Doctor Steel

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Doctor Steel
"It all comes down to having fun. We spend our lives trapped, when all we really want to do is play. So, let the people play! Let us build a Utopian Playland."
Dr. Steel




These were just a few synonyms applicable to Dr. Phineas Waldolf Steel. Formerly in the toymaking industry, Dr. Steel became frustrated at the lack of vision and originality, rebelled against his ex-employers and burned the place down. He became a Mad Scientist with a goal to take over the world, with conspiracy propaganda threaded intricately through music and toys for children worldwide. However, being a mad scientist, said toys are along the lines of Nightmare Fuel: Babies with buzzsaws, acid squirtguns, kewpie grenades, and it doesn't even begin to start there.

Most importantly, however, is the music. Dr. Steel defied all genre, having been described by Rue Morgue magazine as "hip-hop Industrial opera", but most importantly is the fact that all of them are So. Damn. Catchy. Though his music only spans about three dozen songs across five CDs, and that most online stores only carry them in .mp3 rather than physical discs, Dr. Steel put just as much love and care into each individual song as many artists do for entire discs. A very underground artist, he nonetheless made an appearance on the Jay Leno show and was even given a nod by MTV. He later started to put more effort into clever and hilarious videos, which can still be seen on YouTube.

Sadly, in 2011 Dr. Steel entered an early (and apparently forced) retirement (although some claim he was actually kidnapped by aliens). However, his army marches on, taking his philosophy to the masses and building the Utopian Playland he envisioned.

His YouTube channel is here, and his MySpace is here. Listen, and then submit yourself to the movement he spawned, dedicated to taking over the world in his name!

Not to be confused with the other Dr. Steel. Or the other Dr. Steel. Or the other Dr. Steel. Or the other Dr. Steel. Or Dr. Steele. Or Remington Steele.

Doctor Steel provides examples of the following tropes:

Tropes A-C

Cookie, mister?
  • Creepy Doll: Dr. Steel makes several of these.
  • Crowd Song: "Dr. Steel" is so catchy you may just start singing along in public places; especially good for picking up a chant of "Dr. Steel! Dr. Steel!"
  • Crystal Skull

Tropes D-F

Bali Hai may call you
Hidden Isle of a death ray
This is my secret island
Go away, go away

Tropes G-I

  • Giant Robots: Dr. Steel's back-up plan for world domination if the whole "domination through entertainment" idea doesn't pan out.
  • Girl Scouts Are Evil: A segment of Dr. Steel's Army of Toy Soldiers are called "Toy Scouts". An all-female regiment, they occasionally assist Dr. Steel during stage performances - and distribute mind control cookies.
  • Gloved Fist of Doom: Often.
  • Goggles Do Nothing: They just look damned cool. Given, in one of his videos he's seen welding, they probably do do something - but he wears them 100% of the time whether he's welding or not, so...
    • In his video interview, "Vision", he says that he wears the glasses of a blind man as a metaphor.
  • Go-Go Dancing: On his stage show, he has go-go dancers dressed in PVC halters and miniskirts that match his labcoat.
  • Growing Up Sucks: Dr. Steel's other primary motivation, besides revenge. Sung about in "Childhood (Don't) A-Go-Go."
  • Hammerspace: Played for Laughs in this edition of Ask Dr. Steel.
  • Hamster 65 As Himself: Credits at the end of Episode 2 of The Dr. Steel Show.
  • Happy Dance: Dr. Steel jauntily dances at the end of Episode 1 of The Dr. Steel Show. There is also a section on his website where you can make him do several dance moves to some old-timey music. In Caleb Allen's Fan Vid of "Lament for a Toy Factory", the actor playing Dr. Steel breaks into these dance moves as the helicopter spotlight hits him - and the music from the website begins to play.
  • Harmless Villain: Although having a villainous outer appearance, Dr. Steel's goals are really very positive and even kid-friendly. He just wants to make the world a better place (for himself). A running theme within his videos and songs (besides building giant robots/killer toys) is the virtue of independent thinking and imagination.
Hello, Nurse!
  • Hello, Nurse!: Dr. Steel has "Nurses" (members of his Army of Toy Soldiers that dress in sexy nurse uniforms) attend him - both on stage and other public appearances and in several of his videos.
  • Homemade Sweater From Hell: Dr. Steel gets one in the Dr. Steel Christmas Special.
  • Hot Scientist: Quite a large number of women find Dr. Steel incredibly attractive.
  • "I Am" Song: His self-titled song, "Dr. Steel".
  • I Am the Band: Dr. Steel writes all his songs, and plays all the instruments in studio. He'd play live gigs solo, too - except for the fact that his robot band keeps malfunctioning and he has to fall back on a back-up band of live musicians.
  • The Igor: Dr. Steel's robot servants are all hunchbacks.
  • Improvised Weapon: Gasoline-filled Super Soakers.
  • Incessant Music Madness: In the music video for "Back and Forth", there's a little kid at the beginning playing an annoying plastic trumpet, while his brother covers his ears. At the end of the video the brother suddenly gets in his face and shouts, "STOP!"
  • I Reject Your Reality: He's crazy. And a big believer in visualization and subjective reality. He calls himself a "Doctor of Reality Engineering."
  • Island Base: Shown in the episodes of The Dr. Steel Show. Where his secret laboratory is located.
  • It's All About Me: "See, I'm gonna make the world a better place - for me." - "Build the Robots" lyrics.

