I’m a big fan of Gerry Anderson, but I didn’t discover most of his work until I was an adult. Oddly enough, I did have a bunch of Zylmex Firebirds, Thunderbirds knock off toys, which were pretty awesome in their own right.
There were two companies that made diecast Thunderbirds toys back in the day, Dinky and Matchbox. Although the two companies were making toys based on the same ships, it’s interesting to see the similarities and differences in the execution. The Dinky toy are the older ones dating back to the 70s. Matchbox put in an appearance more recently in the early 90s.
To my knowledge, Dinky only did a few of the ships, the Thunderbird 2 in two colors, and the Lady Penelope Fab 1, while Matchbox not only made all the ships, they released mini-figures and a playset that came with all the ships included as well as a line of “pull back” motorized vehicles.
Not long ago, Matchbox did a special commemorative set that re-released all of their ships in one box. Bandai also released a set of their own in Japan.