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For decades, Bond films have been comprised of a number of iconic tropes, from the Bond girls to the dashing cars, spellbinding credits sequences, and, of course, those famous quotes. One of the more reliably enjoyable trademarks of the franchise has been its vast collection awe-inspiring gadgets, ranging from the stunningly slick and effective to the laughably absurd and impractical.

Whether they’re Q’s wondrous creations, instruments of death conceived by the wicked minds of Spectre, or iconic weapons which have remained pop-culture stalwarts for decades, the Bond franchise has always found a spark of ingenuity in its gadgetry. These inventive, stylish, and useful devices are 10 of the best that the Bond movies have to offer.

10 Seagull Scuba Gear – ‘Goldfinger’ (1964)

James Bond emerges from the water wearing scuba gear adorned with a seagull prop.
Image via United Artists

While they may not leave us quite as awestruck as their counterparts do nowadays, the gadgets in some of the old Bond movies have stood the test of time due to their simplicity. In the opening scene of Goldfinger, Bond must infiltrate a drug lab in Central America, and he uses a brilliant device to near the compound undetected from the sea.

Under the cover of night, his scuba gear and seagull head piece makes for the perfectly inconspicuous disguise to get close to his target. The scuba gear itself also works incredibly well, not only keeping Bond dry, but never threatening to ruffle his hair or crease his tuxedo either.

9 Cigarette Rocket Launcher – ‘You Only Live Twice’ (1971)

James Bond fires a rocket launcher disguised as a cigarette.
Image via United Artists

Throughout his 60+ years of cinematic influence, no one could ever mistake James Bond for being an anti-tobacco advocate, but You Only Live Twice did show that cigarettes can kill. A masterful creation of the Japanese Secret Service, it was gifted to Bond by his colleague Tiger Tanaka (Tetsuro Tamba) and proved to be useful when he was captured by Blofeld.

Held captive in the villain’s lair, Bond seizes his opportunity to make the most of the gadget when his request for a cigarette is granted. While it didn’t quite get 007 out of his predicament, the cigarette rocket launcher still provided one of the film’s most fun moments and is rightfully viewed as one of the franchise’s best gadgets.

8 Spectre Ring – ‘Spectre’ (2015)

Mr. White holds a Spectre ring while talking with James Bond (Daniel Craig).
Image via Sony Pictures Releasing

When compared to his predecessors, Daniel Craig’s Bond films had very little going for them in the way of fun and excessive gadgets. Even when Q (Ben Whishaw) was introduced, the grounded nature of the new-age 007 prevented anything too adventurous occurring meaning the rings introduced in Spectre were about as close as the Craig era got to indulging in gadgetry.

To be fair, it wasn’t a terrible compromise as the implementation of the rings paid homage to earlier Bond films while presenting an opportunity to modernize the franchise. Not only was the exclusive Spectre ring a slick design, but it also doubled as a storage device for top secret information.

7 Dagger Shoes – ‘From Russia with Love’ (1963)

A Spectre agent flicks a poisonous blade from the toe of one of her shoes.
Image via United Artists

Spectre has always excelled at conjuring up dastardly devices that kill as efficiently as possible. The best of these gadgets came from just the second Bond film, From Russia with Love, in the form of the poisonous dagger shoes used to dispose of Kronsteen (Vladek Sheybal) before Rosa Klebb (Lotte Lenya) sported them in her attempts to kill Bond.

It presented the perfect brand of vicious sneakiness that defined the precise evil of early Bond villainy. The idea of concealing a hidden blade in one’s shoes has become a common trope in cinema as well, with many great filmmakers paying homage to Bond as well as Ian Fleming’s creation.

6 Dentonite Toothpaste – ‘Licence to Kill’ (1989)

James Bond looks at the Dentonite toothpaste explosive gadget ahead of Q's case of device.
Image via MGM/UA Distribution Co.

While Q (Desmond Llewelyn) has come up with some truly astonishing gadgets throughout the Bond franchise, fans who enjoy the series’ sillier side would struggle to find one they adore more than Dentonite toothpaste. Making a typically harmless household item the container for the cutting edge in plastic explosives had an outlandish humor about it, but it proved to be rather effective.

