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Supervillain Origins: Toyman

VO: Dan Paradis
The Toyman first appeared as a seemingly kindly old man who made remarkably realistic dolls and toys for what appeared to be innocent reasons. However, it soon became apparent that this was a ruse. While the Toyman had built up a reputation as a harmless eccentric, he turned to using his toys for diabolical crimes. These included gassing people to rob a bank, starting a fire to rob a penthouse and destroying a bridge to rob an armoured truck. Fortunately, the Man of Steel was on hand to foil his plans, and to save Lois, from his deadly dolls. Join WatchMojo.com as we will explore the comic book origin of the Toyman. Special thanks to our user Jamesfan1991 for submitting the idea on our WatchMojo.comsuggest page!
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*Script written by Craig Butler

Supervillain Origins: Toyman


For this supervillain, crime is child’s play - literally. Welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we will explore the comic book origin of the Toyman.

As with most comic book characters, there are often re-imaginations and different versions to a character’s past. We have chosen primarily to follow the storyline which unfolded in 1943’s Action Comics #64 and which was expanded upon in 1988’s Superman Vol. 2 #13 and 2008’s Action Comics #865.

As was common with many of Superman’s early foes, Toyman did not receive a very detailed origin story in his first appearance back in 1943 (Action Comics #64). True of the era, Superman tales from the Golden Age were often more about plot than backstory, and this story was no exception.

Originally, the Toyman appeared as a seemingly kindly old man who made remarkably realistic dolls and toys for what appeared to be innocent reasons. However, it soon became apparent that this was a ruse. While the Toyman had built up a reputation as a harmless eccentric, he turned to using his toys for diabolical crimes. These included gassing people to rob a bank, starting a fire to rob a penthouse, destroying a bridge to rob an armored truck. Fortunately, the Man of Steel was on hand to foil his plans, and to save Lois, from his affectionate dolls with a deadly touch.

Aside from a desire for wealth and power, little about the Toyman was revealed until his past was revised several decades later in 1988’s Superman comic re-boot series by John Byrne.

In issue #13, deadly toy tanks and toy soldiers arrived in Metropolis. So too did two British intelligence agents. Though unnamed, the agents were clearly meant to be John Steed and Emma Peel from the TV series The Avengers. It was then discovered that the toys were made by W. Percival Schott. Formerly one of the most respected toymakers in Britain, he sought revenge on all the heads of the corporation following his dismissal, and as a result aimed to kill owner Lex Luthor.

Over the years, characters with the name Toyman had appeared who seemed unrelated to the original Toyman. These included a masked man, a young Japanese boy, a living puppet, and a caped villain. As was revealed in 2008, these were in fact all versions of the first Toyman – kind of.

In this story, Toyman escaped from Arkham Asylum and kidnapped Jimmy Olsen, so that he might tell his true-life story. As he related his tale, he revealed that his true name was Winslow P. Schott and that he and his beloved wife Mary had once run a remarkable toy store. Winslow and Mary shared a profound love of children. When a businessman named Dunhill offered to buy his designs, Mary advised him to keep things simple and Winslow therefore refused the offer. But when his wife was killed in a car accident, Winslow changed his mind.

Unfortunately, Dunhill used his designs to create war weapons, not toys. In retaliation, Schott killed Dunhill and began his career as Toyman. Along the way, he also created amazingly lifelike robots that he used in his place – and these were the alternate Toymen that had popped up over the years – one of which broke Schott’s rule against harming children. It turned out that his wife Mary had also been one of these amazingly realistic toys.

Whatever his appearance, Toyman has remained a popular foe of Superman. He’s no Lex Luthor or Brainiac, but he can be surprisingly dangerous and ruthless. He’s also made numerous appearances, both animated and live action, in various DC Universe TV shows. He’s not a foe to be toyed with.

Are you a fan of the Toyman? For more comic book origins, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.
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