I was shopping in my neighborhood on Saturday morning when I came upon a man selling second hand items at a table. Baseball cards in foil packets, DVDs, cookie tins – nothing I was particularly interested in. However, at the end of the table lay a caricature of Sean Connery in molded rubber. It was sort of weird, cartoonish James Bond doll. The head was three dimensional, but the body was flat. I pulled out my camera, took a photo, and went home.
I showed the picture to Joe who liked it a lot and wondered if we should get it. We have more clutter than we care to catalog so we’re not always eager to add to the inventory. I decided to do a quick web search. I couldn’t find our miniature gentleman spy on eBay, so I Googled it. I discovered on a toy collector site that it was a hand puppet, manufactured by Gilbert Toys, a now defunct company that was based in Westville, Connecticut. Mystery solved! Being that my son has always been a big Bond fan, I had a change of heart, I grabbed my coat and ran out the door hoping that Mr. Bond was still there. He was, and the man sold him to me for ten dollars.
Curious as to its age, I did a little more research and saw that the James Bond puppet is one of the items on the wish list of David from ToyNerd –
Let’s face it, as collectors we all have our thing, that special something that we are always on the look out for. A particular figure, a certain spaceship, a cool robot, whatever it is it just seems to capture our imagination. I believe in many ways it is these near unobtainable items that keep us interested in the hobby for years on end. As you may have guessed by the varied content of this blog I have very wide and diverse tastes. That leads to the fact that there are many items I am forever on the hunt for. One such item comes from the James Bond franchise.
At about 14″ tall and 8″ wide this is a rubber hand puppet from 1966 made by the company Gilbert. Awesome right? Despite being very stylized you can see that the manufacturer nailed the face sculpt, it is amazing. You can imagine that due to the age and the fragile nature of the piece that it is rare. Well you would be correct my friends. I have only ever seen one of these, in person, ever! They do show up on eBay from time to time and predictably they have hefty price tags attached.
I haven’t felt this lucky since I won a four-foot tall inflatable rabbit from Mister Donut!!!