AT THE home of Simon Wood, Thunderbirds are go.
The South Launceston collector has so much of the television series’ merchandise he’s displaying it at the Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery from May.
Remembered and often lampooned for its use of marionettes, the program remains in the popular imagination since rocketing onto television screens in the 1960s.
Set in the 2060s, the British science fiction show follows the adventures of International Rescue, a secret organisation dedicated to saving lives.
The show’s Tracy family live on the high-tech, futuristic and remote Tracy Island, located in the South Pacific. They foil the plots of villains including the “Hood”.
“It’s funny looking at how the future is imagined way back in the 60s,” Mr Wood said.
But despite his collection, he didn’t grow up watching the show, which he couldn’t access on regional NSW television.
Laughing at something like that you enjoyed as a child is sort of like laughing at yourself. There’s something nice in that too- Simon Wood
“We just played outside in those days.”
His fascination with the series’ merchandise goes back to childhood, when he saw his sister’s friend turn up to school with a Thunderbirds toy.
“I just thought, ‘wow, what a great toy’, and that sort of stuck in my mind.”
When he went to buy a toy in 2002 for his eldest son, then aged four, he saw Thunderbirds merchandise which reminded him of his own childhood.
He bought it, and the collection of toys he grew gradually became his own.
The collection increased as he searched eBay for new additions.
Their arrival by parcel became moments of excitement for the family.
The joy of collecting was in sharing his merchandise with others for Mr Wood.
It became a family hobby which he enjoyed doing with his four children.
Mr Wood believed Thunderbirds was a positive TV series for his kids to engage with.
“I thought there were some good messages. It was all about rescue rather than this superhero fighting so much.”
Bits of toys are broken or trodden on, but Mr Wood doesn’t care.
“I didn’t want to become too fanatical about it.”
Soon the collection grew large enough he could no longer fit it in his home, and it went into boxes under the house. As Mr Wood puts it, Thunderbirds has become iconic in its daggy nature.
“Laughing at something like that you enjoyed as a child is sort of like laughing at yourself. There’s something nice in that too,” he said.
The Thunderbirds collection will be on display at QVMAG between May 14 and July 31.