Telling Lies: Uncovering the Secrets of Billion Surprise Toys

By Meredith McLaughlin

Arts Editor

If you’re reading this article, I am sure you have some knowledge of internet trends. If so, then you’re probably familiar with Billion Surprise Toys. For many, Billion Surprise Toys conjures images of off-beat 3D animation, bizarre kids’ songs, and a talking pink refrigerator. However, these slightly odd childrens’ videos have more to them than just nursery rhymes. Through hours of dedicated viewing, my roommate and I have been uncovering the deep lore that is at the heart of the Billion Surprise Toys Universe. Yes, much of our theories are based on conjecture, and a lot of the evidence is very “blink-and-you-miss-it”. But with all the ridicule BST has been facing, I want to release my findings to the public in an attempt to help others look beyond the “Johnny Johnny” trend and appreciate these videos for the cinematic masterpieces that they are. I also urge readers who want to learn more about the lore to visit BST’s website, as this provides character bios (though be aware that these tomes are incomplete.)

Before I delve into my analysis, we must first establish the ground rules to the BST universe. Something that is VITALLY important to understanding the BSTU is that magic is real and greatly affects the lives of each character. This is seen most frankly in the episode “My Dear Friend Franko”, where Johnny (who is the main character of the popular Johnny Johnny vids, as well as the BSTU overall) uses a magic wand to bring a toy gorilla to life. The gorilla, Franko, appears in later videos; showing that a.) all videos are linked and b.) magical occurrences have lasting effects, and are not just a narrative tool to use in each episode. “Magic” provides us with a possible explanation for the massive head sizes of the children characters, how their dog can talk, and why Henry’s skin color changes from a dark brown to a light tan-gray between shots. This can also be used to explain how entities like Mrs. Refrigerator and Ice Cream Man exist, since both characters have anatomy that disprove any theories that suggest they are humans wearing costumes. However, while magic can explain why these characters exist, it does not explain why they live with the Johnny family.

Johnny’s family are the main players in the BST universe, but despite this they are often inconsistent, mainly concerning who actually is part of the family. For sure Mama, Johnny, and Dolly (Johnny’s twin sister) are members. However, a third child named Chiya is either portrayed as a slightly older brother to Johnny, or as a friend. He hangs out in their house, but it’s never clear if he lives there or is just visiting. Johnny’s “Papa” also seems to be a contested role. In most videos, including “Johnny Johnny,” a mustachioed man with a round face seems to be the Papa, however, there is another man that has seemingly won the heart of Mama. in the video “Rock a Bye Baby,” a different man, who me and my roommie have lovingly dubbed “Thottie Dad,” is seen taking care of baby Johnny. Furthermore, in the opening frames, a sharp-eyed viewer can see a picture of Chiya on the wall. This suggests that Thottie Dad was the original father of Chiya, Johnny, and Dolly, who Mama later divorced for a more successful man (Papa is seen to be a doctor in multiple videos). Fortunately, in the “Balloon Ballon” video, we can clearly see a family portrait featuring the mustache dad, Mama, Chiya, Johnny, Dollly… and a fourth older sister character who never appears in any of the videos featuring the family. We’ll get to her later.
Often times BST videos are criticized for portraying a police state where no one is allowed to eat a snack without being shamed by family members. Papa is a health nut, and while his obsession might be explained by his career as a nutritionist (see: 5 Little Babies), it does not justify forcing a toddler to lift weights, or preventing his wife and children from eating food.

The unknown sister is the most mysterious aspect of the BST universe: as far as I know she is in one video: “Baby Girl, ICE CREAM SONG.” There are many BST videos that involve the family meeting Ice Cream Man at the park, and learning about colors and flavors through the different types of ice cream. “Baby Girl” follows this premise, but many details are off. The park is empty, excluding the girl and Ice Cream Man. The sky is an incomprehensible mix between day and night, and everything besides the girl is poorly rendered. Ice Cream Man looks significantly worse than his other incarnates. At the end of every song verse, Ice Cream Man and the girl dance what looks like a jig, but even that is off-beat. Considering both the absence of the girl in other videos and the unsettling look of the park, we have concluded that this older sister is in some form of purgatory or hell, or at least in a dimension separate from the others. While evidence beyond the one video is lacking, if you take the time to look into this matter you might uncover information to either confirm or deny this theory that we might have missed.

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