This is a short story I read a few years ago. I do not remember exactly The impression I get is that this from 1950s/60s.

It involves an important person who is at a high risk of assassination. The person gets a toy as a gift. It seems to be a mock factory or something similar. It is checked by security and found harmless. He leaves it in his home, running. But as time passes, the time passes and manufactures tiny soldiers who end up killing the target.

1 Answer 1


Maybe Battleground, a short story by Stephen King? I read it in the Night Shift collection.

Summary: the protagonist is a hitman who has murdered a toy maker. Later he receives a package which turns out to be a collection of toy soldiers with vehicles. The soldiers attack him, and in the end the toys kill him with a miniature thermonuclear bomb.

The main difference to what you describe is that the toy soldiers are all already there in the package. No additional soldiers get built.

  • Close, but not what I am looking for. I specifically remember the toy being harmless in the beginning. It keep changing over multiple days produces the tool needed for the kill.
    – Bharat B
    Oct 9, 2013 at 5:10
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    @BharatB Ok, this is a really long shot, but another story similar to what you describe is "War Game" by Philip Dick. There is no assassination, but there is a toy (a "soldier factory") suspected of being an enemy weapon. Over time, the toy assembles itself into a fortress and the soldiers attack it. Terran security forces suspect it is a weapon disguised as a toy, but in the end it turns out to be a red herring (the actual weapon is a different toy unrelated to the soldiers). It sounds different to your story, but maybe you misremembered?
    – Andres F.
    Oct 9, 2013 at 19:39
  • @AndresF. that was the first one I thought of as well; why not turn it into an answer?
    – SQB
    Jan 25, 2016 at 9:26
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    @SQB Yeah... the problem is that except for the toy soldiers, nothing else matches the description in the question :/ In "War Game" there is no very important person at risk of assassination, no assassination of anyone, and in the end the toy soldiers don't matter. It's such a long shot I don't feel comfortable posting it as an answer.
    – Andres F.
    Jan 25, 2016 at 13:15

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