When you think James Bond, there’s usually one thing that immediately jumps to mind next. No, not the rampant sexual promiscuity! I’m talking about gadgets. Because as 007 has taught us, you can’t save the world unless you have a wristwatch that can unzip ladies’ cocktail dresses.
And seeing as tomorrow is World James Bond Day and the 50th Anniversary of the release of the first James Bond film, Dr. No, I’m celebrating by taking a look at 10 of my favourite gadgets from the franchise.
Yes, it’s completely absurd. But that’s exactly why it’s so memorable. A manned tiny semi-submarine (it never fully submerges) made to look like a crocodile, complete with a windscreen in it’s mouth. Why do I even need to explain myself further?
While widely considered the proverbial backbreaking straw when it came to the far-fetched nature of the latter part of the Pierce Brosnan era, there’s no denying that a car that turns invisible is just plain cool. Besides for the fact that the Aston Martin Vanquish (Or the “Vanish” as John Cleese’s Q calls it) is already sex on wheels, having it be the ultimate stealth vehicle was just the transparent cherry on the cake.
I can almost guarantee you that at some point in your childhood, you wished you had a jetpack and/or were a superspy. James Bond got both of those wishes granted, when he used one of his memorable modes of transport to escape some thugs in the opening sequence of Thunderball. Later on in the film, he would get to do kung-fu underwater, so I guess that’s another one off the bucket list.
The aptly named Omega is a watch to end all watches. It’s made of titanium, shoots a laser that can cut through steel, can be used to remotely detonate explosives, can arm and disarm mines and even fires a grapling hook with microfilament cable that would turn Batman Hulk-green with envy. And as an added bonus feature, it even keeps time pretty well.
Technically these are 2 separate gadgets, but since they work together so brilliantly, I’ve included them as one. Firstly, you have the stunning BMW 750iL that’s bulletproof, comes with sunroof-rocket launchers, spike throwers, grenades and even it’s own buzz saw. Then you have the Ericsson cell phone that doubles as a taser, a fingerprint reader and even has a tiny screwdriver hidden under the antenna for those DIY jobs around the house. But it’s the phone’s last feature that is its most memorable, a touch-pad operated fully functional remote control for that beastly BMW!
Out of all of Bond’s cars, this is the one I’ve always wanted to own the most. I originally made that decision based purely on the Lotus Esprit’s supermodel looks, but it having the ability to transform itself into a submersible complete with rectractable wheels, dive planes and even a radar, certainly didn’t hurt it’s chances either. This must make family road trip holidays a blast.
It’s an attack chopper that comes in a box small enough to fit on the back of a Corsa bakkie. What more could you ask for? Despite it’s small size, this nimble single-pilot gyrocopter brings the thunder in the form of machine guns, rocket launchers, smoke screens and even flamethrowers. I’m sorry, Apache and Hind attack choppers, do you have flamethrowers? Well, do ya?
Golden pen + golden lighter + golden cigarette case = deadly pistol = mind blown. The assassin Scaramanga’s pistol of choice may only contain one bullet, but that’s all he really needs. This must be a post-911 airport security official’s worst nightmare.
While not the flashiest or deadliest, this pretty nondescript attache case deserves its entry on this list for really kicking off the Bond gadget craze. It’s secret inner compartments hide a collapsible sniper rifle, 40 rounds of ammunition, tear gas disguised as talcum powder, a popout throwing knife and finally 50 gold sovereigns, just in case your attacker is still open to some good ol’ bribery after you’ve tried to shoot, gas and stab him.
Just like the briefcase in From Russia with Love was the progenitor of Bond’s handheld gadgets, so the classically beautiful Aston Marton DB5 was the cloth from which all future Bond cars would be cut. It had bullet proof glass complete with an extra rear shield, boasted twin machine guns in the front wings, tyre-shredders hidden in the hub caps that would make Ben Hur proud, smoke screen and oil slicks, and a passenger ejector seat that had every embattled husband who has ever had to put up with an hour of nagging on the drive home, dreaming up some rather evil thoughts.
Last Updated: October 4, 2012