Tag Archives: collecting

Bond Poster Licensed To Thrill

Before he joined the Kiwanis family in its fight to save the world from iodine deficiency disorders (IDD), Roger Moore saved humanity from nuclear destruction in the 1977 film The Spy Who Loved Me. Moore, who starred in the movie as British agent James Bond, now fills the role of honorary chairman of Kiwanis’ Worldwide Service Project.

Barbara Bach and Richard Kiel as “Jaws” join Roger Moore on a movie poster with 007 appeal. The memory of the 007 production is preserved in a limited edition poster, which is being sold in support of the project to virtually eliminate the leading, preventable cause of mental retardation, IDD. Officially licensed by the 007 producers, the autographed lithograph is available at the Spy Guise Web site catalog (www.spyguise.com/shop.html) for $100. Thirty percent of each sale will be donated to the Kiwanis family’s IDD campaign.

For more details visit The Kiwanis Organization.

Best Buy Creates Bond Theme World For Collectors

MGM Home Entertainment (NYSE:MGM) and Best Buy Co., Inc. (NYSE:BBY) today announced a long-term strategic alliance to promote the most successful franchise in film history, James Bond. Beginning in 2002, North America’s leading electronics retailer, Best Buy, will team up with the ultimate technology gadget guru, James Bond, to celebrate the impending release of the 20th film in the series on November 22, 2002.

Best Buy Co., Inc. stores, including Best Buy, Sam Goody, Media Play, Suncoast, On-Cue and Future Shop, will create special Bond-themed environments within the stores to provide one-stop-shopping for consumers and establish the retailer as a premiere Bond retailer. Merchandise will include Bond DVD box sets, soundtracks, the James Bond interactive product line, as well as licensed product and related merchandise from promotional partners. Best Buy will support the effort with a multi-faceted marketing campaign including advertising circulars featuring James Bond that will be distributed to 50 million consumers, a Bond-themed sweepstakes and a Best Buy “Fun Zone” technology truck outfitted as a mobile Bond activity center. In addition, Best Buy stores will host the exclusive retail launch of the Bond 20 trailer.

“As the premier retailer of technology and entertainment products, Best Buy was our first choice for an alliance in support of our biggest film property,” said Blake Thomas, executive vice president of marketing – MGM Home Entertainment. “The Best Buy management team is known for its marketing prowess, and we are thrilled to be working with them on a campaign celebrating the imminent release of the 20th film in the Bond Franchise.”
“The high-tech gadgets and all-out action found throughout the James Bond series perfectly fits the interests of our customers, especially when delivered on DVD,” said Jeff Maynard, vice president of marketing services for Best Buy. “The enduring popularity of the James Bond franchise and the marketing savvy of MGM sets the stage for an exceptionally successful retail campaign.”

About EON Productions Eon Productions/Danjaq, LLC, is owned by the Broccoli family and has produced nineteen James Bond films since 1962. The Bond films make up the most successful franchise in film history and include the recent blockbuster films GoldenEye, Tomorrow Never Dies, and The World Is Not Enough, produced by Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli. Eon Productions and Danjaq, LLC, are affiliate companies and control all worldwide merchandising of the James Bond franchise.

About MGM Home Entertaiment MGM Home Entertainment controls the home video and DVD rights to the largest modern library of filmed entertainment in the world. The Company manages worldwide home video and DVD distribution rights to United Artists and current Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer theatrical releases, as well as titles from Orion, Goldwyn, and PolyGram libraries, totaling more than 4,100 films. For more information about MGM Home Entertainment, its products, and services, access MGM online at www.mgmhomevideo.com.

MGM Home Entertainment is now offering access to publicity artwork through a new image database website located at www.mgmhe-art.com. After initial registration, users may log in at any time and have access to downloadable, high-resolution images including DVD and VHS box and key art, title treatments and a wide variety of publicity stills. Artwork is available for all MGM titles that are currently in the marketplace.

About Best Buy Co., Inc. Minneapolis-based Best Buy Co., Inc. (NYSE:BBY) is North America’s number one specialty retailer of consumer electronics, personal computers, entertainment software and appliances. The Company operates retail stores and commercial web sites under the names: Best Buy (BestBuy.com), Future Shop (FutureShop.ca); Magnolia Hi-Fi (MagnoliaHiFi.com), Media Play (MediaPlay.com), On Cue (OnCue.com), Sam Goody (SamGoody.com), and Suncoast (Suncoast.com). The Company reaches consumers through more than 1,800 retail stores in the U.S., Canada, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Collecting with A View To A Kill on James Bond

“A long time ago and far away,” Bond author Raymond Benson created a text adventure for the personal computer that allowed Bond fans to enter the world of A View To A Kill. Recently I asked Mr. Benson about this historic piece of Bond memorabilia, not commonly seen today… see below the interview our extensive listing detailing the many other “View” collectibles sought after today…

Matt Sherman: “Do you have any insight for us on the “A View To A Kill” text adventure you authored? Could you give us a brief rundown of the creative process involved? Were there interesting tie-in considerations to the MGM film that added to the creative process? Was it ever re-issued in a format that modern MAC and IBM users could play on today?”

