• Toys! – Mandy PSL: #242
  • Artist: Norman Lee


With a tagline of “they’re cute ‘n’ cuddly- with minds of their owns!” it seems like this could be a Pixar Toy Story predecessor.  Instead this is a possessed toy story (so more “Chucky” than “Toy Story”).  We start off with our protagonist Jan buying material for the purpose of making soft toys. She finds a suspicious, creepy looking, old lady to buy material from. The old woman says the material is perfect for using with toys. So what could possibly go wrong?

Jan first uses the material to finish off  trousers for a toy clown. The clown is for her cousin Timmy that is in hospital. When she visits Tim the next day and is surprised when he tells her the clown was juggling for him. But as a rational person, she assumes this is because of the anesthetic and Tim’s over active imagination.

Next she finishes off a dog toy for her neighbour to have when she is teaching kids on the piano. She is surprised when the next day the neighbour comes back angry about the practical joke that Jan has played and saying she probably charged for the battery too. As Jan has no idea what she is talking about she checks the dog and can’t find anything.

Anyone that loves Toy Story may find the image of dog getting his stuffing ripped out traumatizing, but don’t worry she puts him back together again! After which she discovers the problem – when music plays the dog howls along with it. After this discovery she checks on Timmy’s clown and finds that Timmy wasn’t making stories up.

Her friend Liz is also having a problem with the teddy bear Jan gave her, he is eating all the honey in the house. Together they decide to investigate. All the toys have come from a new pattern book so they decide that this is the problem.

Yes I think those “funny” pages are actually called glossy pages. So their solution is not to use that book again and they just ignore the problem that there are toys doing cartwheels and eating honey etc.

When a friend wants something scary for Halloween Jan wants to avoid making something new. So she uses an old witch that she had given Liz. She ends up fixing the witch’s torn shawl with the cursed material. Liz also makes a hat for an old troll teddy Jan never finished.  They soon find that it was not the pattern book that was the problem, when the troll starts messing around in the garden and the witch displays some impressive powers.

Jan finally figures out it is the material that’s cursed.  She goes back to the market but of course in the tradition of mysterious people, the old woman’s disappeared.

Things are resolved quickly after this as Liz’s mum washes the teddy bear and it turns back to an ordinary toy. Ah water, the ultimate weapon against witches, aliens and possessed toys apparently!  So they manage to dunk all the rest of the toys as well.

So everything is resolved almost coincidentally, but I wonder if the material was the problem then surely removing it would have done made the toys inert as well. Also I’m not entirely sure what the old woman’s motivation was or what she hoped to achieve. She is happy to hear the material is being used for toys, so what would have happened if Jan just wanted it for clothes or making curtains or something.  What effect would that have had, it seems like it would need to be used for the specific reason of the personification of toys.

It doesn’t seem like it was a particularly evil scheme either. Other than the witch none of the toys seemed  evil or scary more of a nuisance and irritation. So I’m guessing her motivation is boredom and she only does this for entertainment and to annoy people.


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