I thought this was the film Small Soldiers but I just rewatched that film and nope.

Things I think I remember:

The same kind of vibe as Small Soldiers, though maybe a bit older? Enough so that I thought this was that film until I saw it again.

I don't think I remember any CGI. It could have all been practical effects.

I don't remember if the "toys" were actual toys or just miniature drones of some kind.

They were made/controlled by a mad scientist/Willy Wonka type of character.

I have a distinct memory of a fight in a school. Or maybe it was a facility of some kind? I feel like I remember a shootout in a long corridor at least.

I think the actual military was involved, on the good guys side?

I feel quite strongly there were kids involved, but I can't specifically recall any of them.

I would have watched it some time in the early 2000s but it was definitely an old(er) film when I saw it, so I'm going to guess '80s/'90s.


Thanks to both answerers. Toys is definitely the film I was thinking of.

Lots of half-remembered conflating of details but I think the only thing I got dead wrong is that, despite being all about toys, there are no actual kids involved.

2 Answers 2


This sounds quite a lot like the 1992 film Toys, starring Robin Williams.

To quote Wikipedia:

Kenneth Zevo, owner of Zevo Toys in Moscow, Idaho, is dying. He surprises his assistant, Owen Owens, by announcing that instead of his son Leslie succeeding him, his younger brother, U.S. Army Lieutenant General Leland Zevo, will do so. However, Leland's interest is piqued upon hearing about corporate secrets potentially being leaked, and he hires his son, Patrick, a soldier with covert military expertise, to manage security. From Patrick, Leland is inspired to build war toys, even though Leslie explains that Zevo Toys has never made war toys due to Kenneth's overall dislike of war, which caused the strained relationship with his brother.

Timeframe: pre-Small Soldiers, 80's-90's, check

Practical effects: check.

"Willy Wonka-type character" - Robin Williams as Leslie Zevo, check.

Actual military involved: multiple checks. Leslie's uncle, who is put in charge of the toy factory, is in the military. The military shows up during the battle scenes at the end.

"Fight in a school" - There's a battle set piece in a warehouse. Semi-check?

It's been a very long time since I saw this, so I don't recall exactly how it played out, and I can't vet the "military on the good guy's side" part.

I think Toys is the most likely answer based on the current details!

(Also apparently somebody just beat me to it, so...rats.)

  • 4
    The other answer did beat you to it. But this one's more complete so it's the one I'm going to accept.
    – Kaz
    Commented Dec 16, 2022 at 22:24

Could this be Toys (1992) starring Robin Willians?

The final battle scene features good toys versus military toys. It's not in a school, but there's kids around.

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