You're looking at the fairly recent CORGI JAMES BOND
ASTON MARTIN D.B.5, which was released to celebrate the
50th Anniversary of the movie GOLDFINGER (1964) and, of
course, Corgi's 1965 issue of their diecast car. There's an interest-
ing story behind this little metal model which some of you may
not be aware of, so allow me to tell you about it.
first considered releasing a JAMES BOND tie-in, they decided
against it. Later, they had a change of heart and had to work 'round
the clock to have it ready for the approaching Christmas market of
1965. It was too late to create a D.B.5 from scratch, so they utilised
existing moulds of their D.B.4 toy and had a trio of designers work-
ing separately on the three different working features of the
scale-model vehicle. The rest, as they say, is history.
coloured gold to tie-in with the name of Goldfinger, they released
a slightly larger scale (about 4 or 5 millimetres bigger) of an actual
D.B.5, with revolving number plates and rear tyre-slashers, as well as
the original features of extending front machine guns and overriders,
a bulletproof shield, and ejector seat. This version was the correct
silver-birch colour. It's been said that the original toy was coloured
gold because, when painted silver, it looked like unpainted metal.
However, I find this strange, as there had been silver toy cars
before which had looked okay.
proclaiming "The original is back!" Corgi had reissued the
original car (they said), which was available in either silver or gold.
Trouble was, contrary to their claims, it wasn't the original model
and had been created from completely new tooling. Not only that,
it was a poor imitation of the second, slightly larger version - not the
original, smaller (D.B.4) car. The bonnet outline wasn't symmetrical,
and the door outlines were unfinished. What's more, the bonnet's
raised vent didn't extend as far back as it should, and was slightly
longer on one side than the other. Also, the ejecting baddie
was in a darker shade of blue.
Furthermore, the spoked wheels were far inferior to the
overriders didn't look extended when they were (too short, although
they soon revised this after I pointed it out), and the bulletproof shield
didn't extend upward enough, as well as being very poorly shaped and
uneven. In short, it was a mess. I contacted Corgi and spoke to one
of the design team. When I catalogued the list of faults, I said that the
chassis looked as if an inferior mould had been made from an actual
'60s 2nd version, and the faint or absent outline detail had been
added back in. "That's exactly how it was done" he
a day or two later and made the same observation on the chassis
(before I mentioned having spoken with one of the designers), he
said it wasn't the case, but I put this down to him being unaware
of exactly how the finished result had been achieved, not that
he was lying about it.
re-release. This, too, is based on the 2nd version, not the first,
and while the box is a thing of beauty and the car is superior to the
'90s issue, it still falls short of the high quality of the two '60s models.
The paint finish is not as good, the passenger is still the wrong colour
of blue, the spoked wheels are vastly inferior (moulded with a mere
impression of spokes), the ejector seat is not as powerful (same as
the '90s one), and the shield still does not protrude far enough.
Curiously, there's no tyre-slashers on this version, although
it does have the revolving number plates.
full credit to them for improving on the previous re-release, but
when you think about it, with all the technological advances made
over the years, models made mainly for adult collectors in the 21st
century should be more detailed and of a far higher standard
than toys made for kids back in the '60s.
This current version is available in silver or gold - or at
least it was. Gold ones now seem to be sold out, but the silver
version can be obtained from HAMLEY'S for £20, or ordered
direct from Corgi at www.corgi.co.uk - it's worth it just
for the retro-style box alone.