Tropes K-N

"You can think for yourselves / Or you can buy all my toys..."

    • A bit of a subversion, as there are no toys you can actually buy there. (At least not yet!)
  • Milking the Giant Cow: "Damn thee, spam - DAMN THEE!"
  • Minsky Pickup: In the beginning of his song, "The Dr. Steel Show."
  • Mockumentary: Dr. Steel's "propaganda" film, Building a Utopian Playland is shot as a documentary.
  • Morally-Ambiguous Doctorate: No one's sure what he's a doctor of, exactly (he's said he's a Doctor of "Reality Engineering"); he's hellbent on taking over the world using an army of robotic toys and brainwashed "toy soldiers" so that he can make the world a better place (for him).
  • Motionless Chin: The hamster in The Dr. Steel Show, Episode 2. ("God, you're weird.")
  • Mr. Fanservice: Dr. Steel seems to invoke this sort of response in a great number of women. Especially when he takes his shirt off.
  • Multiple Demographic Appeal: Older people, younger people, boys, girls, all around are hailing Dr. Steel as their new lord and king.
  • Musical Episode: The Dr. Steel Show, Episode 3.
  • My Little Panzer: His line of freakish toys, which would give Irwin Mainway a run for his money.
  • Neoclassical Punk Zydeco Rockabilly: Dr. Steel's music has been described as "Industrial Hip-Hop Opera."
  • New Tech Is Not Cheap: In the song "Build the Robots", Dr. Steel laments about building a high-tech giant robot army:

I need assembly lines
A crew and much more time.
The money's all mine
And my funds are getting thin.
I'm gonna have to rob a bank again.
'Cause I'm spending every dime and
I'm spending all my time to
Build the robots.

  • No Animals Were Harmed: At the end of the credit crawl of The Dr. Steel Show, Episode 1.
  • No-Hit Wonder: Dr. Steel has a large and growing fanbase, though he's only released five albums (three of those via digital download) and never charted.
  • Nonuniform Uniform: While Dr. Steel did give the Toy Soldiers a general guideline for uniforms, he also encouraged incorporating individual expression into them, resulting in a myriad of interpretations on the theme.
  • Now Buy the Merchandise: Dr. Steel's homage to the Home Shopping Network in The Dr. Steel Show, Episode 1. (Dr. Steel is a toymaker, so what do you expect?) Also sung about in his song, Back and Forth: "You can think for yourselves / Or you can buy all my toys ... Consume and gobble it up..."