Raymond Benson: “Wow, that was a long time ago. I had been hired by a software firm in White Plains, New York, called Angelsoft, which had been contracted by Mindscape to develop a series of text adventure “interactive fiction” games along the lines of the Infocom games (Zork I, Zork II and III, etc.). I remember that all we had to work with was the shooting script for “A View to a Kill”. (I also did the “Goldfinger” game, and a game based on Stephen King`s short story “The Mist”.)

My job was “designer and writer” and so I came up with the plot, locales, characters, dialogue, descriptions…everything one reads in the game as text, as well as how the game was played, what the player had to do, etc. We were limited in size and scope in those days, and the game probably seems pretty crude by today`s standards. It originally was published in the fall of 1985, for the IBM, Mac, and Apple IIc platforms. I`m not sure, but if you could get your hands on an IBM format, it might work on today`s PC. I only have Apple IIc copies, myself, and of course they`re dinosaurs.

I didn`t have any communication with EON on the game…perhaps Angelsoft did. I`m pretty sure EON had approval over our final game design, but I don`t remember having any problems. As I recall, the game is pretty faithful to the final film. (We also got to see a “rough cut” in New York…the film without the score or sound effects…which was very weird!)

There was a producer working with me and a lead programmer. There were probably one or two other programmers working under the lead person, but I`m not sure now. I do remember that no one was credited at all! I think that was the standard back then unless you were Richard Garriott or one of the early superstar game designers. (Oh yeah…the president of Angelsoft was a guy named Mercer Mayer, a famous children`s book writer who created “Grandpa and Me”, “Grandma and Me”, etc. I think the company folded two or three years later and he went back to doing what he does best…writing children`s books.)

That`s about all I can remember! –Raymond Benson”

More AVTAK Collectibles Besides the rare AVTAK text game by Raymond Benson, whose different boxes await your discovery in hobby shops and in garage sales in several different, now extremely difficult to find versions, there are lovely AVTAK collectibles available, if in sparse amounts and diversity compared to say, “Goldfinger” or “GoldenEye” goodies. Look for the following while you await forthcoming Grace Jones action figures and limited edition rock salt guns from…?

AVTAK Posters It is worth noting that “View” was the last Bond film to use hand drawn, “painted” poster artwork. All following films (in fact, Hollywood films in general) switched to photo stills and computer graphic montage designs in the late `80s.

I have included an 800 x 600 graphic with some of the different designs used in the AVTAK campaign. Click on the image on this page to see a blowup rendering of the graphic to download to your desktop, featuring some of the distinctive AVTAK campaigns.

More unusual poster campaigns highlighted AVTAK tie-ins to Renault cars and Michelin tires. Michelin was the brand Bond “sucks” from while underwater beneath Zorin and May Day. Shots of The Michelin Man are also strategically placed in the scene where Sir Godfrey Tibbett (Patrick Macnee) gets his Rolls washed–again. French car maker Renault gave away a new Renault 11 Turbo along with 100 AVTAK soundtrack cassettes for runners up in their big contest.

AVTAK Books “From A View To A Kill” was one of several of author Ian Fleming`s short stories featuring James Bond. “FAVTAK” (should that be pronounced “PHAV-TACK?”) first appeared in the compendium of Bond shorts entitled, “For Your Eyes Only”. This title, first printed as a complete set of five stories in 1960, was the sole Jonathan Cape book to utilize a glossy dustjacket for Bond. (Artist Richard Chopping once explained that he was fussed at incessantly by Ian Fleming. over many “re-paintings”, until he made the color of Bond`s eye visible through the peephole on the dustjacket that just-so shade of blue and gray that Fleming imagined Bond`s eyes to be.)

Completists collecting For Your Eyes Only for its AVTAK association need to grab everything from its large print edition for libraries to the two variant paperback covers by Signet, and not less than four completely different Pan covers from the UK, including the “stamp cover” and a young Melina with bow and arrow at the ready, plus British-run children`s editions with text edited down for young readers and more salacious comments lifted or changed, and countless variant covers by Jove, Berkley, Triad Granada and Coronet, and then foreign editions in at least eight languages other than English. The dustjacket artwork by Cuthill on the British Book Club is noteworthy, as is the pretty Michael J. Fein hardback edition rendered by Christoph Blumrich. (See accompanying photo collage of many of the covers on this page.)

