2022 saw interesting ups and downs coming from all angles of the license holders of Space.
In the hearts and minds of fans fond for Space: 1999 was very apparent in 2022 and there have been some companies to capitalize on our nostalgia with amazing merch. Since 2013’s merch surge of the Blam! Comics line and in 2014 with the MPC repop model kits, Space: 1999 goodies has been on a slow perpetual upswing on the release of real good merch for the fan/collector. There seems to be something for everyone and the spectrum is very wide with what the collector wants to spend. Lavish: 1999? Oh yes!!!
2022 started with a big bang in the UK with Network Media (networkonair.com) remastering the Super Space Theater compilation movies (and with a huge bonus win on remastering the Italian “Spazio: 1999” compilation movie added to the set) Blu Ray set. Not more than 60 days later was the release of the UK edition “Ultimate Space: 1999” Blu Ray set taking pretty much everything they remastered from the entire 1999 library and the SST lineup all in one set. For better or for worse, you, the collector, now have a choice on whether to get the individual SST set or just get the ultimate set (I got both) to have in your library.
Not long after that was a sheer surprise announcement from Powys Media and their plans to release the very hard to obtain novel “Earthfall”. Earthfall was the 10th Year 1 novel by 1999 veteran author EC Tubb, originally released via orbit books in the UK only (while its American counterpart was the 10th Year 1 story “Phoenix of Megaron” by 1999 veteran author John Rankine). Not sure of the business reasoning of releasing both stories in this fashion but this resulted in an overabundance of the American (Pocket Books) production and a rather scarcity Earthfall production run. Fanderson re-released this story in very limited numbers to members only in the early 1990’s. Mateo Latosa of Powys Media produced reissues of all the unique 1999 non-canon stories and incorporated them into the Powysverse lineup novels. He took a rather different approach with Earthfall and released it in its original state. This novel is now available to everyone who wants one at a great price via lulu.com website. That was just one of three books released this year.
Latosa was also hard at work doing a follow up of the uber-hard-to-get Fanderson’s Earthbound novel. Another Fanderson member’s only book, and another EC Tubb story, Earthbound was also produced outside of the Powysverse keeping to the original stories since the lion’s share of fans didn’t have this book in their library.
Lastly, was an often-commented production in paperback form of the Year 1 Omnibus. Originally limited to 198 copies with all three of the authors’ signatures, the collector/reader now can order their very own reasonably priced addition to their library. Sorry, no signatures included in this edition, though. The release of this amazing and long overdue edition begs the question on whether the Year 2 Omnibus from 2005 will be released in this format as its companion.
Another long overdue book finally released in 2022 was the Space: 1999 Vault. Although fans were drooling over the book’s production and waiting not-so-patiently, once it was released, it was well worth the wait. Bentley did a fantastic job (as with the other “Vaults” books) with the Space: 1999 edition showcasing/illustrating/including details of Space: 1999 never seen in one dedicated edition since the 1980 Town Mook from Japan. As a matter of fact, has there been a dedicated “Space: 1999” book produced since then? The Space: 1999 Vault was very much a shining star in 2022.
Jamie Anderson of Anderson Entertainment and the Official Gerry Anderson Store was very busy with the production of several high-quality books (Comic Anthologies, a GA Concert booklet, etc). Leading up to 2022 was the production and release of the Space: 1999 Technical Operations Manual was finally made available in the new year. Expertly written by Chris Thompson and Andrew Clements. First as a very limited special edition release with 311 produced (see what they did, there?). Included a case and other novelties for that astronaut/technician traveling to Moonbase Alpha. Pre-orders sold out in just a couple of hours and go for a mint on eBay in the secondary market. As a lavishly illustrated premium hardback with hundreds of brand-new illustrations detailing every aspect of Moonbase Alpha’s structure, vehicles, locations, technology, and operations. A direct follow up to the 1977 Alpha Moonbase Technical Notebook from Starlog magazine, this edition is hugely expanded covering all aspects of the 1975 Gerry Anderson series. Produced by Anderson Entertainment led by the extraordinarily talented artist Chris Thompson, this 272-page edition is packed with information about life on Moonbase Alpha featuring over 250 brand new illustrations. The book has been produced to feel like the manual given to Alphans as they depart from Earth ready to take up their new position on Moonbase Alpha. With the mass success of this manual, Anderson has been very busy with a follow up release representing the GA series UFO.
