Released during the Great War from 1915-1919 was an impressive set of eleven toby jugs based on the Allied Political and Military leaders by Wilkinson after designs and caricatures by Sir Francis Carruthers Gould. Each of the figures holds an item or is an item and has associated words e.g. Lloyd George holds a cannon shell with the words Shell Out on it (full list below). The set is extremely well designed, made and coloured and each molded figure was polychrome enameled and gilded. The features the retailers mark Soane & Smith, who were based in Knightsbridge. Lord Kitchener, holding a jug inscribed ‘Bitter for the KAISER’, 25cm high Admiral Beatty, holding a shell inscribed ‘Dread Nought’, 26.5cm high Field Marshall Haig, seated upon a tank, titled ‘Push and Go’ to the base, 27cm high Admiral Jellicoe, holding a jug inscribed ‘Hell Fire Jack’, 26cm high Marshall Joffre, holding a shell inscribed ’75mm Ce Que Joffre’, 25.5cm high Lord French, holding a jug inscribed ‘French Pour Les Francais’, 26cm high Lloyd George, holding a shell titled ‘Shell Out!’, 25cm high Marshall Foch holding a champagne bottle inscribed ‘Au Diable Le Kaiser’, 31.5cm high General Botha, holding a jug inscribed ‘Loyalty’, 26.5cm high Woodrow Wilson, with an aeroplane on his lap, the base inscribed ‘Welcome! Uncle Sam’, 27cm high King George V, holding a globe, the base inscribed ‘Pro Patria’, 30cm high A fabulous and rare set not often seen for sale as a full set.
Star Wars Revenge of the Sith Collectables With the sixth Star Wars ‘Revenge of the Sith’ film opening shortly – the merchandise and associated premiums have been finding their way into shops, cereal packets and elsewhere for months. The first Star Wars film ‘A New Hope’ in 1977 was the first film to really tie in with merchandise and and many of the toys and related products from then are now worth considerable sums such as the first series of Kenner figures produced from 1977-1979 included a Jawa with plastic cape which can now fetch around $1,000 if in mint condition. It will be interesting to see if any of the new action figures, toys, comics etc will be as collectable. Pictured right is a StarWarsShop.com shared exclusive Original Double-Sided Episode III Theatrical Movie Poster Hasbro are releasing a number of action figures and toys including limited editions through certain outlets. Target will offer an exclusive Star Wars: Episode III Collector’s Case 5 pack and Toys R Us have an exclusive Anakin Skywalker Starfighter. Pictured left is the Episode III Unleashed Figures 3-Pack, Assortment 1 featuring Anakin Skywalker figure, Obi-Wan Kenobi figure and General Grievous figure. Available to all are a number of action figures that come individually and in various assortments, sets and packages. Often the Limited Editions, exclusives and less popular characters have the most potential to increase in value. Pictured right is the Episode III Deluxe Figure Assortment 1 featuring 2 Anakin Skywalker with Darth Vader tunic and armor figures, 2 Obi-Wan Kenobi with Super Battle Droid figures and 2 Emperor Palpatine changes to Darth Sidious figures. Collectors Cards, Trading Cards and Pins are always popular. The Revenge of the Sith Hobby collectors card set comprises 90 gold foil-stamped. There are a number of special chase cards randomly inserted: etched foil cards, morph lenticular cards, and a number of one-of-a-kind artist sketch cards (insertion ratio of the sketch cards are 1/36 packs). Pictured left Revenge of the Sith Hobby Collectors Cards. Pins and pin trading has become