Getting two full-length movies from one short story set including FAVTAK and FYEO is not bad, as good as even Stephen King has managed, and perhaps someday we fans can thrill to “Risico,” “The Hildebrand Rarity,” and “Quantum of Solace” on screen, lifted from the For Your Eyes Only collection. I can hear the script in my head now…”I`m going top kill you, Mr. Bond, to help ensure my quantum of solace for the afternoon.” “Not quite yet, Maximillian Risico. I was always better concerning the Hildebrand rarity.”

AVTAK Magazines and Comics Comics fans and completists can grab the two-part serial of the FYEO movie or the countless magazine tie-ins to AVTAK from the Bond fan clubs and popular media. Sharper Image catalogs of the `80s featuring Melina`s crossbow from the FYEO film and AVTAK related items are especially noteworthy.

In comic form went original artwork and fun for the four-part “Find Your Fate” AVTAK series of children`s books. You only need any one of the four movie tie-in books to fantasize and role play as Bond to help him destroy Zorin`s master plans. A very rare French version went to print of these books using a different color palate on the cover, making it look as though Roger Moore has had way too much carrot juice to drink on the set!

AVTAK Toys and Vehicles Corgi issued no Bond goodies between the release of their “Octopussy” and “GoldenEye” lines twelve years apart, but Matchbox fans can still find both the Renault taxi that Bond sliced and then diced and also the Rolls Royce Silver Cloud II he used for “deep cover” with “Sir Godfrey Tibbett” assisting. Matchbox also created prototypes of a full vehicle set, an “Action Pack” with a Russian helicopter and San Francisco police car thrown in, which went unreleased.

Lone Star Toys produced a gun and holster set , sold in Europe, to tie in to the new movie. The set featured a cap shooting Walther PPK, with AVTAK shoulder holster and strap.

AVTAK Locations The Chateau Chantilly in the French countryside may be visited today by the fans desperately seeking Zorin, and no trip to Paris is complete without a spin up to the top of the Eiffel Tower where May Day caused a sensation (or should we say cause celebre instead?). Marvelous atmosphere shots and exteriors were lensed all over the San Francisco area as well. (Bond Weekend 2001, anyone? Iceland, which doubled for “Siberia” in the pre-credits sequence, is out for sure.)

AVTAK Props I don`t know how I would feel about owning a rock salt gun redo in my house or Q`s snooper pet, although a trick jockey`s whip could come in handy around the office (for keeping the British end up? Loud groan!) but “Bedlum” has some astounding AVTAK props in his catalog this month online at The Williams Collection.

Other Collectibles Chevron gasoline got into the Bond XIV act also. When Bond “protests” Zorin`s oil pumping station, in deleted scenes, (see photo and related story elsewhere at 007Forever) guess which brand of hat he wears? And when Stacey accidentally swings the fire engine ladder, with Bond on top, into a gas station, guess which corporate franchise is demolished in spectacular fashion, sign crashing down onscreen?

AVTAK scored in a box as “role playing on Her Majesty`s Secret Service module/game from Victory Games.” The artwork is fun, though I am not sure if it is a horse or the Tour Eiffel which is meant to be exploding!

A fun 45 record was run of the popular title song, which opened to reveal bullet holes inside.

The summer of ’85, of course, had Duran Duran claiming the pinnacle spot of BILLBOARD`S Top 100 Singles. The song lasted three weeks at the #1 spot, the first time a Bond tune had reached #1 in the United States (though other songs including Goldfinger came close on the charts). Duran Duran fever hit an all time high–and James Bond in our zeitgeist was all the better for it.

Some of the more unusual AVTAK LP`s and tapes are sought after, especially foreign versions. AVTAK artwork has also graced countless CD, VHS, Beta, Criterion LaserDisc and DVD versions to date with more in the works.

**In an article entitled “Hot Resurgence” by Tom Conroy and Rob Sheffield for the August 20, 1998 issue of Rolling Stone magazine, AVTAK was credited with the resurgence of snowboarding worldwide. Chris Ernst, founder of California’s Lord of the Boards series, concurred:

“The troubles started around 1985, when the James Bond film A View to a Kill featured a Grecian Formula-slickened Roger Moore busting down the slopes on a single plank. Ever since, snowboarding has been jammed down our collective throat and has brought with it such scourges as tongue studs, tattoos, baggy parkas and any number of bad bands. Though no one asked, they’ve begun to rap.”

