List of Tugs characters
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Tugs, a 1988 British children's television series created by the producers of Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends, Robert D. Cardona and David Mitton, features two groups of anthropomorphized tugboat fleets: the Star Fleet and the Z-Stacks. They compete against each other in the fictional town of Bigg City Port.
In the North American adaptation, Salty's Lighthouse, the stories were re-purposed for a younger audience. The two groups were no longer rival tug fleets, and the characters underwent various changes. Sunshine, Captain Star, and Little Ditcher were considered female. Sunshine became the sister of fellow switcher Ten Cents. British accents were changed to American accents. Some names were changed, for instance, Big Mac became Big Stack, O.J. became Otis, and Zebedee became Zeebee.
- 1 Star Fleet
- 2 Z-Stacks
- 3 Supporting characters
- 4 Minor characters
- 4.1 Tugboats
- 4.2 Ocean liners
- 4.3 Tramp steamers
- 4.4 Dockside and floating cranes
- 4.5 Barges
- 4.6 Other characters
- 5 References
The Star Fleet is a group who aims to work together on getting and fulfilling port contracts. It is led by Captain Star. Its symbol is a red funnel with blue and white stripes around the top. Fleet members also carry a red flag with a white star. Reporting to Captain Star are seven tugs, each of which has a numbered smoke stack. In "Regatta", Grampus the submarine becomes a member of Star Fleet. The Star Fleet tugs are modeled after the San Francisco tugs of the 1920s.
Ten Cents (#1) works as a harbour switcher on a wide variety of tasks around Bigg City Port. Chris Tulloch notes that Ten Cents was the first model he built for the series: "Ten Cents was 20 [inches] long, and his hull (fibreglass) was the basis for Zip and Zug."
Big Mac (#2) is a harbour tug, and is the oldest brother of Warrior.
O.J. (#3) is the sole remaining paddle-driven harbour tug in Bigg City Port. Chris Tulloch noted that the O.J. model used in the series was one of the most reliable. Other models, which had internal machinery, would often threaten to "turn turtle" and would have to be fixed firmly to a chassis.
After the production of TUGS was shut down, his model was passed on to the sister series Thomas and Friends to be converted into "Lakesider lll", seen on the Skarloey Railway on Season 4, his model was later sold to The Star Tugs Trust along with his original head, wheelhouse, smokestack, and glasses (though at the moment, he is painted in the Lakesider lll livery).
Top Hat (#4) is a railway tug with a top hat and monocle.
After the filming of TUGS ended, sadly, Top Hat's model was presumed to be lost, he is the one of two Star characters who hasn't been sold to The Star Tugs Trust, along with Grampus, if Top Hat's model is found in the future, he may have his shocked face mask. His other face masks are currently the only parts that are last left of him.
Warrior (#5) has a large face and blue flat cap; he is the younger brother of Big Mac.
Hercules (#6) is an ocean-going tug who is tasked with escorting large vessels to port, or answering distress calls at sea. He is in charge of large operations and important contracts.
Sunshine (#7) is a small harbour switcher who performs various tasks.
Grampus is a small submarine that formerly worked for the Navy.
According to model maker Jeremy King, Grampus was modeled after Grampus-class submarines. Spike Knight fashioned Grampus in fiberglass by looking at old Grampus photos. He used a "parallel lifting version of the tugs' pull along trolleys so he could surface."
His model is one of two star characters that has not been sold to The Star Tugs Trust, along with Top Hat, his face masks are currently the only part that is last left of him, if Grampus's model is found in the future, his model may have his thrilled face mask.
Captain Star is the owner of Star Fleet. He narrates the series in the past tense.
The Z-Stacks are devious, tricky and scheming boats. Their leader is Captain Zero, although the first tug Zorran runs the day-to-day operations. They regularly find ways to hinder and infuriate their rival Star Fleet tugs. Their physical appearance is modeled after the 1920s Moran tugs that were active in New York City.
Zorran is Captain Zero's first tug, and the fleet leader of the Z-Stacks. He is a harbour tug who hatches various devious schemes against the Star Fleet.
