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Heads under the hammer!

Last week saw several items of interest to Anderson fans go under the hammer at the Ewbanks auction house, who had previously played host to a massive auction of material from Bray Studios (including original Terrahawks props, models and puppets) back in November 2020.

On February 24th an auction of vintage toys and models opened with a selection of Anderson toys ranging from original 1960s era all the way up to the Thunderbirds and Captain Scarlet revivals of the 1990s and early 2000s! Most lots sold for much more than their estimated value, with an SPV from Century 21 Toys selling for an amazing £700 – against an estimate of £70 to £100!

The following day saw an auction of entertainment memorabilia, where you could pick up everything from the doors to the entrance foyer of Abbey Road Studios to an Indiana Jones fedora signed by Harrison Ford! Amongst the vast catalogue of television and film lots were several more Terrahawks items, including original artwork of an unused Terrahawks logo and several designs for HUDSON. Other items of note included three video awards presented to Gerry Anderson in 1986 by Channel 5 video for outstanding sales of several of their VHS titles; Countdown to Disaster, The Incredible Voyage of Stingray, and the first Terrahawks compilation tape.

TOP: John Bickley of Channel 5 Video presents Gerry Anderson with an award for outstanding sales for Thunderbirds: Countdown to Disaster. BOTTOM: The three VHS awards at auction.

Most exciting of all however was the inclusion of two original puppet heads that had appeared as guest characters throughout Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons, Joe 90, and The Secret Service! The first to go under the hammer was one of the most prolific and instantly recognisable guest heads from that era, having played more than twenty different characters starting with Lieutenant Dean in the opening episode of Captain Scarlet. This head was estimated to sell for between £1,500 and £2,500 – but eventually went for exactly £5,000!

“Look at that!” Lt Dean sells for £5000!


The second puppet head had first appeared as Waddington in the Joe 90 episode The Professional, and had gone on to appear in several other minor guest roles in Joe 90 and The Secret Service. Although estimated to sell for slightly less than the Dean puppet (between £800 to £1,200) this head too sold for vastly more than was expected, with the hammer finally dropping at £4,600!

There’s no ‘unused money to return’, as Waddington sells for £4,600!

Also up for grabs (sorry) were a set of four Scarlet-era puppet hands, selling for £1,200 against an estimate of £600 to £900! These hands and the two puppet heads had previously come up for auction before at the Phillips Toys and Dolls auction back in 1995, where a massive assortment of Supermarionation puppet heads from Supercar to The Secret Service were first made accessible to fans looking to own a classic Anderson character.

Just some of the puppet heads you could have grabbed at the Phillips auction back in 1995!

This is not the first time Ewbanks have auctioned off a Supermarionation era puppet head, as Captain Ochre sold at the November 2020 Bray Studios auction for an incredible £19,000! Ewbanks have several more entertainment memorabilia auction scheduled throughout 2021, so it’s worth keeping an eye on their website – just in case any other classic Anderson characters are looking for a new home!

Written by
Chris Dale

Writer, editor & voice actor on Big Finish's Doctor Who, Terrahawks, Thunderbirds and Captain Scarlet audio ranges. Host of the Randomiser on the Gerry Anderson Podcast.

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