Buster the Bear is the latest soft toy to wear a hard hat while Janet the Joiner connects with the Under 5s.

Bob the Builder is facing stiff competition in the battle for the hearts and minds of youngsters as a raft of new cuddly characters come on-site.

Housebuilder Redrow has been visiting primary schools across the UK with Buster the Bear in a bid to raise children’s awareness of the dangers of playing on building sites.

Less prosaically, charity worker Janet Kaye – dubbed “Janet the Joiner” – has made her publishing debut with children’s book ‘The Tool Team’, featuring Clobby Hammer, Dusty Saw, Toppy Nail and Sammy Spanner. The first tool gang story, aimed at under-fives, is published this month in association with Access Publishing.

Animated tools, operated by a chart-topping builder, and a friendly bear patrolling the area to keep children safe? The building site of the imagination is becoming more surreal by the moment.