Luke Quantrill's James Bond Toy Box Part 2!

Corgi James Bond Tomorrow Never Dies BMW 750i
bmw corgi bond

The die-cast replica Tomorrow Never Dies BMW is another addition to the popular and famous line of Corgi Bond vehicles in the 1:36 scale range. The gadget laden car was driven by Pierce Brosnan in the film and is best known for its participation in a boisterous and explosive chase sequence set in a Hamburg multi-storey car park. The film was not really vintage Bond and was the one where Teri Hatcher was a bit rubbish and Vincent Schiavelli said "Believe me, Mr Bond, I could shoot you from Stuttgart und still create ze proper effect!" This is not the most fun or gadget laden replica in the Corgi line but these toys are of a high standard and any James Bond collector who has been picking these up now and again will probably want to add it to the collection at some point. As ever, the car has an impressive exterior with a silver metallic sheen that conforms to the contours and dips and bends of the real thing. The BMW doesn't have the charm of the Aston Martin but the predominant silver and black gives it a stylish appearance with the minimal splash of colour supplied by the orange lights on the front on either side.
The car has very black tinted windows but the interior is still intricate and as usual the little black plastic wheels with their striking silver spokes are very nicely done. The wheels feel quite sturdy and are in working order. The spoked wheels include a little BMW badge as does the 'chain cutter' situated at the front of the model on the vehicle. The chain cutter was deployed in the film when a huge, er, chain, was strung out by the villains to impede 007's progress as he careered the BMW up the twisty German multi-storey car park. The sequence was actually shot at Brent Cross or something but I digress. The detail on the die-cast replica is once again of a high standard with the wing mirrors and a number plate beneath the twin black grills situated at the front of the model. The lights are quite noticeable too in a pleasant way with two standard ones and the orange indicator lights on either side. There are naturally two orange/red lights on either side at the back of the toy.
Sadly, you don't get a Pierce Brosnan James Bond figurine to karate chop Playmobil pirates with the Corgi Tomorrow Never Dies BMW and the biggest novelty factor the replica has going for it is the inclusion of the roof firing missiles which appear when you lift the top of the car up. There are four of these red plastic 'missiles' all lined up in an oblong silver box that juts up from the roof and, as usual with these Corgi Bond vehicles, they do spring out from the car and so the toy is recommended for ages 14+ on the official Corgi website. To state the obvious, it would be possible to lose these missiles if you were too frivolous and if you keep the box and everything in working order then you have a Bond collectible of sorts. In the film the BMW could be remote controlled from a mobile telephone given to Bond by Q but sadly Corgi have not yet extended this technology to small die-cast replicas. I'm still waiting too for them to make a Die Another Die Aston Martin Vanquish that really can turn invisible just like it did in the film.
The missiles are rather good fun though and the one component that stops this from being a slightly dull addition to this enduringly popular Bondian range. The angular and compact nature of the toy and the fact that the gadget (or attachments) are placed on the roof with the ability to retract into the vehicle means that this feels a little sturdier and less prone to any undo accidents than some other more fiddly and complex models in this range. The black underside to the car and the black stripe that runs around it at mid tyre level adds to the pleasingly dapper appearance of the replica BMW. The box is perhaps a tad dull for this toy though. The see through plastic clear display has a fun old toy shop air but then there is just a generic Bond gunbarrel silloette and the Corgi and 007 logos rather than any sort of pictures or montage from the film. The Tomorrow Never Dies graphic font from the film poster is retained though across the top of the box.
You can buy the Corgi Tomorrow Never Dies BMW for around 12 at many retailers so this isn't an outrageously extravagant purchase if you collect these die-cast vehicles and only buy one now and again. The Corgi range is the most comprehensive collection of Bond toy cars ever (or so they claim) and does do an excellent job in capturing the look and character of the full size counterparts from the various films with a laudable attention to detail and the enjoyable addition of the most famous gadgets associated with the cars be it ejector seats, sub aquatic fins, rocket launchers or missiles. If you collected enough of these you would not only have a valuable collection of Bond models sitting on the shelf to evoke the exotic sun drenched adventures of James Bond but you would also be able to stage your own miniature James Bond vehicle Wacky Races/Cannonball Run in the comfort of your own home. If you are older than 14 it's probably best if you do this in private and you should remember that Roger Moore's Lotus Esprit would be bound to win.
The die-cast replica Tomorrow Never Dies BMW is a solid addition to this famous range and is a sturdy and attractive little toy with good detail and a few surprises and additional parts that mirror the car used in the 1997 film. Another fun James Bond vehicle from Corgi to add to the collection.
