Over the next year we will no doubt feature some amazing knockoff toys from the worlds of Gerry Anderson and beyond. All of them will be blog legends.
OK, so here's the first one and it's story starts in 1996 when I was bitten by the collecting bug. I got hold of a copy of Dennis Nicholson's brilliant Anderson Memorabilia Guide, which I've savoured ever since.
One of my favourite sections were the unlicensed toys, so when I started the blog 12 years later I featured some of them very early on. One of my favourites was a gorgeous Spectrum Helicopter knockoff, the Traffic Patrol Jet Helicopter, made in Taiwan in 1986, which I've only ever seen pictured in black and white in Dennis's book.
Well, we no longer need to be content with black and white picture. Here's a colour shot of the real thing courtesy of Captain Scarlet collector Terry Harle. Here it is in all its colourful glory complete with Traffic Patrol decal and the rear fin insignia! What a fabulous unlicensed toy!
Terry's red four-piece rotor doesn't appear to be the right one but he has kindly supplied me with a picture of fellow collector Danny D's, which has a chrome rear rotor and white main rotor with lights in.
This toy does seem to have the right rotors. Looking at this older snap of the same toy from the blog, showing it from the side, the Traffic Patrol decal appears to be missing and a round Spectrum emblem is in its place. This maybe a different toy altogether and might even be another fine Spectrum helicopter knockoff in its own right.