Follow TV Tropes

Following

Wicked Toymaker

Go To

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/wicked_toymaker.jpg

"IT'S PLAYTIME!"
Advertisement:

Look at all this stuff! Creepy dolls, demonic dummies, wicked marionettes... who the hell makes all this stuff, and why hasn't he had his license revoked yet?

The Wicked Toymaker is someone who makes broken toys, and not in the "need new parts" sense. A subversion of the fairy tale trope of the beloved innocent toymaker who cares for children everywhere, the toymaker will often have a love for children that, while not often going into Squick territory, is nonetheless twisted. Perhaps they have a child's whimsy... and impertinence. Maybe they value kids so much, they want them to be safe and happy... especially from meddling parents. Or maybe it's the toys themselves that matter, and any kid who's dumb enough to break them deserves his wrath.

Alternatively, they could not like kids at all, and seeks to harm them through intentionally deadly "toys". This kind of villain will make death machines disguised as toys with the intent of unleashing them on unsuspecting kids.

Advertisement:

If this character sells their creations to other villains it's also an example of Welcome to Evil Mart.

May also be a Marionette Master.

Compare Drone Deployer, Robot Master and Evil Puppeteer, and it is probable for a Wicked Toymaker to be a one of these as well. May also act similar to a Depraved Kids' Show Host or a Psychopathic Manchild. On a similar note, it is also not uncommon for a Wicked Toymaker to have gimmicks and Mooks themed around the Villainous Harlequin and Monster Clown tropes, or for the Toymaker to act like, or just flat out be a clown, which makes sense due to how many clown toys there are and how heavily clowns are associated with toys and childish whimsy. The most "realistic" and least "whimsical" versions of this character usually make him/her a Mad Bomber character, as hiding bombs in toys seems like the most mundane way to weaponize toys (it is not uncommon for Mad Bomber to also be a previously mentioned Drone Deployer, often using remote-controlled cars and planes). This character may also invoke a stereotypical Wicked Witch at times, particularly in more fantasy-based stories.

Advertisement:


Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • Drossel from the Black Butler anime. In life he was the puppeteer for a rich family, but Came Back Wrong into a creepy puppeteer determined to turn those who had contact with the Shard of Hope into dolls.
  • One Piece: Sugar of Donquixote Pirates eats Hobi Hobi Fruit which makes her able to turn people (or even animals) into Living Toys. Also included is the ability to issue any kind of command into the toys, as well as making everyone forget about the former human's existence.

    Audio Plays 
  • Ronald Turvey from the Big Finish Doctor Who audio drama Cuddlesome. He wants his toys to be loved, and programs them to harm owners who do not love them.

