The Toyman (Winslow Schott). Art by Jesus Merino.
Action Comics #64
Action Comics #432
Superman Vol. 2 #127
|Alter ego||Winslow Percival Schott
Superman Revenge Squad
Legion of Doom
Mechanical genius manifests in the form of many violent, destructive, and dangerous toys.
The most well known incarnation of the Toyman is Winslow Schott, a criminal who uses toy-based or toy-themed devices and gimmicks in his various crimes. The Toyman made frequent appearances in the Golden Age comics, but has appeared infrequently in Superman stories since then.
The Winslow Schott version of Toyman first appeared in Action Comics #64 (September 1943) and was created by Don Cameron and Ed Dobrotka.
The Toyman first appeared in 1943 and appeared in several Golden Age Superman stories. Schott appeared less frequently in comics published after the early 1950s, but remained a semi-regular foe during the '60s, '70s, and '80s.
While at first more of a nuisance, Toyman gradually grew more emotionally unstable and paranoid over time, his toys following suit by becoming a lot more dangerous. Although Winslow Schott in his civilian persona was a rather sweet, humble, quirky (if socially withdrawn) person, as Toyman he turned into a childish, destructive megalomaniac. During the '70s Winslow was effectively retired from crime, but he kept contact with Superman and even helped out to take down Jack Nimball, which he felt sullied the Toyman legacy.
This retirement proved to be tragically short, as not long after Winslow put some of his toys on display (a suggestion by Superman), the entire museum exhibition is completely wrecked. Sightings report this to be the work of a man in blue tights flying at great speeds. Thinking he's been played for a fool by Superman, Schott swears to destroy everything Superman cares about to avenge his life's work. Eventually it is revealed that the real culprit was Bizarro, in search for the duplicator ray, but by then it was already too late: Schott had already returned to his Toyman ways, murdered Jack Nimball and a hotel door guard in cold blood, and built a giant robot to terrorize the city. Shortly after his defeat, he regains his sanity and remembers what he has done. He sheds tears of regret as he is escorted to the police car.
After that incident Winslow's mental state grew even worse, and while he often made several legitimate attempts to atone for his sins, he would often relapse back into madness.
After 1985's miniseries Crisis on Infinite Earths and John Byrne's Man of Steel miniseries, the Toyman's history was revised, and the post-Crisis version of the character first appeared in Superman (vol. 2) #13 (January 1988). In this version, Winslow Schott is an unemployed British toymaker who blames Lex Luthor and his company, LexCorp, for being fired from the toy company he is working for. He uses his toymaking talents to seek revenge, which eventually causes him to cross paths with the British hero Godiva, and subsequently, Superman himself. 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, wearing black and getting advice in his head from "Mother". This was prompted by him being told that a range of Superman action figures would not include him as he is not "edgy" enough.[volume & issue needed] While this seems to begin as a pose of what he thought people expect of a villain, it rapidly became a genuine psychotic break. While in this state he abducts and later murdered Adam Morgan, the son of Daily Planet reporter Cat Grant. Adam and several other children captured by Toyman tried to escape, but Schott found out and stabbed Adam to death for being the leader of the group.[volume & issue needed] This caused Schott to develop a hatred of children, as he blamed them for not appreciating his toys. At the time, Schott shows no remorse for what he had done. When Cat Grant later confronts him in prison he cruelly tells her "You were a bad mommy. I'm glad I killed your son."
The Toyman later seemingly recovered, and Superman showed him that children did appreciate old-fashioned toys, arranging parole in an orphanage; it was later revealed, however, that this was all a hallucination caused when Zatanna attempts to cure him and he had, in fact, returned to child abduction. He appeared after JLA: Crisis of Conscience where Zatanna reveals she mind-wiped him. She and Superman go after him. Zatanna is bound and gagged by him, but freed by Superman, however he escapes.
Winslow was seen in Lex Luthor: Man of Steel as well as in the Infinite Crisis: Villains United special, preparing for the Blackgate Prison break by lacing the dinner stew with Venom and Velocity 9 to increase the prisoners' strength, speed, and aggression. Unfortunately, some guards also ate the drugged stew and fought the superheroes who showed up to stop the criminals.
Toyman's history was later revised in Action Comics #865, by Geoff Johns and Jesus Merino. Winslow Schott tells Jimmy Olsen that he was a toymaker who lived with his wife Mary. When a businessman offered to buy his shop to expand the number of children his toys can reach, he refused. When Mary is killed in a car accident a few weeks later, Schott agrees to the purchase. However, the businessman lied and gave his technologically advanced toy plans to arms manufacturers. Schott proceeds to bomb the business with an explosive teddy bear. A twist at the end of the story reveals that Mary was just one of his first robotic creations.
