Happy Anniversary, Mr Bond

You expect me to talk?‘ – Bond

No, Mr Bond, I expect you to die!‘ – Goldfinger

Almost 50 years ago I found myself in a darkened cinema, spellbound by the action sequences and dialogue of the third and arguably (amongst Bond aficionados) the best Bond movie: Goldfinger, which had just been released.

The year was 1964 and as a young boy I was hooked. In the playground we all wanted to be James Bond; never the villain.

Whether picked to be Bond or not, one thing we could do to increase our street credibility was to save up our pocket money to buy the now iconic Aston Martin DB5 featured in Goldfinger.

If my memory serves me correctly, it cost 2s 6d – the equivalent of 12.5 pence in new money… An absolute fortune, but worth every penny!

Goldfinger was premiered at the Odeon Leicester Square in London on 17 September 1964, with general release in the United Kingdom the following day.

The release of the film led to a toy Aston Martin DB5 car from Corgi Toys, which became the biggest selling toy of 1964 and has been cherished by collectors ever since.

As Q was quoted as saying:

You’ll be using this Aston Martin DB5, with modifications…

These included: a bulletproof windscreen, as on the side and the rear windows; revolving number plates, valid in all countries; rear bulletproof screen; left and right front-wing machine guns; and, of course, the baddie perched in the ejector seat.

The reason for my meandering down memory lane is to illustrate that anniversaries – if anticipated – can provide golden opportunities to profit.

The Corgi box, illustrated in this article, contained an original Aston Martin DB5 that I picked up a couple of years ago from back-water collectors fair. With interest in Bond peaking recently due to the release last year of the last Bond film, Skyfall, I decided to auction my DB5 on eBay a few weeks ago.

It sold for just under£200, which netted me a handsome profit, given that the box and car were not in mint condition, with some of the original internal packaging missing.

If you want to see an example of what can be achieved by selling a mint item, timed to coincide with the interest sparked by the whole Bond/Aston Martin/Goldfinger anniversary event, one need look no further than a news item reported in the Daily Mail Online last month:

We [C&T Auctions, Rochester, Kent] are auctioning six James Bond toy cars designed by Corgi, found in their original packaging nearly 50 years after they were intended for sale. The models of Bond’s Aston Martin DB5 were kept by a sales rep from the firm who was meant to distribute them to toy shops.

After being designed in 1964, in the wake of the classic Goldfinger film, in which Sean Connery starred as Bond, the six toys are expected to fetch around £8,000.’ (Mail Online, 1 October 2013).

In the end, the cars sold to an unnamed British buyer for £5,500 plus fees.

Well maybe they didn’t quite reach the over-hyped figure of £8,000, but still: £5,500 was not a bad return for six cars which each originally cost 2s 6d!

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