Even musical artists have gotten in on the AVTAK action. “Shadz” of “Lingo” released the 1994 album “A View To A Kill”, while the punk/new wave band “Gob” did a thoroughly forgettable remake of Bond XIV’s title song, released in 1997.

Collecting with a “Butterfinger” on James Bond

Our exclusive interview with Craig Chenery, one of that rare breed who makes fan props in addition to owning a mega-collection.

Matt Sherman: How did you start collecting Bond?

Craig Chenery: Well, I`ve been a Bond fan for as long as I can remember. I was a wide-eyed kid playing with my Corgi Aston Martin and eagerly awaiting the release of the next movie! But my collecting has really taken off in the last five years, since I started writing my hit screenplay entitled, “Butterfinger” with my co-author pal, Dan. And, of course, the first Bond movie I saw, like many out there, was “Goldfinger”.

Matt: How did you start making your own “fan props”? Tell us about them?

Craig: I`ve always loved drawing and designing things on my computer. So designing new CD cases, video boxes and toy boxes is very appealing to me. And being limited to a certain amount of display space, I am always trying to come up with creative ways to display 007 pieces. Recent items I created were several custom figures to match the rest of the Exclusive Premiere series. I did a Roger Moore in full Tuxedo and a Sean Connery with long-sleeved shirt plus a shoulder holster. Also, I once made a custom box for the wonderful BMW Motorcycle from Tomorrow Never Dies. Now, my cheaper version of the bike was released by “Road and Track”. But is an exact replica of Bond`s bike and closely matches the more expensive BMW model, for only a few dollars. I recommend it, especially when you can make custom packaging for just a few dollars more! For the “Johnny Lightning” car series out recently, I have started creating packaging and obtaining vehicles for the bond movies not in the current series. At this time I have done a GoldenEye Ferrari and Aston Martin to my own specs, plus a “Man With The Golden Gun” AMC hornet and a Mercedes Benz from Octopussy.

I have also made a “For Your Eyes Only” Roger Moore standee. See our links to the stories of Dean Williams’ fan-made props, at BackBurner Productions.

Matt: How many James Bond items do you own?

Craig: I`m not entirely sure. At last “official count” I was approaching 800 items. [Mumbles under his breath…796…]

Matt: So, your favorite item, which you own?

Craig: This is a tough question! Obviously there are some pieces that I`ve invested a lot of money into and there are others that my friends, family or my fiancee have bought for me and each of those holds special memories for me. But I think I`d have to say my very favorite is an original advertising mat for the first theatrical release of Goldfinger. An ad mat is a rubber stamp formerly used in the printing industry for creating the original impressions of advertisements in newspapers and theatrical flyers. This one dates back to 1964! Joint runner ups would be my James Bond Film Festival poster advertising Thunderball that I don`t know too much about…any suggestions from the 007Forever fans?…and a personal fave, the Variety two-page picture spread dated 1986 announcing the first day’s shooting work on “The Living Daylights.” I am currently converting this photo to a gorgeous framed display with some promotional napkins and other special Living Daylights items I own.

Matt: Any exciting “war stories” for us on how you earned a special collectible or funny stories on how a rare collectible got away?

Craig: A few years back I found a pristine set of Tarot Cards from Live And Let Die at an antique store for a very reasonable price. The store I was at had a restaurant in one corner. [Matt: A real “Collectors’ Corner.” Craig: You bet!] But I had the cards on my tray and when I disposed of my food I also disposed of my tarot cards! Of course I didn`t realize my great blunder until I was on my way home two hours later! One is probably first aware when rooting through disposed garbage that your James Bond hobby has taken on a whole new level of excitement! I`ve also had a few instances, probably like many 007Forever fans, when I discovered a choice item at a store, and then gone to an ATM machine or to walk around and think over a purchase only to return and someone else has purchased it! But that happens to the best of us collectors. I have since learned to “buy it when I see it.” I really don`t fight too hard to obtain Bond things. I have the theory that if I`m destined to own something I will get it in time…but if that is the theory, “WHERE ARE MY TAROT CARDS?” 🙂

Matt: Are you considering a trip as a dealer/fan to Bond Collectors` Weekend in New Orleans, probably September 2000?

Craig: Hmm…September…my birthday…Yep, I`m definitely considering it! It`s a long way from Phoenix though. I will more than likely go as a fan. To haul all my stuff across the country is a feat I`m not sure I`m prepared to face just yet…!

Matt: What are some of the trends you foresee in Bond collecting?