Corgi James Bond Aston Martin DB5
corgi aston martin
The Aston Martin DB5 is (with apologies to all aquatic Lotus Esprit fans) the most famous James Bond car of them all and attained instant iconic status when it featured in the 1963 film Goldfinger. "I never joke about my work 007," snapped Q when Bond thought he was having a laugh about the ejector seat, smoke screen, radar, bullet proof glass, machine guns etc. About the only thing the car didn't have was a SodaStream in case Bond had just saved the world or defused a nuclear bomb with seconds to spare and now felt like a nice refreshing glass of fizzy pop. The Aston Martin is forever associated with the golden age of James Bond in the sixties and became known as "The Most Famous Car in the World" after being driven by Sean Connery's super suave agent in what surely remains the best known Bond film of all time. It was special effects expert John Stears who asked Aston Martin for the use of one of their snazzy vehicles with a view to turning the sports car into a gadget laden moving arsenal fit for a secret agent and the rest is history. Corgi have been making die-cast James Bond toy vehicles since 1965 and these pleasantly detailed models have become very popular in the world of Bond collectibles and merchandise with the DB5 naturally the most famous and enduring car in the range.
The Corgi Aston Martin DB5 is a very attractive looking replica model with some impressive detail as you'd expect. This is in the 1:36 scale range and the toy Aston is 125 mm long. The features of the model Aston replica are good fun and of course mirror its full size counterpart from Goldfinger. For starters, there is a nice facsimile of the Rear bullet proof screen which came in very handy whenever some of Auric Goldfinger's goons decided to take a few shots at 007 and a Rear tyre slasher which would be very welcome in real life when another driver was irritating you. This Rear tyre slasher is located on the back wheel and comes out with a silver spoke at the end. I like this Corgi range of models because the replicas look like they contain a great deal of affection and attention to detail in their production.
The Aston Martin returned in several James Bond films after Goldfinger in various forms (with most of them having Corgi replicas too) but it did seem to become more and more gimmicky with Pierce Brosnan's last Aston actually having the ability to turn invisible to aid his quest to unmask a Korean villain posing as an overacting Toby Stephens. I did quite enjoy the Aston Martin in The Living Daylights though where the tyre slasher was replaced by a laser that more or less did the same thing. Sadly, Corgi have yet to develop laser technology for their range of Bond replica toy cars. Other features of this DB5 model that ape the famous cinematic car driven by Connery's Bond are Wing mirrors and Interior decoration. The sleek curves of the Aston are present here even in this miniature form and although what I know about real cars wouldn't fill the back of an envelope even I am aware that the Aston is a wonderful looking vehicle. Corgi have done a good job here in capturing the likeness of this most famous of cars.
Also included with this Corgi Aston Martin DB5 replica are the Machine guns, Full body decoration and the famous Ejector seat. The machine guns come out of the front of the car below the lights should you wish and there is also a little Bond figure inside behind the wheel. The whole of the roof opens up for the ejector seat to fling a little Tommy Cooper lookalike villain figure into the air before you dispense a sardonic Bondian quip. I love the bright silver wheel spokes on the model and the four lights on the back which add a splash of colour to the model. I tend to think of these Corgi replicas more as collectibles than toys but they are good fun if you want to pretend to be Sean Connery when no one is looking - if a bit fiddly. Bond collectors are likely to treat these models with caution and care though which is probably for the best if you want to keep it for a long time and not lose anything. I would obviously advise keeping hold of the box with this as it is a collectible. You are probably never going to become rich from owning some Corgi James Bond cars but a decent range of these would certainly not be cheap to build up.
The intricate little details are very enjoyable to explore and I like all the little touches like the machine guns and the bullet proof glass. Both of the doors open too if you want them to. The Corgi Aston Martin DB5 retails at about 14 which doesn't sound like a huge amount of money but obviously it will all tot up if you are a Bond completist/collector with an irresistible urge to buy anything Bond related or collect as many of these vehicles as possible to sit on a shelf alongside each other in majestically geeky and Bondian fashion. The real charm of this range is undoubtedly in collecting the various cars together. The DB5 replica is a good quality model with an immediate likeness that evokes memories of Mint Juleps with Auric Goldfinger in the afternoon sun, burly bowler hatted Korean henchmen, Shirley Bassey, gold paint, Fort Knox and rolling in the hay with Pussy Galore. Now, if you'll please excuse me, I'm off to pit Sean Connery's Aston Martin DB5 against Roger Moore's Lotus Esprit in the battle of the Bond replica vehicle titans.