    Comic Books 
  • In Agar, a French comic book series by Claude Moliterni (screenplay) and Robert Gigi (drawing), published in 1974-1975, the Big Bad is the old, decrepit Toymaker, whose base is placed in a sort of dream dimension.
  • Astro City: Subverted by the original Jack-in-the-Box. He was a toy designer whose designs were used for crime... just not by him. They were sold on to criminal gangs by his corrupt superiors, and his primary motivation for becoming a masked crime fighter was keeping his designs away from criminals.
  • The Toymaker from the "Toys of Doom" strip that ran in Buster. The Toymaker is a scientist who transformes toys into remote-controlled weapons of destruction. Ostracized by the rest of the scientific community, who think his ideas are inhuman, he vows revenge on humanity, and creates an army of killer toys in a remote Scottish castle. But his plans are stumbled on by Joe and Sandy Douglas, and in spite of initial skepticism, they manage to alert the suthorities to the plot. Thus begin several years of them battling against the Toymaker's evil plans.
  • Dart (a Image Comics title) has Brockman, a cartoonishly villainous and mean-spirited toy company executive.
  • The DCU:
    • Batman: The Joker sometimes comes across as this. His base in his first appearance in Batman: The Animated Series seems to be some kind of abandoned hideous toy factory that still haunts some viewers' dreams.
    • The Supergirl storyline Day of the Dollmaker has Anton Schott alias "Dollmaker", the son of Toyman (see below), who is also a skilled (and creepy) toymaker, although he specializes in deadly robot dolls.
    • Superman:
      • Toyman, a villain whose motivation varies from telling to telling but usually focuses on the fact that he's a somewhat broken man who makes deadly little toys. In most versions he's skilled enough to qualify as a full-blown Robot Master, just one who likes to make his robots look like tin soldiers, teddy bears, etc.
      • The Prankster also has this kind of mindset — if you want to split hairs, he technically uses practical jokes rather than toys. He teams up with Toyman more than once.
    • The Teen Titans villain the Puppeteer uses remote-controlled marionettes to murder people.
  • In Fables, The Adversary, the mysterious Evil Overlord Big Bad of the first arc turns out to be the kindly toymaker Gepetto. And he rules thanks to an army of animated wooden soldiers.
  • Marvel Universe:
    • Fantastic Four: The Puppet Master is a sculptor who can control anyone's actions by sculpting their likenesses, using radioactive clay.
    • Spider-Man: Some incarnations of the Gadgeteer Genius villain known as "The Tinkerer" seem to go for this kind of feel.
    • X-Men: Arcade is sort of like Marvel's version of Toyman — as such, most of his Murderworld contraptions have an amusement park/toy world theme.
  • Disney Mouse and Duck Comics:
    • The Mickey Mouse comic "The Kid Gang" has Big Ben, the childlike head of a criminal organization that tricks children into its ranks. Big Ben's favored weapons are his lifelike dolls.
    • In a cycle of Italian stories from the Seventies, the Junior Woodchucks have to face a bad guy known as the Terrible Toymaker (in original "il Terribile Giocattolaio"). Unsurprisingly, these are stories written for Mondadori's Mickey Mouse magazine by Jerry Siegel, one of the creators of Superman. The Terrible Toymaker comes from the dimension of Toyland (it: Giocattolandia), where he was initially the assistant to the good Toymaker King (perhaps biblical reference to Lucifer?) For the sake of completeness, the pencil of the stories is by Guido Scala.
  • An aversion in Alan Moore's Top 10. Robyn Slinger uses some fairly creepy toys as weapons/foot soldiers, but is far from wicked. Ditto with her father, as seen in The Forty-Niners.
  • Wanted has a supervillain called the Doll-Master who is a Captain Ersatz of Toyman (with maybe a bit of the Tinkerer thrown in). He's a family man who will kill innocents but won't swear in front of children.

    Fan Works 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Asylum: In "Mannikins of Horror", Dr. Byron constructs toy robots with tiny human heads. He sends one of these robots to murder Dr. Rutherford.
  • In Attack of the Puppet People, a friendly puppet/dollmaker is shown to secretly shrink people in order to store them in his lab. Every once in a while, he pulls them out and makes them "play" for him.
  • Philip Le Marchand in Hellraiser films starts out a harmless toymaker and winds up creating dimensional doors to perverted hell dimensions. He is, however, appalled by his actions and does attempt to undo them.
  • Andre Toulon of the Puppet Master series has created puppets that are definitely twisted in design. They range from the hook and knife handed Blade to the leech spewing Leech Woman. However, depending on which movie of the series, Andre is either a good guy who uses his puppets to fight against Nazis and other sorts of evils, or a wicked zombie who uses them to murder people for body parts.
  • In Silent Night, Deadly Night 5: The Toy Maker, Pino makes toys that murder people. And his father Joe was arrested years earlier for booby trapping toys he gave to children after his pregnant wife died in a car crash. He then constructed Pino to replace his dead son.