Zebedee is Captain Zero's second tug; he performs a variety of tasks around Bigg City Port.
Zak is the third member of the Z-Stacks and usually works with Zebedee. He's known to have a bad motor, as seen in the episode "High Tide".
As the fourth tug in the Z-Stacks, Zug is a harbour switcher that tows barges and works on liner docking operations.
Zip is the second harbour switcher in the Z-Stacks fleet. He works alongside Zug on minor contracts such as the freighting of quarried boulders.
Captain Zero is the owner of the Z-Stacks. Like Captain Star.
Izzy is a large tramp steamer who regularly visits Bigg City Port with items such as bananas from Puerto Grande. He has said numerous times that he would rather try to get into port on his own instead of being pulled by any of the tugs and actually tries in the episode "Warrior".
He was one of the models later used for Thomas and Friends after the production of TUGS shut down, his model was used as a tramp steamer seen at Brandom Docks from seasons 3-5, it is unknown where his model is currently, his face masks are currently the only parts that are last left of him.
Lillie is a lightship that is situated at Demder Rocks to warn shipping of potential hazards. She has a contract with the Star Fleet where they provide her with the necessary fuel and supplies to keep her light shining.
The following is a list of fictional characters in the children's television series Tugs. All of these characters played supporting roles to the series' main characters' in the fictional harbour of Bigg City Port.
Sea Rogue is also known as "The Pirate" - his only appearance is in the episode of the same name. In darker times, he stole barges for two mysterious green-eyed tugs, who had captured his uncle, and threatened to scuttle him unless Sea Rogue stole more barges for them; similar then, to Zebedee's relationship with the tramper Johnny Cuba in the episode "High Winds". The Green-Eyed Pirates were later caught out by Ten Cents, Sunshine, Grampus, and Sea Rogue himself, who devised a plan to capture the two fiends. Sea Rogue had been previously mistaken for the pirate himself, hence his nickname, and he later forgave the Star Tugs for ever thinking that about him. He then returned to a peaceful life with his uncle. He is voiced by Nigel Anthony. In the Japanese dub, he is voiced by Keiji Fujiwara.
Sea Rogue's appearance was intimidating, especially his eye patch (a typical pirate trademark). He was a completely black tug in colour, and didn't seem to work for any particular fleet; although the "Mi" symbol on his stack suggests that he worked for the munitions company, as the same symbol is seen on the factory and warehouse doors.
His model was later repainted and modified to be used for Bluenose.
Bluenose is an obnoxious navy tug, whom both the Star Fleet and Z-Stacks despise. He plays precisely by the rules and acts as a kind of stereotypical army drill sergeant towards the other tugs. He is annoying, pompous, and self-centered, and despite appearing in only two episodes of the series - "Munitions" and "Regatta"- he caused a major impact, and is often referred to as a major character. He speaks with a regimented Army English accent.
His major story line was involved with blowing up the midget submarine, Grampus, who was saved at the last minute and later became a member of the Star Fleet. After the episode "Munitions", Bluenose was left a nervous wreck, after a terrible night at the docks involving the death of the naval tramp steamer Kraka-Toa. He is later towed away by Grampus.
The term 'bluenose' was a nickname for people who came from the Canadian province of Nova Scotia - in the context of the show it may also have been a pun on the term 'Brown-nose', or suck-up - given Bluenose's orders-following mentality it can be said that he is a 'naval brown-nose', hence, possibly, 'Bluenose'.
The Fire Chief, also referred to as the Fire Launch, was in his own right, quite a significant character. Although he did not have his own individual name, and only appeared briefly in four episodes (in one of which he had no dialogue), he had a major role in the health, safety and well-being of Bigg City Port and its inhabitants. He is seen as an authoritarian figure and was often around when chaos was stirring in the Port.
The Fire Tug is level headed and down-to-earth, he is usually bright eyed, although his stubble makes him appear quite rough, however he is alert and keen to get to work. He speaks with a Cockney accent. He is painted white and red.
