The original Corgi 007 Aston Martin DB5 toy debuted in October 1965, about a year after the “Goldfinger” movie showed Sean Connery behind the wheel of the gadget-infused spy-mobile. According to some estimates, the Corgi sold 4 million copies in four years, making it the best-selling toy car in history. Over the years, Corgi has retooled and re-released the model several times, selling over 20 million in total.
The big box, unveiled at London’s Battersea Power Station, re-creates Corgi’s original release packaging complete with period artwork. In 1965, according to Aston Martin, the toy car sold for just 50 pence, the equivalent of just under $14 today when accounting for inflation. You can still get a new one for about $20, but first-release models can run up to $350 in good condition.
The DB5 Goldfinger Continuation is one of just 25 cars built by Aston Martin’s Heritage Division, the same outfit that brought you continuation models of the DB4 GT and DB4 Zagato. However, while those are faithful re-creations of the original cars, the DB5 Goldfinger is a little different.
The cars are built as the original DB5s were, taking about 4,500 hours each and emerging from the same workshop in Newport Pagnell as the 1963 models did. In this case, the intriguing DB5 Goldfinger was developed in conjunction with Chris Corbould, the special-effects coordinator on the last 14 Bond movies and the individual responsible for modifying several of the picture cars.
The cars have been outfitted with oil slicks, Browning machine guns that pop out from behind the lights, and a bulletproof shield that rises from the rear to protect the rear windscreen from villainous rounds.
None of these things actually work — the oil is really water, the guns emit a bang-bang noise and flash some LEDs — but even so, the car is not street legal. It also comes with a rotating license plate holder and a roof panel shaped like Bond’s ejector seat exit. There is, of course, no ejector seat.
The DB5 will reprise its role in “No Time to Die,” but the movie will feature three other Aston Martin vehicles as well — a DBS, Valhalla, and the one we’re most eager to see on the big screen, a Mark IV version of the creatively named V8. Naturally, there’s plenty of other vehicular scenery, including Maseratis, Range Rovers, and a fleet of new Defender 110s chasing Bond in a 1990s Toyota Land Cruiser Prado.
“No Time to Die” debuts in September, and the life-size Corgi will remain on display at Battersea Station until October 1.