Aston Martin to be in Bond 25, CEO says

Daniel Craig and Aston Martin DB5 in a Skyfall publicity sill

Aston Martin will be involved with Bond 25, the company’s CEO told CNN.

The executive, Andy Palmer, apparently was interviewed for the world feed of the news network. The CNN interviewer, Anna Stewart, posted an excerpt on her Instagram account.

“I can confirm that Aston Martin will be collaborating in the next chapter of Bond,” Palmer said in the video excerpt. “So take read from that what you will.”

There have been stories, including one in the Financial Times, that an executive of Lotus, Phil Popham, said he’d like to see his company reunite with 007.

Lotus figured in The Spy Who Loved Me (1977), where the car supposedly converted into a submarine, and For Your Eyes Only (1981). Aston’s history with the 007 film series goes back to 1964’s Goldfinger.

Aston Martin became a publicly traded company this week.

“The share price fall on Wednesday left the 105-year-old firm, James Bond’s favourite car marque, with a market value of just above £4bn, sharply lower than its initial hopes for a price tag of over £5bn,” according to a story in The Guardian.

About that whole James Bond-Aston Martin thing

Iconic publicity still for Goldfinger with Sean Connery leaning against the Aston Martin DB5.

One wonders what Ian Fleming would have thought about the love affair between the James Bond films and Aston Martin.

In the Goldfinger novel, Bond had a choice between the Aston Martin DB3 or a Jaguar for use as a cover as “a well-to-do, rather adventurous young man with a taste for the good, the fast things of life.” He chose the Aston.

By the time Goldfinger was adapted by Eon Productions in 1964, Bond drove a government-issued DB5, complete with an elector seat, machine guns, oil slick and other extras. Bond films were never the same again. The cinematic Bond, despite some breaks here and there, has been driving Aston Martins frequently since.

Indeed, the DB5 has shown up in a number of films since 1995’s Goldfinger, including 2015’s SPECTRE where he drove it at the end of the movie.

In the novels, Bond was a civil servant who lived relatively modestly (although he could afford a housekeeper). But Aston Martin isn’t concerned about the middle class.

Latest example: The announcement that Aston Martin will build 25 replica DB5s at a price of 2.75 million British pounds each. The cars, though, won’t be street legal, according to a separate Aston Martin statement.

The replicas are supposed to come with Bond gadgets. The literary Bond might burn through a year’s salary (inflation adjusted) just paying for the insurance and maintenance bills. Then again, the 007 movies have glossed over, or simply ignored, other aspects of Fleming’s novels.

At the same time, Aston Martin has its issues as well. It’s a bit of an orphan in the automotive world. For 30 years, it was part of Ford Motor Co. But Ford had to sell it off in 2007 amid financial troubles.

As a result, Aston swims in an ocean of automotive sharks. The auto industry is a bit unsettled these days. Even the giants aren’t exactly sure what’s going to happen next in an era of self-driving cars and ride-sharing services.

In 2014, Adweek wrote about how Aston’s connection to the 007 films didn’t really help sales because the company sold so few cars. For a time, Aston was talking about the need to diversify from James Bond. In stories such as a 2016 article in Marketing Week, company executives said they relied too much on the 007 image.

That was then, this is now. Besides making DB5 replicas, the carmaker last month was part of a pact to sell pricey (129.99 British pounds) Lego versions of the 007 DB5. If Aston Martin is diversifying from Bond, it doesn’t much look like it.

The Bond marriage with Aston Martin continues, even if the literary 007 couldn’t afford the products that marriage produces.

Aston Martin to make (expensive) DB5 replicas

A model describes the Aston Martin DB5 at the 2013 Detroit auto show.

Aston Martin plans to produce 25 expensive replica DB5 cars with some gadgets, according to an announcement by the car company and Eon Productions today.

(UPDATE, Aug. 21: Aston Martin’s separate press release has a key detail. The cars won’t be street legal.)