Craig: In my humble opinion, I think it`s very tough to predict at the moment. With the ever-increasing world of auction sites everything is becoming a “collectible.” I`m seeing a lot of prices go up on items for little reason. Don`t get me wrong, I have actually found some of the auction sites quite useful but mainly from a research point of view. They have been a very good resource in discovering items I hadn`t yet seen before. But in my opinion it does take a lot of the fun out of collecting. Half the fun is stumbling upon something you are not looking for when you are out. My friends have often pointed out that I must have “Double-Oh vision!” I seem to be able to find things in the strangest of places.

Matt: How have your Bond prices/inventory changed over the year?

Craig: In all honesty I prefer to do trading rather than selling. I find I get attached to items and then I find it hard to let them go. Usually I`ll trade if I get duplicates of items. But even then it can be tough. I think I`ve reached the point where collecting changes into hoarding. 🙂 My fiancee has changed from calling it a hobby to a habit to “obsession.” I don`t like putting items up for auction if I can help it. I`m not out for a profit, I like being able to share rare items when I find them.

Matt: Do you have any tips for aspiring Bond collectors?

Craig: Absolutely! The way I try (emphasis on try!) to collect is to focus on a certain area at a time. At the moment I am focusing on quality trading cards. When I feel like that area is complete I move on to the next. But the most important thing is to enjoy your hobby. Collecting Bond memorabilia is a ton of fun. It`s a great way to meet new people and make new friends also, like at your Bond Collectors’ Weekends. There are a lot of great collectibles out there and a lot of ways to discover them. Be it the Internet, toy stores, comic book stores or old bookstores (my personal favorite source from which some of my most valuable and favorite pieces have been found). One more word of advice, in my opinion the fans should be wary of auction sites. Do your homework before placing a bid on something. Make sure you are bidding what the item is worth. It is very easy to overpay on something when caught up in a bidding war. A little time researching can save you a lot of disappointment when the product arrives. Believe me I`ve been there. “Burned and learned,” so to speak. Another good tip…if you ever decide to photograph your collection, make sure the room you set it up in is on a ground floor…hauling 25 boxes up and down three flights of stairs is no joke. 🙂 Also if you happen to be in Phoenix area you can visit my collection and check out the “Empire of Toys.” My personal Bond haven.

Matt: What else do you specialize in?

Craig: There`s more to life than James Bond? Oh! Thanks, Matt!

Collecting the Asian World of James Bond

In Roger Somchai ’s own words for 007Forever (Roger is a super-collector of Asian Bond goodies):

“About myself, I was a 007 fan since I was a child, I love 007’s artwork first, then music, then movies. My favorite Bond is Roger Moore and “Spy” is my favorite film. In fact, I enjoy nonstop big scenes, new devices and exciting stunning locales more than the story, so “You Only Live Twice” and “Moonraker” are also my Bonds to love. In my homepage, every item is for sale, but I myself have many, not for sale items…maybe 1,000 items? They represent my collection since I was a child and sites like 007Forever, Lee Pfeiffer’s site, and auctions online also help me plenty.

Because I am a TV station’s supervisor and run work for a local “infotainment” program, I always have chance to know more, see more and even get more…last year when Pierce Brosnan came to Hong Kong for the Tomorrow Never Dies movie I got the chance to interview with him face to face, but I did not have courage to take pics with him! What a pity!! In fact, he had come here twice and I met him twice and lost my chances twice too! [Not good, because You Only Film Twice–Editors]

I have “good connections” in Japan, Thailand and Hong Kong so I can get official stuff so very easily for the fans of 007Forever.

In my personal collection, my favorite piece is a 007-logo shaped radio, I got it two years before now when I went to New York and visited the home of SpyGuise [Lee Pfeiffer’s shop]. The clock was made in Hong Kong and came from the early 1970’s, very Roger Moore, I love it very much! In fact, I have spent so much money in my collection, that online purchases are every night’s job…help me, I can’t stop it! I hope that my so-called Bond business can make me some money back…not profit, at least not to lose too much, anyway! Last year when I went to Japan, I bought some rare Bond items.

I got an old OHMSS poster, original “From Russia” program sheet and a nice Thunderball model, the prices were really very high and at that time I thought that the other Bond fans will be interested with them…but now the fact is that no one would like to buy them so finally they became part of my own collection. Poor me, right?

About the Bond Collectors’ Weekend in New Orleans, I will not be visiting, probably, because it’s a little too far from Hong Kong. Come here instead! [Maybe we will for BCW 2001–Editors]

I, myself, besides Bond, am also a collector of camouflage gear, I collect every possible item of camouflage color, and would like to be a camouflage man or secret agent.

I look forward to trading items with the 007Forever Bond fans. Write soon!
Yours, Roger”

You may write Roger Somchai and see his pages at Asian Bond Collectibles.