    Literature 
  • The Ghosts of Fear Street book Tale of the Blue Monkey has a legend about an evil toymaker that cursed the titular blue monkey. The child protagonist assume that their creepy neighbor is actually the toymaker, when in reality it is their babysitter.
  • Uncle Phillip Flowers from The Magic Toyshop makes all kinds of toys for his customers but is an absolute tyrant to his family. He manipulates his brother-in-law Finn into coming onto the protagonist Melanie, simply because she doesn't have a set role in the family due to her age. (Melanie's younger brother is the apprentice while her sister is the baby.) To make matters worse, he casts Melanie as Leda, and uses a swan puppet to simulate Leda's rape by Zeus, then yells at her for overreacting because puppets aren't supposed to be so emotional.
  • In Oddkins: A Fable for All Ages by Dean Koontz, a group of living toys must find the toymaker their creator had selected to take over his work. If they do not, an evil toymaker will inherit his power instead and create magical toys that will harm children instead of helping them.
  • In the Strange Matter book Toy Trouble, the creepy toymaker Mr. Kepler sells evil toys that come to life.
  • Tales of the Magic Land: Urfin Jus starts out making dolls with horrific grimaces that scare children, before progressing to magical golems with horrific grimaces that scare adults. After he gains a conscience, he starts making smiling toys.
  • Inverted in Witches Abroad: The toymaker is by no means evil, but he is not jovial and red faced, nor does he whistle as he works, and that is a very serious crime indeed in Genua.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Gilbert Gottfried appears in two episodes of The Adventures of Superboy as a nasty, wisecracking criminal genius named Nick Knack who uses toys to commit crimes.
  • Subverted in Buffy the Vampire Slayer. In the Halloween Episode "All the Way", an elderly toymaker finds Dawn and her friends vandalizing his property. He invites them in and goes on a rant about how times have changed and made him angry, then takes out a knife... which he uses to cut them some rice crispy treats. For his kindness, he gets murdered by Dawn's friends.
  • The Celestial Toymaker from Doctor Who, a god-like Humanoid Abominationnote  who abducts people to his little private dimension, forces them to play lethal games and get turned into immobile but conscious toys if they lose, and threatens to destroy them utterly if they don't comply.
  • Gotham features a hitman who poses as a toy maker and uses lethal versions of his creations in his assassinations, the ending strongly suggesting that his son will take over the role.
  • Inspector Rex once featured an author whose story about a criminal toymaker was rejected by a publishing company, so he used toys to hunt down and destroy the editors who rejected his work, one by one. Much use was made of radio-guided vehicles/aircraft, with simple plunger-triggered bombs on board.
  • Two versions of Superman's nemesis Toyman appear in Lois & Clark.
    • Winslow Schott, played by Sherman Hemsley (with the late Isabel Sanford, his The Jeffersons co-star, playing his secretary Ms. Duffy), appears in Metropolis at Christmas time, handing out toys with a chemical additive that turns children greedy and causes adults to act like children. Immune to the effect, Superman eventually finds the source of the chemical and neutralizes Schott's operation. At one point, Schott is referred to as "a Toyman" but is never actually called by the villain's name. Unlike the comics, the Schott character has a happy ending, finding romance with Ms. Duffy.
    • A second Toyman appears during the show's run, this one actually called "the Toyman", played by Grant Shaud. Somewhat more sinister than the Winslow Schott character as portrayed by Helmsley, this Toyman (whose real name is Harold Kripstly) is responsible for several child abductions and the murder of his accomplice when she tries to quit. Naturally, Superman foils his scheme and brings him to justice.
  • The Magician: In "The Illusion of the Lethal Playthings", someone is trying to kill a friend of Dominick's by detonating bombs and using marionettes and remote controlled toys. Tony's investigation brings him to a toy shop and he becomes the target of the mad man.
  • On Odd Squad, Evil Teddy is a villain who steals batteries and turns teddy bears into evil robots.
  • One of the first Saturday Night Live recurring sketches was a segment called "Consumer Probe". The interviewer always wound up interviewing toymaker Irwin Mainway (Dan Aykroyd), who made and marketed children's toys like "Bag o' Glass" and "General Tranh's Secret Police Confession Kit".
  • Toyman appears in three episodes of Smallville. This version is Winslow Schott, a toymaker and former Queen Industries employee with a grudge against Oliver Queen. A great mind, though a bit eccentric, he expressed his individuality by bringing toys to work. However, he went too far when he began putting explosives in toys, which caused his immediate termination from the company. He is revealed to be working for Lex Luthor. He speaks to Luthor through a camera and microphone concealed in a wooden doll's head, and uses toys such as an exploding Newton's cradle, knockout gas-filled Mylar balloons, and an explosive cymbal-clanging monkey.
  • In Supergirl (2015), the supporting character Winn is Toyman's estranged son, ashamed of his father's villainy.
  • Tom Turbo battles an evil toymaker who freezes people solid and tries to sell them.
  • Wonder Woman (1975): "The Deadly Toys" features Frank Gorshin as a toymaker who creates robots to duplicate real people, including Wonder Woman.

