Real Name: Unrevealed
Identity/Class: Alternate Reality (Earth-57780) human advanced technology-user
Occupation: One might expect that he’s a toymaker because, you know, his name is Toymaker, but we see exactly zero evidence of that anywhere in this comic (see comments).
Group Membership: None
Affiliations: His "helpers" (as they were called by the police);
he enlarged a fly and a butterfly to aid his plot;
"Old Casanova" might consider him an ally (or at least a wingman), since he gave Casanova a chance for some alone time with Aunt May
Enemies: Spider-Man (Peter Parker), the nation of
Egypt (sort of), the Metropolitan Museum of Art staff and patrons,
specifically anyone associated with the Treasures of Tutankhamun exhibit.
Known Relatives: None
Base of Operations: New York City, New York, USA
First Appearance: Spidey Super Stories#40/1 (May, 1979)
Powers/Abilities: None apparent, but his “Fun Machine”
can cause inanimate objects to shrink or cause small insects to grow,
for a period of 1 hour. Whether it can do the reverse and grow
inanimate objects or shrink insects (or affect other living creatures
at all) remains unclear.
If he built it himself, he must be a talented engineer.
He’s also a tremendous shot when trying to hit insects from across the room.Height: 5'8" (by appoximation)
(Spidey Super Stories#40/1) - Peter Parker took his Aunt May to see the Tutankhamun exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (This was a real thing at the time – see below). Standing across the street from the museum, they saw hundreds of people standing in line. Aunt May suggested that first they should eat the picnic lunch Peter was carrying in nearby Central Park.
"On the line" the Toymaker and his two helpers planned to steal Tutankhamun's treasures. Toymaker stepped into a grassy area directly next to the line and changed into a museum guard uniform, including changing from purple pants into blue pants, in full view of hundreds of people in line, who apparently said nothing. Somehow, this allowed him and his two helpers to skip the line and sneak directly into the Tutankhamun exhibit, even though his helpers were not dressed as guards. Needing a distraction, he saw a fly on the far wall and zapped it with his Fun Machine, which caused it to grow to approximately six feet. While the museum patrons panicked, his helpers each took a full-size axe and sledgehammer out of their trench coats and smashed the glass cases of the Tutankhamun exhibit. Toymaker zapped the revealed treasures with his Fun Machine, shrinking them to approximately six inches. "Now they’re toys for Tuts!" he intoned as he put them in his pocket. Two real museum guards arrived and exclaimed that Toymaker “stole everything”, though we only ever see him with 3 stolen pieces.
Meanwhile in Central Park, Peter and Aunt May stood by a lake watching kids race toy boats. An elderly gentleman in a nice suit (whom I’ll call “Old Casanova”) sidled up to Aunt May and said “It’s a toy boat race” which already seemed quite obvious. He also observed "It’s so calm by the lake" despite at least 5 kids screaming and cheering for their toy boats a few feet away. Peter’s Spider-Sense tingled, and somehow he knew it was something to do with the museum several blocks away (instead of, for example, warning him about Old Casanova’s amorous intentions towards Aunt May). He told Aunt May to go ahead and have a picnic with Old Casanova because Peter wanted to go buy a ballon (NOTE: Not a balloon, a ballon). Aunt May guessed that buying ballons are “Peter’s idea of a big time!” (It’s left to the reader’s imagination to determine what exactly Aunt May thinks a ball-on is that gets Peter so excited).
Peter changed into his Spidey outfit and web-swung from the trees in Central Park back to the museum, thinking “I wonder if this is how Tarzan got started!” He swung into the Tutankhamun exhibit, and saw the disguised Toymaker fleeing with his helpers towards an exit, and a giant fly blocking the other exit where the museum patrons were trying to escape. Spidey thought “Tut-tut, Toymaker, I’d know your work anywhere!” He webbed the giant fly to the top of the door with his webbing, which he called “my net” for some reason.
