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 1970s Old Weltron Psychedelic Space Age Austin Powers James Bond RadioCorgi 270 James Bond Aston Martin Db5 * Original Box *1960s James Bond Road Race Set Gilbert Box Cars Mustang Aston Martin007 James Bond Unrolled Beer Can Sheets007 James Bond Unrolled Beer Can SheetsHalle Berry Barbie Jinx From James Bond's Die Another Day Movie, NudeNew Corgi James Bond 007 Goldfinger 50th Ann Aston Martin Db5 Gold Cc04203-gNew Corgi James Bond 007 Goldfinger 50th Ann Aston Martin Db5 Gold Cc04203-gS.t. Dupont Olympio Limited Edition 007 James Bond Fountain Pen Black Pvd N°04981999 Rare Twilight Zone A3 Richard Kiel Auto/autographed Card Jaws James BondCorgi 270 James Bond Aston Martin Db5 W/baddie *original*1966 Ian Fleming, Octopussy & The Living Daylights 1st Edition James Bond D/w1957 Casino Royale 1st/4th Ian Fleming Early Rare James Bond Lovely ConditionCorgi No.#'270 Aston Martin Db5 'gold Bumper's Edition James Bond Free Repro BoxCorgi No.#'261 Aston Martin Db5 'special Agent 007 James Bond + Free Repro BoxCorgi 270 James Bond Aston Martin Db5 * Original Lapel Badge *Corgi 270 James Bond Aston Martin Db5 * Original Number Plates *1964 Ian Fleming, You Only Live Twice 1st Edition With Dustwrapper James BondVintage: Strombecker Aston Martin Db7, James Bond 007 Slot Car Kit W/ Clear Body007 James Bond Car 1960s Gilbert Old Vintage Batterty Tin 1964 Gi JoeDanbury Mint Aston Martin Db5 James Bond 007 Coupe 1:24Tomorrow Never Dies And Cold James Bond 007 Raymond Benson John Gardner HardbackCorgi #391 Original Rare Whizzwheels James Bond Mustang Mach 1/ NibJames Bond 007 20 Dvd Movie Collection !!James Bond ‘for Your Eyes Only’ By Ian Fleming 1960 First Edition Jonathan CapeCorgi 270 James Bond Aston Martin Db5 * Original Instruction Sheet *Daniel Craig Autographed 1:18 Aston Martin Db9 Casino Royale James Bond Die-castDr No- Uk 1st Edition 1st Print Hardback- Ian Fleming- James Bond- Jonathan CapeVintage Corgi Toys No. 336 James Bond 007 Toyota 2000gt Car Boxed 1967James Bond Model Prop P P K Daniel Craig Autographed 18x24 James Bond Poster Skyfall Casino RoyaleDanbury Mint 007 James Bond's 1964 Aston Martin Db5 1:24 Diecast CarMoonraker James Bond 007 Original U.k. Quad PosterSideshow Legacy Collection James Bond Pierce Brosnan James Bond ‘diamonds Are Forever’ By Ian Fleming 1956 First Edition Jonathan CapThe Poor Man's James Bond Volumes 3 & 4 By Kurt Saxon 1991 Revised PaperbacksPerfect! Wore 3x. Persol 2244-s 834/33 James Bond 007 Casino Royale! Complete!Vintage Corgi Toys 261 James Bond 007 Aston Martin Db5 Car Parts Original BoxJames Bond's Aston Martin Vanquish; Die Another Day; 1:18 Scale, V Good UnboxedNew Corgi James Bond 007 Goldfinger 50th Ann Aston Martin Db5 Silver Cc04203007 James Bond 50th Anniversary Box Set **region 1, New U.s Dvds**007 James Bond Archives 2014 Edition Factory Sealed Box (rittenhouse) 24 PacksCorgi Toys Vintage 1970's James Bond 007 Lotus Esprit The Spy Who Loved Me - ExcJames Bond Ultimate Edition - Vol. 4 (dvd, 2006, 10-disc Set) Like New!James Bond Ultimate Edition - Vol. 1 (dvd, 2009, 10-disc Set) Like New!Ian Fleming, Penguin Complete Centenary Collection, 14 James Bond 007 Books - NeCarrera Evolution James Bond 007 "goldfinger" Aston Martin Db5 Analog/predigitalCorgi Toys James Bond Aston Martin Db 5 Toyota 2000 GtThe Spy Who Loved Me One Sheet Movie Poster Roger Moore James Bond 1977Goldeneye 007 James Bond For Nintendo N64 Game Cartridge OnlyJames Bond Heroes And Villains Prop Relic Card Jbr 10 111/200Roger Moore James Bond Signed Autographed 8x10 Photo Psa/dna AuthenticatedOfficial James Bond 007 Bond-o-matic Water Pistol Multiple Mint On Card 1966Sdcc 2014 007 James Bond Goldfinger Mattel Hot Wheels Comic Con ExclusiveJames Bond Archives Prop Relic Card Qc 24 340/475Bond 50 - Collection Five Decades Of James Bond 007 Dvd 23-disc New (2012) 1:6 Scale Did Mi6 Agent Jack 007 James Bond - Ppk Pistol & Shoulder Holster2014 Leaf Pop Century Roger Moore Autograph Card #6 Of 10!! 007 James Bond1:6 Scale Did Mi6 Agent Jack 007 James Bond - Black Jacket / TuxedoJames Bond 007 Octopussy 2010 Barbie Doll