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Last Updated: Thursday, 8 May, 2003, 17:46 GMT 18:46 UK
Thunderbirds take off at auction
The heads of Thunderbirds puppets John, right, and Virgil Tracy
The heads of John, right, and Virgil Tracy were both sold

Figures and props from the Thunderbirds children's TV show have been auctioned for 112,000 - over five times more than expected.

The only existing head of puppet astronaut John Tracy sold for 37,600 - despite being valued at just 6,000.

The 23 Thunderbirds items, which also included military uniforms and clothing, were only expected to sell for a total of 20,000.

But the only surviving figure from animated series Camberwick Green did not find a home. It was expected to fetch 2,000-3,000.

Grown-up boys from the sixties are now very keen to buy back their childhood
Hugo Marsh
Christie's auctioneers

The show's creator Gordon Murray burned all of the other foam figures from Trumpton and Camberwick Green after they became worn out.

The Thunderbirds collection was saved from the rubbish dump by the seller's grandfather after the programme came to an end in the 1960s.

Hugo Marsh, head of toys at Christie's auctioneers, said: "I am absolutely flabbergasted but not entirely surprised.

"Grown-up boys from the sixties are now very keen to buy back their childhood.

International Rescue uniforms

"It also shows the virtue of not throwing anything away."

A Virgil Tracy puppet head, valued at 5,000-6,000, ended up fetching 18,800, while a head of man servant Kyrano, with an estimate of 2,000-3,000, sold for 11,750.

Scott Tracy's blue International Rescue cap plus trousers and pistol were bought for 3,055, while Alan Tracy's cream suit fetched 1,528.

More than 5,000 toy soldiers and military vehicles, dolls and Dinky and Corgi cars went under the hammer at Christie's in London on Thursday.

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