Just outside the Met, Toymaker zapped a butterfly with his Fun Machine, causing it to grow to six feet, while Spider-Man watched from a window inside. Spider-Man then appeared outside, while a caption noted that “Spidey climbs out the window,” which is odd because that particular window’s still closed, and also the door that Toymaker just used is standing open right next to it. A nearby kid holding a butterfly net said “Spider-Man! Just like on TV!” (This was also a real thing at the time – see comments.) Spidey decided he must immediately deal with this oversized butterfly that has threatened absolutely no one (rather than, you know, just letting it flutter around a bit). He threw a Spider-Tracer on the fleeing Toymaker, who had just taken the time change out of his security guard uniform. Spider-Man declared he "needed to do some net work" and proceeded to use his webbing to fashion a perfect rigid frame for a 10-foot butterfly net, and then used more webbing to create the net itself, after which he captured the giant butterfly so it could not flutter around anymore. He told the kid “The butterfly will be small again after one hour!” though it is left unclear how he knew that.
His Spider-Tracer led him to a heliport on top of a skyscraper, where a public helicopter ride was just taking off. (This apparently was also a real thing at the time – see below). Spidey saw Toymaker board the helicopter but managed to web up his helpers before they could board as well, bonking their heads together. The police arrived immediately to arrest them, while Spider-Man had to jump to catch the wheel of the helicopter as it lifted off.
Spidey climbed on top of the moving helicopter, somehow managed to avoid decapitation, and then slid down to knock on its windshield. The surprised pilot and co-pilot decided to land the craft and somehow let Spidey inside. Other passengers were very surprised to see Spidey, but then the Toymaker opened a window and threatened to drop some of the treasures if Spidey came closer. Spidey did come closer, so Toymaker dropped a golden throne ("He’s thrown the throne!" exclaimed one passenger), but Spidey leaned out a different window and snagged it with his webbing. Toymaker reached for his Fun Machine, but the helicopter then landed, which bumped it right out of his hands and into the hands of a surprised female passenger. Spidey then webbed up Toymaker and ignored his attempts at bribery. He then hung the webbed-up Toymaker from a gothic-style roman-numeral clock tower that was apparently on top of the random skyscraper roof they had landed on.
At the museum, the treasures's glass cases were all fixed really, really quickly, and the treasures were all restored to them. A security guard begged Spidey to "not let Egypt know” which seems a little late given that at least 10 museum patrons, 10 helicopter passengers, and a butterfly kid and his dad all saw the treasures being stolen. Spidey assured him "Mummy’s the word!”
Back in Central Park, Aunt May and Old Casanova apparently hadn’t eaten lunch yet, or moved at all, but they did watch an "exciting sailboat race” run by tweens, so it seemed not much time had passed since Peter left. Peter returned with a yellow balloon, and when his whereabouts were questioned, he said that he was just “toying around.”
Comments: Created by Sharon L. Webber and/or Michael Siporin (multiple stories in issue, unclear who wrote what), and Winslow Mortimer
The last page of this issue has Spider-Man and Aunt May doing some fun hieroglyphic poses. Aunt May is in the same outfit as in the story, so it kind of counts as part of this story. Regardless, too cool not to include.
We see zero actual toys anywhere in this comic. Toymaker doesn’t carry any toys on his person. He doesn’t interact with kids at any point. Despite his very “I’m a German toymaker” beard, he doesn’t dress for the part even a tiny bit. I guess his name comes from his ability to shrink inanimate objects, thus “making them into toys,” but that completely leaves out the part about him being able to grow insects. He could have called himself “Bug Lord” and that would make exactly as much sense. Calling himself Toymaker just sets up a lot of expectations he fails to deliver on.
His entire plan seems to hinge on the existence of a random insect in the exact room of the Metropolitan Museum of Art where Tutankhamun’s treasures are being shown. Maybe he could have brought an insect with him in his pocket or something as a backup? And it also hinges on his ability to zap that insect from 15 feet away with a beam the diameter of a quarter. I can’t hit a fly with a flyswatter from 2 feet away, so the man must be a champion insect shooter. He manages to get the butterfly on the first try from 10 feet away as well.
