Living Toys

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"If you go down to the woods today,
you better go in disguise,
if you go down to the woods today,
you're in for a big surprise,
'cause every bear that ever there was
are gathered there together
because today's the day

the teddy bears have their picnic!"
Children's Nursery Rhyme

Woody: "YOU! ARE! A! TOYYYY!! You're not the real Buzz Lightyear, you... you're an action figure! You are a child's plaything!'"
(beat)

Buzz: "You are a sad, strange little man--and you have my pity."

Behold! Living Toys! They can walk! They can talk! They can cook! They can take out the trash! They can drive! In fact, they can do so much, they almost don't need you!

We say "almost", because in some cases, these toys come alive only when humans aren't around. There may be an official or unofficial Masquerade in effect. Other times, they're created only because Love Imbues Life. Still, nothing says Fun for the Whole Family like Living Toys!

Warning: This product may turn evil, or at the very least, creepy. Horror Movie characters and characters from horror movie parodies should avoid purchasing and/or using Living Toys. May contain small parts not suitable for children under 6. Requires 2 AA Batteries, magic talisman or evil curse. Cool accessories not included.

Make sure the "good/evil" switch is set to "good" at all times. Should they be actual weapons, any damage they cause is not covered by warranty.

Subtrope of Animate Inanimate Object.


Examples of Living Toys include:

Good Examples[edit | hide | hide all]

Anime[edit | hide]

  • In Naruto, Sasori turned himself into one of these, by transforming himself into a puppet. Once he dies, he´s used by Kankuro.
  • Rozen Maiden has both good and evil ones.
  • A scene from Akira is amongst this top 100 scariest scenes.
    • And the hordes of toys and toy-like mutations from Paprika, for similar reasons.
  • Pokota, a stuffed lion, from Himechan no Ribon was brought alive by magic and serves as the animal sidekick.
  • Frigitta from Kero Kero Chime appears to be a Living Toy, despite her denial of it in her first appearance. Additionally, in this appearance, she's a villainess who turns people into toys which she can make follow her orders. After this, though, she's just a minor recurring Stalker with a Crush who's generally on the side of the heroes as much as her minor role allows.
  • A few Digimon are like this, such as Puppetmon, Monzaemon and ToyAgumon.
  • In Umineko no Naku Koro ni, Sakutarou is a variation off this. After Maria places a soul in him, he can talk with her and play with her, although he no longer looks like a stuffed animal to her. Instead, he looks like a little, half-human, half-animal boy. However, no one else can see him talk, etc. If he talks to Maria, anyone else sees it as Maria speaking in a funny voice, and he always looks like a stuffed animal to them.
  • Leo and Yuki from Shounen Dolls can turn into humans and protect their master, Ageha. They can also communicate with her even in doll form.
  • Kon from Bleach is probably a vague example of this, since although he's just a Mod Soul (e.g. fake), most of the time he inhabits a toy lion, and generally doesn't let the rest of Ichigo's family (except Papagami/Issun, who has pretty much known what Ichigo's been doing) know that he's 'alive'.
  • The manga Nui plays this trope straight. Not only are dolls who're loved alive, they actually go all out to protect their owner and do their owner's bidding.
  • Many Sanrio characters, like Hello Kitty and My Melody, have their anime series, and instead of being treated like real animals, they remain their doll status.
  • At least one of Keroro's invasion plans in Keroro Gunsou involved bringing plastic models to life.
  • In Tenshi ni Narumon Dispell, Eros and Muse are basically just dolls made alive by Silky's power as a respite from boredom and loneliness

Comic Books[edit | hide]

  • Miskin in Amulet appears to be one, but he's actually a robot. Somehow.
  • British comic character General Jumbo was a boy with an army of toy friends.
    • General Jumbo was parodied somewhat in Jack Staff with General Tubbs, an autistic boy who mobilized his toy army with his psychic powers; the control panel keyboard glove thing was just so he'd have something to do with his hands.
  • Toybox of Top Ten has a boxful of animated toys which she can command, inherited from her father Colonel Lilliput, a pastiche of General Jumbo.
  • Dolmann, a quirky inventor, had a small robot doll for every occasion, though it was never very clear whether they legitimately possessed minds of their own or Dolmann was using his skills as a ventriloquist to pretend he had some company. Even so, they seemed to act of their own volition.
  • The Stuff of Legend also has this as its premise, being about a group of toys fighting their way through a fantasy world (in which they literally become what they were toys of) in order to rescue their owner, who has been kidnapped by the Boogeyman.

Film[edit | hide]

Folklore[edit | hide]

  • Russians have tales of little girls that have a doll that can actually talk as their companions. Ahhh...

