Friday 23 December 2016

Moonraker's Christmas gift idea

If you're after a last-minute Christmas gift idea, then your thoughts may have turned to the film of Moonraker. Among the gadgets Q supplies James Bond is a dart gun worn around the wrist. Equipped with ten darts – five amour-piercing, five cyanide-tipped – the device comes in handy when Bond needs to cut the power of a rotating centrifuge trainer and help Drax take a giant step back for mankind. 'Very novel, Q', Bond says. 'Must get them in the stores for Christmas'.

Did Q succeed in getting them in the stores for Christmas? Sadly, no. The Imperial Toys Corporation produced a James Bond dart gun in 1984 (click here for details), but the darts are fired from a standard pistol-type gun, rather than one worn round the wrist. And in any case, the toy, long out of production, is hard to come by.

Replicas of the film's dart gun are built from time to time and become available to buy at specialist stores or auction sites, but a trawl of such places suggests that if you're looking for a replica of the prop, then you're out of luck. Replica dart guns were being sold on eBay for £140 in 2015, but these no longer appear to be available. Vectis Auctions, which specialises in collectible toys, were selling a reproduction of the prop in 2013, but no other examples have been offered since.

I admit I haven't looked at the websites of arms manufacturers, but it's possible that a wrist-mounted dart gun is in development and on the way to becoming science fact.

So, it seems that Q didn't follow Bond's advice. Oh well, there's always next year. In the meantime, have a wonderful Bondian Christmas.

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