Playing with Toys was the twentieth short story in the Short Trips anthology Short Trips and Side Steps and the fourth in that volume's "Special Occasions" quadrology. It was pseudonymously attributed to David Agnew. It featured the Fourth Doctor and Romana II.
Relaxing in the TARDIS after their strenuous but enjoyable day, the Doctor and Romana muse that it's not so bad where they are. They have fun every day. The details of what they do may change from day to day, but perhaps it doesn't matter.
Romana drifts off to sleep on a chaise lounge whilst the Doctor explores a mysterious toybox. He muses on the nature of toys, the adults who bought them and the children who played with them for a while, caring for them and enjoying them, until the games changed and it became time to put them away. He finds an especially interesting doll resembling a Chinese mandarin. A projector somewhere in the shadows begins showing a flickering movie, but when the Doctor tries to tell Romana about it, he discovers that he has been turned into a toy himself, a puppet hanging silently by marionette strings. Unable to move, the Doctor watches the film and drifts off to sleep himself.
- The Doctor has turned the safe which once held the segments of the Key to Time into a refrigerator.
- Romana relaxes in the TARDIS on a Louis Quinze chaise lounge.
- This story reveals that for the Doctor and Romana, the short stories The Not-So-Sinister Sponge, Do You Love Anyone Enough?, Better Watch Out, Better Take Care, and Playing with Toys all take place in sequence over the course of one day.
- The indications that the Doctor and Romana are outside the universe, the toybox containing the doll of the mandarin, and the cliffhanger ending hint at the possible involvement of the Toymaker.
- The Doctor's fridge was stocked with cream cakes, though he no longer remembers why. (PROSE: The Not-So-Sinister Sponge)
- The Doctor and Romana watched the end of the universe earlier that day. (PROSE: Do You Love Anyone Enough?)
- Romana takes off the Santa beard she put on earlier. (PROSE: Better Watch Out, Better Take Care)