FAQs

This Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page will answer many of the questions that we’re regularly asked about Fanderson and the way in which the club operates. With one notable exception this page isn’t designed to answer questions about Gerry and Sylvia Anderson’s productions, as you’ll find answers to many of those on our Productions, Locations and Biographies pages.

So, firstly, our most received question: What does ‘FAB’ stand for?

Nothing! Despite appearances, as used by International Rescue in Thunderbirds “FAB” is not an acronym – it’s simply a call sign like ‘Roger’ or ‘Ten-Four’ to acknowledge received instructions. In the 1960s, when Thunderbirds was in production, the term ‘fab’ was in common parlance as a shortened form of ‘fabulous’ which, of course, everything was. The phrase has enjoyed resurgence in recent years and ‘FAB’ itself entered the Collins English Dictionary in 2002: “‘FAB [interjection British informal] an expression of agreement to, or acknowledgement of, a command [from British television series, Thunderbirds].”

Fanderson is a club for fans worldwide of all of Gerry and Sylvia Anderson’s television and film productions. It was formed in 1981 at the request of ITC Entertainment who wanted to assist and support one single fan body for all of the Anderson productions to which it owned the copyright. The club is based in the UK and organised by a small unpaid committee of longtime fans.

Rather than any specific productions, we’re interested in ‘the worlds of Gerry and Sylvia Anderson’. Whilst that primarily includes their productions together, it also covers their own individual projects, plus the work of other talented people that worked with them. So, that can include the other ITC shows, programmes like Cloppa Castle, the James Bond films, and new productions such as Thunderbirds Are Go – albeit all to a lesser degree.

The club committee is formed of club members who offer their services. Committee positions are unpaid and duties are performed in members’ free time, so you should allow a few days to a reply to any enquiry, and allow up to 28 days to receive your merchandise.

Committee service continues until an individual decides to retire, is dismissed for acting against the best interests of the club, or is replaced by member vote at our Annual General Meeting. Vacant committee posts are advertised in FAB magazine, and in the past positions have come about from members suggesting roles to improve the running of the club.

Gerry Anderson was instrumental in forming the club and was our honorary President until his death in 2012. He took an active interest in everything we did, regularly contributed to the club magazine by providing information about his latest projects and answering members’ questions, and always made time to offer assistance as required. However, he entrusted all decision-making about the organisation of the club, its merchandise and events, to the members of the committee.

For many years the club did not involve Sylvia Anderson in its activities at Gerry’s request (given the breakdown of the Andersons’ marriage in the 1970s and their subsequent divorce in 1981). However, having first obtained the approval of Anderson’s widow Mary, in 2014 club chairman Nick Williams made contact with Sylvia Anderson in response to calls to do so from club members.

On 3rd October 2015, Sylvia Anderson was welcomed to the club’s convention The Future Is Fantastic! with a standing ovation from over 250 delegates. Her daughter Dee subsequently sanctioned Fanderson as the official appreciation society of her mother, alongside Gerry.

The licensing and development rights to the properties in the ITC Entertainment library of films and television programmes are now owned by ITV Studios Global Entertainment, which recognises Fanderson as the only official appreciation society for Gerry and Sylvia ‘s work. This special relationship gives us access to the ITC library of photographs and other materials, and free license to produce merchandise based on the Anderson television series produced for ITC between 1960 and 1976. In return Fanderson provides ITV with an information resource, consultancy service and assistance to their commercial merchandise licensees, should they require it.

Fanderson’s status as the official Gerry and Sylvia Anderson appreciation society was provided in perpetuity by Gerry Anderson himself and by Sylvia’s family. ITC Entertainment authorises Fanderson’s status as the only officially-recognised appreciation society for the television series on which they retain the copyright: Supercar, Fireball XL5, Stingray, Thunderbirds, Captain Scarlet And The Mysterons, Joe 90, The Secret Service, UFO, The Protectors and Space:1999. The owners of all other Anderson productions also recognise the club’s official status.

Despite the club’s relationships with ITV, ITC, Anderson Entertainment and other copyright holders, Fanderson is independent of any company or individual.

In 2014, Anderson Entertainment made various claims against Fanderson via solicitors and threatened the club with legal action.

Fanderson responded fully but the claims have been neither progressed through the courts or withdrawn.

Therefore, regrettably, whilst these claims and threats continue to hang over the club and its members, it is inappropriate for any of Fanderson’s output, channels or services be used to promote Anderson Entertainment, its products and services, or its officers.

  1. As a club, in which we ‘mutually trade’ with fellow members, UK tax laws exempt us from paying income tax. To do otherwise would mean we’d have to pay tax and add this to the selling price of our merchandise, making everything more expensive.
  2. Our relationship with the copyright holders of the various Anderson productions means that Fanderson is allowed to produce limited edition merchandise without purchasing the merchandise licenses that other manufacturers must buy. However, this arrangement is on the strict understanding that Fanderson only sells its products to club members. The alternative of buying a merchandise license would inflate the production costs beyond what most members could afford – based on the limited quantities that Fanderson produce (commercial manufacturers are able to spread the cost of the license fee over the production of a much larger number of items, anything from 10 to 50 times the number of units that Fanderson produces).
  3. The club’s status, combined with the factors above, enables us to invest in items of merchandise that would be financially unviable to commercial merchandisers, based on the relatively small quantities that they could expect to sell.
  4. As with any club, to give like-minded people the opportunity to meet and have access to products and services that are not available to the general public.