Collecting On Her Majesty’s Secret Service

Charles Helfenstein just might be the premier collector of memorabilia surrounding the 1969 James Bond movie “On Her Majesty`s Secret Service.”

It was that collection, and his connections with the film`s director, Peter Hunt, which brought Mr. Helfenstein from his Mount Pleasant home to Hollywood and to the attention of the producer of a new series of Bond films for DVD.

“I don`t think anybody could do in-depth research on `On Her Majesty`s Secret Service` without talking to Charles,” said John Cork, one of three producers of the DVDs and the director of the documentary portion of the videos. “We interviewed more people involved with `Majesty` than anybody has in the past.” The film`s director and producer were interviewed, as well as George Lazenby, the star.

For the full story, be sure to visit the Frederick News-Post.

Collecting James Bond From Behind The Camera

Matt Sherman: “Tell us about your professional association with the new special edition sets of Bond DVDs.”

Paul Scrabo: Well, I helped with the Bond Special Edition LaserDiscs of “Goldfinger” and “Thunderball” that came out in 1995. Lee Pfeiffer, John Cork and Mark Cerulli were the brains behind them. We were friends, of course, and since my spouse George Ann is a lighting director, and I have shot and edited various video projects, we did some of the photography, and I helped assemble a few of the commentary tracks. The elements were used later again for their DVD versions. With the newer Bond DVDs coming out, produced by David Naylor, John Cork and Bruce Scivally, we were a small part of a huge team of videographers who traveled all over with the producers.

Matt: “Why did you start collecting from the exotic world of James Bond, 007? What types of collectibles do you like the most?”

Paul: Well, I saw Goldfinger in the theatre back in 1965 (!) and loved the entire Bond style. I’m sure some of us almost chronicle our lives through the Bond films that came out during the years! I’m happy that I’m married to a marvelous woman who likes James Bond (O.H.M.S.S. is her favorite) and appreciates collectibles. We’re not completists, but we like the more unusual items…and the Corgi toys!

Matt: “What are some of your most prized 007 and Hollywood Treasures?”

Paul: Our favorites aren’t necessarily the most expensive; but we did get hold of a Moonraker pinball machine, which sometimes works! I suppose our most “prized” item is the O.H.M.S.S. wedding ring that we were LUCKY to get at the Christie’s auction a few years ago. Now, they say it’s most likely a promotional copy, that a few were made for jewelry stores to promote the film, but no one has seen any more of these, and a Bond collecting expert of some note has said, “It just could be the one.” (!)

As far as a prized “Hollywood Collectible”; I only have one; but it is from my all-time favorite film, “It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World”; the original Jack Davis painting for the film’s poster.

Matt: “Tell us about Scrabo.com and its features, Bond and non-Bond related.”

Paul: It’s really a home base to connect with nice and creative people. It has 200 megabytes of space, which is pretty huge. I’ve only used ten percent so far, and that’s a lot of pages and graphics! I just enjoy doing projects, and sharing fun things we’ve participated in. The FOR BOND FANS ONLY section has new items added all the time; photos from the assorted Bond events, rarities like Desmond’s speech from the Cubby tribute (in Streaming Audio). The Bond sites out there are remarkable! No way could I top them! My Bond section could not keep up with the latest news, but it will always have off-beat attractions!

The FRONT ROW section is dedicated to a show I’ve been producing that deals with cult/movie fandom. Different RealVideo episodes all the time, we have authors on, b-movie stars, etc. So far, it’s being broadcast on DUTV in Philadelphia as well! Rich Scrivani is the host, and he does a fantastic job. Of course, we plan to do a “Bond” show, with Lee Pfeiffer as the guest! The INDEPENDENT FILM section deals with my support and affection for low-budget filmmakers, and my slow going attempt to make a feature. The web site is fun, not for any profit, so please check it out!

Matt: “What are some of your fondest memories for Bond?”

Paul: To meet Lois Maxwell and Desmond, and tell them how much they played a part in your life, as I’m sure many reading this have. The behind the scenes people like Derek Meddings. He was so nice. And John Barry. But the best memories, truly, are with “the group”, the Bond fans, all of us together. Great people.

Matt: “What’s next and upcoming at Scrabo.com?”

Paul: Photo albums from some of our Bondian trips, lots of nostalgia, some rarities. Whatever may be fun!

–Paul Scrabo and George Ann Muller are too modest about their amazing James Bond collectibles, some of which they will share at Bond Weekend 2000 this September.

