Car Phones, Wrist Darts, and Jetpacks: Our 10 Favorite Bond Gadgets

November 9, 2012


"Skyfall" comes out in theaters this weekend and is already being hailed as one of the best Bond films in years, if not all time. The film sees Daniel Craig returning to the role for a third time as well as a new Q played by Ben Wishaw (from "Layer Cake" and the BBC original series "The Hour"). This means that, as with every installment of the franchise, there will be plenty of new high tech gadgets for Bond to employ in the field.

Over the years, the gadgets in Bond films have ranged from avant garde foreshadowing (the car phone in "From Russia With Love" and the smartphones that appeared in the Brosnan era) to the fantastically goofy and ludicrous (the cake with a bomb in it from "Diamonds are Forever" and the giant inflatable ball from the same film that made a spectacular return in 1999's "The World is Not Enough"). But even at their goofiest, the Bond gadgets have always been an enjoyable staple of the films and something that fans always look forward to seeing.

Here are some of our favorites from over the years.

The Geiger Counter (from "Dr. No")

Source: United Artists

One of the few Bond gadgets that was actual tech at the time, but rarely seen on the silver screen. It earns a spot on this list not only for its rare legitimacy, but also because it's technically the very first Bond gadget.

The Briefcase ("From Russia With Love")

Source: United Artists

This tricked out attaché case provided by Q stored only one document: YOUR DEATH CERTIFICATE! (sorry) The features included a .22 caliber rifle, infrared telescope, a throwing knife, and was booby-trapped with tear gas in case someone tried to force it open. Sadly, as of this writing, these features still do not come standard with most Samsonites.

Car Phone ("From Russia with Love")

Source: United Artists

The car phone was actually invented way back in 1946, employed radio technology, and as you can imagine was awkwardly large and cumbersome. It didn't start appearing on an even semi-regular basis among the jetset until the late seventies and early eighties, but we got a sneak peek at it in the second Bond film. At the time, the visual was pretty mind-blowing. Now we have phones we can take with us everywhere, but we get ticketed if we use it while driving even though we never do this, honestly, and we just had to do it this one time to let our then girlfriend know that there was a bit of an emergency but that it was taken care of and I was on my way, officer, so please, can we just let it slide this one time? No? FINE.

The Aston Martin ("Goldfinger")

Source: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

The car actually became a staple of the Bond franchise throughout the years, but its first appearance is still the most memorable.

Among its features were hubcaps that could tear into the tires of other vehicles, machine guns under the headlights, bullet-proof windshields, an emergency ejector seat, an oil slick dispenser, and more. Oh, and the classic look in this film is still the best.

The Jetpack ("Thunderball")

Source: United Artists

The Bell Rocket Belt was an actual, workable prototype powered by hydrogen peroxide that was developed for the U.S. military. It only allowed for travel over small distances and wasn't very practical, but it got Bond out of a hairy situation. Perhaps my favorite part, though, is that Bond went through the trouble of putting on his helmet to use the jetpack right after murdering someone in cold blood. Safety first!

The Gyrocopter ("You Only Live Twice")

Source: Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone/Getty Images

"Little Nellie" as it was called was a collapsible gyrocopter that was portable and allowed Bond to spy on Blofeld's headquarters. It was quiet, though that might have been offset by the fact that it was bright yellow. So much for discretion.

The Brush Phone (from "Live and Let Die")

Source: Terry O'Neill/Getty Images

If you never saw the film, this gadget was exactly as it reads: a cloth brush with a removable back that allowed Bond (now played by Roger Moore) to make a call. Cool, practical, discrete, and multi-functional. We can't wait for the Apple presentation of the iPhone 6, with yet another extra row of icons and a "disguised as a cloth brush" option.

The Golden Gun ("The Man with the Golden Gun")

Source: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images News

The weapon employed by Scaramanga (the titular antagonist) contained a single golden bullet that ensured maximum damage by flattening when it hit its target. The gun itself was disguised as other items that, when assembled, formed the weapon: a pen, lighter, cigarette case, and cuff link.

Wrist Dart Gun ("Moonraker")

Source: United Artists

This was one of the simpler Bond gadgets but also one of the coolest: a small device worn on the wrist that killed enemies with cyanide-tipped darts. The weapon was so small and quiet that Bond could dispatch of someone without anyone knowing where it came from. It'd be handy when in line at the supermarket. NOTE: ASSUMING YOU'D USE DIFFERENT TYPES OF DARTS THAT WERE NON-LETHAL. We're not monsters, guys.

Dentonite Toothpaste (from "License to Kill")

Source: MGM/UA Distribution Co.

This punderful product allowed the third Bond, played by Timothy Dalton, to conceal plastic explosives inside of a tube of toothpaste. In a stroke of irony, the detonator was disguised as a pack of cigarettes. Shouldn't that be the other way around?

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