popular over the last few years especially with the growth in Disney Pin Trading. A number of pins have been produced including a number of exclusives such as the Celebration III exclusive StarWarsShop.com pin depicting the famous “Vader in Flames” banner art for the Star Wars event held in Indianapolis. Pictured right Vader in Flames exclusive StarWarsShop.com pin. Disney are pro ducing a incredible collection of Star Wars pins created for their annual Star Wars weekends. These are being released at the Tatooine Traders in the Disney-MGM Studios theme park. Star Wars Weekends 2005 will take place at the Disney-MGM Studios from May 20 through June 12, 2005. Pictured left Star Wars Weekdns Logo Pin features the logo for Star Wars Weekends 2005. Mickey Mouse is putting the finishing touches on Darth Vader’s helmet. Mickey Mouse’s hand is a pin-on-pin. Randy Noble from Disney Design Group designed the logo for this year’s celebration. Premiums normally produce some interesting toys and collectibles and for Revenge of the Sith, Burger King has the promotion. The offering varies from country to country – there are six exclusive toys in the UK (include Darth Vader™, droids R2D2™ and C3PO™, Chewbacca™, the Millennium Falcon and, of course, Yoda™!), and over 30 in the US. The US toys come in several ranges including Pull Backs, Wind Ups, Water Squirters, Plush, Image Viewers and Limited Edition 2 in 1 Darth Vader toy. Pictured above right: the UK Burger King Star Wars toys There should be enough variety to cater for even the most ardent collector and with expectations that this film is the best of the latest trilogy there appears to be more interest. I’m just off to get my Lightsabre. May the Collecting be With You!
Raphaël Kirchner (1876 – 1917) was an Austrian artist, best known for Art Nouveau and early pin-up work, especially in picture postcard format which became extremely popular during World War I. Kirchner attended the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna and began his career as a portrait painter for the fashionable in Vienna. He moved to Paris in 1900, creating illustrations for magazines including La Vie Parisienne, where he worked with other notable artists such as Mucha. Kirchner became best known for his saucy ‘glamour’ postcards of young women which are very collectable over 100 years later. Raphaël Kirchner produced over a thousand published paintings and drawings in his lifetime, mostly in the form of picture postcards. His postcards are very sort after with collectors, from his orientalist Geisha series which had influences of Art Nouveau, East and West, to his ephemeral beauties from La Vie Parisienne to the more realistic erotic young ladies who were the favourites of the European and American soldiers in the Great War who pinned his cards up in the trenches. Raphaël Kirchner postcards were the original pin-ups. It was Kirchner’s witty, accurate portrayal of the seamier, yet perhaps the most exciting and glamourous aspects of Parisian night life–of the world of the bar and of the boudoir–that provided the real road to success for the artist. Kirchner’s alluring, often erotic depictions of the typical Montmartre female in La Vie Parisienne and in watercolours and pastels such as ‘Les Joueuses’ became so popular that the prettiest and most expensive of the ‘Montmartre Girls’ became associated with the artist’s images of them, and were duly dubbed ‘Kirchner Girls’. There are normally 350-400 Raphael Kirchner postcards on ebay click on link to view – Raphael Kirchner postcards on ebay.