Following his first confrontation with Superman, Schott met the Prankster for the first time.[volume & issue needed] The Prankster is a cruel, callous man who commits crimes "because it's fun". He repeatedly asked Schott to "team up", but Schott refused.
Schott reveals to Jimmy that the Toyman who killed Adam Grant was a robot created by Schott to replace him in the event that he was ever incarcerated and that a glitch in the robot's programming resulted in it developing a personality, (and later a hatred of children), and that Schott's repeated attempts to contact the robot resulted in it suffering from delusions of "Mother". This was confirmed in Superman Secret Files 2009, although Jimmy initially expressed doubt that Schott was telling the truth.
In the 1997 Speed Force Special, the Max Mercury story Child's Play, set in 19th century New York City, featured the Schott Toy Company run by Archimedes Schott, a crooked businessman who resembles Winslow. Any relationship between them is unknown.
In the Supergirl series, while in Arkham Asylum, Toyman is visited by Cat Grant (whose son Adam was murdered) and Supergirl. Cat interrogates him about children who have been kidnapped with dolls left behind. Toyman claims he is innocent and the robotic dolls attack him. Supergirl saves him and gets him to medical care. When Cat return home, she is confronted by a villain called the Dollmaker. He identifies himself as Anton Schott implying that he is somehow related to Toyman. Dollmaker eventually reveals himself to be the abandoned son of Winslow, who has been kidnapping children and using macabre experiments in order to turn them into slaves. He tells Cat that he wants her to become his new mother, and that he wishes to serve as a replacement for her murdered son, but Cat violently rejects him. With her gag temporarily removed, Cat is able to call Supergirl for help, and the two are able to defeat Dollmaker and free the children he had enslaved.
The Toyman appears as part of the new Legion of Doom in Alex Ross' miniseries Justice. Toyman is only seen in person in the first and last issues of the series, he communicates through a human-sized marionette resembling the Jack Nimball version of Toyman. The Marionette uses a black-and-yellow color scheme, never speaks, and has several strings connected to its joints that give it the appearance of being operated from above. He attacks Hawkman and Hawkgirl in their museum using toy fighter planes and a gigantic Nimball Marionette, blowing up their museum and leaving the duo for dead, though they survive the attack. Toyman's city is shown to resemble a fun house and is mainly populated by children and families. When the Justice League storm the Hall of Doom, the Marionette attacks the League as a whole instead of any particular target, but is nonetheless destroyed in the attack. After the attack the toys in his city come to life and attack the Justice League. Superman eventually finds Schott, now morbidly obese and infected with Brainiac's cybernetics. Superman realizes that Toyman had taken all the children in his city hostage and, with a band of Justice Leaguers, managed to save all of the children before any harm could come to them. Schott was seen recovering in a hospital bed on a screen in the Batcave.
In the 1970s, a man named Jack Nimball assumes the identity of the second Toyman during a period in which Schott retires from his criminal career and first appeared in Action Comics #432 (February 1974). Nimball wore a jester costume and used a similar modus operandi to the original Toyman. However, this version of Toyman proved short-lived. Schott killed Nimball with a mechanical toy bird and resumed his criminal career in Superman #305 (November 1976). This Toyman's only other appearances were in Action #454 and Superman #299.
Nimball appears as one of Schott's androids in Action Comics #865.
The version of the Toyman who appears in Challenge of the Super Friends was based on Nimball.
Hiro Okamura is a teenage mechanical genius from Japan first appearing as Toyman in Superman vol. 2, #177 (February 2002) by Jeph Loeb and Ed McGuinness. He shows up in Metropolis in a giant Super Robot fighting Metallo, claiming the cyborg's equally-giant body was based on material stolen from his grandfather.
He later becomes an ally to Superman and Batman. In the Superman/Batman series, he aids the two in destroying a kryptonite meteor that threatens the Earth. He strikes a deal with Batman to provide him with various technological implements (Superman/Batman #7). Okamura uses more technologically advanced devices than the traditionally-constructed contrivances Schott uses and his work is largely whimsical in nature. Many of his inventions are inspired by anime and manga, including giant mecha (notably his giant Composite Batman-Superman robot).
Okamura appears only a few times in the Superman/Batman comic book, and his activities are limited to Japan. Winslow Schott remains active as the Toyman in the United States. In the Sam Loeb-penned memorial issue Superman/Batman #26, Okamura fakes his own kidnapping at the hands of Schott, forcing Superboy and Robin to search through his complex to save his life. Realizing his loneliness, Superboy and Robin extend their friendship to the boy. Okamura joins Robin and the other Teen Titans at Titans Tower for Superboy's funeral, clutching a Superboy action figure.
