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Candy and Andy – the one we tried to forget

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Candy and Andy are just like any other children, except that they are life-size dolls and live with two panda bears called Mr and Mrs Bearanda. They drive around in a Mini called Stripey. What’s not to like?

This very unusual and mostly forgotten Gerry Anderson project featured in TV Century 21. Gerry wanted to have a different style of comic strip, and so decided to have the characters photographed rather than drawn. Despite its unusual style, and strange characters (with no explanation of why two dolls were living with Mr and Mrs Bearanda, nor why they were pandas, nor whether they were adopted parents, guardians, or captors of the doll children), the Candy and Andy comic (called simply “Candy”) ran for 154 issues as well as many annuals and story books.

candy and andy with the bearandas

Gerry Anderson had hoped that this bizarre combination would take the World by storm, but sadly (or perhaps happily, on reflection) it was not to be. TV executives were wholly unimpressed by the Candy and Andy concept, and once the comic run was complete, the gradually disappeared.

The weekly stills-based adventures were photographed by trusted Anderson photographer Doug Luke who found the whole process very frustrating with toppling pandas and awkward dolls to deal with on a daily basis.

An unusual, and often (purposefully) forgotten, Gerry Anderson creation… Candy and Andy have their own peculiar charm, although that’s often lost because of their resemblance to the Children of the Corn.

We hope to have a small area dedicated to Candy and Andy at Andercon the 2014 Gerry Anderson convention… watch this space!

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  • gt1999

    I can remember the divided thoughts when I was younger at the merits of collecting Candy and Andy. As a kid, a peripheral GA project like Project SWORD appealed to me just like Countdown Comics, but I couldn’t find the heart to collect C&A (not that there was that much available to a pre internet Aussie kid!) Glad it will get acknowledged at Anderson!
    Geoff T.

  • redgrouper

    I was given a Candy and Andy Annual as a child by my mother. I did not know about the comic. I remember it having a Thunderbirds story in it though it was more child orientated than the Thunderbirds stories published elsewhere. I was probably a bit old for Candy and Andy so I did not keep the book for very long. I would reckon that the Candy comics are probably amongst the rarest British comics of all now amongst things which are genre related so I would suggest grabbing any that you ever see at a car boot sale or jumble sale. I have only ever seen them for sale on ebay. There may well be some issues that no longer exist at all unless someone has a collection of file copies. This is something that might have a small market on CD ROM collection.

    • Techno Delic

      The British Newspaper Library has a full bound set.

  • William Duffy

    The article says they appeared in TV Century 21, which is wrong. They never appeared in any of the Century 21 comics I purchased (which includes Lady Penelope & Joe 90 Top Secret). I knew of them, but not until well long after they existed, possibly in the 80’s.

    Therefore, where did Candy & Andy actually appear?

  • Ruthie Spangler

    I remember my Grandma getting me a Candy and Andy Annual… I loved it even though I never actually saw the Comic strip in a comic. Wonder if my Annual is still with Mum and Dad… Hmmm…

  • Bev Kingscote-Davies

    Hooray, now I know I’m not dreaming. Have told so many friends that I remember a magic striped mini with a blonde girl called Candy and they’ve all told me it didn’t exist…ha!

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