7 Coolest James Bond Gadgets of All Time
7 Coolest James Bond Gadgets of All Time
The James Bond franchise is one that has managed to last for more than half a century. Created in 1953 by Ian Fleming, the cocky spy character got his first film adaptation in 1962 and is still gracing the big screen today, blowing our minds in the recently released No Time to Die.
One of the most interesting characters in the franchise is the iconic genius —Q. Short for “Quartermaster”, Q is the head of Q – branch —the MI6 Research & Development Department, and the brain behind all of 007’s death-defying adventures. In fact, it wouldn’t be taking it too far to say he’s been the one keeping “Mr. Bond” alive all this while.
With his endless supply of gadgets, ranging from little things like a pen to more brash things like his sports cars, it’s a quite difficult picking which of 007’s gadgets are the coolest. However, we’ve managed to do just that. Follow us as we explore the coolest gadgets used by the various Bonds.
N.B: Note that the gadgets are arranged in chronological order (oldest to most recent) and not according to how cool we think they are.
1. Bell-Textron JetPack – Thunderball (1965)
In the 1965 Thunderball movie, James Bond, portrayed by Sean Connery, used the jetpack to escape from some gunmen after killing a SPECTRE agent —wait for it— at his own fake burial.
Of course, jetpacks are inherently cool, but what made this particular one even cooler was the fact that it was an actual jetpack developed for the US Army. No, Sean Connery didn’t really fly it, he just took shots while taking off and landing. A stuntman named Bill Suitor did the actual flying. The jetpack never made it to the army because of its short flight time(what use is a flight contraption that flies for only 25 seconds?).
2. Little Nellie (WA-116) – You only live twice (1967)
The WA-116, nicknamed Little Nellie, was flown in the 1967 James Bond film You Only Live Twice. Little Nellie, delivered personally to James Bond(played by Sean Connery as well) by Q, is actually a modified version of a real-life gyrocopter developed by former Royal Airforce pilot, Ken Wallis. Kitted with twin forward-facing machine guns, two 1.75″ rockets, smaller heat-seeking missiles and aerial mines, Little Nellie is nothing short of a flying beast. The four helicopters trailing it in the mountains certainly learnt that the hard way.
3. Rolex Submariner – Live and Let Die (1973)
Ladies’ man, wine connoisseur, classy gentleman. These are some of the words we would use to describe the iconic character and everyone knows a classy outfit isn’t complete without a sterling timepiece to match. Omega currently supplies the watches for 007. However, before them, Rolex owned the enviable spot, seeing their watches appear in 7 James Bond movies and worn by 4 of the actors to have played the role.
The Rolex Submariner was the timepiece of choice for Roger Moore’s James Bond in 1973 Live and Let Die. Q certainly went out of his way to make the watch more than just a time-telling piece of jewellery. The timepiece is equipped with a magnetic force field powerful enough to deflect a bullet from long range and a “buzz saw” bevel adapted into a spinning circular saw that saved 007 from imminent death. The watch certainly came in “handy”.
Sadly, Roger Moore is no longer with us, and while he never got to drive an Aston Martin, he did get to wear the iconic Rolex Submariner that was later sold at an auction for $363,000.
4. Dentonite Toothpaste – Licence to Kill (1989)
The name would certainly make for a solid marketing quip, but you wouldn’t want to brush your teeth with the Dentonite toothpaste. Assigned to Timothy Dalton’s James Bond in Licence to Kill, the plastic explosive disguised as toothpaste is to be “used sparingly” as directed by Q. The receiver that picks up the signal from Bond to blow the explosives is disguised as a packet of LARK cigarettes. Curiously, both items are disguised as everyday items that go in the mouth…
5. Ericsson JB988 – Tomorrow Never Dies (1997)
One thing the James Bond franchise has always had going for it is the myriad of brands hustling for visual real estate in the movies. No matter how short the screen time they will get is, brands will pay a premium just to have their logo or brand name appear, or even better, be wielded by Mr. Bond on the big screen. One of such brands as Sony Ericsson.
Having 007 whips out a mobile device flashing the Sony Ericsson (now Sony) logo seems quite normal. However, the very first Sony Ericsson phone used in the franchise isn’t a regular mobile phone, but a fictional cell phone modified by Q called Sony Ericsson JB988. Barely larger than the palm of the average man, it makes up for what it lacks in size by packing several useful, and rather lethal features. Embedded in the JB988 are a fingerprint scanner, remote control for Bond’s BMW 750iL, and a 20,000-volt electroshock weapon.
6. Parker Jotter Ballpoint Pen Grenade – Goldeneye (1995)
Like most Q – issued spy gadgets, the ballpoint pen grenade supplied to James Bond looks nothing like a lethal weapon, but click, click, click and it goes BOOM! Equipped with a class-IV (C4) grenade, the pen can be armed with 3 clicks and disarmed with 3 extra clicks. It saved Pierce Brosnan’s James Bond in Goldeneye when the villainous scientist Boris Grishenko took it to be an ordinary pen and began fiddling with it. The pen inevitably explodes, taking out several Russian guards and causing enough damage to allow James Bond and a fellow hostage to make their escape. He eventually takes down the GoldenEye satellite.
The classic pen is still widely available and can be found in various e-commerce stores. However, it’s very unlikely you get the same variant that was issued to Mr Bond.
7. Aston Martin DB5 – No time to die (2021)
What kind of spy would James Bond be without a custom sports car embedded with the latest tech for catching or getting away from bad guys. Bond (or is it Q?) must be a huge fan of the Aston Martin because what other explanation is there for the fact the famous car manufacturer has featured in many of the James Bond movies and 5 of the 8 actors to have played James Bond have driven Aston Martin cars in their respective movies?
In its franchise debut, the Aston Martin DB5 was equipped with only a few gadgets, including the revolving license plates and an ejector seat. However, over subsequent appearances, it got some other cool modifications that made it more established as Mr Bond’s choice for getting out of precarious situations.
The Aston Martin DB5 first appeared in the 1964 Thunderball, commandeered by Sean Connery. It has now gone on to make 6 other James Bond appearances, including making a comeback in the recently released No Time to Die. Sean Connery, Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig have all been behind the steering of the impressive sports car. Talk about longevity.
featured image credit: collider.com