Dinky Toys website – new in Links

Dinky Toys remain some of the most memory-jogging and collectible merchandise produced in connection with the Anderson productions.

For anyone who wants to reminisce, or even for some research into the variations available, check out dinkytvspace.com (you can also find this in Resources > Links).

Site owner Kevin O’Neil says:

“The site has been up and running for about two years but has been at least five more years in the making. I had started collecting Gerry Anderson themed Dinkys in the nineties, having been a fan of the various TV series from my childhood. The first model I bought was a pretty battered 104 Spectrum Patrol Vehicle and various others followed over the years, generally in less than tip top condition. Then about ten years ago I decided to collect a full set of the GA TV show models in good to mint condition with boxes and it was then I realised that there were lots of variations and instead of 20 odd models there were going to be lots more. The bug had got hold, I couldn’t shake it and the bank account took a major hit!

“The 353 Shados were the first set I pulled together, but it was hard to source accurate information about how many versions and variants there were. Added to the fact that this genre of models were not really supported or even liked by many of the Collector’s clubs that existed. So I started cataloging what I could find with the intention of perhaps releasing a book at some distant time in the future, however,  it became clear that everytime I finished a ‘chapter’ it was out of date because some new information had come to light. 

“I was often researching by looking at websites like the Eagle Transporter forums, Laurent Classe’s Captain Scarlet and Thunderbirds sites and many others and it became clear that the best way to catalogue my collection was to create dinkytvspace.com  which I could then update easily as new information came in. And when the site went live at the end of 2017, new facts and images did arrive. I was delighted to discover that there are some really knowledgable collectors of this genre out there who are happy to share their data and advice and the site has grown from there. I did widen the remit from just Gerry Anderson models to all TV, Space and Specials because I felt that they were part of the same Dinky story and ethos that brought a lot of happiness to the boys and girls of the 60s and 70s and a few adults as well!

If Fanderson members can provide new information and/or images or point out any errors or inaccuracies please contact me on dcmtvspace@virginmedia.com or via comments on the site itself.”

Membership auto-renewal – fix applied

A software fix was applied at the weekend which should have stopped the problem some members were experiencing, whereby they were forced to set up their club account as an automatic annually-renewing membership.

We are now working our way through all membership records to un-apply any auto-renewing, which we are doing on an individual member basis. This will take some days, and members affected will be emailed directly by PayPal to inform them when the club has suspended automatic payments. This does not affect your membership or your ability to pay for any of the club’s services or merchandise. It will simply stop our system auto-renewing your membership next year.

We continue to seek a solution to another issue, whereby some members are not being given the option to simply pay by card (instead only being offered to use/open a PayPal account). As this problem is sporadic, we ask any members experiencing difficulties such as these to email us with:

  • your name
  • your location (country)
  • what you were trying to buy
  • total order amount
  • screenshots of the payment screen and any error messages that you are getting.

Thanks.

 

Sporadic issues with PayPal (updated)

It has been brought to our attention that a very small number of club members are experiencing problems paying for their Fanderson membership, merchandise or services.

Although PayPal has been our card payment processor without problem for many years, it appears that some members are no longer being given the option to simply pay by card (instead only being offered to use/open a PayPal account). Please be assured that this is not something that Fanderson has asked to be put in place.

We’ve also been advised of a separate problem whereby PayPal is suggesting that a membership has to be set up as an automatically annually-renewing transaction. Again, this is not something that Fanderson has asked to be put in place.

We are investigating both of these problems with PayPal, but it is proving difficult as they’re sporadic and don’t seem to be following any pattern (ie, location, amount being purchased etc).

Some members have found that clearing their browser history has cleared the problem.

Other members have found using a different browser works, or completing the transaction on their phone, instead of a computer.

We ask any members experiencing difficulties such as these to email us with:

  • your name
  • your location (country)
  • what you were trying to buy
  • total order amount
  • your browser (eg, Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, Chrome)
  • the type of computer you’re using (eg, Windows desktop, Windows laptop, Apple laptop, iPad, Android phone)
  • screenshots of the payment screen and any error messages that you are getting.

Thanks.

The Secret Service Close-Up to be reprinted

We’d like to apologise to club members that this year’s membership item – The Secret Service Close-Up book – does not meet our usual high production standards.

The book will be re-printed and re-issued to all members with FAB 94, later this year. We’ll continue to mail the existing stock to new members until new stock is available.

 

Operation Priest Treasure Hunt – the answers

As something for delegates to do on the way to Maidenhead for Fanderson’s recent Supercelebration convention, and as a way of visiting some Anderson filming locations, we suggested the Operation Priest Treasure Hunt.

Just one team entered (and therefore won) and they were Paul Mayne, Richard and Fiona Yelland, Steven Cross, Chris Dean and Huw Davies.

Click to see the answers.

Supercelebration – what a weekend!

Anderson fans flocked to the Holiday Inn Maidenhead last weekend to mark the 50th anniversary of The Secret Service, Doppelgänger and UFO and to raise money for charity The Silver Line, a free 24-hour helpline for older people. Incredibly, a combination of events over the weekend and sheet generosity of fans meant that over £8,000 was raised in total.

 

A great turn out

With around 250 fans coming from all over the world to be at the convention, Stuart Drummond and John Wilkinson had their work cut out on the registrations desk when the convention officially opened on Friday afternoon.

 

Guests

There was a huge range of guests throughout the weekend, covering all aspects of the Anderson productions and eras, appearing on the main stage and signing autographs.

