Saturday, 4 April 2015


Photos by Jim Lewis

Long, long, long ago, while on holiday (or was it a day
trip?) perhaps to the seaside resort of  Ayr or Girvan (or even
another place entirely - Kinghorn maybe), I spied a friction-drive
model of FIREBALL XL5 in a toyshop's window.  It sang to me,
cried to me, pleaded with me to buy it, but my parents were deaf to
my entreaties.  And though it was love at first sight, we had to part,
and I was forced to resign myself to the fact that this magnificent
toy would succumb to the advances of another suitor - one
with much more pocket-money than I had to spend.

FAIRYLITE was the name of the manufacturer, and a
few short years later, I bought GOLDEN GATE's  STEVE
ZODIAC & ZOONY JETMOBILE friction-drive toy, which I
was very pleased to get.  However, there's always something about
'the one that got away', isn't there?  I never saw another example
of that Fireball toy for many, many, many years, and when I did,
it was only in the two photos that you see here, sent to me by
a friend who spotted it either on eBay or another site.

And so, like a forlorn lover who has to console himself
with a mere photo of his lost love, I sit here and imagine how
things might've been those long years ago, had only my parents
known that, as they dragged me away from that toyshop window,
my breaking heart would never truly recover from being so cruelly
separated from the object of my desire and longing.  Maybe fate
will yet bring us together before my life's race is run, but until
then, I have my memories and these pictures - to remind me
that 'my heart is still a Fireball, a Fireball, every time I
gaze in to those starry skies.'

(Okay, I changed a couple of words there, but it works
better that way.  Just call it artistic licence, eh?)


TC said...

It looks a lot more like the "real" one (that is, the prop used on the TV series) than the MPC toy that I had. (I'm not complaining. I had a lot of fun with mine.)

I'm sure that both models, Fairylite and MPC, are worth "much more pocket money" today.

Rip Jagger said...

Just got hold of the Fireball XL5 shows a few weeks ago. I've watched the debut but nothing else so far. Very much looking forward to it, as it's already clear the show was more "sophisticated" than I expected.

Rip Off

Kid said...

The Lyons Maid/Airfix kit was probably the most accurate Fireball toy available at the time, TC. From photos I've seen of it, it's spot on. And you're right about the worth of these toys nowadays - astronomical.


And Venus is a pure babe, Rip - even if she is just a puppet. When I watched my DVDs, I was right back in the house I'd first watched the show back in the '60s. (Must be a space/time warp effect.)

Colin Jones said...

Kid, if your friend alerted you to this toy on e-bay why didn't you snap it up ?

Kid said...

'Either on eBay or some other site' - long after the fact if it had been eBay.

CJ, I'd be obliged if you stopped deleting your comments after I've responded to them. Not only does it confuse later readers, but I then have to edit the page because my responses to your comments are then redundant.

Colin Jones said...

Kid, I feel properly told off. I delete comments on all blogs, not jut yours - but I'll try not to in future. Happy Easter to you anyway :)

Kid said...

Well, you know how 'verbose' some of my answers are, CJ. Deleting a comment after I've wittered on for half an hour responding to it renders my wit, wisdom and genius all for naught.

And Happy Easter to you, too.

Kev said...

Ah that lost XL5 feeling! My Mum got me one for Christmas when I was Five. It didn't spark from the rear as it should have. So after a few minutes, back in the box it went so it wouldn't get damaged. Mum took it back for replacement. Out of stock...and never came back in! I'll be Sixty this year...I really should have got over it by now!

Kid said...

Well, Kev, I'm not too far behind you, and I still haven't got over it - and I never even had the toy to begin with. Glad I managed to replace my Quercetti Fireball XL5 parachute toy and Golden Gate Steve & Zoony on a jetmobile 'though.

Stephen king said...

I have the fairylite xl5 model sometimes known as Graham bros model really has something charismatic ....maybe as I'm a child of the 60s ....took me nearly 30 years to find it !

Kid said...

You are feeling sleepy - wrap it up and send it to me right away.

Anonymous said...

The pictures you have are of my Fireball originally posted on EAGLE TRANSPORTER FORUM and the PROJECT SWORD MOONBASE site. Maybe a link or credit to them is in order
Jim Lewis

Kid said...

The person who sent me these images couldn't remember precisely where he'd got them, but comparing the quality of them against the ones on Moonbase Central (which I've just checked), he clearly didn't get them directly from there, even 'though they appear to be the same photos. However, the ones on MC are far sharper. Anyway, consider yourself name-checked - and there's a link to Moonbase Central in my blog list.

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