Until 1966 the famous Rolls Royce ‘FAB1’ was a model starring in many of the Thunderbirds TV programmes and in both the films. A full-sized replica of FAB 1 was built to transport writers-producers Gerry and Sylvia Anderson to the premiere of the first movie ‘Thunderbirds Are Go’ in London. It was constructed by the company Toby Baxter Contracts under Sylvia’s supervision and not by Brains or Rolls Royce.
Petrolheadism, a well known motoring blog, has the fascinating story of what happened to this model and where it is now.
Back in October 2018 two original props from Gerry Anderson’s The Investigator TV series were sold at auction (see news story below) and now they are back up for sale at Vectis Auctions on September 26th.
These props were used in ‘The Investigator’ which was produced in 1973 as a pilot episode for a new series mixing live action and puppetry techniques, similar in approach to ‘The Secret Service.’ No further episodes were produced.
A matt green variant of the first version, with a riveted base, of the 101 Thunderbird 2 has been sold on eBay for £549 ($670). According to the seller it was purchased new in 1967 and then stored carefully until its sale on August 31st 2019. There is an FAO Schwarz (a well known New York toy store) price sticker for $18.69 on the box.
A change of paint finish for a model on its first production run is unusual especially as the riveted base version was only sold for a year before the rivets were replaced with screws to enable easier repairs of the thin yellow legs that were very prone to breaking under normal play use.
Has anybody out there got a similar variant? Would love to hear from you and see some pictures.
OK not strictly Dinky Toys but its always interesting to see the original props and models that the Binns Road designers worked from to produce the toys that then sold in their millions.
Gerry Anderson TV is the official YouTube account of Anderson Entertainment & the Gerry Anderson Estate and has a raft of short background videos looking at different aspects of the GA productions including the vehicles and series featured on this site.
You can either go direct via the link above or via this site’s series and vehicles pages
The first is a gunmetal base version, possibly an export version or even a factory error, whatever the origin, its certainly a strange colour combination.
The second newly identified variant is the omission of the on/off switch labelling, next to the double headed arrow and possibly a tooling issue. A short lived change as the very first versions had the text labelling as did later and the last versions of the 102.
JK Auctions recently sold a resin prototype of the never commercially released 113 John Steed’s Jaguar from the 1970’s New Avengers UK TV series. The prototype was originally part of the Parodi family collection who had exclusive import rights to Dinky Toys for Italy.
There’s an interesting version of the 355 Lunar Rover on eBay at present (Buy It Now listing ends 28th April 2019). It’s the ‘Tioxide Paints’ version and priced at £225 – not cheap but they are pretty rare.
But it was not just the Lunar Rover or even Dinky that only caught the marketing people at Tioxide Paints’ eye. A Corgi Concorde and a Spot-On Land Rover were also branded with Tioxide. I am led to understand that all three toy companies provided unpainted models to the firm who then coated them with a Tioxide based paint (the Tioxide bit is a whitening chemical and still used today) and stickers, and this done was around 1967/68.
There were only a few models produced for senior managers and favoured clients.