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According to an October 1955 Hollywood Reporter news item, Universal originally planned The Toy Tiger as a sequel to the 1955 film The Private War of Major Benson, in which the then six-year-old Tim Hovey proved himself very popular with audiences. An August 1955 Los Angeles Times news item reports that the film's title was derived from a song used as background music in The Private War of Major Benson. Although a November 1955 Hollywood Reporter news item states that the production was delayed ten days, to 25 Nov, to accommodate Hovey's broken wrist, production charts in Hollywood Reporter maintain that filming started on 18 Nov.
The Toy Tiger is a remake of Universal's 1938 release Mad About Music, directed by Norman Taurog and starring Deanna Durbin (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40). Writers Frederick Kohner and Marcella Burke, whose credits read "Suggested by a story by," on The Toy Tiger, wrote the original story for the 1938 film.