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Sunshine is Captain Star's 7th and youngest tug, a small switcher who is used for a wide variety of tasks around Bigg City Port. He has many capabilities that range from the towing of barges to liner docking operations. In his first assignment from the Star Fleet, he was pushed by Zorran who caused the situation to be a disaster. Like the rest of the Star Fleet, Sunshine is based on the tugs of San Francisco waters from the 1920s.
Sunshine can be occasionally cheeky at times, but he is very strong willed nevertheless. He is quick-witted and takes action swiftly without hesitation. He is generally level-headed and cheerful, and takes on most jobs with little complaining. He also appears to have a slight crush on Sally Seaplane.Sunshine also can figure things out very quickly, as in "Jinxed" where he points out that each of jinxed tug Boomer's unfortunate mishaps occurs right after Ten Cents sounds his steam hooter, suggesting a cause-and-effect relationship. He's also more open-minded about unusual phenomena (such as ghosts) than Ten Cents is. On the subject of whistles, Sunshine's is middle-to-high pitched and has a distinct whooping sound which could best be described as upbeat, suiting his personality and name. Sunshine also has the 2nd highest pitched whistle of the Star Tugs, with the first highest going to Grampus.
Sunshine usually works with Ten Cents, the Star Fleet's first and larger switcher. They have shared many adventures, almost to the extent that it is impossible to imagine one without the other, and they are both the best of friends.
Sunshine speaks with a rather soft Newcastle (or Geordie) accent and whistles most of the time when he says a word with s on it, because he is missing some of his front teeth.
Sunshine is painted in the Star Fleet's corporate livery. This consists of a black hull, a yellow superstructure, white mast, and an American flag-styled red, white, and blue funnel. His name is painted on the sides of his bow in white and he has the number "7" on his funnel. He was originally painted in the Salvage Fleet's white livery. He wears a red cap.
In the television series, Salty's Lighthouse, which reused edited episodes of Tugs, Sunshine was portrayed as a female character (along with Captain Star and Little Ditcher), and was Ten Cents' little sister, presumably to appeal at a wider audience of children.
- In an episode from the Theodore Tugboat series called "Bedford's Big Move", the Harbour Master receives cookies that are in the same shape of Sunshine. Similar cookies in his shape also appeared in another episode of the same series called "Theodore's Bad Dream".
- After Tugs' production ended, Sunshine's model was purchased by The Star Tugs Company, an organisation which aimed to restore and preserve the models.
- Unlike the other tugs, Sunshine does not have a sign on his stern that shows where he is from.
- It is currently unknown where Sunshine's face masks are. So far, though, his scared face mask is currently the only one in the possession of the Star Tugs Company. In April 2015, a new happy face was made and designed for Sunshine by using a 3D printer.
- Although it may not be his basis, there was actually a real tugboat named Sunshine. This particular tug itself worked on the River Thames in the UK until it was scrapped in 1960.
- Shaun Prendergast based Sunshine's voice on a clown called Gypsy Jackie his father had created for him, as well as a child he once knew who spoke with a whistle.
- Ten Cents, Top Hat and Sunshine are the only characters to appear in every episode.
- In "Jinxed", Sunshine's handrails on his wheelhouse are white. In the other episodes, the handrails are yellow.
|The Salvage Fleet|
|Billy Shoepack • Sunshine (formerly) • Billy's Barges|