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Fables, Vol. 18: Cubs in Toyland (Fables #18)

4.17 of 5 stars 4.17  ·  rating details  ·  3,571 ratings  ·  356 reviews
The most harrowing epic since the inception of the series starts when Snow and Bigby's cub Therese receives a Christmas gift from an unknown admirer. This red plastic boat may hold the key to a deep, disturbing secret that will incite a series of soul-crushing events for the denizens of Fabletown. Plus, a backup feature that shows how Bigby received his fate, drawn by arti ...more
Paperback, 192 pages
Published January 22nd 2013 by Vertigo
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The Unwritten, Vol. 1 by Mike CareyThe Sandman, Vol. 1 by Neil GaimanFables, Vol. 1 by Bill WillinghamFables, Vol. 2 by Bill WillinghamThe Sandman, Vol. 4 by Neil Gaiman
Mythic Fiction Comics
20th out of 87 books — 23 voters
Fables, Vol. 2 by Bill WillinghamFables, Vol. 4 by Bill WillinghamFables, Vol. 7 by Bill WillinghamY by Brian K. VaughanY by Brian K. Vaughan
Best of Vertigo Comics
7th out of 38 books — 7 voters

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Community Reviews

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This story arc was absolutely marvelous. Probably my favorite Fables collection in ten books or so, and it's absolutely revived my faith in the series.

I've had soft copies of Bill Willingham's FABLES for quite some time in one of my flash drives, but I never actually read any of it yet. I was thinking I wanted to find the perfect moment to indulge in this widely-acclaimed fairy-tale saga. That time only came when I finally stumbled upon a hard copy version of this volume. I bought it and immediately started perusing through the pages. I knew nothing of Fables except for the premise itself (one that has been used in the television adaptations o ...more
The creepiest Fables volume in ages. For my money, Toyland is far scarier than Mr. Dark was.

For a long time, Fables has been feeling a little played out, and since the defeat of the Adversary we've had some good individual stories (Peter & Max), but no satisfactory arcs. Mr. Dark, who I assume was supposed to be the Bogeyman, was too simplistically and single-mindedly evil to be truly worrisome, and was defeated handily by the North Wind almost as an afterthought.

With this volume and its pr

So now, aside from Fables: 1001 Nights of Snowfall I can take a break from my marathon reading of the Fables series. I certainly won't be in a rush to get back into it anytime soon as there is only so many times I can read a graphic novel series (even if I did skip a book or two here - and even if they are only 2 hour reads at most).

Sadly, this particular volume was a bit of a let down for me in the scheme of things. I believe the main reason for this was that it departed from what I had always
Fables 18 - Cubs in Toyland

Yes, this is what I signed up for when I became addicted to the Fables series. I was literally biting my nails reading this, thinking “no, they wouldn’t do that, there will be a different outcome to the story” and then “I can’t believe they actually went through with this! When did I forget that these are not stories for children?!” It totally took me by surprise. I’m so delighted that the authors managed to confound my expectations. It’s impressive how Willingham alwa
Delicious Strawberry
When I started this book, I was not sure where it would lead. I read it all in one sitting because I could not stop turning the pages. At the end of this arc, three parts of the prophecy that Ozma gave Ambrose have been fulfilled - the first, third, and fourth lines. Now that we know the fates of three of the seven children of Snow and Bigby, this leaves us wondering which of the remaining fourth lines will go to each of the remaining cubs. I could not help but feel bad for one of the kids - I w ...more
Justyn Rampa
This was potentially the most disturbing volume of Fables to date. I am torn as to whether or not I am rating it with three stars because the story itself was so unsettling or whether I am able to objectively look at it and say...yup...this isn't as good as other volumes. So I suppose I will write my review and see.

To begin with, I don't feel like much happened in this volume despite containing so many issues. The story was largely focused on some of the cubs with very few other fables showing u
May 16, 2015 David rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: spoiled princesses, broken toys, bad wolves
The eighteenth volume in the Fables series focuses on the children of Bigby Wolf and Snow White. Therese, the spoiled pretty one, is lured off on an adventure to Toyland by a charming little talking boat.

The Island of Misfit Toys

Yeah, it's not quite that cheerful, though. Bill Willingham takes that old Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer special and turns it dark, dark, way dark.

Before Therese is able to leave "Toyland," some of the worst parts of the prophecy given the Snow about her children in a previous volume come true.
Bloody hell. Cubs. Toys. Fairy tales. And possibly one of the grimmest stories I've ever read.
Sorry everyone, slight rant incoming.

Positives first. I enjoyed the ending of the Cubs in Toyland arc, and I also enjoyed the 2 issue short about Bigby. Cubs in Toyland's conclusion had some real impact on the Fables world, which I can appreciate, as the previous volume felt like not much happened. However a few things are bothering me.

