The Toyman

The Toyman is a supervillain in the DC Comics universe and an enemy of Superman. He first appeared in Action Comics #64 (September 1943). His traditional identity is that of Winslow Schott, though several others have taken the name "Toyman" over the years.

The Toyman uses toy-based devices and gimmicks in his various crimes. The Toyman's weapons, while comical, are very dangerous nonetheless. The Toyman's creations have included devices such as life-sized wind-up tanks, acid-spraying water pistols, and toy soldiers that carry real guns. The Toyman himself usually is dressed in a flamboyant costume. Overall, despite the threat he poses, his modus operandi makes him a less terrifying villain compared to such foes as Lex Luthor. The Toyman made frequent appearances in the Golden Age comics, but has appeared infrequently in Superman stories since then.

Golden Age and Silver Age

As noted above, the Toyman first appeared in 1943, and made various appearances in the Golden Age Superman comics; however, these appearances lessened in frequency after the early-to-mid 1950s.

In the 1970s, a second man named Jack Nimball assumed the identity of the Toyman during a period in which Schott had retired from his criminal career. Nimball, who first appeared in Action Comics #432 (February 1974), wore a jester costume and used a similar modus operandi to the original Toyman. However, this version of the Toyman proved short-lived, with Schott resuming his crime career in Superman (volume 1) #305 (November 1976) and killing Nimball.

Modern Age Toyman #1

After 1985's miniseries Crisis on Infinite Earths and John Byrne's Man of Steel miniseries which revised Superman's origin, the Toyman underwent some amount of revisionism, making his post-Crisis debut in Superman (volume 2) #13 (January 1988). In this version, Winslow Schott was an unemployed British toymaker who blamed Lex Luthor and his company, LexCorp, for being fired from the toy company he was working for, and used his toymaking talents to seek revenge, which eventually caused him to cross paths with Superman. The Toyman continues to commit various crimes in Metropolis, including engaging in child abduction.

The Toyman later became a much more sinister figure, shaving his head and getting advice from "Mother" (probably just a voice in his head, but possibly something more). Apparently this was prompted by being told that a range of Superman action figures would not include him as he was not "edgy" enough. While this seems to have begun as a pose of what he thought people expected of a villain, it rapidly became a genuine psychotic break. While in this state he murdered the son of Daily Planet reporter Cat Grant. He also developed a hatred of children, blaming them for not appreciating his toys.

The Toyman later seemingly recovered, and Superman showed him that children did appreciate old-fashioned toys, arranging parole in an orphanage. It later transpired, however, that this was all a hallucination, caused when Zatanna attempted to cure him, and he had, in fact, returned to child abduction.

Modern Age Toyman #2

The name of the Toyman was recently taken up by Hiro Okamura, a teenage mechanical genius from Japan whose family invented the alloy used to create Metallo's metallic body. Rather than using his talents for criminal ends, the new Toyman is an ally to both Superman and Batman -- he aided the two in destroying a massive kryptonite meteor in danger of destroying Earth, and subsequently struck a deal with Batman to provide him with various technological implements. Okamura uses much more technologically advanced devices than the more traditionally-constructed contrivances Schott used, and are largely whimsical in nature; many of his inventions are inspired by anime and manga, including giant mecha (one of which was a giant half-Batman, half-Superman robot used for destroying a Kryponite meteor).

To date, Hiro Okamura has only had a handful of appearances in the Superman/Batman comic book, and his activities are limited to Japan. Winslow Schott remains active as the Toyman in the United States.

Other Media

The Toyman was a recurring villain on the Super Friends television cartoon, as one of the members of Lex Luthor's Legion of Doom. The Toyman was voiced by Frank Welker. This series used the Nimball version of the Toyman.

The Superboy live-action television series featured a villain named Nick Knack, an obvious Toyman clone. The character, played by Gilbert Gottfried, wore bizarre, childlike clothing and had a modus operandi identical to that of his comic book counterpart. Gottfried appeared in two episodes and wrote a story featuring the character for the Superboy tie-in comics series.

A character named Winslow P. Schott appeared in the Lois and Clark Christmas episode "Seasons Greedings". With a similar background to the post-Crisis Schott in the comics, he created a toy that caused children to become selfish, and adults to act like children. He was not referred to as the Toyman onscreen, and was played by Sherman Hemsley. A later episode featured a childlike Toyman played by Grant Shaud, who had the later child abduction MO.

The Toyman has also appeared on the 1990s series Superman: The Animated Series (voiced by Bud Cort) as a man wearing a mask similar to a doll's head, and whose repertoire included such weapons as a bouncing ball and a bubble-blower. In this version, Winslow Schott was the son of a kindly toymaker and spent all day in his father's shop, watching him make toys. Unfortunately, the toy shop was taken over by gangsters and used as a front for a numbers racket. When the police uncovered the scheme, the gangsters fled, letting the elder Schott get arrested and imprisoned for embezzlement. Winslow was left an orphan, and spent several years tossed around various abusive and neglectful foster homes. By the time he reached adulthood, Winslow was permanently mentally damaged. Making use of his natural aptitude for mechanics, he decided to make up for his ruined childhood by terrorizing the world and stealing money to amass his own personal fortunes. Constructing an arsenal of life-sized toys and designing his costume, he dubbed himself the Toyman. He appeared in two episodes, "Fun and Games" and "Obsession." His plans often revolve around Darcy, a lifelike android created to be his companion, but he has also sought revenge against Bruno Mannheim, the criminal who wronged his father, and Superman himself.

The Toyman was also seen on Static Shock (Bud Cort reprised his role here). In the episode, "Toys in the Hood," Toyman orders Darcy to capture Static's friend Daisy so that she can make Darcy a new body. After Superman and Static confront Toyman, Darci betrays Toyman and tries to escape, only to discover that Toyman had implanted a fail-safe device programmed to destroy her if she turned on him. Darcy's body melts, and Toyman is taken to jail.

In Justice League, he was a member of the Superman Revenge Squad, and during their attack on the city, Superman took the blow from his machine which was aimed at Wonder Woman and Batman and the machine sent Superman into the future. Corey Burton played Toyman here. In Justice League Unlimited, Toyman is seen as a member of Gorilla Grodd's Legion of Doom.