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Wednesday, 30 May, 2001, 09:42 GMT 10:42 UK
Rainbow figures for sale
George, Zippy and Bungle
George, Zippy and Bungle go under the hammer
Three characters from the children's television series Rainbow will be auctioned at Christie's in July.

The costume of Bungle the bear and the puppets of George the pink hippopotamus and Zippy will go under the hammer and are expected to fetch up to 3,000.

Zippy
Zippy's voice was provided by actor Roy Skelton
Many viewers still have fond memories of the long-running ITV show, which was presented by Geoffrey Hayes.

Only four or five sets of these characters are thought to have survived.

The three characters will be sold on 12 July by a fancy-dress shop owner who bought them during a studio clear-out in the 1980s.

Cult TV

The characters come complete with a set of costumes, including a turquoise and silver tutu for Bungle, a deerstalker and cape, a fake ermine-trimmed, red velvet cape and snakeskin, superhero costume and mask for George and Zippy.

Also for sale is a range of cult TV and film related toys, space toys and robots dating from the 1940s up to the present day, and valued from 200 to 20,000.

Daniel Agnew, a film and television memorabilia expert at Christie's, told the Independent newspaper: "We've found that Bond toys and Thunderbird toys from the 1960s have been getting more and more valuable.

"We're now slowly creeping into the Seventies."

Clockwork robot

The highlight of the sale is an extremely rare Diamond Planet Robot, valued up to 20,000.

This large clockwork robot, the first of its kind to be offered at auction by Christie's, was produced by the Japanese company Yonezawa in the late 1950s and is to be sold in its original box.

Toys such as Barbie, Sasha, Action Man, Disney and Noddy will also feature in the sale.

Rainbow ran on ITV for 20 years from 1972 and was created as a rival to BBC's Play School.

The show was axed in 1992 when Thames Television lost its ITV franchise, although the format was revived twice for brief periods in the 1990s.

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See also:

24 Oct 00 | Entertainment
Spock's ears up for auction
14 Feb 01 | Entertainment
Bond bikini sells for 35,000
13 Jul 00 | Entertainment
Spitting Image sale boosts charity
22 Jul 99 | Entertainment
Barbie stays on the shelf
17 May 99 | Entertainment
Made in the 70s, still going strong
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