In Superman/Batman #45, he offers to assist the duo in their quest to rid the world of Kryptonite, using spider-like nanobots to collect Kryptonite molecules in the air. His offer becomes a necessity as Lana Lang, in a last-ditch effort to get rid of Kryptonians and keep LexCorp afloat, turns a set of Kryptonite caches into "dirty bombs", which irradiate the entire planet. Hiro comes to the rescue, settling for a Power Girl-bot to "date". Instead, he gets his dream date, a dinner in Paris with the real Karen, and the status of honorary member of the Justice League.
Hiro appears as one of Winslow Schott's androids in Action Comics #865; given the unreliable nature of Schott's narration, Hiro's status as his android creation is suspect.
In The New 52 (a 2011 reboot of the DC Comics universe), Hiro Okamura operates as the Toymaster. He and his friend Agnes have reverse-engineered the works of Silas Stone and Professor Emil Hamilton to create a massive multiplayer online game that puts the players with Batman and Superman in real life. When it comes to Toymaster's latest game, Jimmy Olsen is one of the players that will partake in the game that will involve the killing of Batman. When Batman and Superman track down Toymaster, he warns Batman of their weakness of being beaten down in real life while also stating that his game has somehow began to manifest in real life. Before Batman can destroy the console in order to end the game, Toymaster's building is then attacked by Mongul who plans to make Toymaster's game real for him.
Toyman surfaces in Metropolis and allies with Lex Luthor in Action Comics #837 (May 2006) as part of the One Year Later 'Up, Up, and Away' story arc. His first appearance was written by Geoff Johns and Kurt Busiek with art by Pete Woods.
His appearance, inspired by the character's Superman: The Animated Series incarnation, is that of a child-sized doll. This Toyman mentions meeting Hiro Okamura in Japan and stealing one of his Superman robots. As part of his bargain with Luthor, he is given the information needed to find his creator Winslow Schott in exchange for assistance in a plot against Superman.
On the cover of Justice League of America (vol. 2) #13, it shows this android Toyman as a member of the Injustice League.
The Toyman doesn't have any real powers, but he possessed incredible technological expertise and inventiveness, and specialized in robotics, though he had also shown expertise in biological weaponry. Despite the childish motif which he usually insists on incorporating, Toyman's creations were incredibly sophisticated and deadly. In addition, most of his inventions had an innocuous, or even comical appearance that causes his opponents hesitation or confusion, often to their regret.
In the maxi-series Justice, Winslow Schott is contacted by Brainiac to help prevent the end of the world-really an attempt to destroy all organic life. Throughout the story, he uses dangerous toys to menace the heroes, including an attempt on Hawkman and Hawkwoman's lives. When they attack his base, they find the microscopic mind controlling robotic worms that lead them to the villains. By the end of the story, Schott has been reduced a semi-robotic being by the worms, reducing him to a puppet for Brainiac. It should be noted his primary toy throughout the story is a giant marionette based on Jack Nimball.
Toyman appears in a 2013 Smallville Season Eleven comic. At LexCorp R&D, Superman and Lex are all forced friendly-like as Lex analyzes the teleportation vest used by a some criminals in a hostage situation and admits the technology is his, but that it was stolen during a series of robberies made on Lexcorp and other companies, one of which was foiled way back by the Green Arrow and Superman. Lex surmises that whoever created these teleportation vests using all that stolen technology would have to be very familiar with Lexcorp's patents and proprietary coding. This leads Superman to Stryker's Island prison and Winslow who is still incarcerated and seemingly not a suspect, according to Warden Draper, since he has been under constant supervision in "hyper-solitary". Lois Lane arrives at Stryker's Island to question Toyman about Prankster. Toyman reveals that Prankster is just a pathetic imitation of him; they worked together in the Queen Industries Research and Development Department before Toyman started working for Lex. Winslow then asks Lois if Lex asked about him since his return, which leads Lois to retort that Toyman must rank pretty low since his memory has been removed. Toyman reveals that Oswald has no sense of gamesmanship and would cheat whenever he can and had stolen his idea for kryptonite bullets. It is later revealed Schott modified Corben's kryptonite heart, giving Corben the power to absorb the kryptonite radiation once Schott has reinstall it.
Writer Cary Bates and artist Curt Swan gave Superman all the 'fun' he could handle with the savvy new Toyman in Action Comics #432.
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