WHO WE ARE
Engale Marketing began life in the early 1980s as the publisher of the Official Gerry Anderson fan magazine S.i.G. Husband and wife team Yvonne and David Nightingale’s small publishing house took over the publishing chores when David’s partnership with S.i.G. co-creator Brendan Sheehan came to an end.
Soon the company was branching out into licensed merchandise based on Gerry Anderson’s various TV series – calendars, postcards, sew-on patches and posters. In 1986 a small shop was opened in Blackpool, Lancashire, called Thunderbooks.
Gerry Anderson was by now a personal friend of Yvonne and David so who else to perform the opening ceremony than the man himself ! The next year the Blackpool shop moved to its present, larger, premises on Lytham Road
In 1988 a second shop was opened in the nearby inland University town of Preston. Called Thunderbooks II Gerry Anderson was once again on hand in July of that year to cut the celebratory tape. The shop was renamed Star Trader in 1998.
About the same time Engale Marketing began publishing Action 21, a monthly magazine reprinting the classic comic strip Gerry Anderson stories from the 1960s TV21 comic. Lasting only 10 issues, David describes the magazine as his proudest achievement: "To go back and rework material I had idolised as a boy and create something fresh and dynamic was an absolute joy. Sadly, it was before such series as Thunderbirds was repeated on British TV so it never really reached the market it should have".
Time Screen was a magazine similar to S.i.G., edited by Tony McKay but with a wider brief to look at all British Telefantasy series. Engale Marketing took over the publishing of this superbly researched journal with Issue 10 right through to Issue 21, including several reprints.
By now the demands of business meant David had to cease production on S.i.G. but a couple of years later a casual conversation with fellow fan and writer Mike Reccia led to 15 issues of Century 21, another Anderson-based publication which, initially at least, combined the articles of S.i.G. with the comic strip of Action 21. Mike now co-publishes the popular mainstream Sci-Fi and Fantasy Models magazine.
In late 1991 the BBC re-broadcast Thunderbirds , the first time the series had been seen on network television in the U.K. For a time Thunderbirds fever hit the streets with Engale’s 1992 calendar selling out and having to be reprinted in November, unheard of for a product with such a limited selling window. Throughout 1992 and 1993 Engale were heavily involved in mail order selling of plastic construction kits, badges and toys as other manufacturers woke up to the marketing potential of Gerry Anderson’s most successful series. Repeats of Stingray and Captain Scarlet were not quite as successful but 1993 saw three Engale Marketing calendars – Thunderbirds, Stingray and The Prisoner (also seen again on U.K. TV at the time).
Since these busy days Yvonne and David have concentrated on their two shops and their mail order business, this new Web Site being an intrinsic part of their strategy for the future. Of course it’s not all Gerry Anderson – Star Trek in all its forms, The X-Files, Doctor Who and many more make up an exciting tour through s.f. media in all its forms !