Tropes O-R

  • Obfuscating Insanity: "Hello, my name is Dr. Phineas Waldolf Steel and I'm crazy. At least that's what they tell me. It's a real load off of my mind too. I mean you can get away with pretty much anything if you're bonkers. It really relieves a lot of pressure and responsibility for me."
  • Omnidisciplinary Scientist: Dr. Steel's PhD is never elaborated on (according to him, he is a "doctor of reality engineering"), but he's "displayed" skills in engineering, mathematics, biology, medicine, chemicals...
  • Percussive Maintenance: In The Dr. Steel Show, Episode 3, Dr. Steel's last resort in silencing a broken videophone is to take a giant sledgehammer to it.
  • Pineal Weirdness: Dr. Steel's PSA, "Imagination."
  • Pointy-Haired Boss: The "bankers in charge" in "Lament for a Toy Factory."
  • Power Born of Madness: "I am crazy, and I will become World Emperor." "You can get away with pretty much anything if you're bonkers."
  • Propaganda Machine: Actually more Voice of the Resistance against the modern government/media propaganda machines (and supposed alien influences). Dr. Steel is a master of using propaganda and propagandic art to spread his Utopian Playland message, which his fans/followers (known as Toy Soldiers) happily disseminate.
    • All that said, I defy you to find another revolutionary and/or government who can (as noted below) actually put the word "Propaganda" on all his propaganda and get away with it.
  • Public Domain Artifact: "Curse of the Crystal Skull".
  • Public Service Announcement: Dr. Steel has made several of these and posted them on YouTube. He also has mock PSAs within his films The Dr. Steel Show, Episodes 1 and 2.
  • Putting on the Reich: Subverted: the "Toy Soldier" uniforms satirically mimic and playfully deconstruct the uniforms of fascist paramilitary groups.
  • Pyromaniac: Dr. Steel destroys the toy factory that fired him with bombs and gasoline-filled Super Soakers.
  • Radio Voice: The aforementioned epigraphs all have radio voices. (They are mostly sampled from old Public Service Announcements such as "Duck and Cover".)
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: Dr. Steel has turned his fanbase, which largely consists of Steampunks, Rivetheads, Goths, Nerds, geeks and other assorted "misfits", into an army (the Army of Toy Soldiers).
  • Rated "G" for Gangsta: Subverted. Dr. Steel is a rare example of a rapper who rarely ever swears, or even engages in innuendo.
    • Technically, he has used the words "hell" (in "Marionette") and "bastards" (in "Lament for a Toy Factory"), but he is far less vulgar than most rappers (if he can even be called one).
      • "Ode to Revenge" contains one instance of "shit" and "Childhood (Don't) A Go-Go" has "cracker jack-ass," although the latter is rather difficult to make out without a lyrics sheet.
  • Ray Gun: Lyrics from "The Dr. Steel Show": "What fun, I've built a Ronald McRaygun!"
  • Real Men Wear Pink: A pair of fuzzy bunny slippers are a part of Dr. Steel's lounging wardrobe. (He's also been photographed with a teddy bear.)
  • Record Needle Scratch: In The Dr. Steel Christmas Special.

"My christmas tree is simply overflowing with kind gifts. Thank you, ever so much. I simply cannot wait until Christmas. And so... <skrrrrtt!> I won't!"

  • Reluctant Retiree: Hinted in the "Dear John" Letter he sent to one of the Commanders of the Toy Soldiers.
  • Renaissance Man: Dr. Steel is a musician, toymaker, roboticist, graphic artist, Internet personality - and has some great dance moves.
  • Revenge: One of Dr. Steel's prime motivations.
  • Robot Master: Creating an army of giant robots, and having a robot band. And a lot of robot toys.
  • Robot War: Dr. Steel self describes himself as "The man with a plan and a mechanical band", has a song called "Build the Robots", and has a giant robot army as one of his backup plans for world domination if the whole musical brainwashing idea doesn't pan out.
  • Rushmore Refacement: In The Dr. Steel Show Episode 2, a team of Toy Soldiers call Dr. Steel from the top of Mount Rushmore, informing him of their plans to alter Lincoln's head to look like Dr. Steel. It doesn't quite go according to plan...

