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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

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 

  • 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 a very heavy toy/circus theme, with toy soldiers, robotic clowns, killer jack-in-the-boxes, and lethal ball pits. Gambit's stages aren't quite as heavy on the toy theme, but do 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 
  • Disney Speedstorm has Andy's Room, a track based on Toy Story. Racers drive on a track playset built In-Universe by Andy Davis for his toys to race around in, using some of his pre-existing toys as part of the track such as obstacles.
  • The PlayStation release of Need for Speed III: Hot Pursuit had a hidden track based on a slotcar track, with toy blocks posing obstacles. It is unlockable with cheat codes.
  • "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 
  • Dreamkiller has the stage, "Puppet Theatre", where you enter the nightmares of a client with Pedophobia. His stage resembles an oversized kid's playroom, filled with hostile toys including sentient, gigantic Creepy Doll enemies who lunges at you.
  • Hypercharge Unboxed, where you're an andromoprhic toy commando fighting hordes and hordes of rogue toys, naturally have these in every stage, but it's especially prevalent in one level set in a toy store.
  • 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.

    Light Gun Game 
  • The second stage of CarnEvil is in an oversized playroom, with the players fending off "Junior", a giant zombified baby who attacks by flinging toys. Some Bowdlerised versions of the game however would replace Junior with a giant teddy bear instead.

    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. 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 
  • Mario Party:
    • Mario Party 3 takes place within a magical toy box, and the scenery looks like what you might find in a pop-up book. This is reflected in the aesthetics of the boards and the majority of minigames.
    • Mario Party 5: Toy Dream is a board set in a large toyland made of building blocks, and includes setpieces based on classic toys like trains, clown boxes, toy soldiers and gift boxes.
    • Mario Party DS: The minigame Flash and Dash takes place inside a maze made of building toy blocks placed onto a wooden floor, and it takes place during night. Three characters traverse the maze with flashlight lamps to find and expose the fourth character, who has to remain in the dark at all costs. The trio wins if they succeed, while the solo character wins if they avoid getting caught for 30 seconds.

    Platform Game 
  • Super Mario Bros.:
    • Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins: Mario Zone, 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.
    • Super Mario Galaxy: Toy Time 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.
    • Super Mario Galaxy 2: Large portions of the Rightside Down Galaxy 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.
    • Super Mario 3D World: Rolling Ride Run is a level made up of wooden building blocks that appears in World Star. The main setpiece employed here is a series of cylindrical blocks that have to be carefully dragged forward without falling down. This level serves as the basis for the Sky setting of the 3D World style in Super Mario Maker 2.
    • Wario Land 4: The Topaz Passage has 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.
  • Mickey Mouse games:
    • The second world of Castle of Illusion is Toyland, a town made entirely of toys. Toy soldiers and airplanes patrol the area, and the world's boss is a Jack-in-a-Box, who holds the Orange Rainbow Gem. The 2013 remake has it combined with Macro Zone, given the theme and all.
    • In Land of Illusion, the seventh stage takes place in a Toy Workshop. It features many toy-themed gimmicks, such as giant squirt guns, a piano bridge, giant yo-yos that you can lift or lower by running in a certain direction, and a claw machine you'll need to use to get a key to unlock a door with. The boss of this stage is The Card King, who upon defeat, reveals himself to be Goofy under the Phantom's spell.
    • In Mickey Mouse 3: Dream Balloon, Stage 2 takes place in a jovial toy land, where toy soldiers, jack-in-the-boxes, wind-up robots, monkeys with cymbals, cannons, sneakers and gloves all serve as enemies, and a giant anglerfish serves as the boss. A modified version of this level was featured in the game's North American Dolled-Up Installment, Kid Klown In Night Mayor World.
  • 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 Country:
    • Donkey Kong 64 has a level in a toy factory, Frantic Factory. It is much creepier than your average toy level, as it not only has living evil toys but also a gigantic jack-in-the-box monster that serves as the level's boss. It is notable for having an arcade machine from which Donkey Kong can play the 1981 video game starred by his grandfather (as the villain).
    • DK: Jungle Climber: The Toybox levels take place in colorful toy rooms, featuring several mechanical setpieces like rubber tires of different colors; there's a sinister feel to them.
  • 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.
    • Castlevania: 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?)
  • 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.
  • Yoshi's Island:
  • 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. There are active toys like cars, jack-in-the-boxes, and toy planes that can hurt you, among them a flying boxing glove drone that chases the player through the level.
  • 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 reminiscent 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 
  • Little King's Story: The 7th kingdom 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!
  • Pikmin 2: Glutton's Kitchen, one of the caves located in Perplexing Pool, takes place inside the remnants of a child's room. Several toy blocks, a toy car's wooden racetrack, and kitchen mantles make up for the dungeon's layout. It is inhabited by several electric enemies, so it's recommended to only come here with Yellow Pikmin. Interestingly, many of the treasure items found here aren't toys, but food.

    Role-Playing Game 
  • Paper Mario 64: Shy Guy's Toy Box 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.

    Shoot 'em Up 
  • The titular hero of Biomechanical Toy is a living action figure on a quest to retrieve a powerful artifact stolen by an evil toy. Each and every level are set in different toy-themed arenas.
  • Frenzy! have a stage called "Splinter Wonderland!" whose design is based off a child's playroom, from having toy BB-guns in place of turrets to playing bricks and clockwork trains as obstacles. It also contains a giant Perverse Puppet mech as a boss.
  • Pilot Kids by Psikyo have the players assuming the roles of dolls in RC planes, going around shooting at hostile toys throughout multiple levels. Each and every level is a variation of this trope, including levels set outside the playroom (such as the bathroom, where bath toys are hostile and attacks you, or the garden where you fight a ceramic gnome boss).
  • The arcade game Toy Pop by Namco is built entirely around this trope since it involves two dolls as the main duo whose levels are labelled "boxes" a like a toy box and have a long list of other toys as enemies.

    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 Skate 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.

    Asian Animation 
  • Season 5 of GG Bond takes place in a village built out of LEGO-like toy bricks, with minifigure people inhabiting it.

    Film - Animation 
  • The Great Mouse Detective: The scene at the toy store where Fidget steals tools, gears and mouse-sized uniforms. For humans it's a toy store, for mouses it can turn into a death trap.

    Film - Live-Action 
  • Barbie (2023): Barbieland is portrayed as a life-sized version of the toys. Everyone lives in giant dollhouses, the clothes look like they're made of the same plastic and fabric as the dolls' accessories, and the vehicles have stickers for headlights and their details molded on. Even parts of the environment, like the sand and ocean (which basically looks frozen in time, complete with static waves and no ebb or flow to the tide) are clearly just molded plastic lookalikes, essentially indicating that this part of the world may as well be one giant playset.

    Live-Action TV 

    Theme Parks 

    Western Animation 


Video Example(s):


MK8: Ribbon Road

The remade version of Ribbon Road from Super Circuit is now set on a toy racetrack inside a giant bedroom. Footage from BluRacer7 on YouTube.

How well does it match the trope?

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Example of:

Main / ToyTime

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