Collecting Great Spies With Danny Biederman

Danny Biederman is a screenwriter, author, and consultant specializing in movie and TV spy fiction. His credits include scripts for NBC and ABC TV shows, including the MGM spy series Gavilan starring Robert Urich, and The Avengers: The Journey Back hosted by Patrick Macnee. He produced and directed the documentary A Spy For All Seasons featuring Sean Connery and developed scripts for Paramount’s The Renegades, and the children’s series
Bugzburg and James Bond, Jr.

Biederman has worked extensively for MGM Studios as a special consultant on the James Bond property, providing expert advice on all aspects of the world’s most famous fictional spy. He is the author of EMI’s The Best of Bond…James Bond, an internationally marketed CD booklet covering the entire history of the 007 film series. Danny has been published in dozens of international magazines and best-selling books. He has written about the spy genre for such publications as Playboy, the Los Angeles Times, P.O.V., and Emmy. He has also consulted on the world of pop spies for American Movie Classics, Landmark Theaters, American Cinematheque, Taft Entertainment, MGM, and veteran producer Sam Rolfe.

Biederman lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Bea, and their children Illya, Moriah Flint, and Bond-all named for fictional spies.

–Watch for our soon upcoming interview with Danny Biederman at 007Forever. Danny’s collection has recently made trips to top spy shows and a special, private showing inside CIA Headquarters in Langley, Virginia!

Collecting Celebrities With Jordan Charter

Matt Sherman: You are planning an upcoming “Thunderball” showing for the big screen. What was your inspiration for that…why did you choose Thunderball for the fans to see again?

Jordan Charter: Ah yes. I chose Thunderball because this year is it’s 35th Anniversary, and since a lot of young fans only have gotten to see it on video or TBS but they didn’t get to see it on the big screen. Which is the way a Bond film should be seen. I got my inspiration from watching the film. I was ill one day and Bond always makes me feel better and I chose Thunderball to watch, well, about halfway through the film and I said to myself, “This is one of those films where you need to see it on the big screen,” so I jotted down some ideas and eventually I had organized a little celebration.

I have put this on the back burner until I can ask Sean Connery to attend. Really! I get to meet numerous celebrities here and there. Literally last night, I met Cher and the wrestler Goldberg. I also got to meet the Playboy triplets (again)! Also, my current home of South Dakota really has little of Mr. Bond to see! Sure we have casinos, ski resorts, and the like but nothing really to see that far in depth. So far, I have planned on taking guests to “Reptile Gardens” where a crocodile from “Live and Let Die” is on display and to “Nelson’s Car Garage” where several props are on display, including the Aston Martin from The Living Daylights and the Cagiva motorcycle from GoldenEye. I’ll keep you updated on that. I may just have to push the date for it back a little. I’ll let you and everyone at 007Forever know what’s going on and when.

Matt: What started you on collecting Mr. Bond’s world?

Jordan: This is a hard question to answer. I know I became a fan after seeing The Spy Who Loved Me, seeing “Atlantis” rising out of the water was mesmerizing for me. Anyway, whenever I saw something James Bond I’d buy it. Then I got Internet access early on, in 1995, and it became easier to find stuff, and I just kept getting more and more! In the month of July of last year I spent around $3,000 on Bond memorabilia!

My collection has around 600 pieces of quality Bond stuff. Not too shabby in my opinion! Just yesterday I realized that I have literally no place for anymore stuff! But that won’t stop me! 🙂 Matt: What, in your opinion, then, makes collecting James Bondiana better than, say, collecting dust or rare toilet tank fittings? Jordan: LOL! Well, I like the hunt for something new and unusual and I like to spend money. In a way, I feel this is better than investing in the stock market because you know this stuff will go up in value, and the only way you can lose is if you have a natural disaster or don’t know how to properly keep your stuff mint.

I don’t just collect for the money aspect either, though, I just like James Bond and that’s reason enough, isn’t it?

Matt: What’s the most outrageous collectible(s) you own? What would be a fantasy collectible you would like to own?

Jordan: Outrageous? Well I don’t know if I have anything I’d call outrageous. I did buy a “Goldfinger” Furby off of eBay.com but when I received it, it turned out someone had just taken one of those McDonalds Furbys and painted it gold and stuck it to a wood pedestal! That is the only mistake in buying James Bond I feel I have ever made. I keep it out just as a reminder not to be such a fool again!

Matt: Tell us about your “brushes with greatness,” Jordan, with stars like Willie Nelson and Sean Connery.

