In 1991 Oxford University Press published my children's novel 'The Musclemen'. It attracted good reviews, and was an Independent on Sunday Christmas choice.

A year or so earlier a range of primitive robots had started appearing in the toy shops.  My children were drawn to these, while at the same time finding them a bit frightening. One day, during the morning's drive to school, I told them a story about a team of rogue robot warriors -- the Warlords of Pandemonium -- who terrorise the two children who are given them as Christmas presents. The job of combatting the robot monsters is left to a shaky alliance of traditional toys, under the reluctant leadership of a teddy bear called Hodge. The story became a family favourite, with a new chapter added every day, and eventually I wrote down a version that became 'The Musclemen'.

There are obvious similarities between the plot of 'The Musclemen' and  Pixar's film 'Toy Story', but the film came out four years later, so I can hardly be accused ion copying the idea.

The copyright has now reverted to me, and I have rewritten the book for Kindle. You can find the Kindle edition on Amazon, price 99p, under its new title, 'New Toys'. The cover illustration is by my son Henry Lambourne.

Chapter One of 'New Toys' can be found here.


'The Gravelstone Zoo' (see an early draft and preparatory artwork here) and 'Benson' (see Portfolio 2) are works in progress.