Although Anderson’s store has a lot of clothing items that come and go, there are some high-quality merch of note such as the Lee Sullivan artwork puzzles of both Space: 1999 & Thunderbirds and the follow up Bob Wood/David Hirsch book: ‘Maybe There’ The Lost Stories from Space: 1999. The special edition hardbound sold out but there are plans for a paperback and downloadable edition in the new year. The Official Gerry Anderson Store can be found at gerryanderson.com
Both Wood and Hirsch have been rather busy producing not one, but two books for 2022. The noted ‘Maybe There’ The Lost Stories from Space: 1999 was just released in November while earlier this year was produced under the Anderson Entertainment badge, “To Everything That Might Have Been: The Lost Universe Of Space: 1999” was published under the Telos Publishing badge and released in March. The Telos release “takes you back to the beginning, to the genesis of the series, and to early themes, characters, and story outlines. It uncovers a treasure trove of previously unknown information, correspondence, casting lists, production information, and long-lost documents charting alternative realities of what might have been had the series taken any multitude of different forks in the road. And throughout, this book features extensive input from series story consultant and scriptwriter Christopher Penfold.” This paperback edition can be either downloaded via Kindle or hardcopy thru Amazon or the Telos site To Everything That Might Have Been: The Lost Universe of Space: 1999 – Telos Publishing
Since 2014, MPC has been engineering some amazing Space: 1999 kits and 2022 saw no different. Introducing the 1/48 scale Mark IX Hawk. Long overdue and a compliment to the 22” Eagle kit series. Fans can’t seem to get enough of the ship that was only seen in one episode. The 1/72 counterpart kit was released in 2018, folks have yearned for a larger kit and originally announced at Wonderfest 2021, MPC delivered. Round2corp.com
Big Finish also produced another awesome audio drama CD set “Earthbound” with the same cast lineup making this the third edition to add to your library (there was no Special Edition cover produced for the Official Gerry Anderson Store, this time, though). In addition, we also got to experience the first two editions (Breakaway and Volume One) now on Spotify. www.bigfinish.com/hubs/v/space-1999
Sixteen12 Collectibles got a piece of the action with their long announced 5” Eagle Range finally coming to fruition and practically sold out as fast as distributors were getting them in. This marks the very first time the Eagle was not only made accurate as possible at this scale, but Steve Walker and team produced about every original PE variant you can get. And the coolest thing about this range is that you can also get an electronic Alpha Launchpad to play/pose/display your favorite scene as you see fit making this one of the coolest 1999 collectibles released in a very long time. Sixteen12 Collectibles also finally shipped their long awaited 44” Eagle Lab Pod Spine Booster Edition in the summer of this year. Limited to only 50 produced (vice 100 originally reported), this marked the last 44” Eagle edition due to extreme production and shipping cost increased from HK. The Freighter Eagle was unfortunately dropped. Their 44” Eagle range was no less than a triumph feat to accomplish. Another highlight release was their 1/1 scale spacesuit helmets. Those sold out real quick and are already commanding a premium on eBay.
Although there were a lot of goodies to choose from this year, there were several let downs that plagued these companies, and the ultimate demise is to the collector. We found out that Eaglemoss/Hero Collector was going belly up so even though we got to collect three editions of 10” Eagles, the possibility of the Space: 1999 range to expand was ripped away. We collectors are still in holding pattern on Big Chief Studios and the 1/6 scale Koenig figure. Going on four years since the original announcement, this figure still eludes us. Adding insult to injury, they are dangling a newly created 3″ figure line to include a Koenig figure for release in ’23 all the while we are waiting on past pre-orders. I hope to see the 1/6 Koenig in ’23.
The outlook for 2023 is rather hopeful on a great many fronts next year. We should see more books, more Eagles, and more kits. More spacesuited figures, a retro green Swift is on the books at Sixteen12 (as well as the original). Sixteen12 will also be producing some 44″ Eagle pods for your existing Eagle. Some new Powys Media novels are planned for 2023, the MPC 1/72 Eagle 4 is on its way with the Moonbuggy kit trailing right behind (word has it there will be a re-release MPC Freighter pod 22″ Eagle kit coming). The Official Gerry Anderson Store will still crank out 1999 gear as well as partner with various companies to sell on their platform. 2023 promises to be a good year for more Space: 1999 goodies. What would you like to see?