Used by Bond in an attempted assassination on Franz Sanchez (Robert Davi), it successfully blew out the bulletproof glass and would have given 007 a clear shot had he not been attacked. The fact that the detonator was disguised as a cigarette packet was just the icing on the cake to make for one of Bond’s most delightful devices.

5 The Golden Gun – ‘The Man with the Golden Gun’ (1974)

Christopher Lee in The Man With the Golden Gun
Image via United Artists

From the aforementioned hidden shoe knife to Oddjob’s deadly top hat, the bad guys in Bond movies have amassed a pretty impressive arsenal of wicked gadgets. Undoubtedly the coolest and most iconic of them though is Francisco Scaramanga’s (Sir Christopher Lee) famous golden gun.

The single-shot pistol was perfect for the master assassin and, comprised of a fountain pen, a lighter, cufflinks, and a cigarette case, it could be disassembled into several innocuous objects to pass through security systems undetected. In addition to Lee’s slick yet menacing performance, the golden gun defined Scaramanga’s style, enabling him to truly make The Man with the Golden Gun his own movie.

4 Pen Grenade – ‘GoldenEye’ (1995)

James Bond and Q discuss an explosive pen bomb gadget.
Image via MGM/UA Distribution Co.

A hallmark of many of Q’s greatest inventions – particularly in the older Bond films – is the rudimentary nature of their application and appearance. GoldenEye was a significant step towards modernization for so much of what Bond was as a franchise, yet it didn’t completely neglect its roots, as evidenced by a wonderful scene waltzing through Q’s lab.

Among the weird and wonderful creations audiences glimpse is the pen grenade, a nifty explosive device disguised as a ballpoint pen. It turns out to be quite handy too as, while captured by Alec Trekayan (Sean Bean), it is handled by a fidgety and habitual hacker who unwittingly sets it off, giving Bond the distraction he needs to gain the upper hand.

3 Lotus Espirit S1 Submarine Car – ‘The Spy Who Loved Me’ (1977)

James Bond's Submarine car powers through the water in 'The Spy Who Loved Me'.
Image via United Artists

While it didn’t quite take the mantle from the Aston Martin DB5 as Bond’s most iconic car (more on that piece of machinery later), the Lotus Espirit S1 Submarine Car did manage to carve out its own standing in Bond legend all the same. While being chased by a helicopter, Bond takes to the sea to make his getaway in one of the more sublime scenes from the franchise to date.

The wheels fold in, the dashboard transforms, and fins and jets pop out to see the car re-purposed as a submarine in mere moments. Also adorned with a radar system and a missile launcher, 007 makes sure he gets the last laugh over his helicopter pursuer as well.

2 Jetpack – ‘Thunderball’ (1965)

James Bond soars through across the sky with his jetpack in 'Thunderball'.
Image via United Artists

With the first three Bond films succeeding as huge commercial hits through the early 60s, the fourth Bond film was granted a significantly bigger budget to ensure the thrills and the spectacle would be better than ever. It didn’t take long for audiences to see where all that money went, with an ambitious pre-credits action sequence introducing them to the heightened production value of Thunderball.

After assassinating a Spectre agent, Bond must make a daring escape from the rooftops and relies on a jetpack to get to safety. While the sequence today isn’t as impressive as others seen in the franchise since, the implementation of the jetpack is done in such a way that it is clear to see how audiences would have been left stunned in 1965.

1 Aston Martin DB5 – ‘Goldfinger’ (1964)

James Bond (Sean Connery) stand with his Aston Martin DB5 in a countryside driveway.
Image via United Artists

Up there with Doc and Marty’s DeLorean, the Batmobile, and even the Millennium Falcon, James Bond’s Aston Martin DB5 is one of the most stunning and iconic movie vehicles of all time. While it wasn’t Bond’s first ride, it was the first to be geared up with gadgets, featuring an ejector seat, an oil dispenser, and machine guns among its more dashing modifications.

It fast became engrained in the DNA of the Bond filmography and the vehicle has appeared in multiple Bond movies since. Slick, stylish, sophisticated, and incredibly resourceful, the DB5 is the perfect symbol of not only Bond himself, but the franchise as a whole as well.

KEEP READING: James Bond and 9 Iconic Characters Played by Multiple Actors

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