    Music 
  • Doctor Steel. Not necessarily wicked, per se, but most definitely a creator of twisted toys. "Buzzsaw Babies", "Rabies Babies", "Polly Pukes-A-Lot", and gasoline-filled Super Soakers, just to name a few.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Champions has has least three villainous toymakers who make lethal toys to aid them in their crimes: Dark Harlequin, Playtime, and Punchinello.
  • In Dungeons & Dragons' Ravenloft setting, toymaker Guiseppe is not actually evil, but went insane after his Pinocchio Expy turned into a serial killer. He still makes toys, but they should most definitely be kept out of reach of children (and anyone else you don't want to die or be horribly cursed.)
  • Werewolf: The Apocalypse features a corporate version in the form of Avalon Toys, a subsidiary of Pentex. As with most of the companies under the Pentex banner, they're dedicated to spreading the influence of the Wyrm and furthering the downfall of the human race by any means available to them, that is, by handing out toys that turn children into monsters - both figuratively and literally. However, according to Subsidiaries, CEO Daniel Dial has been sidelining the monster-making toys in favour of toys that subtly whittle away at the free will of children, gradually ensuring a workforce of glassy-eyed zombies for other Pentex subsidiaries.

    Daniel Dial himself is a prime example of the trope, having risen to prominence by designing and creating the child-eating Gooshy Gooze. He's actually a reality-warping mage, specifically a fallen member of the Sons Of Ether.

    Theatre 
  • Uncle Wiley from Black Friday is smarmy, cloying, and practically designed to be a invoked Memetic Molester. He's also the mastermind behind the Tickle Me Wiggly, the latest Flash In The Pan Fad that's making everyone go crazy. Literally. As in, the Wiggly toys infect adults with a Hate Plague and make them literally go crazy. And all of this is a scheme to bring on the apocalypse, because Uncle Wiley is in fact an agent of an Eldritch Abomination. Doesn't get more wicked than that!

    Video Games 
  • Stauf from The 7th Guest earned a reputation as a toymaker, creating dolls from his strange dreams that serve as a means of killing several children. And it only goes downhill from there...
  • The Dollmaker, the Final Boss of Alice: Madness Returns, who is also the Wonderland representation of Dr. Bumby, who is trying to brainwash Alice into a prostitute.
  • The Toymaker from Castlevania: Lords of Shadow series was originally not this. He however was cursed and transformed into demonic version of himself. Having been transformed as such, he has created various twisted creations which range from monster puppets to a lethal carousel.
  • In Fatal Frame II, Mr. Kiryu, the Dollmaker, makes a doll that looks like one of his twins, both little girls. It was life-sized, with long dark hair in its face. Oh, and it was possessed by a vengeful spirit that wanted to kill its sister. Granted, the poor man thought he was doing his little girl a solid. It just didn't turn out quite right.
  • William Afton of Five Nights at Freddy's is an expert roboticist who co-founded a Suck E. Cheese's company so that he could create playgrounds for himself and his victims.
  • Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain featured Elzevir the Dollmaker, who imprisoned the soul of King Ottmar's daughter with a doll he made. When Kain crashes his workshop, he goes up against Elzevir's creations.
  • The Tinkerer in Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 invokes this trope during his boss fight, using robots that look like smaller versions of heroes and villains with giant windup keys sticking out of them. The level itself is even called "The Tinkerer's Toys".
  • In Sunless Skies, the man in charge of Worlebury-Juxta-Mare, who makes sure the place runs proper and is your handler when it comes to dealing with the cult dwelling in the Off-season, is simply called the Toymaker; whenever you talk to him, he's always in the middle of sewing up yet another plush toy far too adorable for the situation you're in. And while he's not necessarily malevolent, he's definitely ruthlessly pragmatic and creepy as hell.