Like Billy Shoepack, the Fire Tug could move his head and eyes rather than immobile features.
Boomer was found floating adrift in the episode "Jinxed" by Ten Cents and Sunshine, where he revealed he was a jinx (which Ten Cents was very sceptical about). After many incidents, including almost sinking and his engine failing then catching fire, Ten Cents finally believed that he had a bad luck streak. After he was repaired at Lucky's Yard, Captain Star decided that Boomer was to become a house boat, and he now resides at an upriver jetty called "Dun Tuggin" where he can relax all day, and the jinx has finally left him.
Boomer was originally called Captain Harry, and he says that he became jinxed when his name was changed to Boomer. Boomer is the only tug, except from the initial seven, to become a Star Tug during the series, even if it was only for a very short period. He was also briefly a Z-Stack when he helped Zip and Zug pull some munitions, but after the barge exploded Captain Zero got rid of him. He can be seen towing barges in the background of the episode "Up River", and with this exception, he was never featured in the series again.
In Salty's Lighthouse, he appears in two episodes, in which he experienced two very different adventures. In one episode, he failed towing the schooner (as in the original TUGS) and became a 'vacation boat' in a story Ten Cents told to Zug, and in the other one, he lost his 'bad luck' by successfully towing the schooner. During these episodes, he is voiced by Scott McNeil.
Boomer's history reflects the naval superstition that changing the name of a ship invokes bad-luck. His name in naval and military slang is the nickname for submarines armed with ballistic missiles/nuclear ICBMs - though it is highly improbable that Boomer has any connection to nuclear weapons (having predated their invention by two decades) it can safely be said that he had a similarly intense impact on the tugs of Bigg City Port.
Billy Shoepack is an alligator tug; just like an alligator, he sits incredibly low in the water. In Billy's case, he's also just as dangerous as an alligator; he carries supplies such as fuses and dynamite to the Upriver towns. Billy has a particular fixation with his dynamite, and loves using it to create 'lovely big bangs' and 'blast someone out of trouble,' as he manages to do in the episodes "Trapped" and "Up River". Billy has been ridiculed by the other tugs for his unusual appearance and seeming lack of common sense, but his great courage and spirit has helped them get out of trouble, and changed their minds for the better.
Billy speaks with a strong West Country accent, and is voiced by Lee Cornes. In the Japanese dub, he is voiced by Mitsuaki Madono in "Trapped" and Rokurō Naya in "Up River". In Salty's Lighthouse, he is voiced by Terry Klassen.
Sea Rogue's Uncle
Sea Rogue's Uncle was never named, although he was referred to as "Old Man" by his nephew Sea Rogue. He was an elderly tug with a brownish colour scheme, appearing only in "Pirate". He was kidnapped by the "Green-Eyed" tugs, who held him as ransom in order to make his nephew steal barges, and was later rescued by Grampus.
Burke and Blair
Burke and Blair were notorious scrap dealers, and scavengers. Burke was the one with a moustache, and Blair was the one who wore glasses. They were always seen together, and had small appearances in many episodes across the series. The only episode in which they speak is "Quarantine", when they try- and almost succeed in- convincing Captain Star to sell O.J. for scrap.
Burke and Blair were often seen in the background, most notably at the end of the episode "Ghosts". Their names come from the Edinburgh corpse sellers: Burke and Hare and they are sort of tugboat alternatives to their human counterparts, in that they deal in dead boats - not people. Nigel Anthony voices Burke and Sean Barrett voices Blair. In the Japanese dub, Burke is voiced by Hideyuki Umezu and Blair is voiced by Mitsuaki Madono.
A pair of villainous tugboats who slipped into Bigg City Port with the intention of stealing loaded barges that could be sold off illegally for trade. To increase their security, they used Sea Rogue as their decoy. To make sure that he performed their bidding, they took Sea Rogue's uncle hostage and threatened to sink him if he disobeyed them. With the unexpected help of Zip and Zug, the Star Fleet and Sea Rogue were able to capture the pirate tugs and hand them into the authorities.
