I spy Lego's James Bond Aston Martin DB5 with working ejector seat
No, Mr. Bond, I expect you to build.
Richard TrenholmFormer Movie and TV Senior Editor
Richard Trenholm was CNET's film and TV editor, covering the big screen, small screen and streaming. A member of the Film Critic's Circle, he's covered technology and culture from London's tech scene to Europe's refugee camps to the Sundance film festival.
Cars are Andrew's jam, as is strawberry. After spending years as a regular ol' car fanatic, he started working his way through the echelons of the automotive industry, starting out as social-media director of a small European-focused garage outside of Chicago. From there, he moved to the editorial side, penning several written features in Total 911 Magazine before becoming a full-time auto writer, first for a local Chicago outlet and then for CNET Cars.
Pay attention 007: we're issuing you with a first look at the James Bond
set, the gadget-packed classic car of every secret agent's dreams.
We went to the Lego Store in London's Leicester Square, where Bond star Naomie Harris unveiled the new model at precisely 10:07 a.m. Wednesday. The toy DB5 is not only a detailed 1:8 scale replica of the classic British supercar but also comes with a few super-spy surprises.
Here are our excited hands-on first impressions:
Watch this: Hands-on with Lego James Bond Aston Martin DB5
On sale now in Lego Stores and other shops in August, the DB5 is the latest in Lego's Creator Expert line. This range of slightly more grown-up sets includes historic landmarks and notable vehicles including another British automotive icon, the vintage Mini Cooper. Recommended for builders aged 16 and over, the Bond kit joins Lego versions of TV and movie motors such as the Batmobile and Ghostbusters Ecto-1.
James Bond's Lego DB5 costs £130 in the UK or $150 in the US, with European pricing varying by country.
The blocky 1,290-piece Lego DB5 doesn't quite match the real car's classically curvaceous 1960s silhouette. But it's unmistakably Aston, from the wire wheels to the chrome bumpers and even a recreation of the real car's straight-six engine under the bonnet -- or inline-six under the hood if you're more Felix Leiter than Her Majesty's Secret Service.
Check out the pictures below to see more of Bond's brick-built ride and its top-secret extras.
Hands on with the Lego Aston Martin DB5 -- and its ejector seat
Best of all, the Lego car is fully loaded with 007's signature gadgetry. Echoing the legendary 1965 Corgi toy that inspired countless kids, the Lego version features a pop-up rear-window bullet shield and machine-guns emerging from the front bumper. You operate these by twisting the exhaust pipes deftly hidden in the rear of the car, or by pulling on the gear stick.
Just like in the movies, bad guys who get too close can be taken out by spikes on the hubcaps. The number plates rotate, with options including a foolproof disguise reading "JB 007". Inside the car there's a "tracking computer", and a state-of-the-art (for the 1960s) carphone hidden in the door.
But best of all is the working passenger ejection seat. Just as Commander Bond rid himself of unwanted passengers in Goldfinger, you too can fire intruders out of the Lego DB5. Pull back on the rear bumper to open the roof, then let go for the ejector seat to fire into the air with a satisfying ping! Sadly you'll have to provide your own minifig, as James Bond's suave smirk has yet to be immortalised in yellow plastic form.
Speaking at the London launch, Lego Creator designer Mike Psiaki described how he had 10 or 15 versions of the ejector seat mechanism on his desk during development. The team filmed the prototype ejection systems in slow-motion video to get it just right. The front end was also tricky, as the mechanism for moving the machine guns had to be hidden under the engine.
Aston Martin has been synonymous with Bond since author Ian Fleming put his famous creation in a DB Mark III in the 1959 novel Goldfinger. For the subsequent movie adaptation five years later, gadget-master Q upgraded Sean Connery's Bond to a silver DB5 packed with assorted
Since then -- even after flirting with such pretenders as
-- 007 has jumped into various Aston Martins on his adventures, culminating in the specially made
in Spectre. Alongside more modern Astons, the classic DB5 reappeared in GoldenEye and even in Daniel Craig's recent outings Casino Royale, Skyfall and Spectre.