Guest author Edward Biddulph revisits his childhood with the James Bond 007: Ultimate Sticker Collection from Dorling Kindersley.
I don’t know about you, but when I was young, I loved collecting Panini football stickers every four years when the World Cup was on. Saving up my pocket money to buy the packs of stickers, struggling to peel off the backing and dog-earing the corners, pasting the stickers into the album, ‘swapsies’ in the school playground, sending off for stickers (most of them, it seemed) to complete the collection. A lot of fond memories.
So when Dorling Kindersley announced that it would be publishing a James Bond-themed sticker album to coincide with the release of SPECTRE, I was rather excited.
It turns out that the James Bond 007: The Ultimate Sticker Collection is not one of those Panini-style albums, which is just as well. All the stickers you’ll ever need are included in the book. No risk of an incomplete collection here. And not only do the stickers peel away from the backing easily, they can be applied, removed and reapplied again and again.
The book contains exciting scenes from the films arranged in Bond-film order, starting with Crab Key from Dr No and finishing with the space station in Moonraker. Not all films are included, the emphasis appearing to be on the most megalomaniacal of the Bond villains – Dr No, Goldfinger, Stromberg, Drax and Blofeld (several times). Dominic Greene from Quantum of Solace doesn’t get a look in. Interspersed with these are more thematic pages that cover the entire series. There is a page on Bond’s vehicles, for example, and another on villains’ weapons.
Spaces dotted around each scene or thematic page and captions below them tell you which stickers to find and where to place them. If you think this too prescriptive, then don’t worry – there is also a chance to create your own adventure by populating a snow-set scene inspired by The World Is Not Enough with stickers of your choice.
In the best tradition of Dorling Kindersley, there are cutaways of awesome structures from the films. If you want to know what the inside of the stealth ship from Tomorrow Never Dies looks like, or what’s going on during the Ninja raid inside Blofeld’s volcano base in You Only Live Twice, this book is for you.
Of the stickers, there are hundreds of them. There are stickers of almost every vehicle, gadget, building, character, and action scene from the Bond series. In the book you’ll find Dr No’s tarantula, the ejector seat from the Aston Martin DB5, an exploding volcano, the tanker chase from Licence to Kill, the ATAC from Your Eyes Only, the moon buggy from Diamonds Are Forever, Octopussy‘s crocodile sub, Drax’s Aztec base in Moonraker, Zorin’s blimp from the end of A View To A Kill, Wet Nellie emerging from the water onto the beach in The Spy Who Loved Me, Oddjob, Tee Hee, Moneypenny, the list is endless. Everything that’s best about the Bond films is faithfully rendered in stickers. Never mind recreating a scene, you could almost storyboard a whole film with them.
That said, James Bond himself is not especially prominent. There are stickers of Bond in action mode, but these are on the small side, and we don’t see his face. And despite the image of Bond from Spectre on the cover, and a page about Bond at the front, the book doesn’t contain much from the latest film.
Nevertheless, grown-up fans nostalgic for the Connery and Moore eras will have a lot of fun looking through the stickers, and children will love recreating Bond’s adventures and creating new ones. The book would have benefited from more pages and scenes, especially those from the later films, but you can’t fault the huge number of stickers and what’s depicted on them. The book lives up to its name: it really is the ultimate sticker collection.
Edward Biddulph is the author of James Bond memes, a blog exploring the ideas and inspirations behind the Bond books and films, and numerous Bond-related articles for the web, magazines and academic publications.