In the UK, government land is known as crown land. Anything belonging to the government is called crown property, and if you are prosecuted in the courts, you are prosecuted by the crown. So the crown is more than just a symbol of Royalty in the UK – it represents the state, the country and the Queen. There are a lot of different crowns on the buttons and badges of the armed forces and other uniformed government employees, so I am going to tell you what little I know about them. The Queen Victoria’s crown 1837-1901, (R49*). This isn’t strictly Victoria’s crown because it was used by most of the monarchs before her, but it is associated with her more than anybody else. Its’ proper name is St. Edward’s crown. The Hertfordshire Yeomanry (R 387) and The Royal Canadian Regiment (Smylie F111*) both still wear Victoria’s crown on their buttons to this day. The Royal Canadian Regiment is allowed to wear it as an honour for the services they gave in WW1. On January 1, 1901 the Irish Guards were formed. They all paraded wearing their badges and buttons with Victoria’s crown on them. Then on the 22nd of January she died, and they all had to be replaced. These buttons and badges are very rare, I have never seen any. The King’s crown, 1901-1952, (R59). Known to the Edwardian soldier as “Teddie’s hat,” it is the Imperial state crown that was made for Queen Victoria when she became Empress of India. She did not like the St. Edward’s crown and always found it too heavy to wear on state occasions, (no she didn’t wear it when she was doing the house work either). After her death, the Kings were depicted wearing it on coins, etc., and it was used on buttons and badges, so it became known as the King’s crown.The Queen’s crown, 1952 onwards, (R44). Now we are back to St. Edward’s Crown. * The numbers referenced here are from Howard Ripley’s Buttons of the British Army, and Eric Smiley’s Buttons of the Canadian Militia.Other Crowns The Green Howards, (R233), Alexandra the Princess of Wales’ own Yorkshire Regiment. This crown is a coronet. It is Danish, because Princess Alexandra was a Danish Princess who married the Prince of Wales. In 1902 he became Edward the Seventh.The Rifle Brigade (R567) and The Leicestershire Yeomanry Cavalry (R341), Prince Alberts Own. Albert’s crown is the Guelphic crown. Prince Albert was a German, and this crown is the crown of the Dukes of the House of Hanover, of which he was a member, as were the British Royal family. Victoria and Albert both had the surname, Sax-Coburg-Gotha, and they were first cousins, as are the Queen and Prince Phillip (they like to keep it in the family). The Yorks and Lancsaster Regiment, (R284). This is a Ducal crown because the Regiment is named after two Dukes (the Duke of Lancaster is the Queen). If the tiger has its’ head up, the button is Victorian. If the head is down, it is post Victoria, because the tiger was depicted with its’ head down in mourning for Queen Victoria. The Duke of Cornwalls Light Infantry (R249) has the same crown. The Somerset Light Infantry (R224). This is a Mural crown. Mural crowns were Garlands given to the first R oman soldiers to scale the walls of a besieged city. As you can see, the crown is made to look like masonry work. This crown is worn because during the Afghan wars, 1838-1842, the Somerset Light Infantry were besieged in the City of Jellalabab (as were the Russians 100 years later – we won). During the seige, the commanding officer ordered everthing metal (including buttons) to be melted down to make musket balls. They wore Jellalabab on their badges and buttons until 1959.The Queens Royal Regiment (R203). This is the crown of the Royal Navy, and is worn because the Queen’s Regiment fought as marines in a naval battle. The Royal Green Jackets fought as marines during the battle of Copenhagen, in April 1802, when Nelson gave the Danish navy a lesson in naval tactics. Unfortunately, the Danish navy couldn’t put this lesson into practice because Nelson destroyed the Danish fleet in the process. Royal Cyphers Every King or Queen has their own cypher, which is displayed on certain buttons and badges, notably the Royal Engineers. (R66) Queen Victoria 1855-1901 (R67) Edward the Seventh 1901-1910 (R70) George the Fifth 1910-1936 (R69) Edward the Eighth 1936 (R68) George the Sixth 1936-1952 (R71) Queen Elizabeth the Second (R 402 & 403) This cypher is also worn by Norfolk Imperial Yeomanry. The Grenadier Guards have the Royal cypher and the cypher reversed on their buttons. (R75) Queen Victoria 1855-1901 (R76) Edward the Seventh 1901-1910 (R77) George the Fifth 1910-1936 (R78) Edward the Eighth 1936 (R79) George the Sixth 1936-1952 (R80) Elizabeth the Second 