Last week, Anthea Turner joins Vivid Toy Group to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Thunderbirds TV series which launched on 30th September in 1965. If you are a big fan of Blue Peter, you probably remember that Anthea Turner’s demonstration of building a replica Thunderbirds base using papier-mache and toilet paper tubes. The beloved 1993 home-made creation caused such a fuss Blue Peter was inundated with requests for an instruction leaflet, which is still available online.
This year represents the 3rd time Vivid Toy Group have launched Tracy Island as part of their Thunderbirds toy range. Having already been listed in a raft of Toy retailers’ Top 10 Toys for Christmas, Hamleys Boys’ Category Manager believes that the new, Interactive version is a sure fire hit: “Tracy Island stands out as the one to watch this Christmas and a complete sell out is predicted.” She continues: “It’s amazing that 50 years on Thunderbirds still has the power to engage with children and adults alike, it’s rich history remastered to a 21st century audience has only strengthened its appeal and place as an iconic British brand.”
The presenters’ original Blue Peter Tracy Island model is unveiled alongside the new Interactive Tracy Island. How awesome is that!
One of the things most people remember about Thunderbirds over the years is the Blue Peter model of Tracy Island, so to celebrate the anniversary we were set a blogger challenge at making our own Tracy Island. We have received a Thunderbirds Vehicle Super Set to go along with our Tracy Island.
To make this Tracy Island, I used all the things I could find in my house without buying any craft materials. Hence my Tracy Island does not look like a proper replica island. I always believe in recycling, upcycling and simply using leftovers to avoid wasting money unnecessarily.
Instead of using papier mache (we don’t have any newspapers nor magazines as we had recycled them all), I used bubble wrap and brown parcel paper, saved from numerous past deliveries. This whole project took me 7 hours which I split into two days of work. A lot of the time was waiting for it to dry.
Another couple of shortcuts – I used my leftover fence paint to paint the rock, hence it is a brown colour instead of grey; and instead of buying fake grass, I used green paint.
- Large cardboard (for the base)
- Postal tubes x 2
- Boxes (entrance and base for Thunderbirds 1 & 2)
- Brown papers & tape
- Round plastic bowl (for Thunderbirds 3)
- Paint (grey, green, blue and white)
- White A4 size cardboards (for the houses)
- Grey foam pads
- Marker Pen
- Toothpicks & green felt (to make the trees)
- PVC Glue, double sided tape or hot gun glue
- Place the postal tubes as shown for the base for Thunderbirds 1 and 3.
- Cut out a flap from the box for Thunderbird 2 and place it on the left hand side. Wrap the postal tubes and surrounding with bubble wraps and secure it with brown tape.
- Place the base for Thunderbird 1 and cut a hole just around the postal tube (this is the swimming pool for launching). Place the brown paper on the bubble wraps and secure it with brown tape or glue. Paint the bowl white and after it has dried, place it on top of the postal tube for Thunderbird 3.
- Paint the mountains, sea and base. Leave it to dry.
- Cut the green felt into long strips and use the toothpicks to prick it through slightly. Place them along the Thunderbird station 2.
- Use the white cardboard to make the houses and place them next to Thunderbird station 2.
- Use the grey foam pad for Thunderbird 1. Cut a hole in it and keep the square for later. Fill the postal tube with brown paper before adding a top with the square.
- For the finishing touch, apply the green paint for the grass and leave to dry.
This is my first time making such a big model and I am very pleased with the results. This is the new version of Tracy Island! Now it is ready to use with the 4 piece vehicle super set! This set comes with TB1, TB2, TB3 and TB4. All vehicles except TB4 comes with action & rescue sounds. By twisting the thruster, TB1 wings’ retracts. TB2 comes with a drop down pod which you can store TB4 in it. This is so awesome! The wings can also fold up or down. To quick release the grasping arms on TB3, simply press the base.
If you would like to know more about the Thunderbird news, keep an eye out on the hashtag #FAB50 #heres1Imadeearlier. If you like what you seen, you could get them from Amazon:
Fingers crossed for the competition!
Disclosure: We received the sample for the purposes of writing this review however all thoughts and opinions remain our own. Contains Amazon affiliate links.