I feel like Fables has become a bit aimless in its plotting. While CiT was a nice story, I am failing to see where the series is going in the long run. That'd be
loved it. I couldn't put it down. Therese and Dare.. I cried. I'm aching to get the next volume but I still have to wait for it's release. I can't wait to see what unfolds with Spratt and Winter and Therese being back and Bliss and all the other Fables. the next few months are going to kill me >_____<
I get so into these books/comics/G.Novels/what-have-you that they compel me to look up characters I do not know or stories I haven't heard before. I love how its not just one straight line. n
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
[Name Redacted]
In which we: are treated to two harrowing and exceedingly bleak tales about the cubs Therese and Darien; have confirmed Mr. Willingham's commitment to the original tone of fairy tales; witness the death of a noble old creature; discover that Bigby cheated fate to secure the life he now leads; and learn that, for dear Ambrose at least, things work out all right in the end.
One of the things that has sort of bugged me about Fables is that at times you can tell that it's been running for a very long time and as such, has begun to fray at the edges and occasionally sag in the middle. It's starting to show it's age here and there, as all long running series inevitably do. That's why I was glad to see that we're finally starting to get some of the various plot points resolved that were brought up volumes ago. Most notably, the prophecy over Snow and Bigby's kids. Not a ...more
The last couple installments of the Fables trade back books have been good but not as excellent as previous books in the series. This book however was truly excellent. I really enjoyed it a lot.

Bigby’s and Snow’s children are growing up and being forced to assume responsibilities. Winter inherited her kingdom in the last book and this book focuses on Therese and Dare. Therese follows her creepy toy boat’s advice and ends up in Toyland. Toyland is a land inhabited by evil toys that needs a new Qu
The more I read of Fables, the more impressed I am...not just impressed, but humbled and awed. It may very well be the most well-plotted work of fiction I have ever read. Characters and themes from dozens of fairy tales, fables, and nursery rhymes are woven into an original, overarching plot in seamless, inventive, and unexpected ways. Every detail is extremely well thought out. Sometimes dark, sometimes fun, always full of profound psychological, philosophical, and moral insight and wisdom. The ...more
Remember the prophecy about the fate of the cubs (Snow and Bigby's seven children)?

The first child will be a king.
The second child a pauper.
The third will do an evil thing.
The fourth will die to stop her.
The fifth will be a hero bold.
The sixth will judge the rest.
The seventh lives to ages old, and is by heaven blessed.

We learned from the previous book that Winter became a king. In this book though, it was revealed that she'd grow up evil. Hayz, wag naman. Also, it was revealed who did an evil th
Baal Of
Bought this today, and read the whole thing in one sitting. This may be my favorite Fable collection yet, although it's been a long time since I read the first volumes, so that makes it difficult to judge. This story is great because it is grim and horrific. It has multiple layers that are revealed gradually. It has redemption at an ultimate price, and a major transition for more than one character. The artwork is beautiful. And the backup story was great too, with lovely, dark-hued artwork to m ...more
Carl Nelson
4.5 stars. Whimsically horrific and tragically noble at the same time. Probably my favorite Fables volume since Boy Blue. The two-parter with a Bigby Wolf backstory is interesting and well-illustrated with dark but clear pictures. The story of the cubs continues to be the richest vein in the series. This is one to reread and ponder.
Matthew Brady
Just when I thought I was ready to be done with the Fables series, this volume turned out to be pretty good. The series has definitely lost some of its drive after the big conflicts that defined it for so long were resolved, but it seems like it's got some life going forward, although it risks turning into "the magical, prophetic adventures of the Wolf Cubs". The main story here follows a couple of those cubs as they end up being transported to a creepy take on Toyland/The Island of Misfit Toys ...more
Melissa McShane
Wow. The Fables series has never shied away from the dark and powerful, but this story about two of Snow and Bigby's cubs is extraordinary in both its level of violence and its gutwrenching portrayal of love and sacrifice. This is not the Fisher King legend I'm familiar with, but it blew me away.
I was super excited about where the whole prophecy thing was going. It started off fairly good. The idea behind Toyland was very creepy and I was surprised by how dark this volume got. This was especially true when it came to the food situation. Darian ended up being one of my favorite characters. I really admired how he went to go save Therese and put it upon himself to be the pack leader. The toys were psychos and even given the backstory, I hated them all. Towards the end, a certain character ...more
Nancy O'Toole
With Cubs in Toyland, Fables hits its eighteenth volume with one of it's strongest storylines yet. Most of the graphic novel consists of a six issue arc the focuses on the cubs, mainly Therese and Dare. The Cubs in Toyland Arc is probably the darkest in the series yet, especially given that these dark moments involve children. As a result, I suspect your enjoyment of this storyline is highly dependent on your ability to stomach such dark moments. I, personally, thought they did a great job with ...more
P. Kirby
Wow. So once again, even in the immortal land of fables, no one lives forever.