Tropes S-T

  • Sanity Has Advantages: Inverted. "I mean you can get away with pretty much anything if you're bonkers."
  • Saving Christmas: Dr. Steel takes over Christmas (and kills half of Santa's elves) in A Dr. Steel Christmas.
  • Scannable Man: Dr. Steel has a bar code tattoo on the back of his neck.
  • Scout Out: The Toy Scouts in the Army of Toy Soldiers.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: In July 2011 it was announced that Dr. Steel had decided to retire. His fan club, however, continues on, having become more of a creative community in recent years anyway.
    • Averted, as it was apparently a forced retirement.
  • Self-Titled Album: His albums Dr. Steel, Dr. Steel II: Eclectic Boogaloo, The Dr. Steel Collection and the Dr. Steel Read-A-Long. (Also extends to his video series, The Dr. Steel Show.)
  • Serious Business: The old lady on the phone in The Dr. Steel Show, Episode 1 thinks she is calling about Beanie Babies, not buzzsaw babies. She is obsessed with Beanie Babies and has every last one of them except "Little Puddin, the blue and white sea lion", and needs her collection to be complete so she can finally sleep at night.
  • Shout-Out: Numerous.
    • His song The Dr. Steel Show mentions and contains the tune of Bali Ha'i, referencing his secret island base.
      • It also contains part of the tune of H.R. Pufnstuf (which also takes place on a mystical island), plus a quote from the theme song "Can't do a little 'cuz he can't do enough".
    • Spaceboy samples Also Sprach Zarathustra.
    • The end of his song, Lullabye-bye, contains the beginning of the Eurythmics' Sweet Dreams Are Made Of This.
    • The opening lines of his song, Ode to Revenge, are a very twisted version of Nat King Cole's Nature Boy.
    • The song "Land of the Lost", itself an Homage to the Sid and Marty Krofft show, has a literal shout out, with a sample of Rita Moreno's "HEY YOU GUYS!" from The Electric Company.
    • In his video, "Reality Engineering", he's shown working controls as a green curtain is pulled aside, a shout-out to The Wizard of Oz.
    • Atomic Supserstar is about Godzilla
    • Slapped By Moe is an ode to The Three Stooges
  • The Singularity: Song title, word for word. The song deals more with transhumanism (merging humanity with AI and nanotech) and other possible consequences of the Singularity than with the Singularity itself, though.
    • Steel has also been interviewed by a transhumanist institute and authored a paper on the subject.
  • Sinister Shades: He has yet to be seen without his thick black-lensed goggle-glasses. (In his music video for "Back and Forth", they reflect nonexistent flames.)
  • Skele-Bot 9000: Dr. Steel's robots are built this way, very lanky and skeletal with oversized, cheshire-grinning heads.
  • Skyward Scream: Used in The Dr. Steel Show, Episode 1. As Dr. Steel checks his email, he becomes frustrated that his inbox is full of spam, and cries to the heavens (with accompanying |jarring chord), "Damn thee, spam! DAMN THEEEEEE!"
  • Start of Darkness: Lament for a Toy Factory.
  • Station Ident: Many "station bugs" for stations such as CNN, NBC and VH-1 appear in Dr. Steel's propaganda film, Building a Utopian Playland, giving it the illusion that it is a genuine documentary.
  • Steampunk: While not overtly, several artistic stylings are reminiscent of this, and he dresses that way when not in his labcoat.
  • Stock Sound Effects: During the "hidden" subliminal message track on a couple of his albums, in the background there's the pop and hiss of an old vinyl record.
  • Stop Motion: His toys in his "Childhood (Don't) A-Go Go" video and The Dr. Steel Show Episode 2.
  • Strange Salute: In several of his propaganda posters, Dr. Steel is shown saluting with his fist over his heart, looking up and (usually) to his right (toward a better future?). This has become the de facto salute of the Toy Soldiers.
  • Subliminal Seduction: Dr. Steel uses subliminal messages and images in a lot of his videos.
  • Subverted Kids Show: His video series, The Dr. Steel Show is largely this. Also his song, "Smokey's Theme". His live performances include puppet shows, some of which are extremely subverted. (One of his recurring gags was he would be interrupted by a Lamb Chop-esque puppet, who was so annoyingly cute that he would eventually pull a revolver out and shoot it.)
  • Sufficiently Humanoid Robots- Dr. Steel's robot band. Which malfunction on his Propaganda DVD, but finally work in his video for "Childhood (Don't) A-Go-Go". At least in miniature...
  • Super Villain: Obviously...
  • Supervillain School: in the web video, Reunion, Dr. Steel calls up fellow mad scientist Agamemnon Tiberius Vacuum and invites him to the 10th annual Mad Scientist's reunion - implying that they may have attended some Mad Scientist school together in the past.
  • Take Over the World: Dr. Steel's overall goal, to become World Emperor.
  • Taking Over Christmas: Dr. Steel does this in A Dr. Steel Christmas.
  • That Makes Me Feel Angry: In his PSA, Reality Engineering, After ranting about how we are being manipulated by the government and media, Dr. Steel says people might dismiss him as a conspiracy nut, a madman. To that he says, "Oh, I'm mad. Very mad. Very very mad."
  • Theremin: Several of Dr. Steel's songs encorporate the theremin (or at least samples of theremins).
  • They Called Me Mad: Dr. Steel originally worked quite happily at a toy plant, until his more...radical toy ideas. They said no.
  • Titled After the Song: The Dr. Steel Show.
  • Too Many Belts: The doctor has a three-belted cummerbund-like leather garment that he wears atop his waistcoat, in his Steampunk attire.
  • Tripod Terror: The album cover for People of Earth shows an attack by giant tripod robots reminiscent of The War of the Worlds - only in the foreground it shows Dr. Steel controlling them. (A similar tripod is seen in the background of the album art for The Dr. Steel Read-A-Long.)

Tropes U-Z