1952. Prince Charles will be known as George the Seventh when he becomes King. (R376) The Honourable Artillery Compnay wear the same buttons as the Grenadier Guards but theirs are white metal and the Grenadiers Guards are brass because the H.A.C. are volunteers. Personal cyphers The Wiltshire Regiment, The Duke of Edinburghs own, (R280). This button has the cypher of one of Queen Victoria’s sons, Alfred Duke of Edinburgh who died in 1950. This button was worn until 1956 when Prince Philip became Duke of Edinburgh and his cypher has been worn since. (R281) The Second King Edwards Gurkha Rifles (R570) has the cypher ERI. This stands for Edwardus Regina Emporatum, which is latin for Edward the King Emperor. The Rifle Brigade, Prince Alberts Own (R567). This is Prince Albert’s cypher. The Green Howards (R233) has the cypher of Alexandra on it. This is an “A” within a “Cross” and is known as the Danebrog. When the Britiish army went to France in WW1 the Green Howards cap badge got the nickname of the Eiffel Tower because of the shape of this cap badge. The […]
The United States was the home of Carnival Glass. It was developed there, and though other countries soon began to produce their own versions, most collectors today begin with American glass as it is the easiest to obtain. A previous article described the manufacture and appearance of this beautiful product, but briefly, it is a living glass – vibrant and bright – which reflects colour rather like spilt oil on water. Although the patterns are formed in a mould, unlike pressed glass Carnival Glass needs a lot of hand- finishing and decorating, and the iridescence (created by adding metallic oxides to the hot glass) means that the finished product doesn’t have that somewhat flat appearance often noticed in pressed glass. Pictured left is a Northwood fruit and flowers electric cable ice blue small bowl. Carnival Glass didn’t really become of interest to collectors until the late 1950s, and consequently the history of many of the early companies is still not fully-researched, so many dates are vague. A trawl through textbooks throws up a variety of dates – it seems that no-one is absolutely certain when the various manufacturers first developed their Carnival Glass products, though it is known that by 1905 the first cheap, iridised glass to rival the expensive Tiffany’s was in production. Pictured right is a Noryhwood Rosette rare green bowl. The Northwood Glass Company was founded by English-born Harry Northwood, son of a talented glass manufacturer. Harry left England to work in America in 1880, when he was twenty years old, and founded his own factory in 1887 in Ohio, before eventually moving to Wheeling, West Virginia. Many people believe that it was Harry who brought the technique of iridisation to the USA, having seen it at his father’s glassworks. By 1908 he was producing a range of iridised glass, using moulds from earlier pressed glass. He began by making a range of marigold Carnival Glass, which he called ‘Golden Iris’. Iris is from the Greek word for rainbow, and Harry thought that this was a good name for a glass which seemed to contain and reflect so many colours. Pictured left is a Northwood grape and cable plate.. Northwood proved to be a very productive factory, introducing designs such as grape and cable, fine cut and rose, beaded cable, wild rose, singing birds, peacock at the fountain, leaf and beads, nippon and rosette. Of all its designs, grape and cable was the most popular, and at one time could be obtained in over seventy shapes of dishes, vases, plates and bowls. Other companies, noting the popularity, copied the designs, which seemed to be quite a common practice at the time. Harry Northwood also introduced some lovely pastel carnival glass, which came in delicate shades of ice blue, ice green and white. Today, the pastels are highly sought after but are quite rare. White is perhaps the easiest to find and is very pretty with a delicate pearly sheen. Later, in 1915, a range of iridised custard glass appeared. This opaque and cream coloured glass has a pastel iridescent overlay, and is now very rare, commanding high prices. Most Carnival Glass is unmarked, but the Northwood company regularly marked their products with a letter ‘N’ in a circle, which makes them easily identifiable even by novice collectors. For a round ten years the Company was at the forefront of the Carnival Glass industry, but then, sadly, Harry contracted a fatal disease. He died in 1918, and without him the company seemed to lose direction, finally foundering to a halt in 1925. Harry Northwood at one time leased the Dugan Glass Company (when under a different name), and was related to