Word has been circulating that the famous British sci-fi puppetry program Thunderbirds and Japan’s pseudo-military, The Self Defense Force (SDF) are teaming up for a promotional campaign.

A series of posters will be released explaining the similarities between the missions of the fictional IRO (International Rescue Organization) and functional SDF: “international peace cooperation activities and disaster relief.”

The posters will depict the FAB five sons of Jeff Tracy along with their crafts very similar to the images found in the limited edition Thunderbirds Collector’s Blu-Ray 9-disc box set on sale for 44,100 yen (US$462).

The only difference is that the images also feature SDF mascot “Prince Pickles” in air, land and sea uniforms. His constant companion Parsley-chan was apparently taken off this mission.

Although this is being widely reported on, there is strangely no noticeable mention of it on the Ministry of Defense, Thunderbirds Japan, or Geneon Universal Entertainment (distributors of the box set) websites.

Considering this would be an unheard of collaboration for the MoD you’d figure there’d be some word of it somewhere. It’s enough to get one’s hoax sense tingling.

We’ll know for sure soon enough since the posters are said to be put on display from the middle of March.

If this is true, the killer combination of Prince Pickles and a marionette show from the sixties is undoubtedly the ultimate way to recruit the SDF’s target demographic of men in their 20’s.

Source: IT Media (Japanese)
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