tv memorabilia

has been in demand since science-fiction shows first burst onto the small screen in the late 1950s. The appeal is just as strong today, as new viewers discover When Yuri Gagarin became the first man in space in 1961, 'astronaut' ousted 'train driver' as the most- coveted job for children everywhere. It's not surprising that TV science- fiction shows soon became popular.


Puppet TV

Gerry Anderson was responsible for several 1960s 'Supermarionation' (from 'super', 'marionette', and 'animation') puppet series in Britain, including Stingray, Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons, Joe 90, and Thunderbirds. 

A new generation of fans is created every time they are aired on TV. During the 1970s live actors replaced puppets in sci-fi series such as UFO and Space 1999, which were also Anderson productions.

The successful American TV series Buck. Rogers in the 25tb Century and Battle star Galactica, both by Glen A. Larson and featuring live actors, also still have their fans and a band of devoted Making their name

From the earliest days, themed merchandise was popular and included everything from games and comics to action figures and toy versions of the vehicles, which were often major stars of many of these shows.

Original toys in good condition are sought after, and merchandise in mint condition can command astonishing prices because of its rarity - few toys are left untouched in their original packaging. Prices vary depending upon the popularity of the show, and examples can fetch anything from around £25 to £500.

Original Supermarionation merchandise - especially vehicles - is always of interest. A 1960s Stingray submarine bath toy can cost £50—70, while a Lady Penelope FAB1 car from the same period can fetch around £200-300, provided that it is in mint condition with its packaging.

Stickers, badges, trading cards, and other small items are often available for $5 or less, and original 1960s annuals usually cost about £1-10. Model kits are reasonable buys, but only if boxed and in mint condition. Air fix kits from the 1970s Space 1999 and the 1990s Battlestar Galactica kits by Resell can often sell for £10-20 if Rocketing prices


The rarest merchandise is that from Fireball XL5, Gerry Anderson's first Supersaturation show, launched in 1962. Fairy light made a Fireball XLS spaceship which, if boxed and in mint condition, can command up to .£2,000-2,500. 

Even without its packaging, it may be worth £300-600. Fireball XL5 hasn't been broadcast in Britain for nearly 20 years, but its release on DVD in 2003 may push prices higher.


Shrewd investors may prefer to gamble on more recent ranges. A mid-1990s Thunderbirds model by Matchbox, kept in immaculate condition with its box, can now cost £20-30. 

When choosing current toys, look for lots of detail, gadgets, and moving parts; toys that are popular now are likely to be collectable inyears to come, but only if kept boxed and in excellent condition.


Thunderbirds are go

Far more merchandise was produced for Thunderbirds, but mint-condition toys can still cost up 
to £500, with some reaching around £-3,000. A 1966 Thunderbirds rifle made by Crescent was sold in perfect condition a few years ago for .£2,000.

 Given its rarity, even a used rifle without its illustrated box can fetch .£300-600. With a new Thunderbirds film due out, expect prices to rise. In addition, Disney has bought the rights to Joe 90; Anderson Productions is working on a computer- animated Captain Scarlet film; and a UFO movie is in production in the USA. 

Hold on to any collectables related to these shows, as they may increase in value.

Beam me up


Star Trek launched a galaxy of films, spin-off shows, merchandise, and fanzines. First shown in 1966, the programme became popular on both sides of the Atlantic. The continued interest in all things trekkie' means it is still worth searching for bargains.

 A complete set of the five 1960s promotional cards distributed by TV stations can fetch up to £30-60, while a Mego Klingon action figure issued in 1974 can be worth £50-80 if complete and in mint condition. Later figures, such as those issued alongside The Next Generation series, are generally less expensive. Try attending Star Trek conventions to learn what's popular.

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