Literature[edit | hide]

  • The Velveteen Rabbit
  • The Adventures of Pinocchio
  • Oddkins
  • Raggedy Ann and Andy
  • The Nutcracker
  • "The Steadfast Tin Soldier"
  • The Hollow Chocolate Bunnies of the Apocalypse which takes place in a Toyland of living toys, then further reveals that all of existence is a huge toy, God is an irresponsible little child who got it for his birthday, and Satan is an evil renegade toy who creates an army of cyborg spider women and George W. Bush to destroy the world. No, really.
  • The toy soldiers in the Stephen King short story Battleground (published in the collection Night Shift). Despite being murderous, they're actually the heroes of the story, exacting vengeance against the Villain Protagonist—a hitman who just killed a toymaker.
  • Winnie the Pooh does it with stuffed animals.
  • The Indian in The Cupboard, again. The titular cupboard only works on plastic, and summons people from other time periods, as well as sometimes sending the modern characters back.
  • Alexander and The Wind Up Mouse.
  • Enid Blyton's Noddy series
  • A Little Princess discusses this but is not actually an example.
  • The Corduroy bear from the Corduroy book and TV series by Don Freeman.
  • The Bear that Nobody Wanted by Allan Ahlberg.
  • Many of Rumer Godden's children's books, generally with dolls. Generally speaking, her dolls are conscious and can talk to each other, but are otherwise immobile and can only affect humans by wishing very hard. Some examples:
    • The Doll's House (also know as Tottie: The Story of a Doll's House after its animated adaptation) - a family of mismatched dolls wish for a doll's house to live in. Well-known for its Sudden Downer Ending.
    • Candyfloss - a doll who lives on a coconut shy at the fair is kidnapped by a vain, greedy little girl.
    • Impunity Jane: The Story of a Pocket Doll - a boy steals a small doll from a friend and keeps her as he grows up.
    • The Story of Holly and Ivy - a Christmas-themed doll named Holly wishes for a little girl to play with her while a lonely orphan called Ivy wishes for a doll to play with.
    • Miss Happiness and Miss Flower - a story about two Japanese dolls and the house built for them.
  • Jane Hissey's Old Bear and Friends stories, also adapted into a television series.

Live Action TV[edit | hide]

  • The Christmas Toy and its spin-off series, The Secret Life Of Toys
  • Subversion of the evil version in an early episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, in which an animated ventriloquist dummy turns out to be a good (if lecherous) demon hunter who was killed in battle. (Not every demon on the show is evil, but the one in question was stealing people's bodily organs.)
    • And then there's that infamous episode of Angel.
    • Infamous? I'd much rather say famous. Because who doesn't love Smile Time?
  • Referenced on Thirty Rock when Tracy says "My genius has come alive, like toys when your back is turned."
  • "She's alive, Daddy -- and her name is Talky Tina!" (I know this is on the Evil side too, but Tina did protect the little girl from her abusive stepfather.)
    • The twist ending of "Five Characters in Search of an Exit" involves the characters finding out that they are toys.
  • Andy Pandy provides a truly strange example. Andy plays with his best friend Teddy, a living teddy bear, all the time. Yet Looby Loo, Andy's rag doll, is played with as a toy by the other two and only comes to life when they're away.
  • Australian childrens show Johnson and Friends.
  • The titular Shoebox Zoo give their owner, Marnie, a bit of a surprise when they actually respond to her instruction to "Awake, for I am your Master!"

Music[edit | hide]

  • "Raggedy Rag Doll Friend" from Even More Baby Songs has a girl dream about shrinking down to the size of her Captain Ersatz Raggedy Ann, which then comes to life and begins playing with her.

Newspaper Comics[edit | hide]

  • This is the premise for the comic strip Fuzzy Knights.
  • Calvin and Hobbes, though it could be all in Calvin's imagination. Calvin, though, doesn't think that Hobbes is a Living Toy; he thinks he's a real tiger.

Tabletop Games[edit | hide]

  • Fuzzy Heroes is a miniature wargame-style game about armies of toys fighting each other while the kids aren't around. It uses real stuffed animals and toys that the players have lying around as units.
  • The page quote was parodied by GURPS when it offered a line of stuffed animal Cthulhu toys. The ad text read in part: "tonight's the night the teddy bears summon Cthulhu!"
  • German game Pluesch Power Und Plunder is about living plushies.
  • The Mannekins from Changeling: The Lost are based around this, though it can be anything from a stuffed doll to a clockwork dancer and so on.

Theatre[edit | hide]

  • Stravinsky's ballet Petrushka.
  • French musical "Le Soldat rose" ("Pink Soldier").They say toys's moves are invisible to adults.

