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Die Another Day, the infamous 2002 fortieth anniversary James Bond film, is possibly best known now for the 'invisible' stealth Aston Martin V12 Vanquish that Pierce Brosnan drove in it, the car soon to join things like double-taking pigeons and Denise Richards playing a nuclear physicist in hotpants as something that the series probably could have done without. The car featured in the film's big gadget laden ice chase sequence and the Aston Martin V12 Vanquish is also part of Corgi's excellent series of die-cast replica James Bond cars in the 1:36 scale range. The Corgi Aston Martin Vanquish is every bit as attractive and detailed as the other models in this enjoyable 007 themed line and another nice addition to any collection or toy box. These replica cars are great fun and of a high standard with the sparkly exteriors and all the appropriate contours. Sadly, this car can't turn invisible (I would have doffed my cap to Corgi if they'd included this option!) but it does ape the Aston from the film with many intricate little details and a few gadgets.
The replica has front firing missiles and machine guns on the bonnet and these are nicely done although, as ever, with the little bits and pieces that come out (or can be pulled out) the toy is recommended for ages 13+ on Corgi's official website. Although these models tend to be for collectors too the cars are certainly sturdy enough to whizz around on the floor if you do want to buy it as a toy for a young relative. The little black machine guns look good and the missiles located in the grill above the number plate add a nice splash of red to the model. Other nice touches on this are spoked wheels and spiked tyres and I find the little plastic tyres with their intricate silver centres are always wonderfully done on this range of replicas. The wing mirrors are really good too. The interiors are always excellent with these models also, to the extent that you imagine if you were shrunk to thimble size you could get into this car and drive off in it!
The interiors are rather stylish and look great with the darkish tint to the windows. There are lights too at the back and front and even a tiny hubcap. This incarnation of the Aston Martin lacks the charm of the more vintage model driven by Sean Connery so it isn't as sleek and attractive as the Goldfinger Aston Corgi replica but part of the fun of a collection like this is having all the different eras side by side to compare and contrast. The fact that the film version of this was festooned with gadgets is a plus as some of the more obvious and prominent gadgets are replicated here for the model. Some of the cars in this range, like the Diamonds Are Forever Ford Mustang for example, are just more or less normal cars rather than cars specifically designed for James Bond to fend off villains in chases and can be a trifle dull in model form, lacking the iconic aura of a Lotus Esprit or just about any version of the Aston Martin.
The Die Another Day Aston Martin V12 Vanquish is well up to the standards set by the other entries in this range and another well crafted and attractive Bond replica from Corgi. These retail at around £10 to £13 (at the time of writing) but you might be able to get an even better deal than that if you investigate a bit. These Bond replicas aren't outrageously expensive and if you keep the box and the model in good condition then you have a Bond collectible of sorts.
One slight disappointment I found with this though is that the box it came with was rather generic and uninspired, which is a shame as anyone collecting these will more than likely keep the boxes. It's perfectly competent for the purposes of storage and includes the familiar clear plastic front (so you can put the car in it as if it was in a miniature showroom and keep your replica in pristine condition) but the actual design doesn't look like too much effort went into it. The box is just mostly black with a basic Bond gunbarrel silhouette on the top and then '007' and 'Corgi' across the lower part of the front. The graphic font used for 'Die Another Day' on the film posters is replicated on the box at the top. I suppose the simplicity of the design is appealing in a way but I tend to think some sort of photo montage might be a nice touch with these boxes. A few stills from the film would make it seem a bit more novel.
Corgi's legacy in producing replica James Bond cars and vehicles has been an excellent on on the whole, from the 'Little Nellie' Gyrocopter from You Only Live Twice to the classic Aston Martin DB5 driven by Sean Connery in Goldfinger. The attention to detail and ability to capture some of the character of the real thing is always laudable and these toys are therefore held with a good degree of fondness and affection by people who like collecting things that tie in with films and television. They don't necessarily have to be left in a box and never touched though. When I was about 12 I would have got good value out of these Bond replica vehicles, making them attack each other as they raced around the hall or something.
While Die Another Day, with its dreadful CGI, dialogue that Sid James might have baulked at and idiotic plot involving a North Korean villain disguising himself as a overacting Toby Stephens, has not stood the test of time terribly well the Corgi replica inspired by the film is well up to the usual standards and an attractive and detailed little toy. And now, if you'll please excuse me, I'm due for tea at the ice palace and need to go and find my tuxedo and invisible roller skates...