Bond. James Bond. The most iconic secret agent in fiction, code name 007, got his start when Ian Fleming wrote his first novel, "Casino Royale," in 1952. Fleming was so taken with his debonair British spy that he wrote 11 more novels and two short-story collections about the guy before his death in 1964.

While 007 has appeared in television and radio programs and comic strips, he really took hold of the public's imagination in 1962, when Sean Connery played the suave, sexy intelligence officer, who liked his martinis, "shaken, not stirred," in the film "Dr. No." This production kicked-off the longest-running franchise in movie history; the official James Bond production company, Eon, will have 23 movies in its canon by the end of 2012, including "From Russia With Love" and "Goldfinger."

Six actors have played Bond in the Eon series, including Connery, Roger Moore, George Lazenby, Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan, and Daniel Craig. There have also been two non-Eon James Bond films, the 1967 spoof, "Casino Royale," and 1984's "Never Say Never Again," a remake of "Thunderball."

How do you squeeze 25 movies out of 14 books? Well, clearly, you write more books. After Fleming's death, six others have been sanctioned to write official James Bond novels or novelizations of movies: Kingsley Amis (as "Robert Markham"), Christopher Wood, John Gardner, Raymond Benson, Sebastian Faulks, and Jeffrey Deaver. Novels have also been written about a young James Bond (Charlie Higson) and about the character Miss Moneypenny (Kate Westbrook).

Besides Bond's lady's-man demeanor and his talent for navigating life-threatening dilemmas, a large part of his appeal lies with his toys. James Bond drove top-of-the-line cars like Bentleys, BMWs, and, of course, Aston Martins; carried high-quality guns like Beretta 418s and Walther PPKs; and was equipped with the latest high-tech gadgets from Q Branch. These gizmos included a booby-trapped attaché case, an autogyro, and a jet pack.

The head of Q Branch went by Q, which stood for Quartermaster. That's how it worked in the Bond universe. The operatives in the fictional British Secret Service all go by number codes, while those at headquarters used letters, representing their titles. M was the head of the agency, which was based on the real M16 intelligence service. Fleming based M on Rear Admiral John Godfrey, the director of naval intelligence when Fleming served in the Navy during World War II.

While Fleming said Bond was inspired by the agents he encountered in the war, he gave 007 many of his own tastes, including a love of golf and gambling, and put names of his friends, family, and lovers in his books. The spy's name, however, was inspired by American ornithologist James Bond, an expert in Caribbean birds...

James Bond collectibles include books, comics, posters, lobby cards, toys, action figures, and other items based on the character. Of course, a badass operative required a badass soundtrack. James Bond aficionados collect records with the thrilling themes written for the films, some of which have even won Academy Awards.

Early editions of the Ian Fleming books are among the most coveted 007 collectibles. In 2006, a first edition of "Casino Royale" went for $11,000, while a signed copy sold for more than $40,000. Early comic strips featuring James Bond include the first one drawn by John McLusky in the Daily Express in 1957, as well as the Fleming-sanctioned 1958 "Casino Royale" by Lord Beaverbrook.

Model cars are another popular arena for James Bond collectors. Diecast cars, particularly those based on the Aston Martin DB5 seen in "Goldfinger" and other films, are coveted (an actual Aston Martin used in filming sold for $2 million in 2006). Other popular model Bond cars include a gold-plated Corgi 24 from "Goldfinger," with spoked wheels, wing mirrors, ejector seat, and rear tire slasher, and the Corgi Lotus Underwater from "The Spy Who Loved Me," with working side and rear fins, as well as a missile launcher.

About our sources | Got something to add?

▼ Expand to read the full article ▼

Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

Steve McQueen Film Poster Site

Steve McQueen Film Poster Site

If you're a Steve McQueen fan, this site can't be beat. Roger Harris has put together a definitive collection of Mc… [read review or visit site]

Steven Hill's Movie Title Screens Page

Steven Hill's Movie Title Screens Page

If you're the type who likes watching the titles and credits at the beginning of movies, you'll love this site. Ste… [read review or visit site]

Cinema Treasures

Cinema Treasures

This user-contributed database of classic movie theaters currently lists over 17,000 theaters worldwide. Browse by … [read review or visit site]

Warner Bros. Title Card Gallery

Warner Bros. Title Card Gallery

Dave Mackey's filmography and title card gallery for 35 years of Warner Bros. cartoons. Browsable by year or alphab… [read review or visit site]

Steves Disney Collection

Steves Disney Collection

Steve Lee’s large collection of original Disney art: pencil drawings from animated features produced during W… [read review or visit site]