Thomas Dugan, one of the managers. When Harry left, the name was changed to Dugan, and in 1910 the company began to produce Carnival Glass, often using old Northwood moulds. Normally it marked its pieces with a ‘D’ set inside a diamond shape, which is probably why, in 1913, it again changed its name, this time to the Diamond Glass Company. Based in Indiana Pennsylvania, Dugan was responsible for many wonderful pieces of iridescent glass with opalescent edges, using patterns such as fan, cherry, apple blossom twigs, butterfly and tulip, farmyard, fishnet, starfish stippled, pastel swans, raindrops and heavy grape. This company continued production right up until 1931, when the factory was destroyed by a disastrous fire. Pictured right is a Dugan grape delight amethyst rosebowl. The Imperial Glass Company, Ohio, was set up in the early 1900s, though the iridised glass didn’t appear till 1910 . Before then, it made pressed glass tumblers, water sets, cruets, pickle trays and other items of table ware. When the company finally introduced its range of Carnival Glass, it was an instant success and huge quantities were manufactured. It was so prolific in its output that most collectors today have some Imperial pieces in their collections. This company decided to specialise in geometric designs rather than the naturalistic patterns favoured by many of the other Carnival Glass companies, and it continued to produce items of practical use as opposed to the more decorative glassware which Northwood, Dugan, Fenton and Millersburg preferred. Pictured right is an Imperial grape marigold tumbler. Imperial experimented with many types of glass, often producing unusual base glass colours such as clambroth (a pale ginger-ale) and smoke (light blue-grey). They also managed to achieve an exceptionally brilliant iridescence on their wares, while their purple glass was a very deep, rich shade which no other manufacturer could accomplish. Much of their work resembles the Bohemian glass of the same period. At the time it was apparently quite common for a complete workshop group to decide to emigrate, and Imperial employed many Bohemian German-speaking workers who brought their expertise and ideas with them. The Company also produced a tremendous amount of marigold Carnival Glass, the commonest colour, and so one of the most affordable. Pictured left is an Imperial heavy grape one-handled dish. Glass from Imperial was sold […]
We recently featured the Clarice Cliff Teddy Bear Bookends and have been asked about the Clarice Cliff Cottage Bookends. These were created by Clarice Cliff when she was at the A. J. Wilkinson Ltd (one of the Shorter owned factories in Stoke-on-Trent). The bookends are brightly coloured, often with a bright red roof, and show the back and front of a house. They measure about 14cm high. The example Cottage pictured shows the cottage having a bright red roof and blue coloured windows at the front and yellow at the back. The simple use of colours makes a very effective piece. The side of the book present the cottage against a blue sky with clouds to top right and left. The picture below shows the two side views. Below is another example of the Clarice Cliff Cottage Bookends showing the variety of ways the piece can be painted. Clarice Cliff related A look at Clarice Cliff Clarice Cliff Teddy Bear Bookends Clarice Cliff Bizarre Grotesque Masks by Ron Birks
Raggedy Ann Dolls by Sue Brewer @bunnypussflunge Raggedy Ann Dolls are one of the great American classic dolls. Instantly recognisable with her beaming smile, red triangular nose and round black eyes, Raggedy was originally a storybook doll. Unlike the majority of dolls which are devised purely for commercial reasons, Raggedy Ann was created for the nicest reason of all – she was created through love. Her creator was an artist and storyteller called Johnny Gruelle, who told the tales and drew the delightful pictures to entertain his small daughter when she was ill – or so the story goes. However, the anecdotes woven around the creation of this charismatic doll have become embellished, contradicted and disputed over the years, so no-body really knows for certain. Johnny’s small daughter was named Marcella, and one anecdote has it that while she was playing in the attic she discovered an old cloth doll with a faded face, which had belonged to her grandmother. Her father drew a new face onto the doll, and it was she who became immortalised as Raggedy Ann. Marcella was enchanted, and from then on, Raggedy Ann became her constant companion, inspiring her father to tell stories to the little girl about her doll. Tragically, Marcella died when she was still quite young from a smallpox vaccination which became infected, and it was then that Johnny took the decision to publish the stories which she had loved, for other children to share – it was his tribute to his daughter. He patented and trademarked the Raggedy Ann design in 1915. Over the years, numerous editions of the books have appeared, though they have never been as popular in Britain as they are in the United States. Other characters have been introduced too, perhaps the most famous being her brother Raggedy Andy, Beloved Belindy, Uncle Clem and the gloriously-named ‘Camel With Wrinkled Knees.’ The stories tell how Raggedy Ann, a sweet kindly doll – because she has a candy heart – comes to life when humans aren’t around, and has great adventures with her brother, Andy. First in the series was ‘Raggedy Ann Stories’, which was published in 1918 by the P. F. Volland company, who later followed up the success with a character Raggedy Ann doll. The rest is history. More stories followed; Raggedy Ann’s Magical Wishes, The Paper Dragon, Raggedy Ann in the Deep Deep Woods and Raggedy Ann and the Left-Handed Safety Pin amongst many, many others. Raggedy Ann dolls have been made for almost as long as the books have been published. Apparently Johnny Gruelle persuaded his family to make some cloth dolls to accompany the earliest of the books, maybe for shop display purposes, we can’t be sure now. One delightful rumour said that each doll was given a candy heart which read ‘I Love You’, just as Raggedy Ann has in the story books. So far, this hasn’t be proved – old dolls don’t seem to contain any remnants of candy, though it is a charming idea. Many people, especially in America, concentrate on Raggedy Ann and Andy, forming immense collections of dolls and other memorabilia. The dolls have been made by manufacturers such as Volland, Knickerbocker, Russ, Playskool and Dakin. One hangtag reads, ‘These stories – infused with a father’s pure, simple love – became immortal.’ The early Raggedy Ann dolls often had brown hair, and less of a caricature face than later Raggedy Anns. Volland dolls were made during the 1920s and 30s, and many are highly prized, while even those from some of the later companies, Knickerbocker for instance, are increasing in price, especially in America where Raggedy Ann is one of the most famous character dolls. In Britain, she is much less-widely known, and frequently gets muddled with the ‘Orphan Annie’ character who later became the star of a musical and movie. Raggedy Ann is often dressed in a pinafore worn over a cotton print frock and stripy red stockings. Perhaps the most expensive of the early dolls, occasionally found today, is Beloved Belindy, a plump black doll wearing a headscarf. She appeals not only to Raggedy Ann enthusiasts but to the collectors of black dolls as well. Recently, R. John Wright, the famous creator of exquisite felt toys and dolls, produced a beautiful version of the young Marcella, holding her Raggedy Ann. Standing 17 inches high, the little girl has a pensive expression, and is dressed in a yellow print dress and straw bonnet, which is tied with a wide blue ribbon. She clutches her beloved Raggedy Ann. R. John Wright has also created particularly jaunty versions of both Raggedy Ann and Andy, 17 inches high, made from pure wool felt. He maintains that they are the most authentic Raggedy Ann & Andy dolls ever made. As Raggedy Ann is such a traditional character, and, being a rag doll, is relatively easy to make, thousands of home-made copies have appeared over the years, some of them excellent, others very basic. Beware when you are buying a doll which you haven‘t examined, especially if buying from ebay, because it is all too easy to be fobbed off with a copy. Having said that, many collectors are happy with the copies too, feeling that they are all part of Raggedy Ann’s history. A special museum devoted to Raggedy Ann Dolls opened in 1999 in Arcola, Illinois. Called The Johnny Gruelle Raggedy Ann & Andy Museum, it is the only officially licensed Raggedy Ann & Andy museum in the world. The museum also sells dolls, books and memorabilia. And in 2005, Raggedy Ann celebrated her 90th anniversary, prompting several companies to produce commemorative versions of the doll. Johnny Gruelle, who died in 1938, eventually became known as ‘The Raggedy Ann Man’ – he would no doubt be astounded could he know that his sweet creation was still widely collected and very much loved today. Raggedy Ann Dolls values and Raggedy Ann Dolls price guide Realised prices at auction give a reflective price […]
Most researchers agree that the first jigsaw puzzle was produced in 1762 by John Spilsbury, an engraver and mapmaker from London.
