9. The Shoe Knife
James Bond’s gadgets have been given a lot of love but what about his antagonists? From Russia with love appears on the memory Rosa Klebb (Lotte Lenya) as the villain. She’s a ruthless colonel and Soviet counter-intelligence operative, as well as a SpecTER(!) double agent who needed her own array of surprise weaponry. Disguised as a housekeeper, she gets the jump on Bond near the end of the film, pointing a gun at him before Tatiana Romanova (Daniela Bianchi) disarms her. But it’s what’s hidden in her shoe that’s far more iconic to fans of the series and gives her an edge in the ensuing conflict.
Although the shoes themselves look basic, they pack a small flick knife at the top, hidden in the sole. She brandishes this weapon at Bond, the blade coated in poisons designed to finish the job. He fights her off with a chair before Tatina finishes the last shot, shooting Klebb’s own gun. While the use of the gadget may not have been too effective since it’s in a difficult place to exploit, it’s also difficult to defend against and may have gotten lucky on one of 007’s legs. As a piece of cinema history it is a classic design that spoke to the shock factor in the climactic scene.
8. Dentonite toothpaste
A Bond film wouldn’t be complete without explosives. All kinds of situations need a little dynamite to help an agent on his way, and Q usually had an ingenious way of hiding these deadly gadgets in plain sight. For License to Kill, the film took an unexpected approach, relying on a household item. However, unlike other kits from the series, this was not based on a real-world brand.
His Majesty’s Secret Service converted a tube of toothpaste into an explosive device. Humorously called Detonite, the false branding stated the content within. It is scary that someone could accidentally use this product as intended, but James Bond used the plant when he tried to assassinate Franz Sanchez (Robert Davi). Although unsuccessful in its goal, the toothpaste destroyed itself without question. Another great design choice came with a pack of cigarettes cleverly disguised as the detonator.
7. The Watches
It’s a bit of an honorable mention, but James Bond never goes anywhere without his trusty watch. During the saga he showed some of the top-of-the-line wristwatches, many of them based on real-world products. Of course, that makes the concept even cooler for the audience, who might own one of these items (hence the high price many watch companies pay to put their wares in the included). As is often the case with Bond gear, however, these accessories aren’t always what they seem, with Q being fitted with some useful upgrades.
For example, The Spy Who Liked Me saw Bond using a digital watch that allowed printable messages to be sent to him; technology that clearly predicts real progress in the world of smart devices. Famously, Rolex Submariner 007 i Spend your life and embrace death it contained a small buzzsaw that allowed him to cut his way out of the prison, and the hand piece also contained a tiny electromagnet.