25th james bond film, no time to die, premiering in the US this weekend, and the return of the iconic secret agent got us thinking about the futuristic gadgets and vehicles introduced in the series via MI6’s resident R&D expert, Q. They 007 films So special and unique, and without cue, who exactly is James Bond?
OK, he’s also a super-fit, death-defying super-agent playboy — but classic Bond movies weren’t defined by mere catchphrases, lovers, and villains.
Although the films of current Bond actor Daniel Craig have reduced the gadgetry and introduced a darker, more contemplative spin on the character, there is still a great deal of love for the wonderfully funny gadgets that have characterized the franchise for decades. Here are 20 of the wildest Bond gadgets from films spanning more than five decades.
Single Digit Sonic Agitator – die Another Day (2002)
This little ring emits a high-frequency sound that will shatter any type of glass – even the bulletproof variety. Conveniently for James, the villain in the film has a penchant for trendy, transparent glass floors.
Shark-bursting bullet – live and let die (1973)
It needs some explanation. Q originally developed these compressed gas pellets as an anti-shark system—the idea was that Bond could shoot them into the shark’s mouth and eat the animal alive before killing it. Bond actually ends up in an epic hand-to-hand brawl at the end of the film, using shrapnel against the film’s villain, Dr. Kananga. Basically, Bond knocks one down Kananga’s throat, causing her to… well, see for yourself.
flamethrower bagpipes – the world is Not Enough (1999)
It is actually a double meaning. The bagpipe is not only a flame thrower but it also doubles as a machine gun. Bond never uses it in the movie, but he certainly doesn’t pass up the opportunity to make a cheeky sentence about it right after the performance: “I guess we all have to pay Piper sometime, ok why?”
Rocket Cigarette – you only Live Twice (1967)
This takes Bond out of quite a pickle. When he is caught by the film’s villain, Blofeld, he is told that he will soon be killed. (Sounding familiar?) Bond accepts his fate but asks to have one last cigarette before being sent. Unfortunately for Blofeld’s henchmen, this particular cigarette contains a terrible rocket!
Ski Pole Rifle – The Spy Who Loved Me (1977)
It seems like Q has a pretty straightforward philosophy: Wherever Bond is going, you just figure out how to hide a gun in whatever object he’s using. Going to the Bahamas? Better give him a snorkel gun. Cuba? Soon! Give him some rocket-powered explosive cigars! Swiss Alps? Give that guy some ski pole guns!
Grenade Launcher Pen – Never Say Never Again (1983)
I feel so bad for Fatima in this. After all the bad guys featured in the film, he is eventually pulled out by a pen. Granted, it was a ballistic pen with an explosive tip – but it was a pen nonetheless. That would be embarrassing.
“Boom Box” – the living daylights (1987)
It showcases a deep understanding of the 80s. “Oh, don’t mind me; I’m just a normal dude walking down the street and blasting my tunes on a boombo-bomb!”
Palm-sensing Walther PPK — casino Royale (2006)
It’s not exactly crazy or quirky, but it’s arguably the best gadget that Daniel Craig wielded during his time as 007. It’s pretty straightforward—just Bond’s favorite firearm outfitted with a special biometric lock so it only fires when he’s holding it. Beautiful convenient, Rights?! (We feel cheated that this sentence was not used in the film.)
Omega Seamaster Laser Watch – golden eye (1995)
High-tech watches are a core part of the Bond franchise, and this is arguably one of the best 007s of all time. Oddly, though, this isn’t exactly the first laser watch the franchise has seen. Bond wore a special laser-equipped Rolex in the 1983 film Never say never never again.
mini scuba tank thunderball (1965)
The device is basically two small tanks of compressed air, designed to fit easily in a suit pocket. This ultra-compact scuba gadget just made its debut thunderball, but has since been presented several times — most recently the world is Not Enough (1999).
“Dentonite” explosive toothpaste – Licence to Kill (1989)
Compared to Sean Connery, Roger Moore, and Pierce Brosnan, Timothy Dalton’s 007 doesn’t really get that many supercool gadgets—but it almost makes up for it. It’s essentially a tube of plastic explosive hidden inside a microscopic tube of “Dentonite”-brand toothpaste.
X-ray shades – the world is Not Enough (1999)
Pierce Brosnan had some of the coolest gadgets the Bond franchise has ever produced — mostly because the CGI and special effects were so much better in his time. These X-ray colors are a perfect example.
Laser Polaroid – Licence to Kill (1989)
This may be one of the happiest moments in James Bond history. When CIA agent Pam Bouvier inadvertently tries to take a picture of her, she and Q nearly collapse, but instead a Wonderful Realistic laser beam on his head.
Rolex Submarine – live and let die (1973)
The 1973 Rolex Submarine was one of Bond’s most versatile gadgets. Not only did it have a spinning clock face that acts like a tiny circular saw, but it also had a ridiculously powerful electromagnet capable of deflecting bullets. The electromagnet eventually ends up saving Bond’s ass, as it allows him to remotely summon the previously mentioned shark bullet – which he then throws into the villain’s mouth, causing it to explode.
Trick Briefcase – from Russia with Love (1963)
This thing was basically the Swiss Army Knife in the Briefcase. It was equipped with all kinds of hidden compartments and tricks, including a knife, a rifle, and even a tear gas dispenser. When Bond was first introduced to him, he hadn’t thought of contracting much, but M urged Bond to take the matter with him.
taser phone – tomorrow never dies (1997)
This concept phone from Ericsson had many different functions. It had a stun gun, a fingerprint scanner, a lock pick, and even a flip-open remote control for Bond’s BMW 750iL. It sounded crazy when the movie was released, but with the right accessories, you can actually do it all with a modern smartphone.
jetpack – thunderball (1965)
We love it because it’s pretty bad by today’s standards. Is it just us, or does it look like it’s made out of dryer vent tubes and old go-kart seatbelts?
Underwater Jet Pack – thunderball (1965)
This one was pretty sweet, but let’s be real here – why would you go to all the trouble of putting flippers on your feet if you had something like this tied on your back?
Avalanche Ski Jacket – the world is Not Enough (1999)
Avalanche protection systems do exist in the real world, but they usually consist of a backpack with two large air bladders on the back. It’s not nearly as good as this jacket that inflates to form a cocoon around you. Q was on to something with this.
crocodile submarine – octopussy (1983)
This is definitely the coolest thing the Q branch has ever dreamed of. Period.