The cars “will be authentic reproductions of the DB5 seen on screen, with some sympathetic modifications to ensure the highest levels of build quality and reliability,” according the Eon statement.

“This authenticity will extend to include functioning gadgets, such as revolving number plates, which were made famous in GOLDFINGER.” Chris Corbould, a special effects supervisor on several Bond films, helped develop the gadgets for the replicas.

The replicas won’t come cheap. They’re priced at 2.75 million British pounds ($3.51 million) each. They won’t be ready very quickly, either. Deliveries will begin in 2020.

In July, Eon and Aston Martin announced a deal with Lego to sell Lego versions of the DB5 for 129.99 British pounds each.

Lego Aston Martin DB5 unveiled

Lego today unveiled its version of the James Bond Aston Martin DB5.

Lego conducted an event at a store in London. It also spread the word on social media, including a post on Twitter.

The Lego car has 1,295 pieces. It costs 129.99 British pounds, according to Gizmodo UK. That’s $169-plus at current exchange rates.

The Lego version of DB5 comes with ejector seat, radar tracker, rear bullet proof screen and front-wing machine guns.

Lego, Eon Productions and Aston Martin have been teasing the licensed product since mid-June. Images leaked earlier this month.

Not everyone was impressed. The Jaloponik website devoted to everything about cars declared July 5 that the DB5’s “handsome and elegant design, does not translate well in LEGO.”

Below is the tweet that Lego sent out this morning. It includes a video.

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UPDATE (1:30 p.m. New York Time): Here’s a video from the event at the Lego store in London this morning. Naomie Harris, who played Moneypenny in Skyfall and SPECTRE, was part of the festivities.

Images of Lego Aston Martin DB5 apparently leak

One of the images of the Lego Aston Martin DB5 on Instagram

Images of packaging for the new Lego Aston Martin DB5 appeared to have leaked and are on Instagram.

The images appear on #legoleaks on Instagram.

When the blog looked this morning, there were five postings of the packaging, including special cards. One of the postings quotes a price of $169.99.

The packaging include words “Licence to Build.” The hashtag #LicenceToBuild has been used by Lego, Aston Martin and Eon Productions’ official 007 feed on Twitter to promote the project.

The companies formally haven’t identified the DB5 as the licensed product. However, in recent social media promotions, they have used quotes from Goldfinger, Skyfall and SPECTRE. Lego has scheduled an event at 10:07 a.m., July 18 at its store in London.

Thanks to .@CorneelVF on Twitter for the heads up.

Lego announces 007 event for July 18

Lego logo

Lego plans a James Bond-related announcement in London on July, according to a post on Lego’s Facebook page.

“Something TOP SECRET is happening on July 18th in LEGO Store at Leicester Square, London…” according to the post. “Stay tuned to learn more!”

While the name James Bond wasn’t mentioned, the announcement includes the 007 gunbarrel logo with the words “top secret.”

Also, the event will begin at 10:07 a.m. London time.

Lego, Aston Martin and the Eon Productions official James Bond feed on Twitter have been teasing a 007-licensed product.

The most recent teases strongly imply it will be a Lego Aston Martin DB5, including lines from Goldfinger, Skyfall and SPECTRE that refer to the DB5. No explicit statement has been made, however.

A 007-licensed Lego Aston Martin is teased

Lego logo

A 007-licensed Lego Aston Martin was teased this week.

It began with a June 14 tweet from Lego:

“We’ve been thinking about creating a special Secret (Service) model that could help an agent out in a tricky situation. Any ideas? @astonmartin #LicenceToBuild.”

Twenty-four minutes later, the official Twitter feed of Aston Martin responded:

“We may have a few ideas for what the special model could be…” The response also had a smiley and the  #LicenceToBuild hashtag.

After another five minutes, the official James Bond Twitter feed of Eon Productions responded: “Licence to build is authorised #LicenceToBuild”

For now, no additional information is available. (It’s classified “Eyes Only.”) Here’s the post from the 007 Twitter account to give you a little flavor.

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