    Webcomics 

    Web Original 
  • Dr. Wondertainment from the SCP Foundation, purveyor of My Little Panzers by the dozens. He is a mysterious figure that is often portrayed as similar to Willy Wonka, no one knows if he is a man, or a woman, or a family of multiple Doctors, or just a fake mascot for a company. It's implied he has powers that he uses to create his products and hide his factory, but his abilities are not clear either. His motivations are also mysterious, but he is mostly portrayed as an eccentric but nice guy that genuinely likes children and wants to see them happy by selling them magical/supernatural toys and candy for affordable prices, and puts warning labels in their packaging, hoping no one gets hurt from his creations.

    Western Animation 
  • Atomic Puppet: The villain of "Ultimate Collection", though AP is more worried about how the guy is using a scrapped Captain Atomic action figure that wears a tutu than anything else.
  • The Batman: From the episode "Toys for Cash", we have Cosmo Krank. After his production was shut down because his toys were unnecessarily dangerous, he starts making deadly toys to get back at Bruce Wayne.
  • Funhaus from Batman: The Brave and the Bold. He plans on robbing various homes on Christmas Day using action figures that he calls "Presto Playpals". When cornered by Batman and Red Tornado, he merges the action figures into a giant robot and attempts to destroy them along with the families that he has robbed. Ultimately, he is stopped by Red Tornado, who pushes himself to the point of self-destruction. Beside the aforementioned action figures, Fun Haus uses toy flying saucers, robot Santas, and an exploding doll.
  • DC Animated Universe:
    • Batman: The Animated Series: Combined with Mad Bomber in the episode "Beware The Gray Ghost", in which a toy collector uses remote control toys loaded with bombs to steal money to feed his obsession and buy more toys.
    • Superman: The Animated Series: The Toyman is probably one of the creepier incarnations, with a full-head mask of a perpetually grinning little boy and a voice that sounds like Mister Rogers on crack.
  • Quackerjack from Darkwing Duck is a supervillain with this as his schtick. It stems from his previous career as the owner of a legitimate toy company Quackerjack Toys. However, thanks to the video game industry, his company went out of business, driving him mad and seeking revenge.
  • G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero: In "The Gamesmaster", the eponymous Gamesmaster uses giant toy soldiers to stalk the Joes and COBRA, and toy planes to blast their aircraft out of the skies.
  • The Toymaker from House of Mouse is a villain who uses toys as his weapons and tools. They may or may not contain actual organs taking from people.
  • The Lone Ranger (1966) includes malevolent boy genius Tiny Tom, who uses animated toy soldiers to commit crimes.
  • In The Plastic Man Comedy/Adventure Show episode "Toyman", a villain called Toyman (unrelated to the Superman villain) is kidnapping famous people everywhere and is turning them into toys. Unfortunately for Plastic Man, he is the last person on Toyman's list to abduct.
  • These show up from time to time on Ren & Stimpy. "Log" is harmlessnote . Don't Whiz On The Electric Fence not so much.
  • What's New, Scooby-Doo?: In "Toy Scary Boo", a wicked toymaker uses living toys to wreak havoc in a mall as a cover for his real crime.

Top