It’s completely off-panel that he somehow uses his security guard uniform to skip the line and go directly into the exhibit while also bringing in his two helpers. His helpers are dressed in long trench coats concealing full-size axes and sledgehammers in them. I know security was a little more lax back in the day, but you’d still hope security would be on the ball enough to stop people bringing SLEDGEHAMMERS into a museum.
This story is called “Spider-Man Meets Toymaker.”
This is Toymaker’s one and only appearance, ever. So how does Spidey
see a huge fly and a bunch of
smashed glass cases and proclaim he’d know Toymaker’s work anywhere?
How do giant insects and smashed glass lead his mind to toys? And how
does he know that the Fun Machine wears off after an hour and
everything will return to its normal size? The VERY TITLE of this story
says he’s never met Toymaker before, so I guess Toymaker just made the
news a lot and everyone in NYC knows how his powers work or something?
In all fairness (and appreciating the tongue-in-cheek nature of the comments), you can meet someone you already know...a meeting means "to come together with, especially at a particular time or place." Now, first meeting, that would be different. Clearly Spidey has met the Toymaker before, and there's a story to be told, although it is unlikely anyone will tell it.
--Ye Olde Snoode
It’s pretty weird how all the museum patrons terrified by the giant fly decide to crowd around said fly and try and sneak past it, instead of fleeing for the other clearly marked exit in the room, the one that Toymaker uses that leads directly outside.
After Peter mentions the line to get into the exhibit, the next caption says “On the line” where we see Toymaker and his helpers in line. On the line? Not “in the line”? Are you serious? This is supposed to be an educational comic to help kids read. What are they teaching kids about how the English language works here? Not even to mention the “ballon” goof…
When Spider-Man jumps to grab the helicopter, the
sound effect is “JUMP!” Look, I’m pretty sure someone is not getting
how sound effects work in comic books, but I don’t really have time to
I have to concur with that. Jump is not onomatopoeia...no matter how you shake it...or spell it.
Even for Spidey Super Stories, this is a ridiculously pun-heavy story. I counted 12 puns in 13 pages. Spidey Super Stories has never shied away from puns, but the latter half of its 57-issue run has like 50% of the dialogue in puns. If you’re trying to read SSS, be aware!
REAL THING: The Spider-Man TV series (the one on CBS starring Nicholas Hammond) was in the middle of its second season when this comic hit the newsstands (in February 1979), right around episode 11 of its 13 episode run. That’s likely what butterfly kid means when he says he saw Spidey on TV, though Spidey was still appearing occassionally in reruns of Electric Company Episodes.
REAL THING: New York Airways was a company that offered a public passenger helicopter service in New York City in the late 70s, that really used the tops of skyscrapers to land. They had a deadly accident in 1977 on the top of a skyscraper in NYC but continued flying. A second deadly accident two months after this comic hit the stands (in April 1979) grounded them permanently.If anyone cared about Spidey Super Stories internal continuity, the “real things” in this issue would be considered topical. But I don’t care, even as the world’s biggest Spidey Super Stories fan, and the writers of this comic book certainly didn’t care, so… meh.
This profile was completed 10/31/2020, but its publication was delayed as it was intended for the Appendix 20th anniversary 's celebratory event.
Profile by caliban
Toymaker has no known connections to:
(Spidey Super Stories#40/1) – Toymaker’s pretty amazing magenta pistol in the shape of a hair dryer that has both shrink and grow functions, though it’s unclear what it can or cannot affect. The effect wore off after an hour
....or do they?
Yes, they apparently do.--Snood
--Spidey Super Stories#40/1
(Spidey Super Stories#40/1) – A couple of hat-wearing (beret and fedora, respectively) goons that helped the Toymaker steal the treasures.
They were skilled at concealing full-size axes and sledgehammers in their trench coats.