The pirate tugs were mysterious-looking vessels with black paint and a distinguishable pair of green-tinted spotlights. They are known among fans as 'The Green-Eyed Things'. The pirate tugs are among the few speaking tugboats among the cast that do not have faces.
The White Fleet
A fleet of tugboats who came to Bigg City Port during the midst of winter. They came from 'northern waters' in search of an iceberg, and travelled about the harbour at night with engines 'off', listening for cracking ice. They were mistaken by the Star Fleet, Zorran, and Izzy Gomez for being the phantoms of a tug fleet that sank in the great storm of 1912. After an eventful night, Hercules revealed the truth behind the White Fleet. Since then, the Star Tugs found they could laugh it off, but never forgot the night when fog nearly drove them crazy. The white fleet may have been used as the pirates.
The Coast Guard
The Coast Guard is a small vessel who acts as customs officer for the port. He often stands at the entrance to the estuary; ready to question and check incoming shipping before clearance. On other occasions, he stands by and over-looks large-scale operations, such as demolition and quarry work. He also doubled as a 'one-man' police-force. Despite his size, he has heavy influence and authority over the vessels of the port. He has made numerous brief appearances, but also made speaking roles in "High Winds", "Warrior" and "Quarantine". Because of his small size, remote eye mechanisms could not be fitted into his model.
He was one of the models passed on to Thomas and Friends after the production of TUGS shut down, he was seen in season 4, however, it is unknown where his model is at the moment. In the Buzz Books, the Coast Guard was referred to as the Customs Launch.
He speaks in a posh English accent, and is voiced by Lee Cornes. In the Japanese dub, he is voiced by Sukekiyo Kameyama. In Salty's Lighthouse, the Coast Guard is called Cappy, and is voiced by Paul Dobson.
Coast Guard's Messenger
A small motor boat with a shrill whistle, he appeared only briefly in "Regatta" to inform the Star Fleet of Lille Lightship's predicament; having been sent by theCoast Guard to deliver the message. The same small vessel doubled as the 'mad' speed boat that caused the accident in "Quarantine". He was in this form before "Regatta", as he appears in the liner scene of Warrior in "Sunshine". He is located beside the Fire Launch.
He is voiced by Nigel Anthony. In the Japanese dub, he is voiced by Mitsuaki Madono. In Salty's Lighthouse, he was mistakenly thought to be the same character as the Coast Guard, and also became Cappy. Here, he is voiced by Paul Dobson.
The Duchess appears in "Sunshine", the very first episode, making her the first ocean liner we encounter in the series. She only appeared in two scenes in the whole of that episode: first when the Star's were towing her in, and again in the nighttime firework celebrations following a successful journey. In appearance, she looked a lot like Princess Alice - and it is possible she was the same model - only with modified funnels and ventilators.
Her profile card in the TUGS board game gave her nationality as British.
Princess Alice was the most prominent of the three Liners - she appeared in three episodes ("High Winds", "High Tide", and "Regatta"), in "High Winds", she was in need of repair and the Stars (and Zebedee) all fought against the heavy winds to bring her safely into port. When she appeared in the 12th episode "Regatta", she was fully repaired - and was celebrating Independence Day heartily with the other vessels whilst being loaded by Big Mickey. She makes a brief appearance in High Tide.
Her profile card in the TUGS board game gives her nationality as American.
S.S. Vienna appeared in the episode Bigg Freeze, in which the Star Tugs and Z-Stacks alike were eagerly awaiting her return. In some videos she appears in the opening credits, and she makes a brief appearance in Sunshine.
The model used for S.S. Vienna was later reused for Thomas and Friends, which can be seen at Brendam Docks. It is renamed "S.S. Roxstar" in a Season 10 episode - "Seeing the Sights". However she shows off the Inman Line livery.
Vienna was given her name solely to create an excuse for the characters to say "Goodnight, Vienna" at the end of "Bigg Freeze" - in a further in-joke, Goodnight Vienna was the fourth solo album of Thomas storyteller Ringo Starr.
