Armouron Toys Hit the Shelves

Armouron Hits The ShelvesOne of our roving Weird-Wide News reporters wandered into a big toyshop last week (you would think they had better things to do). But while pushing themselves around in a trolley, they  spotted a whole wall of Armouron toys. I was amazed to hear they were finally out (nobody told me), but happy to see them on the shelves.
These suits of armour have special joints that mean you can switch parts and make your own combinations – a bit like Lego you can wear.
The first two books have been out a few months now; ‘The Armoured Ghost’ and ‘Lying Eyes’. But it normally works the other way around – toys and TV or other merchandise come out first. I didn’t come up with the idea for the armour, I was just brought in to write four books to help set up the world, the characters and the first few stories. Armouron-Armoured GhostThe next two books out are by Richard Dungworth, who has also done a few Dr Who books. After that, my third and fourth one should come along.
Apart from the money (obviously), I got into the project for the experience of working on something that offered opportunties in other areas. I was into loads of these kinds of franchises  when I was a kid – Star Wars, Action Force, Transformers – and it was a kick to be involved in helping develop a project this size. Publishing is always a team effort, but normally it’s a writer sitting on their own coming up with the ideas at the start. This was almost more like when I worked in animation, where different disciplines are brought in at different stages.
The principle behind the design of the toys also chimes with an issue I’ve long been concerned about – that of kids dropping their TV remotes, their games controllers (and yes, even their books) and going and playing outside. This armour will not protect your little ones if they choose to run about kicking the crap out of each other, but it should fuel a few fertile young imaginations in a way that gets them physically active, and that can only be a good thing.