No Time To Die, the 25th James Bond film, releases this weekend in the United States, and the return of the legendary secret agent got us thinking about the futuristic gadgets and vehicles introduced to the series by MI6’s resident R&D specialist, Q.
They’ve always been an important part of what makes the 007 films so remarkable and unique, and who is James Bond without Q?
Okay, he’s also a super-fit, death-defying super-agent playboy, but Bond movies weren’t only about catchphrases, girlfriends, and bad guys.
Despite the fact that the films starring current Bond actor Daniel Craig have toned down the gadgetry in favor of a darker, more gloomy take on the character, there’s still plenty of affection for the franchise’s gloriously absurd gadgets.
Here are 20 of the most outrageous Bond gadgets from over five decades of movies.
Flamethrower Bagpipe — The World is Not Enough (1999)
It’s a twofer. The bagpipe may be used as a flamethrower as well as a machine gun. Bond never uses it in the film, but soon after the demonstration, he makes a corny pun about it: “I suppose we’ve all got to pay the piper sometimes, right Q?”
Rocket Cigarette — You Only Live Twice (1967)
This one gets Bond out of a tight spot. When he is apprehended by the film’s villain, Blofeld, he is informed that he will be murdered soon. Does this sound familiar?
Bond accepts his destiny but requests one more cigarette before being shot. This particular cigarette, unfortunately for Blofeld’s thugs, contains a friggin rocket!
Shark-Bursting Pellet — Live and Let Die (1973)
This one requires some explanation. These compressed gas pellets were initially created by Q as an anti-shark device, with the notion that Bond might shoot them into a shark’s mouth and explode it to smithereens before it ate him alive.
In an epic hand-to-hand battle at the finale of the film, Bond uses the pellets against the film’s villain, Dr. Kananga. Bond essentially shoves one down Kananga’s throat, forcing him to… well, you can watch for yourself.
Single Digit Sonic Agitator — Die Another Day (2002)
This tiny ring produces a high-frequency sound that shatters any type of glass, even bulletproof glass. The film’s villain, conveniently for James, has a taste for fashionable, transparent glass panels.
Grenade Launcher Pen — Never Say Never Again (1983)
In this one, I feel sorry for Fatima. She was eventually taken down by a pen, despite all of her badassery throughout the film. Although it was a ballistic pen with an explosive tip, it was still a pen. That has to be humiliating.
Ski Pole Rifle — The Spy Who Loved Me (1977)
Q appears to have a simple philosophy: everywhere Bond goes, just think out how to conceal a gun in whatever things he’ll be utilizing. Are you planning on visiting the Bahamas? Give him a snorkeling gun. Cuba? Quick!
Give him some exploding smokes propelled by rockets! The Alps of Switzerland? Give the guy a pair of ski pole guns!
Palm-sensing Walther PPK — Casino Royale (2006)
This one isn’t particularly insane or extravagant, but it’s undoubtedly Daniel Craig’s greatest gadget during his tenure as 007.
It’s fairly simple: it’s Bond’s favorite pistol, equipped with a biometric lock that ensures it only shoots when he’s holding it. Isn’t it convenient? We’re disappointed that this pun didn’t make it into the movie.
The “Boom Box” — The Living Daylights (1987)
This one displays a thorough knowledge of the 1980s. “Oh, don’t mind me; I’m just a normal dude just walkin’ down the street and blastin’ my tunes on a boombo — bam!”
Mini Scuba Tank — Thunderball (1965)
This device consists of two small pressurized air tanks that fit neatly into a suit pocket. This ultra-compact scuba device first appeared in Thunderball, but has subsequently appeared in a number of films, including recently in The World is Not Enough (1999).
Omega Seamaster Laser Watch — Goldeneye (1995)
The Bond franchise is known for its high-tech timepieces, and this one is undoubtedly one of the coolest 007 has ever had.
Surprisingly, this isn’t the franchise’s first appearance of a laser watch. In the 1983 film Never Say Never Again, Bond sported a unique laser-equipped Rolex.
X-Ray Shades — The World is Not Enough (1999)
Because CGI and special effects were so much better during his time, Pierce Brosnan possessed some of the greatest gadgets the Bond series has ever seen. This pair of X-Ray sunglasses are a great example.
“Dentonite” Explosive Toothpaste — License to Kill (1989)
Timothy Dalton’s 007 didn’t have quite as many supercool gadgets as Sean Connery, Roger Moore, and Pierce Brosnan’s 007 – but this one almost makes up for it.
It’s simply a plastic explosive tube hidden within a less-than-subtle container of “Dentonite” branded toothpaste.
Laser Polaroid — License to Kill (1989)
This may be one of the most cheesy scenes in James Bond’s whole career. When CIA agent Pam Bouvier unintentionally tries to take a picture of him and Q, he instead fires a startlingly realistic laser beam directly at their heads.
Trick Briefcase — From Russia With Love (1963)
This briefcase was like a Swiss Army Knife for briefcases. Knives, a gun, and even a tear gas dispenser were among the secret compartments and tricks it included.
When Bond has originally presented the gadget, he didn’t think much of it, but M persuaded Bond to accept it nonetheless.
Rolex Submariner — Live and Let Die (1973)
The Rolex Submariner, introduced in 1973, was one of Bond’s most adaptable gadgets. It had a rotating watch face that functioned like a little circular saw, as well as a tremendously strong magnetic capable of deflecting bullets.
At the end of the film, the electromagnet saves Bond’s life by allowing him to call the previously mentioned shark pellet from distance, which he then shoves into the villain’s mouth, leading him to explode.
Jetpack — Thunderball (1965)
This one is one of the favorites since it is so terrible by today’s standards. Maybe it’s just us, or does it appear to be constructed from a collection of dryer vent tubes and an old go-kart seatbelt?
Underwater Jet Pack — Thunderball (1965)
This one was really cool, but let’s be honest: why would you bother with flippers on your feet when you’ve got anything like this attached to your back?
Alligator Submarine — Octopussy (1983)
This is without a doubt the most amazing concept the Q branch has ever come up with.
Avalanche Ski Jacket — The World is Not Enough (1999)
Avalanche protection systems actually exist in the real world, however, they usually consist of two large air bladders on the back of a backpack.
That’s not quite as amazing as this garment, which inflates to surround you like a cocoon. With this one, Q was on to something.
Taser Phone — Tomorrow Never Dies (1997)
Ericsson’s idea phone has an absurd amount of distinct functionalities. Bond’s BMW 750iL has a stun pistol, a fingerprint scanner, a lock pick, and even a flip-open remote control.
Back when the movie was published, it looked impossible, but with the appropriate attachments, you can accomplish all of this with a modern smartphone.