Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Gerry Anderson’s Firestorm launches on Kickstarter

Gerry Anderson’s Firestorm launches on Kickstarter

Anderson Entertainment announced the launch of Firestorm on the crowd-funding platform Kickstarter at 9:30 am on 30 September 2014. Fans of iconic Gerry Anderson shows like Space: 1999, Stingray, Captain Scarlet, UFO and Thunderbirds will be able to back the project to help fund the pilot episode in return for special limited edition rewards from props and collector edition DVDs, to set visits and film credits.

Firestorm is a Gerry Anderson concept that was originally produced and released by a Japanese company as an anime series across Japan and South East Asia in 2003. This new version of the Gerry Anderson concept has been redeveloped from Gerry’s original synopsis and story outline documents.

Once funding from the Kickstarter campaign has been successfully raised, a pilot episode will be made with a new filming technique called ‘Ultramarionation’, the next stage in evolution from the famous ‘Supermarionation’ technique of Thunderbirds and Captain Scarlet, using a combination of puppetry, practical effects, physical props and sets, and model miniatures.
Jamie Anderson, Managing Director of Anderson Entertainment and son of Gerry Anderson, MBE, says, “Developing Firestorm ready to be filmed in Ultramarionation has been an absolute joy. 

Film-making methods like practical effects, the expert use of miniatures and puppetry were pioneered by the incredibly talented teams at AP Films and Century 21 on shows like Stingray, Captain Scarlet, Space: 1999 and Thunderbirds and it will be my pleasure to bring them back to the screen for a 21st century audience.”

The campaign is aiming to raise a minimum of £49,000 to produce a 5-8 minute minisode introducing some of the characters and storyline elements of the series.  It also features various ‘stretch goals’, so if more money is raised, it will allow for further development of characters and storyline, introducing further scenes and explosions up to a 22 minute pilot episode if £135,000 is raised and a full 45 minute feature episode if £342,000 is raised.

As Mr Anderson sums it up, “It's my hope that generations of Gerry Anderson fans from all over the world will join us for this project on Kickstarter and help us bring the UK’s own Walt Disney’s next project - Firestorm - to TV screens in the very near future!”

For further information, see


There are many beautiful toys in the SpaceX 2 range and the Astronomic Telescopic Satellite or ATS is one such toy. It is a rare beauty as well. In all my years of collecting toys I've never seen either a complete loose example and certainly not a fully carded one, only the artwork on the back of other SpaceX 2 cards like the one below.

The closest I've come to the toy are the two photographs of ATS's above [ photoshopped together by me] : the top toy is a custom hybrid of original and repro parts by our very own Bill and is the nearest we have as to what a complete toy looks like. The middle picture is an original ATS body minus the solar panels from the Barry Forde collection.

The small picture is the artwork of the ATS as featured on the rear of the SpaceX 2 MOLAB backing card below courtesy of Will Osborne. As always, your pictures, thoughts and stories welcomed.

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Lunar Orbiter - Crash Landing

Spacex toys are for me a story of tragedy and triumph, much like the actual history of the Nasa Lunar Orbiter. I came upon my toy about 8 years ago, on ebay. The seller was from Tri-ang's home town of Merton and had listed it as a carded, complete and slightly battered toy. At the same time, he listed a Nasa Glider, but as I had one of these already, I concentrated on the Orbiter. During the week of the auction, I pestered the seller with questions, which he dutifully answered. He had apparently found both items at a local car boot and no, he didn't have any more. He wasn't apparently aware of what they were and listed them as described on the card, without the usual appellations of "WOW" "Rare" "Please Look!" or "Loft Find" etc, which always manage to set my teeth on edge and make me resist looking.

After the usual nail biting finale, the glider whizzed off into the ether for silly money and I fought my way through to buy the Orbiter for - at the time - a stiff £45. I was happy, I'd won another rarity, complete with accessories on the card and including the badge. I hopped around the room, singing as I hit the paypal button. Some time later, I got the dispatch note and waited patiently, the few days, for the post to arrive.

It came at the weekend and I sat poised, waiting for postman Pat to bring me a nice little box full of bubblewrap with the holy of holies resting inside. Instead, the letterbox clanged shut with a deathly knell and a battered jiffy bag flopped onto the mat like a dead fish.

Not only was the bag battered, it was torn and actually open. My heart sank as I noticed the postcode and tore open the envelope. Inside, without any interior wrapping was my Orbiter. Having worked in a postal sorting office, I know the rigours of the sorting system and it was clear that my parcel had been forcibly subjected to the intense scrutiny of every single, rough handed step of the process, including apparently being used as a cushion for the slightly overweight van driver who had delivered it personally to my door.

It wasn't pleasant. The already fatigued blister had given way and cracked open, allowing one of the two precious aerials to escape into the envelope, which had then been liberated somewhere between here and the south of England onto the floor of some royal mail property. The whole vehicle was crushed, the circular ring around the fuel tanks had broken and the central mount was pressed down onto the main body. It was clear now that the seller was obviously not a discerning ebayer who took pride in his transactions, but a random scally who had just made the price of a couple of pairs of new Airmax from some overenthusiastic northern monkey.