Johnny Cuba is a notorious and violent tramp steamer gangster. His strong accent and dialect indicate that he is from Australia, although in a TUGS themed card game it is said that he is from Cuba. He made his first appearance in Sunshine and his main appearance in High Winds. He is voiced by Nigel Anthony. In the Japanese dub, he is voiced by Tarô Arakawa.
Cuba had arrived at Bigg City Port to make plans with fellow criminal friends during a period of strong and troublesome tempest weather. He threatened Zebedee and manipulated him into helping him into the port.
Cuba sent Zebedee on an errand to steal a barge of coal, and threatened to sink him if he landed either of them in trouble. Due to a feud between Cuba and Captain Zero that occurred in the past, Zebedee was placed in an awkward and dangerous situation, until Hercules discovered Cuba's hide-out in an abandoned dock. Zebedee plucked up the courage to trap Cuba and have him arrested, and was forgiven. Despite Cuba's claim that "they can't hold Johnny Cuba!", they did. Johnny Cuba first appeared in High Winds, but his model made five more brief appearances in Sunshine, Quarantine, Ghosts, Munitions and Regatta. In Regatta it sank in Dender Rocks after colliding with Lillie Lightship.
He made a second appearance in the annual story "The Lost Barge" where he is still doing crime but no one wants to go near him.
A dirty old tramper and a notorious villain, whom the Tugs call Dirt Bucket. His only appearance was in Quarantine, in which he attempted to trick Sunshine into taking him into port by pulling down the yellow "waiting for clearance" flag. After his plan was foiled, he was sentenced by the Coast Guard to a further forty days in quarantine along with Zorran, who had fallen for the trick and pulled alongside him. He speaks with a Lancastrian accent provided by Sean Barrett. In the Japanese dub, he is voiced by Kōji Ishii.
His hull was later used for Old Rusty. He appeared as the tramper Billy Shopack blew up in Trapped.
In Salty's Lighthouse, Nantucket's name was changed to Tramper. Not only did he also become a friendly character, but sometimes he couldn't even speak (in which a foghorn sound effect was used instead). In the appearances where he does speak, he is voiced by Paul Dobson.
This naval tramp steamer made her first appearance in "Ghosts" and her final appearance in Munitions. Due to a fuel drum falling onto some explosives after Bluenose hit Zorran's barge, the dock caught fire, thus setting off the explosives and fuel loaded in her at the time. Since she was nearly full, the contents did indeed "rip her apart" as Zorran predicted, and she sank into the bay. She never spoke.
Old Rusty is possibly a naval tramp steamer, who made only one brief appearance, at the end of the episode Warrior, anchored out in the estuary. Warrior dozed off and bumped into him, and told him to look where he was going, but Old Rusty said that he had been anchored there for two years. He obviously had a sense of humour, as he dissolved into laughter after Warrior had left, and exclaimed that "It wouldn't half be boring without him."
Dockside and floating cranes
Big Mickey is described as 'the Port's biggest crane', he was once stationed at the steel works quay for loading and unloading operations when the Star and Zero fleets were competing for the steel company contract. He was later transferred to the naval dock for the loading of the naval tramper Kraka-Toa. He has two note-worthy appearances in 'High Tide' and 'Munitions'. Even Zorran said that "nobody tells Big Mickey what to do."
There is some debate as to the fate of Big Mickey. In the television release of 'Munitions', it is stated that Big Mickey had fallen into shallow water and survived. However this narration was deleted in the video release. According to the tugboats' reactions he perished to save them, although this may simply mean he took a big fall for them.
The model used for the Big Mickey character has enjoyed a new lease on life in the series Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends, where it is used in the dockside scenes, although the megaphone has been taken off. In fact, he still appears in the show to this very day, even becoming one of only 2 TUGS characters (the other being the S.S. Vienna) ever made in CGI.
Mighty Mo is Bigg City Port's largest floating crane, well known for his booming voice. He is used for many salvage operations, in which he usually takes charge. Appeared for the first time in Jinxed, in which his hawser jammed whilst lifting Boomer out of the water. He appeared in other episodes like High Tide and Regatta a.k.a. 4 July.
