While some people might be complaining about who will be the next 007, for me, it will always be the original. The first Bond movie I remember seeing in the theater was Moonraker, starring Roger Moore, and I’ve enjoyed Daniel Craig’s tenure, but when I think of the character of James Bond, only one actor comes to mind — Sean Connery.
Years ago, I bought a 12″ James Bond doll in its original box at a local estate sale for $25. It was in mint condition with all the scuba diver accessories. At that point, I was just getting started in toy collecting, and was more interested in building up my eBay budget than anything else, so I quickly flipped that figure for almost $300 and was instantly hooked on the idea of selling toys to help fund my collection. Since that day, I’ve sold hundreds of toys but ask me which one I regretted selling the most, and I will always say it was that James Bond figure. I’ve never actively collected 007 toys, but have managed to accidentally accumulate a nice little collection over the years.
I have a soft spot in my heart for these crude little figures. While they may not be the 12″ figure, they were made by the same company, Gilbert Toys, in 1965.
These figures were sold on cards with clear plastic bubbles, much like the action figures that followed them in the years to come. A couple of these came with rifles and accessories, but most of them were just the figure. There were also bagged sets and boxed sets, that included several figures together.
The paint on these figures looks like it was applied by someone with no thumbs and poor depth perception, but that’s just part of their charm.
These figures have terrible paint and no articulation, and they required kids to use their imagination to bring them to life — remember those days?
Collecting 007 items can be an expensive hobby, but these figures must have been produced in a massive quantity because they can be found at just about every toy show, and can typically be purchased for under five dollars each. You can even buy them on their blister cards for under $20, which is pretty amazing considering that they are over 50 years old!
While I’ve never been a die hard fan, I always enjoyed the Bond movies. My favorite was For Your Eyes Only with the crossbow girl Melina. It would be cool for some company to come out with a nice figure collection – Super&’s ReAction line would be perfect for this. The Gilbert toys look like a lot of vintage fun.
It’s kind of amazing that there hasn’t been a small-scale action figure line for 007. There have been plenty of dolls and larger figures, but 3-3/4″ scale figures could be great.
Mike Gutierrez says
I am a huge James Bond fan and have always wanted to start up a Bond collection. Hopefully one day soon I can.
Do you expect me to talk?
No Mr. Bond, I expect you to die!
Your pics are better than those who sell them online. I have this 3″ collection and I can tell you they are even better in real life. The detail is not perfect and they are not the best balanced miniatures but they are vintage, 1965 and they are so cool.