MI6 reviews the first 1:18th scale James Bond car from RC2 - the infamous Aston Martin DB5 complete with model gadgets...

RC2 1:18th Aston Martin DB5 Review
27th March 2005

The Aston Martin DB5 is the first of the new RC2 1:18th scale range and is the quintessential James Bond car, first seen in Goldfinger (1964) and periodically throughout 007's adventures on the silver screen and in videogames. RC2/Joyride have entered a diverse market, with several companies having previously held the 007 car licence and produced similar 1:18th scale cars from the Bond universe.

Above: The 1:18th scale Aston Martin DB5 by RC2

Based on the DB5's first appearance in Goldfinger, RC2 have set about creating an iconic vehicle. The silver finish on the metal body captures the dynamic 60's styling and classic grill. All the additional detailing has been created out of plastic with a chrome finish. Bumpers, vent fins, window seals, wipers and wing mirrors are all present. All the attachments to the metal body are strongly affixed and cleanly modelled.

The windows and other clear fittings are absolutely perfect. Both doors have the windows missing, wound down. All the light fittings are finished in chrome. The headlights show the actual headlamp and the taillights are solid clear plastic.

The underside shows the transmission, gearbox and exhaust system, which has visible flashing. This car does not have any suspension which will be featured on some of the other cars in this range, but there are more details visible on the underside, such as the the spare wheel holder.

All four wire rims are free of any flashing and create the desired illusion. The tires are detailed with tread but could have received more attention when being fitted.

A removable roof hatch is metal and fits loosely into place and acts as part of the famous ejector seat. There are a few detailing stickers on the body that add to the superb exterior appearance.


Above: The revolving number plate

Above: The ejector seat

Starting with the trunk, it is finished in a soft material rather than a hard textured plastic. Most the space however is lost to the pop up shield. The material from the trunk continues on the floor in the passenger compartment adding texture. All four seats are formed out of hard plastic with clean detailing. Both forward seats have silver elements which are carried over to the dashboard, door interiors and gear stick. A finishing touch for the compartment is the gloss brown steering wheel. Finally, the hood opens away from the car to display the 6 cylinder inline, 325BHP engine, made up of several components forming an accurate representation at this scale.

Above: The packaging displays all of the DB5's special features.

Clean collector friendly packaging, the box has windows on four faces. A small montage of clips of the car is show on the front and side faces. The rear face gives pictorial details of the gadgets and a little information on the car (see above). There are no instructions explaining how to work any of the gadgets or documentation on the car and its famous role in Goldfinger. Even if included on the Q-CD, it would have been a welcome addition.

The car comes taped up and screwed to a hard plastic base. Once the tape has been removed the roof will no longer stay attached to the car. The plastic base fits snugly into the box and only allows the flaps to be closed in a securing order. There is no tape seal on the externals of the box which ensures your don't damage it when removing the car.

Above: The tire slasher

Above: The bullet proof shield


The DB5 is fully loaded with gadgets:

  • Rear Wheel tire slasher - on both the left and right rear wheels the slasher extends for only a few millimetres .
  • Pull out front indicator light (hidden machine gun) - a little fiddly to reveal, but once down the machine guns do not protrude very far.
  • Pop up bullet proof screen in the trunk for protecting the rear window - this spring load shield is made out of plastic which reduces the feel. It is activated by a small switch within the trunk.
  • Pull out rear light cluster for dispensing oil and nails - small fingers are need, however these are features great, and the little dispenser can be pulled out and the silver cap flipped up.
  • Driver side ejector seat - remove the roof first, and activate the seat by pressing the button in the middle console between the seats. It is not powerful enough to launch the chair out of the roof, but is still one of the best features of the car. Replacing the chair is simple.
  • Working front steering - with a little effort the stiff steering wheel can be turned thus moving turn the front wheels
  • Pivoting front and rear license plates - another great extra is rotating license plates on both front and rear featuring the three plates from the film.

This little business card size CD-ROM sets this range of 1/18 scale cars apart from past versions - in principle. The disc features 2 wallpapers, an interactive gallery of stills and 360 degree view of the car, and images of the cars gadgets. The quality of the images and presentation are poor, requiring a major re-think on RC2's part.

Above: A view of the DB5 with all lids, doors and flaps open.

RC2's first James Bond 1:18th scale car from RC2 is very impressive - the DB5 has been depicted accurately with an assortment of extras. However, the car is definitely not flawless with some of the smaller detailing suffering blemishes and oversights. The extending bumper struts are loose and poorly fitting, and the shield would have been more appropriate in metal. If RC2 improve the Q-CD and continue this standard of quality throughout their Bond range with all extras it will be a pleasant change to see the James Bond license being used to a high standard. With no extras listed for some of the announced cars its unclear what will be the main selling feature. Priced at £34.99 in the UK, and $39.99 in the USA, the car is slightly more expensive than the average 1:18th scale car.

MI6 Rating

Other Models
Joyride Entertainment (part of the RC2 group) secured the James Bond license in 2004 and plan to release twelve cars over the two years. The range will visit a mixture of famous cars from the 20 film canon. The models are expected to retail at £34.99 in the UK, and $39.99 in the USA (prices may vary). Updated release dates are estimates and are subject to change. RC2 had a proposed Bond 21 car for a 2005, but due to the film being moved to 2006 its unclear what will happen. Expect a further six cars to be announced in the near future.