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    

Vintage Sears James Bond 007 Road Race 1965 Set By Ac Gilbert Company Corgi 270 James Bond Aston Martin Db5 Vnrmint *original*The Danbury Mint 007 James Bond Aston Martin Db-5 1/24 Diecast Car In BoxCorgi 270 James Bond Aston Martin Db5 Original Box OnlyAston Martin : Db9 Base Coupe 2-door Low Miles James Bond Aston Martin 2005...excellent Condition!Dr No - James Bond 007 Ian Fleming €Mens Barbour Dept B Commander James Bond Skyfall Waxed Jacket - Tokito LargeBrand New Barbour Dept.(b) Skyfall Tweed Commander Jacket James Bond 640 $Extremely Rare Complete James Bond 007 Zippo Set With Store Display All UnusedJames Bond 007 Beer CanJames Bond Archives 2014 Full Bleed Autograph Daniel CraigJames Bond. Ian Fleming 1st Edition 1st Issue 1966. DustjacketThunderball By Ian Fleming - 1st Edition - James Bond - Jonathan CapeJames Bond Archives 2014 Autograph Daniel Craig & Judi Dench (9 Case Incentive)Corgi 270 James Bond Aston Martin *original Number Plates* MintCorgi 270 James Bond Aston Martin Db5 *original Envelope* OnlyJames Bond Archives 2014 Full Bleed Autograph Roger MooreCorgi 270 James Bond Aston Martin *original Lapel Badge* MintSir Sean Connery 'james Bond' Hand Signed Autographed10x8 PhotoJames Bond Archives 2014 Full Bleed Autograph Pierce BrosnanDie Cast Corgi Toys # 261, Goldfinger James Bond Aston Martin Db5,1965 - 1969Thunderball Sean Connery 12" Figure James Bond SideshowVintage James Bond 007 Cap Pistol Ray GunJames Bond Archives 2014 Relic Card Jbr45 Zukovsky's Cane #040The Man With The Golden Gun One Sheet Movie Poster Roger Moore James Bond 1974Eaglemoss - James Bond ...ford Country Squire,.. Diecast 1/43 Scale Issue 105Orig.corgi Toys 261 James Bond Aston Martin D.b.5,gift Set37 Or 45 CatalogueEaglemoss - James Bond 007- Cadillac Hearse.- 1/43 Scale Model - Issue 88Roger Moore Sp 2014 Leaf Pop Century Signatures Auto James Bond Actor AutographJames Bond , Ford Ranch Wagon, 1/43 Scale "issue 129 " NewCorgi 270 James Bond Aston Martin Db5 *original Baddie* OnlyDaniel Craig Autographed James Bond Aston Martin Db5 1:18 Scale Die-cast CarJames Bond Archives 2014 Incentive Card 6 Case Autograph Roger MooreJames Bond , Dodge Ram , 1/43 Scale "issue 125 " NewEaglemoss - James Bond 007 - Rolls Royce Silver Shadow - 1/43 Scale - Issue 134Eaglemoss - James Bond 007. Rolls-royce Silver Shadow 1/43 Scale - Issue 98James Bond Briefcase Swaine Adeney Brigg Made In EnglandGeoffrey Holder Autograph As Baron Samedi In Live And Let Die - James Bond Rare!Nadja Regin Rare Autograph As Bey's Woman James Bond From Russia With Love A210George Lazenby Autograph As James Bond In On Her Majesty's Secret Service A6Goldfinger 1st Edition Hardback Ian Fleming James Bond Great Gift 007Vintage James Bond Aston Martin 1/32 Slot Car *monogram? Revell? Cox?*Johnny Lightning James Bond Lot Of 5 Cars No DupesJames Bond 007 - Rolls-royce Silver Cloud Ii - 1/43 Scale - Issue 101James Bond Signed Cast Photo - 8 Signatures - Extremely Rare!! - S947James Bond Blu Ray Trilogy 007 Skyfall Quantum Casino Royale Bluray Set LotJames Bond Archives 2014 Incentive Card 9 Case Dual Autograph Craig DenchJames Bond Archives 2014 Autograph Wa58 Sheena Easton2008 James Bond In Motion Roger Moore Bgs 9.5 W/ 10 Autograph Auto Imogen Hassall....."carry On..,james Bond".(film)..autograph On Picture...scarceJames Bond Archives 2014 Relic Card Jbr44 Lotus Esprit S1 Window Pane #142Vintage 1965 James Bond Get Smart Sixfinger Spy Toy Gun By Topper ToysCorgi 270 James Bond Aston Martin *original Instructions* OnlyEaglemoss - James Bond 007....la Salle Hearse....1/43 Scale Model - Issue 92Eaglemoss James Bond 007. Rolls-royce Silver Shadow Ii 1/43 Scale Issue No 107 "James Bond 007 Archives 2014 Auto Autograph Dona Chaplin Quantum Of SolaceJames Bond Archives 2014 Autograph Wa49 Halle BerryJames Bond Archives 2014 Autograph Wa52 Teri HatcherJames Bond Archives 2014 Gold Signature Autograph Roger Moore (6 Case Incentive)James Bond Archives 2014 Autograph A248 Yvonne Shima