When Corgi first produced its Aston Martin DB5 in 1965 there would have been no way that the company could have ever predicted its success of both its James Bond model cars, or the James Bond phenomenon as a whole.
In fact, Corgi had sold a mind-numbing 3.9 million DB5s by 1968 and there can be few boys who grow up these days without at least one James Bond model car in his collection and the DB5 with working ejector seat and front-mounted machine guns – amongst other gadgets – is an all time classic.
But boys being boys, one wonders about the current condition of most of those – a pristine example from the early 1970s will currently set you back something in the range of £200-£300, although an example showing some wear and tear is worth something of the order of £50 – it’s too late to regret all that rough play with the car now though, but if only we’d bought two!
After suffering from a downturn in sales in the 1980s, as computer games and other more sophisticated entertainment aimed at the children’s market began to take off, the company refocused its strategy; rather than produce toys for children Corgi started producing ranges specifically aimed at the adult collector.
This refocus lead to a huge increase in sales as James Bond model cars and other collectibles were keenly snapped up and Corgi has continued develop its ranges – current models include a gold-plated collectors edition DB5 model car.
As each new Bond film is released, Corgi produces another of its fabulous die-cast scale model cars and as people discover the joys of collecting, new blood enters the market.
Of course Corgi is not the only company producing James Bond model cars – RC2 produced 1:18 scale models of cars including the DB5 and the Aston Martin DBS from Casino Royale, although they have recently announced that they will cease manufacture of model cars, while Nikko have produced radio controlled versions of some of the Bond cars.
Finally, a new magazine is available for James Bond model car collectors – The James Bond Car Collection includes a full colour magazine and a 1:43 scale model car from one of the films. You can follow the link below for more information and subscription details.