Jordan: Where I live is near a small city, Sturgis. Every year in Sturgis there is the world famous “Sturgis Motorcycle Rallies and Races,” anyway, the area hires big name celebrities for entertainment. I am really good friends with a man who owns a big hotel where the biggest celebrities stay when they visit. He thinks I’m the Black Hills’ “ambassador of goodwill” if you will! : ) So he always introduces me to the stars. So far I have met Willie Nelson, the Playboy Triplets from the December ’99 issue, Chubby Checker, the Coasters, Kevin Costner, the Kennedys (JFK, Jr. most notable of the bunch). Those are just a few people I’ve met.

As for Sean Connery, my mom works with someone that is a good friend of his and she set up a dinner meeting for us. Sean Connery comes up here every once in awhile to get away from it all. Apparently maintains a home in this area somewhere, I don’t know for sure. Anyway we had dinner, and spoke at length, and we got along quite famously, actually. I held off on the “taking pictures and interviewing him” for the next time we meet. I didn’t want to leave that kind of impression on him on the first meeting. It was a hard thing for me not to do as a fan!

Matt: Tell him Matt Sherman of 007Forever says “hello”. He’s one of my biggest fans!

Jordan: LOL!

Matt: Tell us about meeting “Plenty O’Toole” at Bond Collectors’ Weekend in Las Vegas. You interviewed her for your website?

Jordan: Well I owe thanks to you, Alan Stephenson, Michael Kersey and the other Bond Weekend hosts for that, don’t I? I attended your second annual Bond Collectors’ Weekend last year in Las Vegas and had a wonderful time! One of your special guests was Lana Wood and weeks before going to the meeting I a asked a newsgroup online what questions should be asked for the interview you set for me to do, and they gave me some pretty strange ones too! I added my own questions to their list and when we were sitting at the head table together in Planet Hollywood, above the Diamonds Are Forever Moonbuggy and Octopussy Bede Jet, Lana graciously allowed me to interview her at length and we had a marvelous informal chat as well.

I was afraid I was going to miss her dramatic entrance into Planet Hollywood since Don and Marsha McGregor were standing in line with me for the “Atlantis” ride there nearby Planet Hollywood in Caesars Palace. As we stood in line I kept saying, “We’re going to miss Lana!” So we jumped out of line, got a refund and ran all the way back to Planet Hollywood! As it turned out she wasn’t even supposed to be there for another hour until Weekend attendees finished their meals! I got a lot of ribbing by Don for that! That was an interesting day for everyone, wasn’t it?

Matt: It was. I was nearly arrested at the airport while Lana and an actress friend sped away in Bond’s Aston Martin with Jim Sieff and Nate Sears. I am delighted to announce that Don & Marsha McGregor of Bond Weekend fame, will be joining us again at this year’s Bond Weekend, next month in New Orleans. Don;s interviews are at 007Forever for those interested in researching his work. Is Don a loony guy or what?

Jordan: He is a very loony guy, but he’s a cool guy! I am delighted to get to see Don again this summer. That will be a fun time, but Don’s a fun guy then, isn’t he?

Matt: What advice do you have for fans planning to attend Bond Weekend 2000 next month?

Jordan: Bring A LOT of money! There’s tons of neat stuff there to buy and see, and trade for as well. Also talk to everyone you can, everyone has very cool stories and are really nice people to be around. Last year in Vegas, I met Bond authors and writers, celebs and super-collectors whose collectibles boggled my mind!

Matt: What goodies are you bringing to show off?

Jordan: Well, I hope to bring some of my prop collection. My World Is Not Enough original caviar jar and cigar tube, (beware of imitations!) my “Max Zorin” prop check, my “Kamal Khan” check, some rare storyboard work, and anything else fun I acquire by that time. Will you have room for me to show off all 600 of my collectibles? 😉

Matt: Side question: We recently completed a special 15th anniversary “A View To A Kill” retrospective at 007Forever. What’s your take on AVTAK? Turkey or “turn key” James Bond film?

Jordan: A View To A Kill…It has a lot of good qualities about it but it also has a lot of bad qualities! Christopher Walken is a great villain…

Matt: I invited him to Bond Weekend 2000 but he couldn’t book because of upcoming film projects…

Jordan: …And the bridge fight is one of the best. On the other hand there is the redoubtable Tanya Roberts and the entire fire truck scene, which was the dumbest thing I have EVER seen. I’d say A View To A Kill is in neutral territory with me. I don’t hate any Bond piece but I don’t love it either.

Matt: Okay, now I’m just being silly…who should replace Pierce Brosnan at the helm after he departs?

Jordan: Right now Pierce is the only one I can picture in the role. A while back I would have said Rupert Everett but now I strongly believe he couldn’t handle it! I am hoping Pierce hangs on for another four or five films! Ask me in a couple years and we’ll see how I feel about it then.

–Matt Sherman & Jordan Charter are today the co-editors-in-chief of www.007Forever.com.