In 1966, at the height of the popularity of his “Supermarionation” TV shows, Gerry Anderson developed a concept for a new television series.
Candy and her brother Andy live with Mr and Mrs Bearanda (a couple of pandas) above a toy shop in the village of Riverdale.
He had already designed the puppets, and with the recent success of Thunderbirds behind him, he was confident it would be given the green light. But the proposed new series received a unanimous thumbs down from television executives.
Undeterred, Anderson turned his idea into a franchise, spawning 154 issues of a comic (photographed by Doug Luke) and several books and merchandising tie-ins.
The result was more disturbing than charming.
The very unusual and mostly forgotten Anderson project never explained why two (very sinister) human dolls were living with pandas (why pandas?) and it was unclear whether Mr and Mrs Bearanda were Candy and Andy’s adopted parents, guardians, or captors.
Candy, Andy and the Bearandas drove around in a colourful Mini called Stripey, the magic Mini. Dinky even released a model of it (pictured below).
The Candy and Andy photo stories ran in Candy comic for exactly one year (154 issues) until issue 54 on 27 January 1968. After that, the
publication itself stumbled on until the end of 1969. When the comic run ended, the characters disappeared forever and were conveniently airbrushed out of Gerry Anderson’s career history, only occasionally surfacing in jumble sales and charity shops.