Tinkerer (Marvel Comics)



The Tinkerer is a vintage Marvel character – he appeared in Spider-Man’s second issue, in 1963. He’s still active and appearing as of this writing.

The Tinkerer is also a very useful character. He’s the source of the super-equipment many low- and mid-powered villains (and a few heroes) use. His skills even provide a flimsy explanation as to why such equipment doesn’t cost millions of dollars. And he could be the source of equipment for a Player Character  !

Since this bloke is so useful he got written up early on, but the profile has all the basics to use him in a RPG campaign.


  • Real Name: Unrevealed.
  • Marital Status: Unrevealed.
  • Known Relatives: Rick Mason (aka the Agent, son).
  • Group Affiliation: None.
  • Base Of Operations: New York City.
  • Height: 5’8” Weight: 170lbs.
  • Eyes: Gray Hair: White


Powers and Abilities

The Tinkerer possesses extensive knowledge in a wide variety of scientific disciplines. He has a high degree of expertise in the design and manufacture of both original weapons and designs derived from pre-existing technologies.

He cannot do genuine super-technology like time travel, artificial sapience  or space flight. In fact, the Tinkerer prefers to use parts that are no more complicated than what could be found in a color TV set or a uzi. An yet he can build astounding gadgets.

He is an old, frail man and unlikely to fare well in a physical confrontation.

The Tinkerer’s robot aide is in the shape of a muscular, bald Black man named Toy. Toy dresses in jeans and T-shirts, and sometimes wears a backpack helicopter. He’s quite lifelike, and it took months for Spider-Man to discover that Toy was a robot. Toy is probably based on a salvaged robot from the Mad Thinker or the Machinesmith.


The Tinkerer is a high-level inventor and technician serving the underworld. He apparently already had quite a reputation when Spider-Man began his career and met him.


The crotchety old man managed to outwit and defeat the young, inexperienced Spider-Man. Spidey had stumbled upon an operation the Tinkerer was involved with, but was deceived into thinking he was facing a plot by space aliens. It took years for him to learn that he had been played.

The plot had another long-term repercussion. One of the persons involved, impressed by the Tinkerer’s mastery and use of deception, became the villain Mysterio.

Do It Yourself

The Tinkerer equipped many low-level criminals working for the underworld. But he was very rarely directly encountered by heroes. He almost got captured twice by Spider-Man, which further enticed him not to take unnecessary risk and remain a gadgets provider instead of a super-villain.

Among his clients, the Tinkerer counts :

It is possible that he collaborated on many of Justin Hammer’s henchmen’s armament. And for most small-time New York City costumed criminals with a special device (like, say, Spear) it is reasonable to suspect that the Tinkerer was involved.

One of the Tinkerer’s strong point is that he build everything he sells himself, generally out of salvaged materials. This keeps his costs very low and allow him to sell his gadget for very reasonable prices.


The Tinkerer is a crotchety old man who looks like he should operate a very old TV repair shop in a working class neighbourhood.


The Tinkerer is obsessed with technology and his creations, which have become his sole occupation in life. It is likely that he is somehow insane or sadistic, given the bizarre and sinister nature of the vast majority of his inventions.

DC Universe History

The Tinkerer is a wonderful plot device to rationalize all of these low-powered, gadget-based super-villains out there. Having all these goons have the Stroke of Genius advantage stretches disbelief ; having one source is more likely.

This includes many Bat-Villains and members of the Flash’s Rogue Gallery, as well as less notorious criminals. Just replace Justin Hammer with Lex Luthor.

Of course, a Tinkerer/Toyman alliance would be something to see, especially since the Tinkerer has occasionally used remote-controlled toys… (those were an unpaid-for order of the Jester).

Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG

Tell me more about the game stats


Dex: 02 Str: 01 Bod: 02 Motivation : Mercenary
Int: 09 Wil: 04 Min: 04 Occupation : Inventor, technician
Inf: 03 Aur: 03 Spi: 03 Resources {or Wealth} : 008
Init: 012 HP: 060

Gadgetry: 11, Scientist*: 09, Weaponry (exotic): 04

Rich Friend (Justin Hammer), Sidekick (Toy).

Underworld (High).

Age (old), Public ID.


Dex: 04 Str: 11 Bod: 08
Int: 02 Wil: 02 Min: 02
Inf: 02 Aur: 02 Spi: 02
Init: 008

Backpack helicopter [BODY 06, Flight: 04].

By Sébastien Andrivet.

Source of Character: Marvel Universe.