Video Games[edit | hide]

  • The toys in the Sandersons' house in Chibi-Robo were brought to life by aliens.
  • Katamari Damacy had some of these running around in some levels.
  • Toy Commander used this as the plot.
  • Claydol, according to the Pokémon Diamond and Pearl/Platinum Pokedex, is "An ancient clay figurine that came to life as a Pokémon from exposure to a mysterious ray of light." By extension, this also applies to its unevolved form, Baltoy.
    • Banette is a living toy out seeking for the owner who threw it away...
  • Toy Soldiers, an Xbox Strategy game, focuses on two sides of a WW 1 tin soldier toy set, Germans vs. the British/French, who carry out large, full scale battles inside a diorama which stands on a small table (just to give the audience an idea of the proportions). The player's main goal is to defend his "toy box" (literally) against the infantry, cavalry, tanks, and biplanes of the foe, using their own tanks, cannons, machine guns, AA-guns, howitzers, and aeroplanes, while (only in Multiplayer) trying to take over the foe's toy box by sending their own soldiers. Great idea and great theme. The player will surely enjoy the toffee apples flying around, while having a pozzy on japan, with some nice gunfire.
  • The Mini-Marios in the Mario Vs Donkey Kong games are Living Toys. That, or at least they have very good AI.
  • The short-lived Sega series, Clockwork Night.
  • All of the characters in the first Super Smash Bros. game are actually toys of video game characters a child is playing with in his room. In Melee, they're figures in a collector's trophy case. In Brawl, they're trophies in an Alternate Universe in which all Nintendo characters (plus Sonic the Hedgehog and Solid Snake) live side by side.
  • Pangea's Power Pete/Mighty Mike.
  • The Army Men series is about a continual war between those little plastic soldiers, green and tan. (And sometimes, blue and yellow)
  • The Gotcha Borgs, from the cult classic Gamecube game Gotcha Force, although they're technically small alien robots. They're still obviously meant to resemble toys though.
  • The Touhou Project has Medicine Melancholy, who (ironically enough, considering her name) controls poison. She's one of the creepier characters in the series, playfully talking about how wonderful poison is, how it paralyzes its victims, how they die a painful death...
  • One of the stages in Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan 2 has the Ouendan helping a stuffed monkey and a toy soldier who were thrown away by accident get home.
  • There's an area in Maple Story called Ludibrium that fits this trope to a T. It's a city built atop two towers that has a massive basement that includes a toy factory and a clock tower, the bottom of which might even be in another dimension. The monsters in either tower and in the factory are all toys, and within the clock tower there are two paths with different monsters.
  • Guardian's Crusade actually has Living Toys whom you can find and collect for use in battle. There's 70 of those bastards. Good luck.
  • Namco's Toy Pop: PINO AND ACHA ARE GOING TO MAJYO'S CASTLE TO SAVE FRIEND
  • Several popular Team Fortress 2 maps place the players in this position - it is very odd playing an FPS from an action figure's point of view.
  • HAVE online is a Korean Online Multiplayer THIRD-person-shooter (not even class-based) that uses anime figurines or those figure-posing... figures that artists use to assist in drawing positions as the characters.
  • Familiars in Kingdom of Loathing include teddy bears and toy soldiers.
  • In Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life and Another Wonderful Life, your child's stuffed bear will occasionally come alive when no one else is in the room.
  • Re-Volt's Excuse Plot has you racing animated radio control cars.

Web Original[edit | hide]

  • Arby 'n' the Chief and it's predecessor Master Chief Sucks At Halo is a long running series about two Halo action figures that come to life and play video games and do hilarious things around the house. The fifth season even deconstructs the entire concept of Living Toys, with Arbiter trying to give his life meaning. Note that although this technically goes under good examples, Chief is one mean little bastard of a troll.

Western Animation[edit | hide]

  • Gumby
  • Jackie Chan Adventures: Jade's moose doll, Super Moose, was brought to life by the Rat Talisman in several episodes to act as an aide. There was also an evil puppet version the Monkey King from Journey to the West who could come to life by switching places with a living being, which would then turn into a puppet in his stead while the Monkey King ran around causing trouble.
    • Earlier than both of these examples, the Gnomekop doll powered from the Rat Talisman in the episode "Tough Break."
  • Re Boot parodied this with a GameCube, in the episode "Firewall". Experts believe that this is the only time this trope has ever been crossed with send-ups of James Bond and Wacky Races.
    • This immediately followed an episode with a game starring Rocky the Rabbid Racoon.
    • They did it again in a later episode, this time saturated with Star Wars references, and the return of the Rabbid Racoon.
  • Babes in Toyland
  • Mr. Buns from Ruby Gloom is a strange example. The other characters treat him as if he's alive, and he seems to do things when he's not on-screen... but whenever he's on-screen, he's just a lifeless sock-bunny. In perhaps the most extreme case, he's fencing with Poe from just off-screen, only for the sword to drop the moment he's visible in the frame.
    • Many people think that Ruby Gloom herself is, in fact, a Living Doll. This is supported by her hobby of sewing, pure white skin, and the stitches around her eyes.
  • In Monkey Dust, both Mr. Hoppy and Mr. Skatey fit. Psychopathic, murderous toys. Or Are They?
  • The misfit toys from Rudolph the Rednosed Reindeer.
  • Gnomeo and Juliet almost counts.

