I invite you to imagine a scene for a minute: a handsome man, with the kind of chiseled chin you could sharpen spoons on in an embarrassingly fine suit whose intricate detail blinded three tailors in the making sits at a Texas Holdem table, sucking daintily on a Vesper and with a cigarette lit for ornamentation. A gun presses into his ribs, another comfortably into his calf, and about his person are secreted millions of pounds worth of the British Intelligence Service’s most impressive, and most secret inventions. His smile cuts knowingly across an impeccably handsome face, eyes taking in infinitely more than his lush demeanor lets on as he imperceptibly stalks his prey. He is Bond, and no matter what you do about it, he is always going to be cooler than you.
So, why the hell wouldn’t you want to make your life as close to his as possible? Your paunch might say more Gandalfini than Bond, and your social awkwardness would probably be the first, largest stumbling block in your application to MI5, but through the magpie-like acquisition of many fine pieces of James Bond merchandise, you too could pretend like a boss.
And wouldn’t you know it, that’s precisely what this week’s Merch Hunter column is devoted to…
1. Jaws Teeth Prop Replica
Pretty sure this one doesn’t need much of a hard sell.
It’s Jaws’ big metal gnashers for Christ’s sake.
If you can get them in your own mouth, all the better – not even Lil Wayne could beat that grill.
Buy a set yourself here.
2. Japanese Bond Movie Programs
There’s something about the Orient that inspires its inhabitants to make superb collectibles, and while an awful lot of that market is taken up by tiny, multi-colored plastic monsters, the movie related stuff that comes from the East is often a brand new level of awesome. And the series of Japanese Bond movie programs, whose value is mostly limited to curio appeal, are a perfect example of that refined eye for artistic execution.
Also, why the hell don’t studios release programs for films anymore (aside from at film festivals, of course) – the sooner cinemas are encouraged to embrace the experience of mass-audience screenings again, without mercilessly grabbing at popcorn profit levels, the sooner they will enjoy sustained and significant profit. Ban those who disregard the decorum of the theater, establish some rules and bring back the prestige of going to the cinema, I say.
Check out the Live & Let Die version here.
3. Original Dr. No Poster
Back in the 60s well before the grit of Dalton, the debonair swagger of Brosnan and the trout pout Bourne-ism, Bond films were basically just about girls with euphemistic names in increasingly small bikinis falling for the not-quite-believable charms of a man old enough to be their fathers, while he punned horribly and treated them like objects. Heady days indeed.
From those days, here’s an impressively expensive original poster, featuring Connery and some half-dressed nubiles. Porn film or spy classic… you decide.
You can buy one here, a snip at just under $20k, I’m sure you will agree.
4. Corgi Icon Bond Figures
There are certainly bargains to be had here – collectors can value the rarer figures well up into the thousands, but the entire collection carries the irresistible caveat that they were discontinued back in 2001, and can only increase in value.
Buying them low right now, even with cosmetic damage to the boxes will surely pay dividends later, especially in the year in which Bond turns 50, and a brand new Bond film will only doubt increase interest in linked collectibles.
For a start, why not pick up Roger Moore’s Bond here?
5. Golden Gun Replica
I’m not usually one for suggesting unregulated arms dealing, but this Golden Gun replica is so well-made, and so bloody desirable that I’m willing to bend my rules just this once.
Besides, it costs so much to fire, the act of buying it will probably rule out all but the very richest of purchasers from shooting the lovely little devil.
Pick up an expensive shooter here.
6. Banned Trading Card Set
A particularly prestigious set of cards this, produced by Daleon Enterprises in 1997, as a reprint from the very first series of Bond trading cards, which were originally banned for being too racy, and featuring way too many scantily clad ladies.
All of the photos featured came from Dr. No, From Russia With Love and Goldfinger, and the limited edition cards (just 5,000 were made) are packed in a 007 logoed plastic attache case.
7. St. Dupont Black PVD 7 Piece Set
It’s quite likely that only an actual secret agent, or someone on a salary similar to a Bond actor could actually afford to spend almost $10k (at the very top end) on a glorified travel stationary and lighter set, but by God it’s a cool looking set.
Set out in a gun formation, and including seven beautifully crafted trinkets - (a Ligne 2 lighter, Gatsby lighter, Jeroboam lighter, fountain pen, ballpoint pen, hey ring, and cuff links) – it’s a set for the very cream of the crop. But seriously, if you have not only the necessary money to purchase, but also to actually use the set, you should probably pay some more taxes or something.
Grab one here for just over $6k.
T-Shirt of the Week
A triumphant return for this mini-column, after an imposed hiatus, and one of those film-inspired motifs that will have all but the most ardent of nerds bamboozled or nonplussed. Two points to anyone who can explain it, without Googling – a difficult challenge to police, but this being a British column, I simply must believe in the unpollutable nature of good form…