Other Great Reference Sites

Most watched eBay auctions    

Billy Reid James Bond Peacoat, Navy, LargeCorgi 336 James Bond Toyota 2000 Gt You Only Live Twice Nmib- Free ShippingCorgi 261 James Bond Aston Martin Db5 Goldfinger- Free Worldwide ShippingCorgi 270 James Bond Aston Martin Db5 X2 *original*Corgi 261 James Bond Aston Martin Db5 X2 *original*James Bond Complete ( Rc 17 ) Playing Card Relic CardJames Bond's 007 Beer Can 12 Oz Pulltab Nb 596 National Brewing Co. Phoenix Az.Rare Tag Heuer 1000 Nightdiver Lumi Dial James Bond 980.031 Works Great!James Bond's 007 Beer Can 12 Oz Pulltab Nb 600 National Brewing Co. Phoenix Az.James Bond Heroes & Villians Daniel Craig As James Bond Autograph CardFrom Russia With Love James Bond 27" X 41" Original Movie PosterCorgi No 261 James Bond Aston Martin Db5 Car VgcRare Husky ( Corgi ) James Bond 007 Aston Martin & The Monkees Monkeemobile Car** Corgi Toys Original 261 James Bond 007 Aston Martin Db5 1965Prop James Bond Quantum Solace Tom Ford Bespoke Suit Daniel Craig Make An Offer1:18 Autoart Aston Martin Db5 James Bond Collection, Silver, Item # 70020Corgi 261 James Bond Aston Martin Db5 X2 *original*Original Inner Card Plinth For Corgii No 261 James Bond Aston Martin Db5 Car Gilbert Battery Operated Toy 007 Aston Martin James Bond Car-1960'sJames Bond Complete ( Rc 10 ) Fontainebleau Gin Rummy Score Sheet Relic CardJames Bond Sean Connery Gilbert Thunderball Figure 60'sPlaying Card Relic Rc17 James Bond 007 Casino Royale Extremely Limited!!!Corgi Toys Batmobile, James Bond Db5, Mustang Fastback, Volvo, Dinky Toys ,etcJoyride Ertl James Bond 1965 Goldfinger Aston Martin Db5 1:18 Paul Gulacy Ian Flemming's James Bond: Serpent's Tooth Comic Page Moench Scripts1960's Gilbert James Bond 007 Action FigureJ-1996. Zippo Lighter. James Bond 007, Dr. No Poster. New. No Box.James Bond Complete ( Rc 14 ) Casino L'or Noir Cheque Relic CardSean Connery As James Bond In 'goldfinger.' Superb Hand Signed 8x10" Photo. FineJames Bond Complete ( Rc 16 ) Osato Stationery Relic CardJames Bond Complete ( A 77 ) Mads Mikklesen As Le Chiffre Auto CardJames Bond Heroes & Villians Caroline Munro As Naomi Autograph CardJames Bond 007 Tomorrow Never Dies Bmw 750il 1:24 Scale Car With Box! Nr!Danbury Mint 1/24th 1964 Aston Martin Db5 James BondJames Bond Complete ( A 75 ) Judi Dench As M Auto CardJames Bond 007 Goldfinger 24 French Lobby Cards Original Set With EnveloppeGilbert James Bond 007 Complete Tuxedo Outfit New Old Stock No Reserve!Janeseymour 007 James Bond Authentic Autograph Live And Let Die SolitaireAston Martin Db5 Barn Find Diorama Model Like James Bond Classic Car ArtJames Bond 007 Autograph Relic Jaguar Leather Card Jbr5James Bond Heroes & Villians ( A136 ) Olga Kurylenko As Camille Autograph CardCursed Tikis Ju-ju Man Tiki Mug James Bond 007 Voodoo Limited 1/12 Blue GhostLive And Let Die Turkish One Sheet Movie Poster & Lobby Card James Bond 1973Levi Lvc 1930s Menlo James Bond Skyfall Leather Jacket Xl Depp Craig NwtJames Bond Complete ( A 51 ) Yaphet Kotto As Kananga Auto CardJames Bond 007 €James Bond Heroes & Villians ( Jbr2 ) King Industries Project Folder Relic CardJames Bond Complete ( A 52 ) Lynn-holly Johnson As Bibi Dahl Auto CardVintage: 1965 James Bond Trading Cards, Full Set Of 66, Uber Rare!!!Vintage 007 James Bond Toy Gun. 1960's 1970's James Bond Heroes & Villians ( Jbr10 ) Renault Taxi Cloth Interior Relic CardMego 12" Moonraker James Bond Roger Moore FigureJames Bond Octopussy Egg Prop ReplicaShirley Eaton 007 James Bond Authentic Autograph Goldfinger On BalkonyBerenice Marlohe 007 James Bond Authentic Autograph As Severine In Skyfall Full3James Bond Heroes & Villians ( Jbr5 ) Jaguar Xkr Leather Interior Relic CardCorgi Toys James Bond 007 Gold Aston Martin Db 5 James Bond Heroes & Villians ( Jbr3 ) I D A Emblem Relic CardOctopussy British One Sheet Movie Poster Roger Moore As James Bond 1983Autoart 1/18 Scale Aston Martin Db5 The James Bond Collection Goldfinger