Toby Alvillar is one of the most popular boys in the sixth grade. Socially, he and his friend Ken Kamata are "two of the biggest wheels in class, and if you (are) really hopeless they simply (don't) notice you - it (is) as if you (don't) exist". When Toby starts to teasingly call April "February", Melanie knows that April, who is new in school, has been accepted, because although "it (is) teasing...(it is) not the kind you use on outsiders" (Chapter 6).
Toby and Ken are the kind of boys whom "everybody always vote(s) for...and want(s) to be on their team". Toby is also influential with adults; he is sort of a class clown and has "a special talent for getting people off the hook (in the classroom) by making the teacher laugh" (Chapter 10).
Toby is a leader, and is fun and creative. When he discovers the Egypt Game, he is interested in it, and unafraid to ask to be included, even though it may not be the "cool" thing to do. Ken, who at first thinks the game is a dumb idea, has little choice but to follow Toby's lead. Ken ends up being the one to "(carry) most of the stuff" when Toby, "overflowing with ideas" to make the Game more interesting, comes up with plans to build an altar and devise a system of hieroglyphics (Chapter 14).