Little Ditcher is a small dirty A-frame crane, and is therefore, one of the smaller floating cranes to be found in the port. He is sometimes used dredging up-river at Mittsville or for oyster fishing in the estuary, as well as various other jobs. His size makes him unsuitable for rescue operations. He is good friends with the Star Tugs. He appeared for the first time in "Trapped", and has made numerous appearances in various episodes.
Little Ditcher is voiced by Timothy Bateson. In the Japanese dub, he is voiced by Keiji Fujiwara in all of his appearances excluding "Trapped", where he is voiced by Kōji Ishii. In Salty's Lighthouse, he became a female, along with Captain Star and Sunshine, and is voiced by Lenore Zann.
Although he can be grumpy, he is a friend to the Star Tugs. However, dredger detail is an unpopular task with the tugs, and is often given out by the Captains as punishment. He speaks with an exaggerated Dublin accent.
He is voiced by Nigel Anthony in all of his appearances excluding "Pirate", where he is voiced by Sean Barrett. In the Japanese dub, he is voiced by Hideyuki Umezu. In Salty's Lighthouse, he is voiced by French Tickner.
Jack the Grappler
Jack the Grappler is a garbage scooper who works at the "Municipal Garbage Corporation" quay for garbage barges, particularly Lord Stinker. He assisted in the organisation of the Municipal Garbage Corporation float for the annual regatta. He only appears three times in the series, first in the episode Munitions, once in the episode 'Regatta' (in which he briefly wore an Uncle Sam-style top hat) and once in the episode Bigg Freeze, in which he had a cold. In the series, the narrator refers to him as "Jack the Grapper", possibly indicating a pun on Jack the Ripper (if only in name). He is the only crane with a face.
Lord Stinker is an aged garbage barge, widely known for carrying a heavy stench, and notably wears a peg on his nose to avoid his own strong odor.
He works mostly with Warrior. He is a quick thinker and saved a train from disaster in "High Tide", which gained him a newfound respect from Top Hat. He has made numerous appearances, notably "High Tide", "Warrior", "Munitions" and "Regatta/4th of July". He is also mentioned briefly in "Bigg Freeze".
He is voiced by Timothy Bateson. In the Japanese dub, he is voiced by Tarô Arakawa in all of his appearances excluding "Warrior", where he is voiced by Sukekiyo Kameyama. In Salty's Lighthouse, he is voiced by Ian James Corlett.
Frank and Eddie
Frank and Eddie are a pair of twin railway barges (also known as Car floats) who work mostly with Top Hat the railway tug. They are used for the transportation of railway stock across the port. They are very quick-witted and are among the few that can deal with Top Hat's superiority. Both of the twins speak with Cockney accents.
Nigel Anthony voices Frank and Timothy Bateson voices Eddie. In the Japanese dub, Frank is voiced by Keiji Fujiwara, while Eddie is voiced by Tarô Arakawa in "Munitions" and Sukekiyo Kameyama in "High Tide". In Salty's Lighthouse, they are both voiced by Ian James Corlett.
Pearl is an oyster barge, she made her only appearance in "Warrior", working with Sunshine and Little Ditcher out in the estuary.
In the Japanese dub, she is voiced by Sakurako Kishiro.
The Fultan Ferry
The Fultan Ferry is a paddle-driven ferry boat used for freighting vehicles and goods across the harbour. It appeared in various episodes, but was finally named in Quarantine, when it was temporarily sunk in the middle of the port after hitting a fire barge towed by O.J.. It was later salvaged by Mighty Moe.
Although the Ferry doesn't speak in the original show, it is voiced by Scott McNeil in Salty's Lighthouse (despite not having a visible face or megaphone). It also happens to be confirmed as a male, and even went under the name Fultan by Grampus.
Since Tugs ceased production, the Fultan Ferry has appeared briefly in Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends.
The Shrimpers appear in various episodes, they had a note-worthy role in Ghosts, when a group of four or five were accidentally led into a mud-bank whilst following Warrior back to port, using him as a guide through the fog.
