James Bond’s Most Impractical Gadgets

James Bond’s Most Impractical Gadgets Infographic

“Right, now pay attention 007!”

This phrase is often heard from James Bond’s quartermaster, “Q” as he demonstrates the latest inventions from MI6. Q is the no-nonsense genius responsible for designing many of the high-tech weapons and gadgets that viewers love from the series. Whether the fully submersible Lotus Esprit, the Omega laser wristwatch, or the wrist-mounted guns to the Walther PPK, Bond has had access to some seriously nifty gadgets for his stealth missions.

The most recent movie installments (starring Daniel Craig) have featured far fewer gadgets than ever before, after Pierce Brosnan’s “Die Another Day” was largely panned for relying too heavily on gadgets. After “Die Another Day,” fans wanted a more realistic, less techie Bond.

Since then, new Bond films rely more on fists and combat skills to defeat the bad guys. Nowhere was this more evident than 2015’s “Spectre,” a Bond film that featured exactly ZERO gadgets for the first time in the series history.

But we miss when Bond was more of a true “spy.” To us, that’s what made the Bond series so special and different from others in the genre. Gadgets are as much a hallmark as the Bond girls, villains, and opening soundtrack. We even love the truly absurd spy tech!

So while we wait for the next movie, “No Time to Die,” we’re counting down some of the most wacky and impractical spy gadgets used by Bond - the gadgets that made us question whether Q is an actual genius or has finally lost his marbles.

Spiked Umbrella

Movie: For Your Eyes Only

Release: 1981

Bond Actor: Roger Moore

“Stinging in the rain!” This experimental gadget, produced by Q Branch, is a spiked umbrella that extracts sharp claws on its user when exposed to water - not very useful for all those rainy London days. 

Wetsuit with Duck Headgear

Movie: Goldfinger

Release: 1964

Bond Actor: Sean Connery

During a stealth mission to an enemy base, Bond wears a comical scuba suit equipped with a decoy duck on top of his head. Thankfully, moments later, Bond ditches the bird and wetsuit to reveal his iconic white tuxedo underneath.

Laser Polaroid Camera

Movie: License to Kill

Release: 1989**    **

Bond Actor: Timothy Dalton

Q and Bond are almost fried by Bond girl Pam Bouvier when she unwittingly snaps a photo with a camera that fires laser beams. The printed photo shows an x-ray image of just their skeletons. This is just another instance that proves it’s always best not to touch Q’s belongings.

Oddjob’s Razor Hat

Movie: Dr. No

Release: 1962

Bond Actor: Sean Connery

While not a gadget used by James Bond, the razor-edged bowler hat worn by  the villain Oddjob that can be hurled like a frisbee towards enemies. When thrown hard enough, the hat can even cut through metal and stone.

Rocket-Firing Cigarette

Movie: You Only Live Twice

Release: 1967

Bond Actor: Sean Connery

After being captured by Blofeld, Bond is allowed “one last cigarette” while listening to the villain’s nefarious scheme. Fortunately for 007, these cigarettes are able to fire rocket-propelled bullets.

Explosive Toothpaste

Movie: License to Kill

Release: 1989

Bond Actor: Timothy Dalton

In the movie “License to Kill”, Q disguises plastic explosives inside a toothpaste container with a remote receiver. Bond uses this gadget while trying to assassinate the villain Sanchez, but is stopped by a team of ninjas.

**Ghetto-Blaster **

Movie: The Living Daylights

Release: 1987

Bond Actor: Timothy Dalton

While touring Q Branch, Bond and Q encounter a live testing of the Ghetto Blaster. This boombox fires explosive rockets towards enemies, while of course playing your favorite cassettes. After the live fire demonstration, Q happily exclaims, “perfect for the Americans!”

Revolving Couch (Swallowing Couch)

Movie: The Living Daylights

Release: 1987

Bond Actor: Timothy Dalton

Likely an invention created just to amuse himself, Q tested a revolving couch that swallows and captures whoever sits on it. 

Pocket Snap Trap

Movie: Diamonds Are Forever

Release: 1971

Bond Actor: Sean Connery

After being captured by Blofeld, Bond is quickly searched for weapons. As the henchman searches Bond’s coat pockets, his hand trips a nasty booby trap that snapped down on his hands like a mouse trap.

Bagpipe Flamethrower

Movie: The World Is Not Enough

Release: 1999

Bond Actor: Pierce Brosnan

While walking the halls of MI6, Bond stops to hear a Scottish piper playing in Q Branch. Q’s loudest invention is a bagpipe that doubles as a machine gun and flamethrower. After some banter between the two, Q tells Bond, “Oh, pipe down, 007!”

Wheelchair Missile Launcher

Movie: Goldeneye

Release: 1995

Bond Actor: Pierce Brosnan

Still in testing at Q Branch, the Wheelchair Missile Launcher is made to look like someone had broken their leg when, in reality, it houses a hidden rocket launcher capable of taking down foes who decide to park in the handicap spot. We like to think that Bond actor Daniel Craig uses this device after breaking his ankle on the set of No Time to Die.

Hovercraft Gondola (Bondola)

Movie: Moonraker

Release: 1979

Bond Actor: Roger Moore

Bond is enjoying a leisurely gondola ride through the Venetian canals when an enemy boat opens fire on him. A speedboat race ensues and Bond expertly pilots his gondola through the canals to make a getaway. Q equipped the “Bondola’’ with all sorts of upgrades, including the ability to transform his boat into a land hovercraft, which Bond drives through the busy Venice streets.

Crocodile Submarine

Movie: Octopussy

Release: 1983

Bond Actor: Roger Moore

Easily one of the more ridiculous gadgets on our list, Bond infiltrates Octopussy’s floating palace using a submarine disguised as a crocodile.

Dragon Tank

Movie: Dr. No

Release: 1962

Bond Actor: Sean Connery

While searching for Dr. No, Bond hears stories from local fishermen of a dragon that roams Crab Key island. When Bond convinces CIA Agent Quarrel to investigate, they find a “dragon that runs on a diesel engine.” The pair split up and Bond attempts to take out the tires while Quarrel takes out the guard. Because of the limited visibility though, they’re unsuccessful. Moments later, the Dragon Tank spits a huge ball of flame toward the two spies.


Without Q and his spy gadgets, James Bond would have surely been killed in his early assignments. And while it’s cool to see Bond as a brawler nowadays, we really hope 007 gets back to actual espionage. After all, he’s pretty good at it.