From now up until Christmas Day, I'm going to try to post items here about some of the great toys (and other gifts), I got for Christmas when I was a kid. I was lucky enough to grow up in the 1960s which was, in many ways, a true golden age of toys. Let's start with one of the biggest Bond toys of all.
The James Bond 007 Road Race was released in time for Christmas, 1965. It was sold through Sears and it cost plenty. It came in a huge box and consisted of six pre-formed sections containing roadways and landscapes. You snapped the sections together to create a nifty race track. Two slot car type vehicles were included for your racing pleasure: a red Ford Mustang and the classic, iconic Aston Martin DB-5 (which is still the coolest car ever made). Plug this sucker in and let the races begin. Watch out for that oil slick! And the death-defying jump from the mountain top across open space! You could make your car switch lanes if you were skilled enough. It promised, and delivered, hours of fun.
I really, really, really wanted this one from the day I first saw it advertised in the Sears Wish Book Catalog (hands up if you remember that massive tome of treasures). The road race set was huge and expensive but Santa (my mother and grandparents) were good to me that year because this baby was waiting under the tree on Christmas morning. I had to set it up in my parents' bedroom because it required both easy access to an electrical outlet and a fair amount of empty floor space to set it up on. The transformer used to get pretty hot and stinky with that godawful electric smell after a few minutes of racing and I had to unplug everything and let it cool down for a while before resuming my James Bond road race adventure.
GOLDFINGER, the film this set was based on, was the first James Bond film I ever saw. It's still my favorite Bond film of them all. This toy was a terrific way to relive the action and thrills I had seen on the big screen a few months earlier that year. I don't recall exactly what happened to this prized possession. Destroyed? Thrown away? Sold in a yard sale? I only know two things.
It didn't survive my childhood.
And boy, do I wish it had.