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Almost four decades after taking off on the TV screen, “Thunderbirds are go” once more.

When the British Broadcasting Corp. relaunched the hit ’60s series just over a year ago, some 5 million viewers tuned in. Within a matter of weeks, a new generation of “Thunderbirds” merchandise, including everything from computer games to underwear, had landed on store shelves throughout Britain: A month before Christmas, main-street stores had already sold out of a model of the show’s Tracy Island, the headquarters of the Tracy family and other members of Thunderbirds International Rescue, a top-secret team that helps people in peril around the globe.

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