We thought it would be fun to take a closer look at George Tinworth and his humorous comical frogs. For a more detailed account on the life and work of George Tinworth visit George Tinworth – The Greatest Doulton Lambeth Designer. Here we look at some of the Tinworth frogs and frog groups and their values. A George Tinworth for Doulton Lambeth `The Scrimmage’ a good Modelled Frog Group, circa 1880 – George Tinworth for Doulton Lambeth `The Scrimmage’ a good Modelled Frog Group, circa 1880 depicting a group of frogs in sporting combat, in a green and brown glaze, on titled base 12.3cm high, artist monogram. Estimate £6,500 – 7,000 US$ 9,900 – 11,000 Bonhams, London, 2009. Image Copyright Bonhams. A George Tinworth for Doulton Lambeth a Double Frog Footed Vase, circa 1880 – Doulton Lambeth George Tinworth for Doulton Lambeth a Double Frog Footed Vase, circa 1880 modelled with two frogs clasping the sides of a bell-shape vase, glazed blue and buff 10.8cm high, obscured monogram to body. Estimate £2,000 – 2,500 €2,600 – 3,300 Bonhams, London, 2009. Image Copyright Bonhams. A George Tinworth A Doulton Model of a Frog in a Canoe by George Tinworth – A Doulton Model of a Frog in a Canoe by George Tinworth he is depicted seated with oar in his hands, glazed green, blue and brown 12.5cm long, (S.R to oar). Sold for £2,400 at Bonhams, London, Dec 2005. Image Copyright Bonhams. George Tinworth For Doulton Lambeth; ‘Hunting’ Figural Group – c.1888, stoneware modelled as frogs riding mice in a steeplechase incised monogram and impressed marks 4½in. (11.5cm.) high. Sold for £4,200 ($7,711) at Christies, London, July, 2006. Image Copyright Christies. George Tinworth For Doulton Lambeth; ‘Jack And The Green’ Figural Group -c.1885, stoneware modelled as frogs at a Jack in the Green May Day festival impressed and incised marks 5in. (12.8cm.) high. Sold for £4,560 ($8,372) at Christies, London, July, 2006. Image Copyright Christies. Books on George Tinworth
Thunderbirds first screened on the ITV Network in 1965, and 2015 sees the series celebrate its 50th annversary. The series was created by Gerry and Sylvia Anderson, and filmed by their production company AP Films (APF) and distributed by ITC Entertainment. The first Thunderbirds collectables and books appeared in 1966 and we take a look at some of the highlights from the last 50 years, and their values and produce a small Thunderbirds collectables price guide. Pictured: Thunderbirds Annuals from 1966 and 1971. The first Thunderbirds annual appeared in 1966 with editions in 1967-1970 and 1971 & 1972. There have also been annuals in the 1990s and more recently with the Thunderbirds film and new TV series. In excellent condition early annuals are valued at £25-£35 each. Condition is everything, in lesser conditions annuals can be just a few pounds each.<a target=”_blank” href=”https://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/710-53481-19255-0/1?icep_ff3=9&pub=5574679543&toolid=10001&campid=5335953011&customid=thunderbirds&icep_uq=thunderbirds+annual&icep_sellerId=&icep_ex_kw=&icep_sortBy=12&icep_catId=&icep_minPrice=&icep_maxPrice=&ipn=psmain&icep_vectorid=229508&kwid=902099&mtid=824&kw=lg”>View Thunderbird Annuals on ebay</a><img style=”text-decoration:none;border:0;padding:0;margin:0;” src=”https://rover.ebay.com/roverimp/1/710-53481-19255-0/1?ff3=9&pub=5574679543&toolid=10001&campid=5335953011&customid=thunderbirds&uq=thunderbirds+annual&mpt=[CACHEBUSTER]”>. One of the most popular characters is Lady Penelope actually appeared first in the TV21 annual of 1965. Thunderbirds is set in the mid-2060s and followed the exploits of International Rescue (IR), a life-saving organisation equipped with technologically-advanced land, sea, air and space rescue craft; these are headed by a fleet of five vehicles named the Thunderbirds and launched from IR’s secret base in the Pacific Ocean. The main characters are ex-astronaut Jeff Tracy, the founder of IR, and his five adult sons – Scott, John, Virgil, Gordon