Nestling among the almost 500 lots of toy cars and model railways in the latest Aston’s Auctioneers Toy and Model Railway Auction, taking place next Tuesday, are a couple of vintage Thunderbirds rarities produced by Fairylite that might just catch the eye of collectors.
Two boxed vintage ‘Empire Made’ action figures of Scott Tracy and Parker, produced by Fairylite, were officially endorsed products licensed by A.P. Films (Merchandising). Scott comes dressed in blue suit with blue cap, white boots and a blue sash, with International Rescue badge attached and with the three compartments in the sash all retaining their accessories including the pistol. The Parker figure is dressed in white vest, brown coat, cap shoes and brown striped trousers.
Also on offer are two boxed vintage figures from the Lady Penelope fashion doll range, inspired by Thunderbirds – Lady Penelope and Tin-Tin, also produced by Fairylite. Lady Penelope’ doll comes dressed in a blue flared trouser suit with pink detailing, a white top and a deep pink waist tie, however lacks footwear.
The black haired Tin-Tin doll is dressed in a red jacket with yellow motif and black trousers, both of which have pink edging, and the doll also has white plastic shoes.
The boxes in both lots aren’t in the best of shape, but they are good enough to see an estimated top price of £80 for each lot. However, an article on the Collectors Club of Great Britain site published in 2009 suggests these Fairylite toy company action figures are quite rare – but for some reason, none of them have commanded huge sales figures at auctions, according to Rob Burman in his book, Gerry Anderson Collectables.
Originally released in 1966, the figures represented ground-breaking production values, considered far superior to the Gerry Anderson-related puppets produced previously by Pelham. Was it the imminent release of Palitoy’s new Action Man (which was to win Toy of the Year in 1966) that influenced the decision to make a posable action figure, rather than the somewhat dated puppet format?
“The fact the name on the box states ‘Action Thunderbirds’ seems to support that theory,” the article notes.
Fairylite released ten dolls in the series: Virgil, Scott, John, Alan, Gordon, and Jeff Tracy, along with Brains, Lady Penelope, Parker and Tin Tin. The Lady Penelope figure was supported by releases of extra outfits, sold separately.
The company also produced a number of vehicle models, including Supercar, Fireball XL5 and Stingray.
As well as a number of Doctor Who, James Bond and Star Wars items, also on offer are four boxed Sideshow James Bond 007 12 inch Figures, including two from Dr No: Sean Connery as James Bond and Joseph Wiseman as Dr. No, together with two from On Her Majesty’s Secret Service – George Lazenby as James Bond and Telly Savalas as Ernst Blofeld.
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The founder of downthetubes, which he established in 1998. John works as a comics and magazine editor, writer, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. He is currently editor of Star Trek Explorer, published by Titan – his third tour of duty on the title originally titled Star Trek Magazine.
Working in British comics publishing since the 1980s, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Babylon 5 Magazine, and more. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War” and “Dan Dare”.
He’s the writer of “Pilgrim: Secrets and Lies” for B7 Comics; “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood.