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This is a scale model of the autogyro that Q bring to Bond in Japan in the film, You Only Live Twice. Bond is on a mission searching for a spacecraft, operated by SPECTRE, which has been hijacking US and Soviet spacecraft. Bond needs something that will allow him to scan the terrain of some small islands quickly. The autogyro does the job. Nicknamed 'Little Nellie', this little bag of tricks fends off attack from three SPECTRE helicopters.
The Corgi model faithfully recreates the autogyro. Corgi have a reputation for high quality die-cast replicas, and this is no exception. The whole things look 'right'. It has been accurately modeled and correctly scaled. This is a 1:36 scale model, with a rotor diameter of 210mm. The whole model weighs just shy of 400g. Corgi quality is maintained with this model, and there is nothing that will detract from the look of this wonderful machine. The rotors will rotate, along with the 'pusher' propellor on the back. It also actually fires rockets out of the side pods. But this isn't really a toy. This is a collectors models, to be looked at and appreciated. I bought mine for about £12, so it's really not that expensive either!
Overall, this is a cracking little model. You won't find any modelling or paintwork faults, and all the moving parts work correctly; mind you, this is what you'd expect from Corgi. I think this scale model of 'Little Nellie' is great, without fault and ideal for the Bond enthusiast.
Little Nellie, the portable mini-helicopter or "Gyrocopter" from the 1967 James Bond film You Only Live Twice is probably the second most famous Bond vehicle after the Aston Martin DB5. Maybe the Lotus Esprit is as famous but it's a close run thing. The Gyrocopter was built and flown by Wing Commander Ken Wallis and when Bond production designer Ken Adam and Bond producer Harry Saltzman got wind of the invention they arranged a test flight at Pinewood Studios and decided to include it in the next James Bond film. In the film Little Nellie is of course designed by Q and includes missiles, two flame throwers, machine guns and smoke ejectors. It arrives packed in four suitcases for Bond to fly over remote volcanoes looking for missing US and Russian space craft before he is attacked by SPECTRE helicopters. "Little Nellie got a hot reception," reports Bond after he's made short work of them with the numerous gadgets at his disposal. "Four big shots made improper advances toward her, but she defended her honour with great success." The Corgi Little Nellie You Only Live Twice Gyrocopter is another in their excellent collection of Bond replicas in the 1:36 scale range and certainly one of the most fun and impressive.
This is a quality toy replica that captures the likeness of the real thing with some impressive detail and looks really good with the slightly dipping blades hanging overhead. The Rotorspan of the blades is 210mm and they do indeed rotate. The blades are very nicely done and give the toy a distinctive and stylish look. It's a colourful toy too with a lot of yellow on the main body and the red tipped missiles underneath. There are also rocket launchers on either side and machine guns mounted on the front. The front of the Gyrocopter has a red circle with black rings around it and looks like a bullseye. The missiles are wonderfully done with the red and black fins on a white casing. The main frame of the toy is yellow but the front and rear blades and undercarriage are a metallic silver and this makes for quite a nice overall contrast. Once you take the toy out of its You Only Live Twice themed box it's hard to resist swooping it around and pretending to attack Roger Moore in his Lotus Esprit. The Gyrocopter feels relatively stable and sturdy but it's obviously not the most robust toy ever devised and as much a piece of memorabilia as anything.
The box is mostly black with some gold around the edges. It isn't the most colourful or fun of the Corgi 007 vehicle cases and sadly lacks a picture of Sean Connery - preferring the ambiguous Bond silhouette. The peeled off poster graphic art of the film with the word 'Twice' in You Only Live Twice appearing, er, twice, is replicated though in what is quite a nice touch. As ever with toys and collectibles it's advisable to keep the box if you can and as usual with these Corgi Bond die-cast replicas this is recommended for ages 14+ because of the various attachments, rotating blades, sharp edges etc. This would actually be the most fun of the Corgi replicas to play with as a toy but one can see why this would not be suitable for younger children and - like the others in the range - is more of a purchase for James Bond collectors than anything else and something to be looked after carefully. This is a great toy to have as part of your Bond replicas as it is one of the more complex and striking ones and of course isn't just another car or yet another version of the Aston Martin and will stand out a little more.
Some of the intricate details on the replica Gyrocopter are very impressive like the way the seat morphs up into the frame for the blades and I like the little wheels that jut out on either side too. The rear flame throwers from the Little Nellie of the film are also present and nicely detailed. You also get a Sean Connery James Bond figure piloting the Gyrocopter with a little crash helmet and a pale shirt on. These replicas are always a little more enjoyable and complete feeling when you get a Bond replica with the vehicle. With the Sean Connery figure at the helm of this excellent miniature facsimile of the You Only Live Twice Gyropcopter you can almost hear Nancy Sinatra singing and picture a volcano themed title sequence by Maurice Binder. I tend to keep this in the box with the other Bond Corgi replicas but I have occasionally found myself flying it over a bored looking cat and muttering things like "Allow me to introduce myself. I am Ernst Stavro Blofeld. They told me you were assassinated in Hong Kong" or "Bon appetit!" as I pretend to dispatch a henchman into piranha infested waters.
Corgi's Little Nellie Gyrocopter replica usually retails at around £14 but as ever you might get a slightly better deal than that if you look around. It actually feels like it should be a little more expensive than some of the more basic replica die-cast 007 cars in this range so it doesn't feel like an outrageous price to shell out for the toy/model. This is an impressive and fun collectible I think with some great detail and an admirable likeness for the real thing flown by Sean Connery in the film. This is certainly a must have for any James Bond fans, anoraks or completists who collect these types of things but have yet to add the You Only Twice Gyrocopter to their collection. With the Full body decoration, Rotating blades, Seated James Bond figure and Front firing missiles this is another James Bond themed winner from Corgi and a great product to add to the shelf alongside the Aston Martin, Diamonds Are Forever Ford Mustang and all the vehicles in this enjoyable range.