and Alan, who pilot the Thunderbird ships. Other main characters included Lady Penelope and Brains. Pictured: A Dinky No.100 “Thunderbirds” – Lady Penelope’s FAB1 – pink, clear roof slides, gold interior with “Lady Penelope & Parker” figures, cast detailed hubs – comes with missiles and harpoons in bag – overall condition appears to be generally Near Mint, still a superb example in a Near Mint bubble pack. Sold for £360 at Vectis, August 2015. Image Copyright Vectis. As with all die-cast models condition is everything and this is a very good example. There have been several versions over the years of this classic and Corgi are releasing a 50th Anniversary version – click for more details. It was the fourth Supermarionation puppet TV series to be produced by APF. Previous shows included Four Feather Falls, Supercar, Fireball XL5 and Stingray. Supermarionation used a form of electronic marionette puppetry combined with scale model special effects sequences. The Thunderbird Ships Thunderbird 1: a hypersonic rocket plane used for fast response and accident zone reconnaissance. Piloted by primary rescue co-ordinator Scott Tracy. Thunderbird 2: a supersonic carrier aircraft that transports rescue vehicles and equipment to accident zones in detachable capsules known as “Pods”. Piloted by Virgil. Thunderbird 3: a single-stage-to-orbit spacecraft. Piloted alternately by Alan and John, with Scott as co-pilot. Thunderbird 4: a utility submersible. Piloted by Gordon and normally launched from Thunderbird 2. Thunderbird 5: a space station that relays distress calls from around the world. Manned alternately by “Space Monitors” John and Alan. JR21 (named after managing director Jack Rosenthal) which later became Century 21 produced a range of toys featuring all the vehicles (Thunderbirds 1-5 and Lady Penelope’s FAB 1) in the show and some with variations. These JR21 and Century 21 toys have become collectables with models in boxes in very good condition fetching up to £300. Robert Harrop have been producing Supermarionation and Thunderbirds models for a number of years and their reproductions have won many fans and plaudits. Robert Harrop started producing figures in 1986 with their initial range of Doggie People. They have made models of all the main characters, associated characters, models and scenes and have designed a range to celebrate the 50th anniversary. Below are a selection of the 50th anniversary models. Tracy Island – The Greatest Toy Ever In 1992, Tracy Island became a phenomenon in the UK, after Thunderbirds was re-run on BBC2 and generated massive interest in Thunderbird related toys. The Tracy Island playset was top of many Christmas lists but large demand resulted in a shortage that left many parents and children upset. Pictured: 1992 Matchbox Tracy Island. These now sell boxed from £40-£100. The story was reported in the national news and is cited as the archetypal mistake to be avoided by the toy industry in general during the Christmas shopping season. Blue Peter responded to the stock shortage by demonstrating how to build a home-made version. Another release of the series in 2000 also sparked a peak in interest and a new Tracy Island playset from Vivid Imaginations went on to become the best-selling toy of 2000. Blue Peter once again had an island building creation. Thunderbirds on TV and in the movies Thunderbirds original series 1965 Thunderbirds Are Go film 1966 Thunderbird 6 film 1968 Thunderbirds film 2004 Thunderbirds Are Go tv series 2015 Other Thunderbirds Collectables and Ephemera There have been many Thunderbirds advertising tie-ins, books, ephemera, models, puppets, coins and more produced over the years – too numerous too mention in a brief article. Below are a few we like here at WCN. Thunderbirds Collectables and Toys related links Thunderbirds Vintage Toys has some great information and many wonderful images of rare and unusual Thunderbirds merchandise – click to visit. Stingray Collectables and Stingray Toys Price Guide