During a trip to China back in 2000 a friend and I were visiting a factory and as we were taking the usual tour of the facilities we saw a prototype of this actual toy. I say prototype because they were still in the process of fitting parts and electronics, and testing some of the features. I made a comment that I loved that show when I was a kid, but we didn't have toys like this when I was a kid. The lead engineer on the project told me they would send me a sample when they went into production and a few months later this bad boy showed up on my doorstep.
So to end Thunderbird Week on a bang and have a Freebie Friday Feature I couldn't think of a better item. This is from Carlton Toys and was released in 2000 - 2001. Standing at about 15", Thunderbird 1 is full of awesome detail for a child's plaything. Besides hosting sound F/X and phrases from the show, Thunderbird 1 has working wings and landing gear, opening canopy and cockpit side hatch, plus an opening equipment storage bay. Included with this "playset" is Thunderbird 1's pilot, Scott Tracey, his hover bike and on location Mission Control Computer (remember laptops were not exactly around at this time).
If you are or were a fan of the show you will appreciate the little detail of the pilot seat that rotates as the craft assumes it's standard flight attitude. Thunderbird 1 takes of like a rocket and once in the air it levels out to fly like a plane. Words can't describe the effort that went into this toy, so I'll let the pictures speak for themselves.
Could you imagine getting this as a child? Carlton also released a Thunderbird 3 and Thunderbird 2 playset! How cool is that?!?