Winning Moves James Bond Top Trumps

'The name is Bond, James Bond. This pack needs no introduction, it's simply the Best of Bond. Villains, Henchman, all the Bonds and a few glamorous women thrown in for good measure, it's the greatest adventure ever, so pay attention 007...'
Top Trumps is a card game that is themed around a particular topic like Marvel Superheroes, Cars, Footballers, Chancellors of the Exchequer, Serial Killers, Television Chefs - well, maybe not the last three - with numerical data on each card rated according to various categories. One player chooses a category from his topmost card and reads the number out to the others. The player with the largest number in that category 'trumps' the others and takes all the cards for that round and so on. I've no idea if anyone still plays Top Trumps but all James Bond completists or collectors had their curiosity mildly piqued when some James Bond Top Trumps appeared a few years ago for the novelty of adding them to their anachronistic British secret agent themed collection if nothing else. There are 30 cards with these Top Trumps featuring characters from all the James Bond films encompassing the very first - 1962's Dr No - through to 2008's Quantum of Cobblers which was the last at the time of writing. The characters in the pack are ranked in numerical fashion in the following range of categories: First Appearance, Style & Charm, Brutality, Seduction and Twisted Mind.
The cards come in a modestly striking and reasonably attractive case with black and red colours and a silhouette of Bond in the familiar gunbarrel pose from the beginning of the films. It's a tad blurry but then this is a Top Trumps case not an actual film poster or anything. The actual cards themselves are colourful and quite well designed if perhaps a tad too 'busy' - as if they were intent on trying to cram as much stuff as possible onto each card rather than go for a more simplistic (and possibly more effective) design. The numerical categories are naturally designed so that you have an equal chance of winning or losing whether you draw 007's boss M, a villain or James Bond himself. Style & Charm and Seduction are not going to score the steel toothed giant Jaws or Necros - who memorably disguised himself as a milkman in The Living Daylights and likes strangling people with his Walkman earphones - many points but Brutality will of course. It's quite good fun in a geeky way finding out what scores they've allocated to the characters in these categories.
I was a little disappointed there were 30 cards as somehow I expected more but they do a decent job here in including all the villains and henchmen/baddies from the indestructible franchise. All the classic villains - Auric Goldfinger, Francisco Scaramanga, Dr No, Carl Stromberg, Ernst Stavro Blofeld - are here and Felix Leiter, General Gogol and Q are also included as friends of Bond. Amongst those less classic characters lucky to make the list are Valentin Zukovsky and Mr White. I watched the last two Bond films but off the top of my head I couldn't actually tell you who Mr White is when he's at home. What isn't so great is the lack of Bond girls with Xenia Onatopp and Pussy Galore the only ones I could find in the pack. I suppose these two are villains also but it would have been nice to see more female allies of Bond in the cards in the form of Honey Ryder, Tracy Di Vicenzo and company. Miss Moneypenny and Rosa Klebb do make it into the cards though to help bump up the female presence. Rosa Klebb is of course the diminutive female baddie who featured in From Russia with Love. She's sort of like a more sinister version of Hazel Blears.
All the James Bond actors are represented too as if they were different people like Dr Who - which in a sense they are I suppose. Daniel Craig gets the worst image and is pictured in that ill-fitting suit and collar from the end of Casino Royale looking alarmingly like Albert Steptoe with a big machine gun. It's quite interesting comparing the scores of the various James Bonds although we all know that in reality Sir Roger of Moore would disable the others with a craftily placed karate chop to the back of the neck and then throw them off a roof before straightening his tie and dispensing a quip. I quite liked the fact that the inseparable Mr Wint & Mr Kidd shared a card and it was nice too to see General Gogol here as Gogol was a recurring character who although not terribly well known was quite important to the films for a while and lent some continuity to a series that is famed for trampling all over it.
These cards are quite good fun on the whole to either play Top Trumps with or merely add to your James Bond collection. The data is well planned to ensure that each character has his own particular strengths and weaknesses and therefore give the players all an equal chance of winning the hand according to which category is chosen. While the cards themselves are perhaps a little over crammed with graphics they feature - Bond girls aside - all the classic characters from the series and it's strangely satisfying when you get dealt a George Lazenby or Timothy Dalton and have Bond in your mitts for the game. As an added bonus, if you flip a switch on the Top Trumps case it turns into an underwater toaster equipped with a laser, machine guns and the ability to turn into either a helicopter or a pair of invisible roller skates depending on your choice. I enjoyed these James Bond Top Trumps overall and they make a fairly cheap and cheerful purchase for anyone interested in these types of card games or curious Bond completists looking to add them to the collection.
