Buying Tips

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How to collect Bond memorabilia & what to look out for:

Welcome to the complicated world of James bond Memorabilia, if you are just starting your collection then let me warn you. Collecting Bond memorabilia is a nightmare and the cause of many divorces!

bulletDecide how serious you are and at what level you want to commit yourself.
bulletDecide what things you would like to buy and be strict with yourself. 
bulletIf you are on a limited budget then stick to it and the items you like.


Auction House Tips
Dealer Tips
Ebay tips
Private Sale Tips
Shop Tips

There are many areas of Bond collecting:
bulletFilm posters
bulletlobby cards
bulletpromotional booklets
bulletToy Cars
bulletToy Guns
bulletToy Dolls
bulletGum Cards
bulletFilm Reel
bulletBoard Games

These are some of the main areas of collecting, some you may think are replicated but they are major collecting areas in their own right. To explain.

If you want to buy 007 toy vehicles you are in competition with not only other 007 collectors but also people who 

a) collect toy vehicles

b) collect toy vehicles used in movies and TV

The same can be said for any other of the areas listed on the left.


This is probably the most important weapon that you have at disposal. Knowledge will save you money and heartache time & time again. Sellers, dealers or private, can be very persuasive sometimes and there is no reason why they should be looking out for you and get you the best deal. CAVEAT EMPTOR (buyer beware) ! By knowing what you are being offered allows you to make a more balanced decision. If there are pieces missing and either the seller has informed you or you are aware of what should be there then you can make a better decision as to the asking price and pay accordingly.

Don't assume that the seller knows exactly what they are selling & do not also assume that they are giving you the whole story (Oh, for a perfect world !). Many times I have seen an item overpriced and even missing pieces. Many times I have even bought such items and these are the ones that stick out amongst my collection as the BAD BUYS.

If something does not look right then walk away and do some homework. Its easy to buy badly but with a little knowledge you will get better quality items and save money.

Sometimes something will seem too cheap, maybe a seller does not know what they have. By knowing what to look for you too can pick up a bargain. Watch out many cheap items are reproductions, either the item or the packaging.


Q. What is an item worth?

A. What someone is prepared to pay!

This is a huge minefield area. Many times items will be sold for less than their perceived value and this can be for many reasons.


Item could be incomplete or have reproduction parts


Seller may want to clear an item


Popularity of an item could be less than previous


Warehouse finds can affect the prices of collectables


If in an auction (internet or otherwise) the right buyers may not be present or aware of the item

Not all cheap items are bargains BUT they can be!

Many times items can go for more than we think they are worth


Item could be Store Stock, this is an unused item in as sold condition and as such will usually command a premium


If in an auction then a couple of buyers could decide that they really need to own THAT item, be careful not to get caught up in these scenarios unless you really need to pay a lot of money for something


First time buyers may be unaware of the market and get drawn in by sales descriptions

Look at collectable magazines and check out the for sale sections and adverts, attend collectable shows and ask other collectors, they are usually a friendly helpful bunch.


Many times I outstretched myself and paid highly for an item. Mostly this has paid off over the years as A) no other has turned up or B) the value of the item has skyrocketed.

The question often is own now or never find it again. The worst situation and one I have been in many times is buy a poor one now and wait for a better one later. Due to the long term nature of my collection I often would have been better waiting, BUT I have to buy Bond stuff right! Sometimes things just never come up again for years.

The one golden rule for wise buying is CONDITION. If a toy is un-played with and complete, unused in perfect packaging then this will always be a good investment¹ and will always command the top current market price or even exceed it¹¹. The condition of the packaging is often far more important than the item inside. Many times loose toys, for example are a common find, they are replaceable items. Packaging is much less so. A mint box with a tired rough toy is 9 times out of 10 a far better buy than a mint toy with a rough box. All you have to do later is buy a loose mint toy and usually (not always depends how far you stretched)  this will work out cheaper than buying a mint toy / mint box combination. Collecting is a game and its all in the play.

¹Investment in these terms is not purely financial but also includes enjoyment of ownership. Market values of collectables do go down as well as up.

¹¹Selling to a dealer usually results in a price 50% - 75% of retail. Auction Houses can take up to 20% + VAT in commission on items sold through them.

Making Mistakes

It happens to the best of us, the best advice here is if you are going to plunge into something and you cannot get any info then don't let the mistake become an expensive one. Remember that you are buying items because you like them, it should not be less attractive to you because it turned out to be overpriced or fake etc.


A fake is something pretending to be something else. If you are sold something that turns out not to be real then it is a fake and the deal is nothing but fraud, deal with this accordingly. Always ask the seller:


"Is it real", important as you could be buying a prop and need "provenance"


"Where did it come from", if it is a one off piece, it may stolen or fake and never have really existed!


"Are there any repaired or replacement parts", nothing wrong if there are just make sure that you have the info before finding out after a purchase


"Is this a re-issue", many toys have been re-issued over the years make sure that you know which one you are looking at as what may seem like a 60's toy could be a 80's re-issue

Obviously some of these questions are specific to certain areas, like toys but each area has its own similar set of questions


Here we go. Many people dislike reproduction stuff outright, my stand is as long as you know what it is then there is no harm. Don't forget that reproductions are around us all the time and some are just more official than others. There is a range of cheap Bond movie posters available at comic shops for around £5.00, they are reprints of originals and have never been near a movie theater. If a certain toy in a box sells for huge money and there is no way to afford it, why not buy a reproduction of the box, especially if the toy is a available loose. No body is hurt and the two will make a great display piece, who knows one day a cheap boxed item will turn up but until then you can enjoy the look of something even though its a fake.


The following sections deal with various buying  areas and gives you tips on dealing with any one or more of them in order that you are fully prepared.

Auction House Tips ] Dealer Tips ] Ebay tips ] Private Sale Tips ] Shop Tips ]