Please see the above answer and, if it helps, think of the membership fee as that premium – which also happens to give you access to the full range of club services and products. Just let us know if you don’t want to be sent your membership pack and FAB magazines and we’ll invest your membership fee in services and merchandise for the general membership instead.

Even without the cost of a merchandising license, our limited production quantities mean that our unit costs are sometimes higher than they would be on comparable commercially-produced items. Taking Fanderson’s soundtrack CDs as an example, there are many factors that contribute to the production cost such as engineering, editing and digital remastering, the hire of recording studio facilities, manufacturing, duplication and on-body print, packaging reprographics and print, composer royalties, musicians’ royalties, and so on. If these production costs amount to, say, £16,000 then Fanderson’s unit cost is £16 each based on the production of just 1,000 units. By contrast, if a commercial manufacturer expects to sell 5,000 copies of a comparable CD his unit cost is reduced to around just £3.20 each, onto which he can add a considerable profit.

Yes, of course! About a quarter of our members live outside the UK. You will find full details of membership rates and how to pay on the Join Us page of the website. Just add to the membership fee the postage for the part of the world in which you live.

Yes. Just add your membership to your cart whilst shopping online and you’ll be charged for your complete transaction. Note, however, that Memberships and Sales operate separately and are located in different parts of the UK, so they will be delivered separately. Please allow up to 28 days for delivery of your merchandise order.

You can pay online with most major credit and debit cards and PayPal. If you pay by card we will charge you in Pounds Sterling (GBP), and your card company/bank will do the conversion and charge you in your local currency. So that you can check the amount that you’ve been charged your card statement will usually show both currencies.

If you’re in the UK, you can also pay by post with a cheque (with a UK bank sort code) or UK postal order.

Most banks throughout the world can exchange your local currency into Pounds Sterling (GBP), although there is often a charge to you for doing this. It is usually easier and more economical to pay by credit or debit card.

Fanderson will only use your personal information to administer your account and to provide the products and services you have requested from us:
• providing your FAB magazines
• providing your merchandise
• providing information about, and access to, our events
• providing you access to the Fanderson Forum
• reminding you that your membership has expired
• sending you news and offers (including those on behalf of third parties) that we believe will be of interest to you
• general correspondence
We will never pass your personal information to a third party for any other reason. We will retain your personal information for six FAB mailings after your membership expires (nominally two years), and then permanently delete it. You can ask us to delete your personal information at any time by e-mailing fanderson.org.uk@outlook.com, including your name, address and membership number, at which point your membership will terminate immediately.

Fanderson is run by volunteers spread around the UK, so memberships are mailed from one location and merchandise from another. Although they might be delivered to you at different times, you should always have received everything within 28 days (in the UK at the very least). If you’re worried about any order you’ve placed, please get in touch with us.

FAB is published three times a year (nominally in spring, summer and winter). Each issue details when the next FAB is expected and we’ll confirm this on our website when we know the latest issue has started landing in members’ homes.

Your welcome letter tells you when your membership expires initially, and the mailing label with FAB magazine mailings always carry this detail. You will also be sent a renewal form with the last FAB issue of your current membership.

Our most recent convention, Special Assignment, was held at the Holiday Inn, Maidenhead in October 2017. There, over 300 fans of Captain Scarlet And The Mysterons celebrated the series’ 50th anniversary, as well as all other Gerry and Sylvia Anderson productions.

Our next event will be Supercelebration, again at the Holiday Inn, Maidenhead on the weekend of 20th to 22nd September 2019. It’s a full weekend event celebrating 50 years of UFO, Doppelgänger, The Secret Service and the productions of Gerry and Sylvia Anderson.

The Fanderson committee members live at different locations across the UK, so sending your mail to the right address (as detailed on our forms and in FAB magazine) means you’ll get a much quicker response. Our PO Box is really for ‘first contact’ queries or for submitting letters and articles to FAB magazine. Of course, mail sent to any of our addresses will get forwarded to the right people, it might just take a little time.

If Fanderson is provided with broadcast/release details in advance we will post this on the News page of our website.

The full range of Fanderson merchandise is in the shop of our website. We cannot supply any items that are not listed.

However, when we’re getting stock ready for one of our conventions or events we may come across long-since-deleted items, so we’ll always bring those along to the events to members have a chance to buy them.

Sorry, but we don’t offer a valuation service. However, where appropriate, we can put you in touch with professional auction houses that have greater expertise in the current value.

Sorry, but we don’t offer an autograph service by mail. However, our convention guests are more than happy to provide sign autographs for delegates.

Members’ suggestions, including the information about their preferred productions helps us to target our efforts towards the most popular shows, although we aim to cover all of them to some degree. Many of our items have either been suggested by our members, or in some cases actually produced by our talented members.

Yes, we want everyone to enjoy our programmes. In fact, Fanderson’s first DVD release, The Day After Tomorrow/Space Police, was the world’s first internationally compatible disc, with PAL on one side and NTSC on the other.

We held AGMs in 2015 and 2016: no members attended in 2015 and just one attended in 2016. Therefore, the committee agreed not to waste funds on further physical AGMs, though members are invited to contribute and vote online on issues raised at a virtual AGM.

Members can always put questions to the committee by writing to/e-mailing us. Conventions also provide an excellent opportunity to talk with committee members.

The club’s financial status is reviewed at every committee meeting and an annual summary is freely available to members on request.