Their models were passed on to Thomas and Friends after the production of TUGS shut down, they were seen in season 4 around the Skarloey Railway and the docks, it is currently unknown where their models are at the moment.
Municipal Garbage Corporation
The owner of the Municipal Garbage Corporation yard. Organises the 'Municipal Garbage Corporation' float for the annual regatta. He appears in a famous scene from Regatta.
The owner of the rock quarry. Appears briefly in Warrior. He is voiced by John Baddeley. In the Japanese dub, he is voiced by Masaaki Tsukada.
The Fuel Depot
Sally is a seaplane, friend of the Star Fleet who have the contract to provide her fuel. Sunshine appears to have a slight crush on her. She appears only briefly in a selected number of episodes and spoke only in Sunshine.
Sally's technical definition is a 'Flying Boat' because her main source of buoyancy, like a ship, comes from her hull/fuselage with small floats on each wing to stabilise her, unlike the other form of seaplane - the 'floatplane' which uses a normal aircraft fuselage with large floats slung underneath to support it on water. If we expand on this she can be termed an 'Amphibious Flying Boat' because she has fold-up landing gear on her fuslage, allowing her to land on runways as well as water.
Sally's tail-number is S-ALLY, a fictional sequence that would not be assigned to a real plane - any civil aircraft registered in the United States has a tail-number beginning with the letter 'N'.
As the original prop has been presumed lost, The Star Tugs Trust are receiving a rebuilt Sally model from the owner of the original Seaplane moulds, arriving in Easter 2017.
Puffa is a steam locomotive who works on the dockside railway at Bigg City Port. Used for a variety of tasks within the port and at the docks up river, he is a trusted friend of the Star Fleet and Warrior in particular. He has two appearances in Up River and Munitions, and a brief appearance in High Tide. Other trains seen around Bigg City have the same whistle-sound and feature similar styling as Puffa. In Munitions, the character was warned by Ten Cents, OJ, Zorran, Zak and Zebedee to escape from a dockside fire. In the episode Up River, he raced down river from the logging camps inland to warn Top Hat, Warrior & OJ that a broken log jam was headed toward them, propelled by an explosion of dynamite, kudos to Billy Shoepack.
He, like cranes, speaks through loudhailers. His other features however suggest he was modified from a model locomotive of German outline, which seems likely as the German model makers Marklin supplied components for the model locomotives in TUGS sister show, Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends.
The Goods Engine
A locomotive other than Puffa appeared in Tugs was a tank engine which made several brief appearances, most notably in 'High Tide' where it was identified as 'the goods engine'. Like Puffa, its parts were later recycled to serve as props for rusty, old steam engines seen at scrap yards in Thomas and Friends.
There are several bell buoys across Bigg City Port, most of them yellow. Notably, one appeared very briefly in "Pirate", having been 'silenced' by the pirates in order to make their escape, and getting bumped into by Warrior when he was working with Top Hat to catch the thief. The buoy is voiced by Shaun Prendergast. In the Japanese dub, he is voiced by Yūko Mita.
Also, in the episode Jinxed, a "Wreck" Buoy appeared very briefly, as well as when Ten Cents hoots his whistle to test the Jinx, a nearby marker buoy ("Dem-Der") sinks. This was the only appearance of these two buoys.
- Mitton, David (director) (1988). "Sunshine"/"Pirate" (Videotape). Surrey, England: Tugs Ltd. UPC 5016500102026. Retrieved 2010-06-16.
- "Bigg City Port – Behind the Scenes". biggcity.tripod.com. Retrieved March 18, 2013. – contains question/answer information from Chris Tulloch concerning the production of TUGS.
- Gratton, James (March–May 2011). "Crewmember Spotlight on Jeremy King". sodor-island.net. Retrieved March 17, 2013.
- "Crewmember Spotlight on: Jeremy King - Modelmaker Series 2-3, 6 & TUGS". sodor-island.net. Retrieved 2011-05-27.