"Thunderbirds" Collectible Cigar Bands From 1968
Whenever someone who has never seen the Thunderbirds asks me to explain who and what they are, I say that they are bad-ass puppets who shoot guns, bleed, and smoke a lot. I also explain that while intended for children, the stringed adventures of the Thunderbirds always held a fascination for adults too. Perhaps that explains these collectible cigar bands from 1968 featuring photos of the show's characters and their magnificent flying machines.
According to accounts on cigar band collector websites, the hobby peaked in the early decades of the 20th century, before cigarettes became the smoke of choice for most people. Manufacturers continued to produce collectible cigar bands, sort of like having a bubble gum card wrapped around your favorite blunt. Still, it's just odd to have the very adult pastime of smoking promoting a children's program. Though I must admit, I love the image of a young British lad puffing a cigar while reading the latest issue of Gerry Anderson's TV21.