Toys For Big Kids


Mad Microphone Science!

  • Composer: Ada Palmer
  • Format: Solo with group improv

“Toys for Big Kids” is a playful song about mad science and superheros, but also something of a celebration of our nerdly love of tech and toys.  So far, it is the only experiment with vocal percussion that Sassafrass has attempted, and the chance to make different bizarre laboratory noises during performance makes it a hoot to perform.

Composer’s Comment: I remember watching a humorous anime music video which used footage from Gundam Seed to make a parody car commercial advertising the Freedom Gundam giant robot like a sports car. Thinking about the video, I kept imagining a similar one but to the Toys ‘R’ Us Kids song, with footage of all the teenaged pilots playing with their enormous to the strains of “I don’t wanna grow up…” and “…from bikes to planes to videogames…” etc. But since I’m a composer rather than a video editor, instead of making the video, I wrote my own song.


Verse One:
I was born in a secret lab in a supervillain’s domain
Hybrid cells, a starched white coat, and a 60-terabyte brain
I cooked up doom plots and giant robots, whatever Master sent for;
until the day when a pack of heroes came crashing in through my door

Said ‘What shall we do with the Doctor who conceived it all through no fault of his own?
We’ve taken out his boss– He looks so lonely– can we, can we bring him home?
Oh pretty please?’

So off I’m led to their secret fort– it’s my first step out of my door–
there’s powered armor there, mystic crystals, and Coke cans all over the floor
I’m used to orders and cyborg soldiers, there’s nothing here that compares
They see me sputter, then one says, ‘Hey, Doctor, we’ve got our own lab downstairs…’

So I make toys for big kids now
it’s just not the same as my overlord days
I cook up a death ray to melt my foes
and they use it to save the day
And they say,
my toys for big kids will
bring peace to the city that everyone loves
They cheer as my weapons get deadlier
but don’t get what the purpose was, [what the purpose was]

Verse Two:
Now I live in the main HQ of the local costumed quartet
Strong as freight trains, fast as bullets and thick as teenagers get
They blow up buildings, try not to crush things, endanger everyone near
When the crowd comes close I can hear them whispering half with thanks and half fear,

Asking ‘What should we say to the heroes who endanger us through no fault of their own?
They’ve taken out the monster but by dropping it directly on our home.’
(Smile, maybe they’ll leave.)

The kids cause problems but there are few places that a genius of my sort can lurk
They give me funding and ask for nothing but inventions to help with their work
I build them ray guns and neon costumes with spare mechanical limbs
I like it, honest, but I didn’t promise to cater to all of their whims!

But I make toys for big kids now
It’s a far, far cry from my overlord days
They ask for a gizmo to save the world
and then use it the wrong way
and I say
‘With toys for big kids, well,
you must remember these really are kids–
they’ll dawdle and brag, then forget the plan
when they get where the danger is (where the danger is)

Verse Three:
There’s no time for my own designs between saving these do-gooder fools
It’s tough to work when besieged by children who won’t keep their hands off my tools
They keep pushing buttons and tasting potions like my lab is one giant game.
They broke my robot and claim it’s my fault ’cause that T-rex wasn’t quite tame!

So how can I deal with these heroes who don’t seem to have a brain cell of their own!
My particle accelerator is not to be used for popping corn!
[You want some?] [No!]

I ran away to move to an asteroid that I’ve carved to look like my face
Cloaked in darkness so it can’t be sighted by them and their meddling race
I have missile silos, my own volcano and brains in jars on my shelf
A.I. computers, flying piranhas, and fifty clones of myself!

But I miss toys for big kids now,
as I recreate my overlord days
I made an amoeba that can eat the world
but just don’t feel the same way
and I say,
With toys for big kids, well,
at least they smiled when I made a new toy
They’d test my inventions, and save the world,
and then jump up and down for joy (I could feel that joy.)

Verse Four:
So I’ve come home to our good old, basement perfecting my glorious plans
They took me back and threw a party and even cleaned up the cans
I’m making nano-velociraptors and radioactive fish-men
I’m even used to the endless cleanup when they borrow my zombies again

‘Cause I make toys for big kids now
It’s a far cry from my overlord days
They ask for a gizmo to save the world
and take it to go play
and I say
‘With toys for big kids, well, it’s not the same as destroying the sun,
but when I get mad, I remember now I outnumber them ten to one– (More than ten to one!’)

We make toys for big kids now
and must admit they’re a joy to invent
Our gorgeous creations can save the world
If never how we meant
and we say
They’re toys for big kids, true, but
deep inside we’re also all kids
the pranks and fiascos may drive us mad
but that’s how mad science is, (how mad science is!)