14 January 2013
The finest TV shows and collectables of Gerry Anderson ...
Supercar was one of the first TV series produced by Gerry Anderson between 1961 and 1962. It also coined the phrase ‘Supermarionation’ – the term for Anderson’s unique style of puppetry - which appeared in the closing titles of the last 13 episodes.
The show revolved around the titular Supercar, which was a vertical takeoff and landing craft invented by boffins Rudolph Popkiss and Horatio Beaker and piloted by Mike Mercury. Unlike normal cars it used a cushion of air to speed along and was able to take flight thanks to jets at the rear and retractable wings.
There were two working models of Supercar. The larger hero model was made of lightweight wood and Plexiglass (Perspex) and measured about five feet in length. The smaller model, used in distance shots, was about nine inches in length. The vehicle was designed by art director Reg Hill.
As well as being a TV series, Supercar was the first Gerry Anderson production to be adapted into a comic book in America, with the Gold Key Company releasing four issues between November 1962 and August ’63.
Remco Toys Mike Mercury and Supercar Computer Disc Car made in 1962 by the Hong Kong-based company. This battery operated toy is able to move in eight different patterns – such as circles, zig-zags and even the strangely title ‘Dipsy-Doodles’ - thanks to slot-in plastics discs. Complete with Mike Mercury model in bright orange.
Budgie No. 272 Supercar is red and grey with a plastic clear cockpit. Also featured retractable wings, just like the car in the TV series. Mike Mercury can also be seen sitting behind the wheel, ready to blast off!
Allan Industries Ltd. Supercar Magnetic Adventures. This painted magnetic board featured cardboard cutouts of different characters from the show, such as Prof. Popkiss, so you could create your own Supercar adventures at home.
Merit Supercar Intercom from 1962. The set includes two handheld plastic ‘speakers’ connected with a length of wire to help you communicate with friends. Basically, it’s a glorified pair of tin cans attached with a bit of string… but given a futuristic makeover!
Cecil Coleman gift set made in Hong Kong in 1964. This incredibly rare set includes five plastic miniature figures of Mike Mercury, Jimmy Gibson, Dr. Beeker, Mitch the Monkey and Professor Popkiss, along with a replica of the Supercar. This particular set sold for £540 at Vectis Auctions back in 2009.