--Spidey Super Stories#40/1
Note: The police are the ones that refer to them as Toymaker’s “helpers.”
Giant Fly and Giant Butterfly
(Spidey Super Stories#40/1) – As part of his plan to loot the Tutankhamun exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Toymaker saw a fly on the wall and zapped it with his Fun Machine. A narrow yellow beam hit the fly and caused it to grow to approximately 6 feet. While museum patrons panicked, his helpers each took a full-size axe and sledgehammer out of their trench coats, respectively, and start smashing the glass of the Tutankhamun exhibits.
Just outside the Met, Toymaker zapped a butterfly with his Fun Machine, causing it to enlarge to a 6-foot wingspan, while Spider-Man watched him from a window inside.
Spidey decided he must immediately deal with this oversized butterfly that has threatened absolutely no one rather than you know, just let it flutter around a bit, and threw a Spider-Tracer on the fleeing Toymaker, who had just taken the time change out of his security guard uniform.
Spider-Man declared he “needed to do some net work” and proceeded to use his webbing to fashion a perfect rigid frame for a 10-foot tall butterfly net, and then uses more webbing to create the net itself, after which he set out to capture the giant butterfly so it could not flutter around anymore. He told the kid “The butterfly will be small again after one hour!” though it is unclear how he knew that.
A charming/creepy (depending on your perspective) older gentleman who kept Aunt May company while Peter ran off to battle the villain.
He likes toy boat races and flirting with older ladies.(Spidey Super Stories#40/1) – In Central Park, Peter Parker and Aunt May were standing by a lake watching kids race toy boats. An elderly gentleman in a nice suit (whom I’ll call “Old Casanova”) sidled up to Aunt May and said, “It’s a toy boat race,” which already seemed quite obvious. He also observed “It’s so calm by the lake,” (though one wonders how calm it is with at least 5 kids screaming and cheering for their toy boats a few feet away). Peter’s Spider-Sense tingled, and somehow he knew it was something to do with the museum several blocks away (instead of, for example,warning him about Old Casanova’s amorous intentions towards Aunt May). He told Aunt May to go ahead and have a picnic with "Old Casanova," because Peter wanted to go buy a ballon (NOTE: Not a balloon, a ballon).
(Spidey Super Stories#40/1) – Spider-Man encountered and thwarted the dastardly plot of the Toymaker.(Spidey Super Stories#40/1) – Back in Central Park, Aunt May and "Old Casanova" apparently hadn’t eaten lunch yet, or moved at all, but did watch an “exciting sailboat race”, so it would seem that less than a half hour had passed since Peter left. Peter returned with a yellow balloon, and when his whereabouts were questioned, he said that he was just “toying around.”
The Treasures of Tutankhamun
(Spidey Super Stories#40/1) – REAL THING: A traveling exhibit on loan from the nation of Egypt that was exhibited to huge crowds from December 15, 1978 (probably around when this story was written) to April 15, 1979.
It would have still been exhibiting when this issue hits the stands in February 1979.
The front of the Metropolitan Museum of Art that housed it is actually depicted fairly accurately in this story.
Spidey Super Stories#40, p2, pan2 (main)
Spidey Super Stories#40, p34 (back cover), pan1 (Hieroglyphic pose)
Spidey Super Stories#40, p3, pan1 (Fun Machine)
Spidey Super Stories#40, p2, pan4 (Toymaker's Helpers)
Spidey Super Stories#40, p3, pan3 & p7 pan 1 (Giant Fly and Giant Butterfly)
Spidey Super Stories#40, p4, pan1 ('Old Casanova')
Spidey Super Stories#40, p2, pan4 (The Treasures of Tutankhamun)
Spidey Super Stories#40 (May, 1979) - Sharon L. Webber and Michael Siporin (writers), Winslow Mortimer (penciller), Mike Esposito (Inker), A.J. Hays and Deborah November (editors)
First Posted: 09/26/2021
Last updated: 10/10/2021
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
Non-Marvel Copyright info
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