270 JAston Martin "Fifth version"
It was available in silver finish at 1:43 scale.
This 3rd issue finished in silver with red interior, gold front and rear bumpers, Whizzwheels, spare bandit figure.
By 1968 the sale of Corgi diecasts was at an all time high. The Bond film of the previous year, You only live twice, had given us a new 007 Corgi in the form of the incredibly detailed Toyota 2000GT. This increase in demand and desire for greater detail led Playcraft to re-launch the James Bond DB5 with even more features.
In February 1968, having sold just short of 4 million models, the C261 was retooled and increased slightly in size to 1:43 scale. The re-launch was completed with the “New” James Bond Aston Martin DB5 (C270) painted this time in silver birch to match the film version and incorporating not only the Q Branch gadgets of the previous model, but also revolving number plates and rear tyre slashers. This was the favoured toy model, I remember having back in the early 1970s as a child.
The packaging was also updated, the carton box was replaced with a plastic blister pack containing the model sitting on a plinth similar to that of the first issue. As before, the plinth contained the “Secret Instructions”, now printed in red and an updated lapel badge, the spare baddie, and a sheet of number plate stickers to affix to the new front & rear revolving number plates. Both Bond and baddie were hand painted and the red interior slightly darker than before. The bumpers and grill were separate castings and the fuel filler caps and rear light clusters now corrected. What a package!
1968 - Corgi James Bond D.B. 5 - N° 270 - scale 1/43
For those with a keen eye, in the transfer from film to model, Playcraft made a couple of number plates changes: while the Swiss plates were correct (LU 6789), the French plates lost the final two digits (62) and the British plates used the James Bond 007 reference (JB 007 GB) rather than the car’s real number plate (BMT 216 A). Very early models came with silver-plated bumpers and front grill but these were very soon changed to gold plate and thus the gilt version is the more common. This model was re-released as a limited edition in 1995, and collectors can easily identify the original by the words “New” and “Made in Great Britain” embossed into the base of the model; indeed, by the time the later version was released, the manufacture of the Corgi diecasts had long been moved to China.
At the time of its release in February 1968, the C270 was on sale for 11/- (55p), by August 1969 it had risen to 11/6 (57p). During 1971 with decimalisation the price became 68p, in 1972 this rose to 69p and by August 1975 the car’s price had risen to £1.15. Putting this all into context, in July 2008, 40 years after it’s release, a MIB blister pack model sold on eBay for the incredible sum of £556.56, that is some return on investment!
The value of the diecast model is increased in later years by virtue of having the box it came in when first purchased. As most children are interested in the toy within rather the box in which it came, few complete models exist beyond the first few days of purchase, thus models with their boxes are highly sought after and attract a higher value. This is simply the law of supply and demand. So what of the boxes and what should the collector be looking for?
In 1970 the blister packaging was replaced with a window box of the similar size and utilised artwork of the original. There were two variations, although very slight: the first had Playcraft’s name printed on the reverse which was in a later release was altered to Mettoy-Playcraft.
1970 - Corgi James Bond D.B. 5 - N° 270 - scale 1/43
The now-familiar blue, yellow and purple striped design, synonymous with the Corgi diecast range, appeared in 1973 together with a slightly larger box. On the reverse of this window box was printed the an advertisement for two other Corgi TV/Film vehicles: The Batmobile and James Bond’s Moonbuggie from Diamonds are Forever. Instructions were now to be found printed on the underside and this was the last time that “Secret Instructions” envelope was provided.
1973 - Corgi James Bond D.B. 5 - N° 270 - scale 1/43
The instructions with this model were printed in either black or blue, and with them were supplied the number plate stickers, lapel badge and the spare baddie. The name Playcraft was dropped from packaging after this issue, returning to the original trading name of Mettoy Ltd
1976 - Corgi James Bond D.B. 5 - N° 270 - scale 1/43 - Without WhizzWheels ???
Chapter FOUR - The Cost Cutting 1976 - 1977
In 1976 the DB5 underwent a third retooling. Although virtually identical to its 1968 predecessor, cost cutting activities meant that this version was released with fixed number plates and no tyre slashers, although it still retained all the gadgets first found on the original 1965 model.
1976 - Corgi James Bond D.B. 5 - N° 270 - scale 1/43 - WhizzWheels
In addition to these changes, the metal spoke wheels and rubber tyres were replaced and moulded plastic took their place with a plated centre giving the appearance of a separate wheel. It is possible that to make space within the chassis for this different wheel design the model also now came sporting flared wheel arches!
The 1976 box contained no “Secret Instructions”, these were now printed on the revers of the box with a photo of the car with all gadgets deployed. The spare baddie was now placed within a hole in the side of the box interior.
This model stayed in production until late 1977 and was the last James Bond DB5 (or at least for the next 20 years) to be made in the 1:43 scale.