Beginning a series of James Bond-themed features ahead of the release of ‘Spectre‘, let’s have a look at the top 10 coolest James Bond gadgets ever!
10. Ski Pole Gun – The Spy Who Loved Me (1977)
Roger Moore’s third outing as Bond started with a bang in this epic ski chase sequence in the Alps. Full of backflips, baddies and a garish red and yellow ski suit, The Spy Who Loved Me has one of the most entertaining openings of all the Bond films.
However, the centrepiece is Bond’s weapon of choice: a ski pole that also works as a gun to take down his pursuing enemies. Although pointless, as the bad guys manage to ski just fine while carrying guns, the moment that 007 takes out the ‘gun’ and blasts the man chasing him is just brilliant.
9. Voice Manipulator – Diamonds Are Forever (1971)
It’s not just James Bond that has access to the latest technology. His mortal enemy, Ernst Stavro Blofeld, made use of a voice manipulating device to fool people into thinking he was an American millionaire for years in Diamonds Are Forever.
Although Bond initially refuses to believe it, when we see Blofeld show off the effectiveness of the contraption, it’s pretty impressive. The machine also makes itself useful in various other ways, including making Blofeld’s clone (another really cool bit of the movie) sound exactly like him, and then, later on, MI6 get hold of one of their own to fool Blofeld back!
8. Wearable Crocodile Submarine Thing – Octopussy (1983)
A definite first place for a most ridiculous top ten, the crocodile suit that Roger Moore dons during 1983’s Octopussy is still really cool.
Much like the ski pole gun, it’s a totally impractical tool, and there are definitely simpler ways of sneaking into an enemy facility, but Q deserves credit for the imagination put into this tool, and come on, if you had the opportunity to wear this thing and swim around in it, you would do it, wouldn’t you? Why? Because it’s just so cool.
7. Goldfinger’s Laser – Goldfinger (1964)
Probably the most iconic image in all of the James Bond films, Auric Goldfinger’s ridiculously convoluted and slow method of killing James Bond is definitely one of the most epic things ever seen on the big screen.
Goldfinger could so easily shoot Bond dead and have the only real threat to his plans disappear immediately, but why do that when you can watch him sit there for a long time as a lethal laser ominously and slowly approaches him? I’ll tell you why: because it’s awesome! Plus, without the mad laser idea, we wouldn’t have ever got the classic line: ‘Do you expect me to talk? – No, Mr Bond, I expect you to DIE!’.
6. Oddjob’s Hat – Goldfinger (1964)
Another entry from Goldfinger, and another time when it’s the bad guys that have the upper hand when it comes to the coolest gadgets.
In fact, it isn’t even the main villain, but his stocky Japanese bodyguard, Oddjob, and his bizarrely lethal bowler hat. Although it may seem stupid, when you first see Oddjob toss the hat and decapitate a marble statue, it’s actually pretty scary. Later on, the frightening bodyguard uses his headwear in all sorts of ways, and it just gets cooler and cooler by the second.
5. Invisible Aston Martin – Die Another Day (2002)
Okay, you can see it in the picture, but the Aston Martin Vanquish from Die Another Day is fitted with such a cool device, allowing it to turn invisible at the push of a button.
And it’s not just total make-believe, as Q explains the scientific process behind the car: there are tiny cameras hidden all over the car that project what they see onto screens that make up the car’s livery. It’s the sort of thing you dream of as a kid, and seeing it in action here is fantastic, particularly when it disguises itself amidst the cold environment of Iceland in the climactic chase sequence.
4. Little Nellie – You Only Live Twice (1967)
You Only Live Twice is one of the more insane Bond movies. Featuring a preposterous plot to the extent that the bad guys’ lair is in a volcano, it’s full of mad ideas, but fortunately, one of the coolest gadgets we’ve ever seen.
Effectively an all-in-one machine, ‘Little Nellie’ is a bright yellow micro-helicopter equipped with guns, rocket launchers, and flamethrowers on all sides to get rid of baddies in pursuit, whilst it’s also light and nimble enough to do backflips and evasive movement in fast chases, but it’s the fact that it’s basically a Thunderbird that 007 drives is what makes it coolest.
3. Jetpack – Thunderball (1965)
A jetpack is an idea that we’re all pretty accustomed to, but seeing it in full working action in the mid-1960s was something else.
From another pretty crazy Bond adventure, Thunderball, 007 kicks off his investigation of SPECTRE after he escapes from an enemy base by flying off in a jetpack. Although it’s all fake as usual, the scene where it actually happens is pretty convincing (albeit short), and seeing Bond take off while wearing his suit and that cute little helmet is simply brilliant fun.
2. Lotus Esprit Submarine – The Spy Who Loved Me (1977)
The Lotus Esprit is a pretty cool car on its own, but leave it to James Bond to make it even better.
Whilst being chased by a troop of henchmen including the terrifying Jaws, 007 manages to escape capture once again in the most flamboyant fashion, by driving into a lake. Although it may seem like an idiotic idea, with his Lotus Esprit that can convert INTO A SUBMARINE, he gets away with ease, whilst we get to witness one of the most surprising and wonderful moments in James Bond history.
1. Aston Martin DB5 – Goldfinger, Thunderball, Tomorrow Never Dies, Skyfall
The Aston Martin DB5. The ultimate symbol of class, style and James Bond. It’s a simply beautiful car to look at from every angle, but, like the Esprit, in the world of 007 it has to be even cooler than that.
Fitted with all of the gadgets you loved as a 4 year-old, including an ejector seat, rocket launchers, Ben-Hur-ish spikes on the hub caps and so much more, it’s the complete package of what Q can do, and is a perfect way for the world’s coolest spy to drive around when saving the planet.
And the fact that a little bit of every one of us died inside when the DB5 was destroyed at the end of Skyfall is a sign that this is something more than just cool, it’s a special icon that symbolises one of the greatest movie series ever.