In 1992, Matchbox had released their line of Thunderbirds vehicles and action figures to the public. In order to get some extra promotion for the line, Matchbox entered a deal with prominent UK TV listings magazine, The Radio Times to produce a limited edition set for readers.
The above insert was what was in copies of the Radio Times. It was mail order and cost £19.95, plus £3.50 postage and packing. Claimants could send for it via cheque, credit card or postal order, as was usual for mail order back in the 1990s. It was also used to cash in on the upcoming 1992 re-release of Thunderbirds on the BBC.
After waiting patiently for 28 days, which again, was standard for back then, customers would have received their all new Commemorative Set from Matchbox, in association with the Radio Times. It's larger than the Rescue Set, which we reviewed a while back. It features all new artwork on the front, which shows all the Thunderbird craft in action. It also has new artwork on the front of the Thunderbirds characters, drawn in 60s style.
The large insert that comes with the set is almost poster sized. It features an orange background. with the same Matchbox artwork from the cards and characters. This time, it actually features a short bio of the cast of characters and a run down on the vehicles. All the text is taken straight off the card backs. On the right hand side of the insert, there's a mail in offer for the Tracy Island playset for £30.
Getting into the box set itself, these are the exact same toys we reviewed a while back. They only come in a blue tray this time with a short bio of the vehicles. As the toys were only held in with rubber bands, many of them are now loose and falling out of the box, simply because the rubber bands have rotted away.
This set is an intersting one. Aside from the inserts, it's the same set as the standard carded release and the Rescue set, so nothing new on that front, however, the inserts and box are different and what appeal to collectors. The set goes for varying prices on the secondary market, though usually ranges in the £45-50 region due to common value of the products inside. I have seen this set sell more for £75-100.