Webcomics[edit | hide]

  • Wendy weasel from Cwen's Quest, who was given life to help a young Cwen escape from a library. Wendy can read, Cwen could not.
  • Adrian Ramos's The Wisdom Of Moo revolves around this concept: one of the main human characters is a teenager who tries to be more "adult-like" and gets frequently harassed by her old toys, and another is a local toy doctor.
  • Achewood features several living stuffed animals (although nowadays, the comic focuses more on the adventures of talking house cats).
  • Fuzzy Knights focuses on stuffed toys who also happen to play Tabletop Games.
  • Trish Tales takes place in a world where living action figures have been created, and are sold as pets.
  • Basis of The Fuzzy Five.

Web Original[edit | hide]

Evil Examples[edit | hide]

Film[edit | hide]

  • The Commando Elite in Small Soldiers. The monstrous Gorgonites were good, though.
  • In the Childs Play films, "Chucky" is a doll possessed by a psychotic criminal.
  • The killer toys from Demonic Toys and Dollman Vs Demonic Toys.
  • The killer Puppets from the Puppetmaster movies.
    • Though they can follow a good puppetmaster, they will do evil stuff to anyone who harasses or tries to harm said puppetmaster, especially Those Wacky Nazis.
  • Toy Story film series itself has two, Stinky Pete in the second, and Lotso in the third.
    • Believe it or not, Woody was like this too at one point; early-stage drafts of the first movie featured a Woody who was outright psychotic, terrorizing the other toys into submission and in general abusing his position as Andy's favorite. All this was in response to demands from up the chain to make Woody "edgier", but eventually the movie reached it's low point and the team had to go to their bosses and say, "We can't make this movie. This isn't our movie anymore." Fortunately, the execs relented.
  • The titular Devil Dolls.

Literature[edit | hide]

  • In Diana Wynne Jones's The Ogre Downstairs the living Toffee bars aren't evil per se, just heinously troublesome with a bad habit of melting and causing a big, sticky mess. The living dolls are downright cold.

Live Action TV[edit | hide]

  • The replicators in Stargate SG-1 started out as children's toys, but turned evil and took over an entire galaxy before attempting to get ours too.
  • Night Gallery episode "The Doll". A British Army officer must deal with a murderous doll sent by an old enemy.
  • "My name is Talking Tina, and I'm going to kill you." You'd better be nice to her.
    • Parodied in a Johnny Bravo episode where Johnny's neighbor Little Suzy acquires an evil doll named "Little Talky Tabitha".
    • The Twilight Zone also did two episodes featuring evil ventriloquist's dummies, the first of which starred Bill Bixby.
  • In the two part special of "The Haunting Hour"- "Really You", it's revealed that all dolls are alive, and naturally good but it just so happens that this one is evil.

Music[edit | hide]

  • And there's a creepy doll...
  • In Doctor Steel's music video for Childhood Don't a-Go-Go, Dr. Steel breathes on a creepy toy and brings it to life; it subsequently brings all the other creepy toys to life.

Video Games[edit | hide]

Web Original[edit | hide]

Western Animation[edit | hide]

  • A Krusty doll in one of the Halloween episodes of The Simpsons. Once his switch was set from "Evil" to "Good" there were no further problems. At least for everyone except the doll. However, he gets better... This one is a Shout-Out to the Talking Tina episode of The Twilight Zone, mentioned above.
  • Quackerjack's main 'power' in Darkwing Duck was sending these out to commit crimes. Even his nonliving toys were dangerous—who considers an exploding panda a children's toy?
  • In Aqua Teen Hunger Force a doll is delivered to the house. Through the whole episode it says "Kill!", while holding a knife, sometimes with Dramatic Thunder. At one point, it brings home some severed fingers. Frylock, Shake, and Meatwad decide to destroy it just because it wouldn't shut up. Turns out that the doll is immortal, and Carl (who's missing some fingers) got another doll that just says "Die".
    • An earlier episode, "Dumber Dolls", had Happy Time Harry, who rather than being homicidal was just depressed, cynical, and bad-tempered. His depression DID lead happier toy "Jiggle Billy" to attempt suicide, however.
  • In one episode of The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy, Billy gets a tricycle which he names "Trikey". Billy immediately considers it to be his friend, even though it appears to be inanimate. Later it becomes apparent that Trikey is alive... and evil.
  • An argument could exist for Plank. Yeah, most of the time he seems to be inanimate, but he seems to have it out for the Eds and capable of doing things, such as driving a bus and turning on a roller-coaster of horror while the Eds are aboard.