There were no less than three UFO-themed two-hander interviews over the weekend. Penny Spencer partnered fellow SHADO operative Georgina Moon to talk about their experiences of acting and living in the 1960s, while Gary Raymond and Christian Roberts reminisced about their guest appearances in The Man Who Came Back and The Long Sleep respectively. Finally Susan Jameson and Michael Jayston talked about their memories of acting together as brother and sister on The Sound Of Silence.

Andrew Skilleter, Graham Bleathman and Steve Kyte spoke about their work on Alan Fennell’s Fleetway comics in the 1990s, as well as their memories of the original TV21. Mike Trim presented a fascinating slideshow covering his work as an illustrator after Century 21, and also teamed up with Dominic Lavery to talk about their experiences of designing for the Andersons 35 years apart.

The largest interview of the weekend was a Terrahawks mega panel consisting of Kaye Main, Terry Adlam, John Lee, Steve Begg, Judy Preece, Peter Tilbe and Gary Tomkins. Peter Hitchcock shared his memories of working on the Supermarionation heydays at the Slough Trading Estate, while other interviews included Steve Begg, Brian Johnson and Mark Woollard, and Dee Anderson joining puppeteers Mary Turner and Judy Preece.

 

Special screenings

Among the guest interviews, there were two special screenings of recorded interviews with Anderson grandees who are now sadly lost to us. Producer Jeff Smart provided a never-before-released audio commentary by the recently departed Shane Rimmer for Zeke’s Blues, a The Protectors episode that he both wrote and starred in. To further mark The Secret Service anniversary, fans were also treated to a filmed interview with Stanley Unwin from the Fanderson Archives.

 

Model room and art room

Away from the Features Room, there was a huge range of other things for fans to get involved in. The Art Room featured an incredible amount of original Anderson artwork from Frank Bellamy, Mike Noble, Ron Embleton, Frank Hampson, Graham Bleathman (who also organised the display) and many others.

The Model Room run by Chris King had a constantly shifting rota of original and reproduction puppets, vehicles from across the series, original props and costumes, and even a model of the AP Films studio building. The exhibition also extended to downstairs, where Ben Westenend’s impressive 6-metre studio scale replica of the Thunderbird 2 hanger, runway and launchpad was on display.

There was also a Music Room, where attendees could relax and complete a colouring-in sheet and potentially win a prize, and an Episodes Room holding all-day screenings.

 

Workshops

The ever popular programme of Workshops, run by Katie Bleathman, included subjects as diverse as the digital music restoration for Fanderson’s soundtrack CDs, Anderson artwork and a chance to try your hand at puppetry. This year also saw a slot in which fans could ask Fanderson committee members Nick Williams and Lynn Simpson questions about the running of the club.

 

Fanderson sales

Run by Stephen Brown and Lynn Simpson, Fanderson Sales always pulls some exclusive goodies out of the bag at a convention, and this year was no exception. To celebrate the 50th anniversary of The Secret Service, two commemorative tea towels went on sale. In terms of new books,  Super Space Theatre examined the compilation releases of the Anderson series and included a set of 13 artwork prints. The latest edition of the much-loved ‘FAB Book of…’ was also on sale, looking into the world of Anderson bubble gum cards. And there was exclusive news of a new upcoming soundtrack CD: an expanded re-issue of UFO!

 

Convention book 

Designed and edited by Mike Jones and Dave Nightingale, the convention book was styled as the ‘next issue’ of the original SIG, the ground-breaking commercial Anderson magazine of the early 1980s that ran for 20 issues and paved the way for modern fan publications such as FAB. It was a beautiful touch of nostalgia for all older fans, some of whom couldn’t believe it was a brand new issue!

 

Evening entertainment

Friday evening began with a glass of bubbly and a screening of the final episode of The Secret Service in the Features Room. This was followed by ‘Lord Parker’s Bingo’, hilariously compered by Mike Jones dressed as the eponymous butler from Lord Parker’s ‘Oliday.

Fast forward to Saturday night, and fans were treated to a ’70s and ’80s themed disco that ran until midnight.  It gave some people the chance to wear their very best Anderson-themed fancy dress and win a prize…

 

Raffles and auctions

A number of raffles and auctions (live and blind) were held over the weekend, with all proceeds going to The Silver Line. Some highly desirable Anderson memorabilia became the subject of intense bidding wars, with the highest winning bid for an International Rescue plaque, produced by Virgin Trains to commemorate their unveiling of the Scott Tracy engine by Gerry Anderson in 2002. It sold for an eye-watering £1,500!

 

Thank you to everyone who contributed and attended

In an emotional closing ceremony, Fanderson chairman Nick Williams thanked everyone involved (below).

As previously announced, this was the last full weekend Fanderson convention (though we’ll continue with smaller events, and hope to support others staging events), and things certainly went out with a bang! It was a true Supercelebration that will live long in the memory.

 

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Supercelebration – limited on-the-door places available

Since registrations to Supercelebration closed last week, we’ve been inundated with enquiries as to whether club members can turn up and pay on the door.

We’re delighted to confirm that we have a limited number of spaces available, and that more space is available on Sunday than Saturday. So, it will be possible for members to turn up and pay on the door, but please remember that space is limited, so turn up as early as possible to not only secure a space, but to experience as much of the convention as possible.

If you’d like to be sure of getting in, you can ‘reserve’ an on-the-door place right now, buy a Supporting package, and upgrade to a full day pass on arrival. Note, however, that even Supporting registrations will close this Wednesday, 18th September.

Remember, you must have set up your Fanderson account in order to buy anything from us.