DINKY THUNDERBIRD 2 (1967 -1973):
Dinky 101 and 106 Thunderbird 2 models were amongst the most popular Dinky models made. Licensed from Century 21, Gerry Anderson’s TV company who produced the extremely popular supermarionation TV series Thunderbirds, they were produced between 1967 and 1980 and were an accurate depiction, apart from the 106 colour scheme, of the TV vehicle with great play value.
Thunderbird 4 was also provided and sat in the detachable pod.
The 101 version lasted 6 years and was green, the colour of the model in the TV series but it had a key design flaw with its easily breakable legs. The 106 version was larger and had a more sturdy under carriage but was released in primarily metallic blue.
DINKY 101 THUNDERBIRD 2:
The first # 101 models were produced in a reasonably accurate gloss green colour, though this changed to metallic sea green later.
The legs on the very first models were easily broken and because the body was riveted, repairs were very difficult. Within 6 months the rivets were replaced with screws. The legs issue was addressed with the new 106 casting which were thicker and sturdier.
The key feature of the model was a pod that detached from the main body and contained a miniature Thunderbird 4 a mini submarine. The main body’s legs could also drop down and be retracted.
The pod door of the gloss green version was green plastic.
In the TV series, International Rescue’s Thunderbird 2 was used as a transporter, carrying fantastic and slightly improbable machines to help rescue and save the trapped, the foolish and the occasionally incompetent. Dinky provided Thunderbird 4, a mini submarine in its pod.
Century 21 Tech Talk: Thunderbird 2
The very latest incarnation of Thunderbird 2 was built for the 2016 DVD episodes of Thunderbirds 65.
TV PROP v DINKY MODELS:
The Thunderbird models were accurate replicas although there were a significant number of different props, around 20, produced during the series as models got damaged of additional vehicles were needed to allow parallel filming.
Note though when looking at the image below that the green 101 version is a smaller model than the blue 106 model which has been scaled to provide a comparison with one of the TV series props.
There were a significant number of different props, around 20, produced during the series as models got damaged of additional vehicles were needed to allow parallel filming.
The second variant of the 101 was released in metallic green paint finish. The legs were a more orangey yellow that the green version.
The early version of the metallic green variant had green pod doors which were then changed to black.
Also later on, the text on the pod bottom omitted the ‘made under licence for CENTURY 21 TOYS LTD’
The first box for the 101 Thunderbird was a beautifully illustrated all cardboard construct with an illustrated inner tray worthy of a Turner Prize..
There was a plain white inner packing piece provided to stop the model moving during transit.
There were two versions of this box, the first was labelled as ‘Straight from Thunderbirds’ and a later version with Straight from Gerry Anderson’s Thunderbirds. The text was also changed on the black side panel.
On the second version additional text was also added to the front image, ‘Colour of model may differ from illustration’
Also included in the box was French explanation of the Thunderbirds TV series including a promotion for the 100 L FAB1, the ‘L’ being a French catalogue number designation and also operating instructions for Thunderbird 2 numbered as 101 L.
The second box type was the bubble box, and this had a blue base or the rarer white one. The font size came in two versions for each box type.
ODDITIES AND RARITIES:
A matt green version was sold at auction in Aug 2019. According to the seller the variant was purchased in New York in 1967, you can see the FAO Schwartz price sticker on the box.
This is paint finish variation of the first issue 101 which had rivets on the base and was only available for about a year so it makes this colour variant very unusual.
Thunderbird 2 made the Dinky consumer catalogue from its introduction to the range in 1967 until 1974 when it was superseded by the 106 version. Curiously T2 never made the front cover of any catalogue.