Anyway, once upon a time, Bigby Wolf and Snow White got bizzy in a tent, got pregnant, and eventually fell in love. In that order.

Cubs in Toyland, numero dieciocho in the Fables series, focuses on two of Snow and Bigby's progeny -- Therese and Dare.

Therese is baffled by her Christmas gift, a toy boat. Not because it talks, because, hey, this is the land of Fables--toys speak. Therese is a girly-girl and not the kind of
David Caldwell
I am still just starting to get into the Fables line, but the more that I see, the more impressed I am.This is the 18th Fable collection.It collects issues 114 to 123.

It focuses on the cubs(offspring) of Snow White and the Big Bad Wolf.Mainly on Dare and Therese.When Therese is whisked away to a land of discarded toys,Dare sets off to rescue her.You can't call this a particularly happy story but then stories of sacrifice and redemption seldom are.You can call it a good story with some inventive
This volume is possibly the most disturbing Fables story yet. In it, we are reminded that the sanitized Disney versions we are used to seeing are far from the reality of most fairy tales. You just have to read some of the older versions such as those collected by the Brothers Grimm to see this.

Therese, daughter of Bigby Wolf and Snow White, is kidnapped by a group of evil toys to serve as their queen. Followed by brother Darian (Dare), he first tries to rescue her, then sacrifices himself to sa
More Fables. This one focuses on a couple of the cubs (children of Snow White and Bigby Wolf). I found the arc of this story more satisfying than the previous volume, but still not quite up to the standards set by the beginning of the series. I would probably have given it 3.5 stars if I could. A couple of problems still plague the series; most notably the rapid shifting from one storyline to another setting is jarring. I would prefer to resolve one story and get another story in another volume ...more
While I've loved the Bigby and Snow White storyline throughout this entire series, I'm still finding it hard to care all that much for their children. Out of all the family, I was most interested in the North Wind story, which unfortunately this didn't focus on at all. I was disappointed at first until I remembered the creepy prophecy involving the cubs, and seeing this tackle two of the different destinies of the cubs was actually quite interesting.

The eeriness of the "toyland" in here was fabu
On the wall in my hallway is a framed one-shot comic in which Ozma reads a poem to Ambrose.

This poem basically details the fates of all seven wolf children.

I really should look at this thing more often.

Had I bothered to look, maybe I would have remembered, and then maybe I wouldn't have been so shocked by the events in this story. I wouldn't feel so violated, perhaps.

This is not the Fables I have come to love.

Oh, is it not bad. In fact, the story is as usual, excellently written (toward the end,
Good to see this comic back to form. This one is right up there with the best volumes in this amazing series, as we get a couple of story arcs. One deals with the cub Therese, stolen away to become Queen of Toyland, and her brother, Darrian, come to rescue her. This is a very moving story of redemption and coming of age. The other is a two-issue story that details how Bigby wolf came by his fate. The artwork by Mark Buckingham continues to be a delight, with the two issue story illustrated by gu ...more
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No Bufkin/Oz back-up in volume 18 5 37 May 10, 2013 06:09AM  
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In the late 1970s to early 1980s he drew fantasy ink pictures for the Dungeons & Dragons Basic and Expert game rulebooks. He first gained attention for his 1980s comic book series Elementals published by Comico, which he both wrote and drew. However, for reasons unknown, the series had trouble maintaining an original schedule, and Willingham's position in the industry remained spotty for many ...more
More about Bill Willingham...

Other Books in the Series

Fables (1 - 10 of 25 books)
  • Fables, Vol. 1: Legends in Exile (Fables, #1)
  • Fables, Vol. 2: Animal Farm (Fables, #2)
  • Fables, Vol. 3: Storybook Love (Fables, #3)
  • Fables, Vol. 4: March of the Wooden Soldiers (Fables, #4)
  • Fables, Vol. 5: The Mean Seasons (Fables, #5)
  • Fables, Vol. 6: Homelands (Fables, #6)
  • Fables, Vol. 7: Arabian Nights (and Days) (Fables, #7)
  • Fables: 1001 Nights of Snowfall (Fables)
  • Fables, Vol. 8: Wolves (Fables, #8)
  • Fables, Vol. 9: Sons of Empire (Fables, #9)
Fables, Vol. 1: Legends in Exile (Fables, #1) Fables, Vol. 4: March of the Wooden Soldiers (Fables, #4) Fables, Vol. 2: Animal Farm (Fables, #2) Fables, Vol. 3: Storybook Love (Fables, #3) Fables, Vol. 6: Homelands (Fables, #6)

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“Murderers don't get forgiven just because we promise to be good from now on. We have to earn our way back. One hundred is the price. One hundred lives for each we took. That seems fair. That's how we get whole again and that's our work, from now until as long as it takes.” 11 likes
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