Toy Story meets James Bond in the second book in this incredible action-packed series!
Fresh from the success of their first mission, our heroes the Spy Toys – Dan the Snugaliffic Cuddlestar bear, Arabella the Loadsasmiles Sunshine Doll and Flax the custom-made police robot rabbit – are ready for their next task. This time, the secret
code that controls every Snaztacular Ultrafun toy has been stolen and all over the world toys are revolting and turning against the children who own them.
Can Arabella disguise herself as a super-sweet little doll in order to find out more from the daughter of Snaztacular’s top scientist? Can Dan and Flax chase down Jade the Jigsaw, the puzzling prime suspect for the robbery? And can they save the day before the mind-controlled toys forget what it means to play nice?
Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36035921-spy-toys
Amazon Link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B0744RCYB9
10 Random Facts About Spy Toys
1. The first Spy Toys book was originally called Doomsnugglers, the idea being these were snuggly soft toys that were actually dangerous. I’m glad I changed it! Spy Toys is such a simple does-what-it-says-on-the-tin title yet it took me absolute ages to think of it.
2. Coming up with good character names is one of the hardest bits of writing. It can really stop you short when you’re working on a scene. I keep books about animals and plants next to my laptop as they’re often a handy place to find character names. This is where I found the name of my robot rabbit character Flax.
3. Of course, if you’re really stuck for a name you can always use one of your friends’! Chloe in the new book SPY TOYS: OUT OF CONTROL was named after a good friend of mine.
4. I thought it might be fun to include a Snaztacular Ultrafun toy catalogue in one book and make up lots of silly toys it might include. My agent wasn’t very keen on the plastic duck that squirted napalm!
5. When I do Spy Toys presentations in schools I talk about famous toys from decades gone by and the photo of the Rubik’s Cube always gets the biggest cheer.
6. At the start of SPY TOYS: OUT OF CONTROL we see the team completing a mission before they’re assigned their new one. This is a reference to the way Bond films always start with 007 finishing a previous assignment.
7. I’ve always had a fascination with stories set in theme parks – everything from episodes of Scooby Doo to Jurassic Park – so I had great fun creating all the attractions at the toy-run WOW WORLD theme park in the new book.
8. One of my favourite bits of writing Spy Toys is coming up with strange minor characters who are mentioned but whom we never actually meet. They’re a great way to get the imagination working. In the first book it was Rusty Flumptrunk’s bizarre fellow advertising mascots. In SPY TOYS: OUT OF CONTROL it’s a gang of ne’er-do-well toys that runaway Jade the Jigsaw falls in with: an abandoned rubber duck, a tennis racket with half its strings missing and a “really angry pencil sharpener”.
9. While I was writing SPY TOYS: OUT OF CONTROL I had one character in mind to be revealed as the villain at the end but as I neared that part of the story it suddenly occurred to me to switch it and make it someone else. To my surprise it worked well and I thought if I can surprise myself maybe it will surprise the reader.
10. There’s a giant car boot sale that takes place in SPY TOYS: OUT OF CONTROL and I’m a sucker for a car boot sale. The best bargain I’ve picked up was a signed Philip Pullman book for 10p!
Author Mark Powers has been making up ridiculous stories since primary school and is slightly shocked to find that people now pay him to do it. As a child he always daydreamed that his teddy bear went off on top secret missions when he was at school, so a team of toys recruited as spies seemed a great idea for a story. He grew up in north Wales and now lives in Manchester. His favourite animals are the binturong, the aye-aye and the dodo. www.spytoysbooks.com