The Catacombs The Merchandise Guide
Video: Japanese Video and Laserdisc
Compiled by Martin Willey

Emotion (Bandai Emotion)

Alien Attack flyer
Alien Attack flyer

Japan 1985

Japan's Bandai company is one of the biggest toy companies in the world. In 1983, they founded the Emotion label for video releases, primarily of TV and film anime titles. The laserdiscs and videos below also carry the logo of Tohokushinsha Film Corporation, which originally was a dubbing company for foreign films, and later became a production studio. It was the original Japanese distributor for Thunderbirds in 1966, and was probably owned the rights for Space: 1999.

Bandai Emotion released three compilation movies in three different video formats. Destination Moonbase Alpha was not released by Bandai as the Japanese rights were held by CBS-Fox Far East.

The stunning new artwork was by Yuji Kaida (born 1953, a Japanese artist known for his paintings of monsters and robots, and thousands of plastic kit covers). Kaida visited Pinewood and Bray in 1976 when the series was being made (invited by Japanese actress Yasuko Nagazumi). There are ads on back cover of Supermarionation Graffiti books and the It's Thunderbirds Century Modeling Manual p97. Like Japanese LPs, CDs and books, when sold these had a vertical paper strip wrapped around one side, called a "tasuki" (Japanese for ribbon), although now more widely known as an "obi" (a Japanese word mistakenly used by foreigners). These are mostly covered with Japanese text (title, artist, track listings, price). These are usually discarded after purchase; consequently items retaining them have a greater rarity value.

The tapes and laser discs are NTSC, with English soundtracks and Japanese subtitles.

Alien Attack:
Alien Attack laserdisc cover
Alien Attack video cover Alien Attack video back cover

Video: Art of Eagle (dramatic front view) over Alpha in darkness with lightning beyond. Video nbr 105 (15,800 Yen)

Laser disc: Art of Eagle (3/4 view) with explosion on Moon below. Photos on rear of both episodes, plus an Eagle from The Metamorph. Includes a glossy photographic sheet, one side profiling the series, the other "John Koenig's Private Diary". Serial number BELL-18 (9,800 Yen). Released 28 April 1985.

Back cover Insert sheet Insert sheet Disc label

VHD release. The card slip-case is similar to the VHS/LD. The white plastic caddy with yellow label contained the disc; it was inserted like a cartridge into the VHD player. Thanks to Patrick Zimmerman.

VHD front VHD back VHD cartridge
Journey Through The Black Sun
Journey laserdisc cover

laser disc LD 109 (9,800 Yen). Released 28 July 1985

Laser disc cover (without obi)Laser disc- back cover
Back cover with obi Insert Insert reverse

Video nbr 106 (15,800 Yen); Thanks to Patrick Zimmerman.

VHS tape VHS tape VHS tape VHS tape
Cosmic Princess:

Video nbr 107. No laser disc

Cosmic Princess video

1st Season Set (1993)

Set of four volumes, each with 6 episodes (on 3 laserdiscs). Released in 1993, price Y15,800 Discs are CLV, in NTSC with bilingual soundtracks (English and Japanese). High quality packaging, with artwork cover box (art from the videodiscs), originally sold with tasuki/obi paper strip. Enclosed are an "Annual File" with a colour photographic cover and 8 black/white looseleaf sheets covering series and production details (photos and art taken from the Tokuma Shoten "Complete Visual Encyclopedia" and Starlog's Technical Notebook). The disc sleeves used blueprints of Alpha hardware (the Moonbase, Eagle, Hawk, stun gun/commlock).

Cover images thanks to Patrick Zimmerman.

Volume 1: BELL 566. Released 21 June 1993

"Breakaway", "Matter Of Life And Death",
"The Infernal Machine", "Dragon's Domain",
"The Testament Of Arkadia", "The Last Enemy"
Annual File
Annual file 1
Volume 2: BELL 567. Released 21 August 1993

"Mission Of The Darians", "The Troubled Spirit",
"Space Brain", "War Games",
"End Of Eternity", "The Full Circle"
Annual File
Annual file 2
Volume 3: BELL 568. Released 21 October 1993

"Death's Other Dominion", "Collision Course",
"Voyager's Return", "Alpha Child",
"The Last Sunset", "Force Of Life"
Annual File
Annual file 3
Volume 4: BELL 569. Released 17 December 1993

"Guardian Of Piri", "Missing Link",
"Another Time, Another Place", "Earthbound",
"Ring Around The Moon", "The Black Sun"
Annual File
Annual file 4

Annual Files in the Catacombs

laser disc sleeve- vol 1

Laser disc sleeve

Bandai promo leaflet side 1 Bandai promo leaflet side 2

18 x 26cm Bandai promotional leaflet from 1993 for their UFO and Space: 1999 laserdisc releases.

CBS-Fox Far East Co:

Destination Moonbase Alpha

Japan, 2 September 1988

Space: 2100 (CFX-9056): Destination Moonbase Alpha movie

Thunderbirds History Title Collection (Emotion-ITC)

BEAL 334. Japan, released 1990

Laserdisc, featuring the title & credit sequences from Gerry Anderson ITC series, from Supercar to Space: 1999 plus The Prisoner. On side 1 are 10 titles in the original English format; one side 2 are 7 titles in re-edited versions used in Japan.

The opening sequence includes 5 seconds from the Alien Attack (Warren & Sparkman's Eagle crashing). The English title & credit sequences are from The Troubled Spirit. The Japanese title & credit sequences are from Ring Around The Moon (the titles were identical to the English originals, except for an inserted shot of Eagles over the base from Dragon's Domain and a new, appalling theme tune). About 1 minute of footage of Koenig's Eagle in Breakaway, & Eagles in The Metamorph and Space Warp (poor quality clips from Cosmic Princess) are also included.

Cover Back cover Disc Sleeve front Sleeve back

Cover featured colour photos from the series, including an Eagle & a Year Two posed shot of Koenig & Helena cowering in an Eagle doorway.


The Thunderbirds History Title Collection laserdisc was released on VHS video. Side 1 of the laserdisc (original English titles) was released on a blue videotape (BES-677), and side 2 (Japanese titles) on a red tape (BES-678). The Thunderbirds and ITC Opening and Ending Titles Special is an expanded version of the red tape. Thanks to Patrick Zimmerman for information and photos.

Thunderbirds History
Glorious ITC Titles
BES-677 (1991)

The English text on the back "For all of you with a little bit of childhood left inside...! A prized complete edition Glorious ITC Titles".
Contents are side 1 of the History Title laserdisc- 10 original UK titles sequences.
Thunderbirds History
BES-678 (1991)
Spine Contents are side 2 of the History Title laserdisc- 7 Japanese titles sequences.
Thunderbirds and ITC Opening and Ending Titles Special
Contents are the same Japanese version titles as the red tape above, plus the opening titles for The Protectors
It contains a 12 page 15 x 30 cm brochure, a postcard with new artwork by Yuji Kaida (who did all the laserdisc box art).

Copyright Martin Willey. Thanks to Gordon Moriguchi, Patrick Zimmerman.