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Toys (1992)

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When a military general inherits a toy making company and begins making war toys, his employees band together to stop him before he ruins the name of Zevo Toys forever.


Barry Levinson
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 10 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Robin Williams ... Leslie Zevo
Michael Gambon ... Lt. General Leland Zevo
Joan Cusack ... Alsatia Zevo
Robin Wright ... Gwen Tyler
LL Cool J ... Captain Patrick Zevo
Donald O'Connor ... Kenneth Zevo
Arthur Malet ... Owen Owens
Jack Warden ... Old General Zevo
Debi Mazar ... Nurse Debbie
Wendy Melvoin Wendy Melvoin ... Choir Soloist
Julio Oscar Mechoso ... Cortez
Jamie Foxx ... Baker
Shelly Desai ... Shimera
Blake Clark ... Hagenstern
Art Metrano ... Guard at Desk


An eccentric toymaker's last wish is that his brother takes over the running of the business. The brother is a military General, and is out of touch with toymaking, and out of touch with reality too. The business should really have been given to Leslie, who was much more like his toymaking father. When the General starts making weapons instead of toys, Leslie decides to take action. Written by Rob Hartill

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Laughter is a state of mind.

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some language and sensuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »






Release Date:

18 December 1992 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Toys See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA See more »


Box Office


$43,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$4,810,027, 20 December 1992

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


| (FMC Library Print) (dvd release)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Released about a month after the release of Aladdin (1992), in which Robin Williams voiced the Genie. Because of this, Williams asked Disney to keep his name out of the marketing for Aladdin and for the Genie to not take up more than 25% of the film's ad space. Disney ended up going back on the deal for both counts, resulting in a falling out between Williams and the studio. See more »


During the campfire scene General Zevo asks Patrick, "Hey, do you remember that kid who flew a Beechnut into Red Square?" Patrick corrects him by saying it was a Beechcraft, not a Beechnut. Actually, the're both wrong. Mathias Rust, the German teenager who landed his plane in Moscow's Red Square in 1987, flew a Cessna not a Beechcraft. See more »


Leslie Zevo: Hold 'till you see the lights in their eyes.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The UK versions omit a sexual reference to obtain a 'PG' rating. See more »


Spoofed in The Simpsons: Burns' Heir (1994) See more »


Let Joy and Innocence Prevail
Written by Trevor Horn and Hans Zimmer
Produced by Trevor Horn and Pat Metheny
Performed by Pat Metheny
Courtesy of Geffen Records
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User Reviews

Visually, it's a delight. Cinematically, it's a disaster.
20 October 2003 | by MovieAddict2016See all my reviews

I'll be nice to "Toys." It's a disaster. It will rightfully be remembered as one of the most atrocious cinematic disasters of our time. And yet it shouldn't be--it is directed by Barry Levinson ("Good Morning, Vietnam," "Rainman"), stars Robin Williams, Robin Wright, Joan Cusack, and was Levinson's dream project not touched by any studio until his first few films were hits.

The direction is muddled, the tone goofy and the elements child-like. It plays like a family film but it isn't--its PG-13 rating is evidence of that. It's about toys and war--and if you think that sounds a bit silly, you're right. It's a bit distressing to hear this was Levinson's dream project--what in the world would make him want to make this piece of garbage?

It opens with a man on his deathbed named Kenneth Zevo (Donald O'Connor). Zevo owns a prosperous toy company that manufactures millions of children-friendly toys. Aware of his close fatality, he decides to hand over his company to The General (Michael Gambon), a military extremist. After his death, The General does, indeed, take over the company, and he starts to manufacture military games to pollute children's minds.

Zevo also had a son and a daughter, Leslie (Robin Williams) and Alsatia (Joan Cusack), the latter of whom is very quacky and not so bright. Leslie, on the other hand, is just a bit too eccentric to own a toy company. But he has morals--when he hears of his brother's new military toys, he is maddened and tries to take back his father's company and restore it to its original state.

The cast also includes LL Cool J as The General's son, who is a camoflauge extraordinare. He is the muscle man and bodyguard of the movie. But he doesn't carry the same unspoken intimidation that Oddjob did in "Goldfinger," a movie of much greater quality.

"Toys" seems inspired, to a point, but it doesn't go anywhere. The overall tone of the film is just wrong--have you ever seen "Streetfighter" with Jean-Claude Van Damme? Yeah, it feels like that--awkward, childish and downright stupid. Of course, it is an alternate universe of toys we're talking about, but something still doesn't click--they can make the movie bright, looney and original without resorting to "Streetfighter" ineptness.

Robin Williams seems at home as an odd toy maker. Joan Cusack has always been a bit odd--she fits here. Robin Wright (Penn), as the love interest of the film, is not needed but we all know that every story needs a love interest. And Barry Levinson is a terrific director, who has made more than a handful of good, quality films. Which is why "Toys" is simply unacceptable.

Barry Levinson directed better with "Rainman," Robin Williams was more lovable as an eccentric, good-natured man in "Jumanji" (1995), Joan Cusack was funnier in "My Blue Heaven" (1990), and Robin Wright (Penn) was a great deal better in "The Princess Bride" (1987) and a little movie with Tom Hanks about a guy named Gump. ("Forrest Gump," 1994.) Any way you slice and dice it, "Toys" is in a league of its own as one of the biggest disappointments in the history of filmmaking. Visually, it's a delight. Cinematically, it's a disaster.

1/5 stars.

  • John Ulmer

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