The 25 Best James Bond Gadgets

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From the very first James Bond film, Dr. No, which turns 50 today, gadgets have played a major part. No idea is too ridiculous for the Q Department to try out—man-eating couches, decapitating tea trays, telephone boxes that deploy airbags when you call France, leg cast missiles, bagpipe flamethrowers—but the good ones were part of what makes Bond, James Bond. Plus he has to be able to keep up with villains armed with dagger shoes and razor-sharp teeth.

For the sake of this list, we’re ignoring vehicles (see the Best James Bond vehicles coming later today) and sticking with gadgets that can be carried.

25. Geiger Counter – Dr. No

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Used to detect the radioactivity of Crab Key, this might not be the sexiest Bond gadget, but the then uncommon device was the very first Bond gadget.

24. Voice Changer – Diamonds Are Forever

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The best part of the voice changer, which Blofield uses to imitate Willard Whyte in Diamonds Are Forever is how Q gives him a dose of his own medicine, building one on the fly with ease, saying he’d made one for “the kids last Christmas.”

23. X-Ray Glasses – The World Is Not Enough

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What every child of the ‘50s wanted to find in their cereal box finally came to light in what was otherwise one of the worst Bond films.

22. Tape Recorder Camera – To Russia With Love

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Before the cameras were small enough to be disguised, they were big enough to disguise other recording devices.

21. X-Ray Polaroid – License to Kill

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Need an extra? Just snap a photo…shake it for a few minutes…and the skeletons start to appear as if by magic.

20. Clothing Brush Communicator – Live and Let Die

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Ever wonder how James always looks so immaculately dressed? This Q-issued lint brush does the trick—and you can also talk on it. Are you listening, Apple?

19. Yo-Yo Saw – Octopussy

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The assassin in Octopussy didn’t mind making a mess. His weapon of choice was a buzzsaw blade on a string.

18. Radioactive Lint – On Her Majesty’s Secret Service

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Apparently the clear, plastic box it was kept it was enough to keep you safe before you placed this tracking device on your target. Or maybe this was what prevented little 007s getting conceived on five continents.

17. Dentonite Toothpaste – License to Kill

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Finally a toothpaste that causes cavities—in walls, floors, people… This one came with a cigarette-pack detonator.

16. Prosthetic Arm – Live and Let Die

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Another great henchman, Tee Hee (played by Julius W. Harris), took what most people would think of as a handcap (a missing right arm) and turned it to a handy steel grip of death.

15. Sky Hook – Thunderball

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Ordinary spies have get-away cars; Bond has a get-away plane thanks to his grappling suspenders, a weather balloon, a utility harness and a B-17 aircraft. No duct tape required.

14. Dagger Shoe – From Russia With Love

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Colonel Rosa Klebb might not be the most attractive woman Bond faced, but she started a filmic fashion trend with poison-tipped daggers in her shoes. The gadget would appear in several other movies including The Punisher and The Dark Knight.

14. Grapple Gun – GoldenEye

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Bond could infiltrate Fort Knox if he had to—wait, didn’t he do that once?—and often had some sort of grappling hook. The best, though, was this piton gun, complete with laser-cutter.

13. Ghetto Blaster – The Living Daylights

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The lone Q-lab-only gadget to make our list, this rocket launcher put the “boom” back in “boom box.”

12. Keychain – The Living Daylights

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The Swiss Army would approve of Bond’s Philips keychain, which contained a lock pick, an explosive charge and stun gas, triggered by whistling the first few bars of “Rule, Britannia!”

11. Car Phone – To Russia With Love

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The second Bond film introduced us to the idea of the car phone—and to the idea that sometimes we just wish we couldn’t be reached.

From the very first James Bond film, Dr. No, which turns 50 today, gadgets have played a major part. No idea is too ridiculous for the Q Department to try out—man-eating couches, decapitating tea trays, telephone boxes that deploy airbags when you call France, leg cast missiles, bagpipe flamethrowers—but the good ones were part of what makes Bond, James Bond. Plus he has to be able to keep up with villains armed with dagger shoes and razor-sharp teeth.

For the sake of this list, we’re ignoring vehicles (see the Best James Bond vehicles coming later today) and sticking with gadgets that can be carried.

10. TV Watch – Octopussy

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We’re still waiting for Apple’s iWatch. Bond went all Dick Tracy in Octopussy, though he didn’t always quite stay on-mission with it.

9. Deadly Briefcase – From Russia With Love

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Just another day at the office for 007 meant the need for a rifle with infrared telescope, ammo, throwing knives and some Gold Sovereigns for lunch money. And if anyone tries to mess with his stuff, they get a face full of tear gas.

8. Mobile Phone – Tomorrow Never Dies

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This prototype Ericsson flip-phone included a few features that never made it to the R380, which came out soon after—like the 20k Volt stun gun/electric lock opener, the fingerprint scanner, the antennae lock pick and the BMW remote control.

7. Cigarette Darts – You Only Live Twice

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When are the kids going to learn—smoking kills.

6. Garrote Watch – From Russia With Love

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The first watch that was more than a watch wasn’t issued to Bond. Used by villain Red Grant in an attempt to strangle Bond, it was ultimately the cause of his death. Not the first time a villain’s gadget was used against him.

5. Bowler Hat – Goldfinger

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When Oddjob arrived on the Bond scene, viewers started to understand what they were in for with this series—namely henchmen who weren’t content to just shoot their victims dead, because decapitating them with a lethal bowler hat is much more creative.

4. Steel Teeth – The Spy Who Loved Me, Moonraker

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Not sure these qualify as a gadget, but anything that allows a man to bite sharks and bite through metal cables is pretty nifty. Nifty enough to earn the henchman a rare second appearance in a Bond film.

3. Rolex Watch – Live and Let Die

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The coolest 007 watch comes from the most gadget-heavy of the Bond films, back when he still sported the Rolex Submariner. Equipped with an electromagnet and a rotating saw, this gift from Moneypenny saved our hero from a pool of sharks.

2. Ski Pole Gun – The Spy Who Loved Me

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In the universe of 007, every pen, cigarette and camera might be capable of killing you, but one of our favorites was the ski pole.

1. Rocket Pack – Thunderball

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We were promised jetpacks.

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