In a near-future “doll-eat-doll” world, three smart but defective toys join forces to escape the rubbish bin and fight crime.
Hardly have Dan, a Snugallific Cuddlestar teddy so uncontrollably strong that the hugs he is programmed to give tend to have gruesome results, and truculent Arabella, a Loadasmiles Sunshine rag doll, escaped from the Snaztacular Ultrafun factory and met up with Flax, a nattily attired police bunny missing a significant portion of his anatomy, than all three are collared by the mysterious Department of Secret Affairs to form a special “Spy Toys” unit. Their first assignment, as bodyguards for a senator’s 8-year-old son, Sam, nearly ends in catastrophe when the lad is kidnapped by Rusty Flumptrunk, an elephantine ex–cereal company mascot who’s turned crime lord, and strapped to a giant mayonnaise bomb. The tale takes an ugly turn at the climax, when the toys overcome Flumptrunk by taking advantage of his peanut allergy to leave him in a state of anaphylactic shock. Otherwise, Powers dishes up a comical romp with central characters who display brains as well as brawn and, while learning how to live with disabilities, also figure out how to leverage them to save both the lad and the local community from awful fates. Wesson’s frequent, blocky cartoon illustrations and vignettes add appropriately wacky visual notes. Human and humanoid figures are all white.
A riotous thigh-slapper with plenty of Toy Story in its DNA. (Crime comedy. 8-10)