The fourth level in the Miracle Girls video game is Toys Bridge, which is pretty much what it sounds like.
  • In Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (Sega), the fourth level takes place in toy megastore Duncan's Toy Chest.
  • The Angry Video Game Nerd II: ASSimilation has the Board James world themed after iconic board games, with scenery reminiscent of a Casino Park level (and the end of the third level, "Toy Car Turmoil," even features loop-de-loops reminscent of Sonic the Hedgehog). "Hippo Hell" is named after Hungry Hungry Hippos and features the titular hippos as stage obstacles. "You'll Get Caught Up" is an Unexpected Shmup Level based on the commercial for Crossfire. The boss is a Captain Ersatz of Mr. Bucket of Board James infamy, and Board James himself appears as a mini-boss (though his depiction is a Late-Arrival Spoiler for his series).

    Puzzle Game 

    Real Time Strategy 
  • The 7th kingdom in Little King's Story is this, with hints of Macro Zone. It's full of giant legos, murderous protractors, and little demons piloting Fan Tanks. The boss, King Giant Champloon, is a giant automatonish thing that looks like a doll made from children's handicrafts. Hell, the entire game is set on a toy stage!
  • Glutton's Kitchen from Pikmin 2, which also has elements of Band Land.

    Role Playing Game 
  • Shy Guy's Toy Box from Paper Mario has Mario jump into a toy box and shrink down to navigate the cheery world full of blocks and dolls. Mario needs to find a toy train in the real world to put on the train tracks in the toy world, and the boss, General Guy, rides in a giant toy tank.
  • Kylin's Paradise in SaGa Frontier.
  • Junkyard from Legend of Mana definitely fits the bill, but with some Darker and Edgier implications.
  • While the dungeon itself (being a stereotypical evil lair) is not an example, Persona 4's Secret Base dungeon has a boss that likely does qualify, being a mash up of toys. Void Quest is half toy time, and half shout outs to various Famicom/Super Famicom era jRPGs
  • Kingdom Hearts has this level whenever you're in Winnie-the-Pooh's world or Toy Story's world.
  • Pokémon:
    • Pokémon X and Y: Valerie, who specializes in Fairy-type Pokemon, has a gym that's a giant dollhouse.
    • Pokémon Rumble, Pokemon Rumble World, and Pokemon Rumble Blast basically are this entirely, with living toy Pokemon.
  • There is a forest area in Tomato Adventure which has a part with a toy theme. Things such as giant playing cards and wooden airplanes are present here, and this area's ground is built entirely out of LEGO bricks.
  • The fittingly-named Toy Town in Digimon World is built from LEGO-like bricks, and has been taken over by the Killer Teddy Bear WaruMonzaemon. It also houses a Monzaemon costume, which a Numemon can climb into and use it to Digivolve.

    Shoot Em Up 
  • The arcade game Toy Pop by Namco is built entirely around this trope.

    Simulation Game 

  • In Tiny Toon Adventures: Acme All-Stars, one of the five arenas is Montana Max's Playroom, based on the segment, "Fit To Be Toyed" from the TV series episode, "Playtime Toons". The course is decorated with toy train and race car tracks, and players do have to avoid tripping on the toy trains and cars that travel across them. There are also roulettes that determine how many points each team gets when one of their players scores a goal. There's also a bowling game that takes place in Monty's Playroom, wherein train tracks take the place of gutters.
  • Disney's Extreme Skating Adventure has the Toy Story-themed Andy's Room level. It proved popular enough with players that it was even ported to the Tony Hawk's Underground 2 mod THUGPro.

    Survival Horror 

    Third Person Shooter 
  • An old Mac game, Power Pete, was set entirely in a toy store. Even the player's character is a toy, an action figure to be exact.

Non-video game examples:

    Anime and Manga 
  • The Village of Beginnings (or Primary Village, in the dub) from Digimon, where the data of deleted Digimon is reconfigured and born anew from an egg, is dotted with gigantic toy blocks that are arranged in the shape of buildings.
  • The Fresh Pretty Cure! movie was set in this type of world. Fittingly, the villain, Toymajin, was a machine comprised of forgotten toys piloted by an abandoned teddy bear.

    Theme Parks 

    Western Animation 


How well does it match the trope?

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