Written by: Robert N Skir and Marty Isenberg Directed by: Kazuhide Tomonaga
Lois – “He uses toys as weapons; we’re talking about a guy with serious issues.Like the shrink says, emotionally stunted amoral narcissist with paranoid delusions, desperately seeking...”
Toyman – “...external validation through anti-social behaviour.Oh haha.”
WHEN IS A...
...Superman villain like a Batman villain?When he's Toyman in Superman: The Animated Series!You see the difference between Superman villains and Batman villains can be boiled down to how they’re psychologically motivated; or put simply, what’s going on in their noggin.Batman’s villains tended to be reflective of the Dark Knight and so were a little creepy, had a tragic defining moment in their past and were also a little bit nuts.Superman villains on the other hand were often bad guys with a lot of power (there are exceptions), which they used for evil instead of good; like Parasite, Bizarro and Metallo.Toyman however was a villain who leant a lot closer to Batman’s round up of miscreants than he ever did to Superman’s, and it added something a little different to the show.
Toyman was the orphaned son of deceased toymaker Winslow Schott, who had died in prison after becoming involved with Intergang mobster Bruno Mannheim.Schott had received a prison sentence after taking the fall for Mannheim, who had subsequently gotten away once again from the crimes he had committed.With his father in prison Schott JR was placed in a number of foster homes which sadly continued when his father passed away, and so he grew to hate and despise Mannheim.Eventually when he was older he donned a mask, developed a series of deadly toy-based traps, and used them to have his revenge.
For a show like Superman: The Animated Series, which at the time of initial transmission started off as a lighter version of Batman: TAS, the introduction of Toyman was something which created a terrifying villain from what easily could have been a dumb character. Toyman after all was a short fellow who liked to use toys as part of his crime wave and so would have hardly ranked up there amongst the all time criminal masterminds.By making him seem unhinged and therefore almost like a Batman villain, it instead demonstrated that Superman: TAS was able to reinvigorate villains to make them deadly without the need for muscles or a Kryptonite heart.Fun and Games was a great little episode that helped Superman: TAS get off to a flying start; but it couldn’t have been done without a freaky little chap and his obsession with toys.He may have owed a lot to Batman, but Toyman proved that given a push in the right direction and he was a match for any super hero.
PLAYTHINGS: *Bruno Mannheim may have escaped Toyman’s plans for revenge, but the character did get his comeuppance after getting involved with Darkseid in Apokolips...Now!
*A different yet just as creepy version of Toyman appeared in the DC animated movie Superman Doomsday (2007).He was quickly killed off by the fake Superman, which was perhaps for the best as he wasn’t a very nice chap!
*Toyman has also appeared in the live-action TV shows Lois & Clark and Smallville, which isn’t bad for a character not widely known outside of the comics.