I was livid. Logging on to ebay, I messaged a carefully worded complaint about his lack of care in packing. No response. Wiping away tears of heartbreak and anguish, I considered some inflammatory negative feedback for the deal, but the possibility of more Spacex appearing from the same seller stayed my hand. Nothing else ever appeared and mercifully, nobody else has been so mindless in packaging since.


The Triang SpaceX Lunar Orbiter is a beautiful carded toy straight from NASA's hangar. I don't own one but I love the colour scheme in this photograph: the blue antenna, the red badge and the orange silver combination of the toy. Interestingly the silver backing card, familiar to us as SpaceX II, is marked S1.

I don't have a photo of a loose SpaceX Orbiter so I've included a small plastic model made for LOIRP. Your Orbiter pictures welcomed.

Monday, 29 September 2014

Lunar Transporter - Paint it Black

LT10 was an odd one for me. I received mine in a roundabout fashion from my good friend and schoolmate. He bought it around 1973 when we found a discount store in Liverpool selling dead stock. I can date this accurately as I first came across them while visiting my mum in hospital. I also got the Corgi Starfighter Jet Car the same day and from a shop across the road, which oddly enough is still trading. At the time there was only one LT10 and my mate bought it. I coveted it for years and it was some time after, that he lost interest and I wangled it off him.

On the card, it seems to show the vehicle carrying a rocket, but the actual thing is a lift from the vehicle in the Green Slime.

At the time, I was unaware of the connection and most unimpressed with the gaudy orange finish, so out came the Humbrol Gloss Black and to my eternal future shame and damnation... 'nuff said.


The Spacex II Lunar Transporter or LT-10 is one of my favourite SpaceX toys. It was made by Pippin Rovex Tri-ang. Although I've never owned one I can appreciate its sleek lines and classic lip-stick design, which reminds me of the Nova Rocket on its side. This picture is one I've photoshopped together using a carded example I saw several years ago on an online auction, together with a nice loose one from the Ferryman collection.

As far as I know the toy was inspired by a similar spacecraft featured in the 1960's Japanese movie The Green Slime. The vehicle also inspired model company Midori to release it in kit form. I have yet to see a photo of both the SpaceX toy and the Midori kit together, but suspect that the model is much bigger.

There may also be a US boxed version of the SpaceX toy as part of the Golden Astronaut Deluxe Die-Cast Metal Chassis range, but I've never seen one.

I would be pleased to receive pictures and anecdotes of your Lunar Transporter for the blog.

Sunday, 28 September 2014

Small Space - Redux

Having a lot of fun lately with an old manual lens and a handful of glass filters, attached to my digital camera. The latest subject of my photographic scrutiny is the Airfix Lunar Module base, sporting some small space toys.



Yes, just what is wrong with the Star Bird? I ask this question as this space toy has virtually never been mentioned on this blog, which seems odd now I think about it. Does it represent a nadir in space toys? A break from the classics of the Sixties and early Seventies? A herald of the commercially-controlled video games pandemic?

Hard to say. Made by Milton Bradley in the late Seventies, it looks like it has everything. Its a big toy with detachable parts and sound effects. What's not to like? A quick google and I can see it's a very popular toy covered on many other blogs and websites. Just not here! There are colour variations, different names, companion toys like the Intruder and Big Trak and custom jobs. In fact one site declares it to be the best space toy ever! Perhaps for some kids it was and is their Zero-X!

Despite finding several Star Birds at Car Boots in the Nineties, in their distinctively huge flat boxes, a possible clue as to its invisibility here at MC is the fact that I never had one as a kid. By the late Seventies I was already in my late teens. Perhaps this is the crux of it. Moonbase readers may just have been too 'old' for the Star Bird for it to mean anything to them.

What do you think readers? Are we simply not the Star Bird generation?


SWORD Doppelgangers

Top to Bottom:

Echo Toys Legends of Space Dyna Soar,
Triang SpaceX Nuclear Ferry [front ship],
Aoshima die-cast Zero X.

Sources: Planet Die Cast Forum, Echo Toys, Woodsy

Saturday, 27 September 2014



Brontosaurus in New York.
He's having a great time!

A Moonbase Central Short.

the definitive guide to vintage thunderbirds toys - steve's thunderbirds vintage toys

BLOG EXCLUSIVES ARCHIVE: CUrrently out of order

Spacex Mobile Launch Pad Instruction sheet courtesy of reader Mike Burrows

Spacex Nuclear Pulse Instruction sheet courtesy of reader Mike Burrows

Tarheel Moon Prospector Instruction sheet courtesy of Woodsy

Snow Train and Hover Tank Make a Model Book Century 21 courtesy of Woodsy

Scout 3 Box copy to print out and make up by Woodsy and Wotan


Courtesy of Graeme Walker

Blog exclusive 3 - tarheel moon prospector instruction sheet - print-out a4 and keep!


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