Superman Villain Toyman Is More Dangerous Than You Think

by Benjamin Hall

(*Trigger Warning for mention of terms related to sexual assault.)

(*Spoilers for several comics including The Adventures of Superman #475 [1991], and Action Comics #64 [1943].)

(Note: There are several iterations of the villain Winslow Percival Schott, alias Toyman, and even some other characters who have used the Toyman name. However, for this article I will only be talking about the Winslow Schott version of Toyman from the comics.)

Winslow Schott originally appears in Action Comics #64 (1943) as a villain who commits crimes with toys. His reason for committing these crimes is that he essentially wants attention. From the outset, he has a creepiness about him. We can see this when he kidnaps Lois Lane and is attempting to kill her with some dolls’ poisonous razor fingers. Though this may not seem out of the norm for a super villain to do, and possibly rather lame by certain standards, it foreshadows his evolution as a character. For you see in later stories such as The Adventures Of Superman #475 (1991), and Action Comics #865 (2008), he will have a weird level of affinity for children. The Supergirl story ‘Day of the Dollmaker’ suggests that he might even be a pedophile (Supergirl #58 [2010] and Supergirl #59 [2010]).  

Toyman also exhibits the inability to tell fantasy from fiction, such as when Schott relates to Jimmy Olsen his (Schott’s) fictional marriage (Action Comics #865). In truth, Schott’s marriage is a delusional affair with a supremely sophisticated  android of his own making. We can see another example of this type of delusional mindset in Superman #85 (1994) when supporting character Cat Grant confronts Schott over the death of her son (Adam Morgan). During this confrontation he believes his mother is talking to him. Though later Schott would explain this away as one of Schott’s androids malfunctions in a way that involves hating children, and Schott being the voice of “mother,” the explanation is still suspect since it’s delivered by Schott. Also in Superman #305 (1976) when Schott takes up the moniker of Toyman, after a brief retirement from being a criminal, he does so with the delusion that Superman set things up to ruin his work. So there is strong evidence that he is both dangerous to children and adults due to his unbalanced but ingenious mind.

Finally, there is the fact that someone who can turn toys into various kinds of weapons and yet still make them appear normal is a fiend to worry about. Much like Superman admits to being true whenever he hears about a possible case involving kids and suspects the Toyman of being involved (Adventures Of Superman #644 [2005]).

Benjamin Hall

Among Benjamin Hall's many credits he is the creator and writer of the comic Time Trio; a writer/editor of various works for Sequart Organization; Blogger for Rippersspot.blogspot.com; a columnist for Comicon. He holds a Bachelor's in film studies and a Master's Degree in Media Communications. He is also an Aspie.

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