Shinbi's Apartment Ghost Reviews:
The Toy Master!

Written by Jonathan Wojcik

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SEASON 04, EPISODE 06: Yep, we went backwards; this aired before the roadkill satyr! This episode features eerie incidents at an old toy museum, with rumors of toys coming to life and attacking children. When the kids investigate, the haunting only gets significantly worse, as the invisible force controlling the toys begins to control human beings. Dazed and drooling, the victims shudder and dangle as if on puppet strings...

The spirit of the Toy Master is the second marionette-themed ghost in the series, but this one is a wooden puppet of a puppeteer, an old man in a cape and a top hat who manipulates the strings of his other toys, dolls and puppets!

These other toys he controls are pretty frightening, too, especially the scurrying nutcracker and the doll who wields a pair of scissors in her only arm while her head just floats alongside her; it's this doll that actually helps defeat Grandpa Mold in a battle sequence! Oh no!!! Unfortunately we do not have a clip of that!


We also don't have a clip to go by for the origin flashback, but the spirit's form is based directly on the man he once was, a grandfather who used his puppetry skills to entertain children at the same museum. When he passed away, he left the museum to his adult son, believing his legacy would be preserved.

Instead, as the museum struggled to remain open and attract enough visitors, the son began planning to close it for good, demolish it, and open a hotel in its place. Furious, his spirit began lashing out at even the museum's few child visitors, making the situation exponentially worse.

I'm not sure what exactly his family was supposed to do in the long run to maintain the place; I don't think the financial troubles were completely resolved here. Nonetheless, his child and grandchild agree to protect the museum at all costs as his soul ascends to the next life.


Even though we already had the Marionette Queen, her theme was of a ballerina associated with a music box, so this haunted marionette puppet is actually themed around puppets, and feels pretty distinct. There does seem to be a possible callback, however, in the fact that Marionette Queen and Toy Master have almost identical giant eyeballs! Another way he differs is in how much better he can pass for a normal human, at least at a distance; he has more realistic proportions, he's more clothed and he has a nicer paint job, so you really have to notice the seams and joints to realize you're looking at a wooden man. All in all, not a bad concept for a ghostly antagonist, even if it's kind of a rerun, and the way he manipulates his human victims is another of the series most unsettling images.