Corgi James Bond Aston Martin V12 Vanquish

Die Another Day, the infamous 2002 fortieth anniversary James Bond film, is possibly best known now for the 'invisible' stealth Aston Martin V12 Vanquish that Pierce Brosnan drove in it, the car soon to join things like double-taking pigeons and Denise Richards playing a nuclear physicist in hotpants as something that the series probably could have done without. The car featured in the film's big gadget laden ice chase sequence and the Aston Martin V12 Vanquish is also part of Corgi's excellent series of die-cast replica James Bond cars in the 1:36 scale range. The Corgi Aston Martin Vanquish is every bit as attractive and detailed as the other models in this enjoyable 007 themed line and another nice addition to any collection or toy box. These replica cars are great fun and of a high standard with the sparkly exteriors and all the appropriate contours. Sadly, this car can't turn invisible (I would have doffed my cap to Corgi if they'd included this option!) but it does ape the Aston from the film with many intricate little details and a few gadgets.
The replica has front firing missiles and machine guns on the bonnet and these are nicely done although, as ever, with the little bits and pieces that come out (or can be pulled out) the toy is recommended for ages 13+ on Corgi's official website. Although these models tend to be for collectors too the cars are certainly sturdy enough to whizz around on the floor if you do want to buy it as a toy for a young relative. The little black machine guns look good and the missiles located in the grill above the number plate add a nice splash of red to the model. Other nice touches on this are spoked wheels and spiked tyres and I find the little plastic tyres with their intricate silver centres are always wonderfully done on this range of replicas. The wing mirrors are really good too. The interiors are always excellent with these models also, to the extent that you imagine if you were shrunk to thimble size you could get into this car and drive off in it!
The interiors are rather stylish and look great with the darkish tint to the windows. There are lights too at the back and front and even a tiny hubcap. This incarnation of the Aston Martin lacks the charm of the more vintage model driven by Sean Connery so it isn't as sleek and attractive as the Goldfinger Aston Corgi replica but part of the fun of a collection like this is having all the different eras side by side to compare and contrast. The fact that the film version of this was festooned with gadgets is a plus as some of the more obvious and prominent gadgets are replicated here for the model. Some of the cars in this range, like the Diamonds Are Forever Ford Mustang for example, are just more or less normal cars rather than cars specifically designed for James Bond to fend off villains in chases and can be a trifle dull in model form, lacking the iconic aura of a Lotus Esprit or just about any version of the Aston Martin.
The Die Another Day Aston Martin V12 Vanquish is well up to the standards set by the other entries in this range and another well crafted and attractive Bond replica from Corgi. These retail at around 10 to 13 (at the time of writing) but you might be able to get an even better deal than that if you investigate a bit. These Bond replicas aren't outrageously expensive and if you keep the box and the model in good condition then you have a Bond collectible of sorts.
One slight disappointment I found with this though is that the box it came with was rather generic and uninspired, which is a shame as anyone collecting these will more than likely keep the boxes. It's perfectly competent for the purposes of storage and includes the familiar clear plastic front (so you can put the car in it as if it was in a miniature showroom and keep your replica in pristine condition) but the actual design doesn't look like too much effort went into it. The box is just mostly black with a basic Bond gunbarrel silhouette on the top and then '007' and 'Corgi' across the lower part of the front. The graphic font used for 'Die Another Day' on the film posters is replicated on the box at the top. I suppose the simplicity of the design is appealing in a way but I tend to think some sort of photo montage might be a nice touch with these boxes. A few stills from the film would make it seem a bit more novel.
Corgi's legacy in producing replica James Bond cars and vehicles has been an excellent on on the whole, from the 'Little Nellie' Gyrocopter from You Only Live Twice to the classic Aston Martin DB5 driven by Sean Connery in Goldfinger. The attention to detail and ability to capture some of the character of the real thing is always laudable and these toys are therefore held with a good degree of fondness and affection by people who like collecting things that tie in with films and television. They don't necessarily have to be left in a box and never touched though. When I was about 12 I would have got good value out of these Bond replica vehicles, making them attack each other as they raced around the hall or something.
While Die Another Day, with its dreadful CGI, dialogue that Sid James might have baulked at and idiotic plot involving a North Korean villain disguising himself as a overacting Toby Stephens, has not stood the test of time terribly well the Corgi replica inspired by the film is well up to the usual standards and an attractive and detailed little toy. And now, if you'll please excuse me, I'm due for tea at the ice palace and need to go and find my tuxedo and invisible roller skates...
- Luke Quantrill

c 2012 Alternative 007