'Thunderbirds' are going once ... going twice

Well-loved characters from a bygone era of children's television were given an airing yesterday ahead of an auction of toys next week.

Thunderbirds puppets and the only surviving figure from the animated series Camberwick Green are among more than 750 lots of toys, trains and cars going under the hammer in Christie's Toys, Dolls and Mechanical Music sale.

The auction will be Christie's first toy sale of the year and will also feature more than 5,000 toy soldiers and military vehicles, dolls and Dinky and Corgi cars.

The Thunderbirds haul includes the heads of John and Virgil Tracey, their manservant Kyrano and a selection of blue International Rescue caps.

The treasure trove of Thunderbirds memorabilia, which is expected to fetch between £15,000 and £20,000, was discovered by the seller's grandfather more than 30 years ago as it headed for the rubbish dump after the programme came to an end.

A soldier from Camberwick Green's Pippin Fort – the only figure which escaped destruction at the hands of the show's creator Gordon Murray – is expected to fetch between £2,000 and £3,000.

The lots will go on display at Christie's in South Kensington, south-west London, next Wednesday ahead of the sale on Thursday.

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