MI6 Review: Sean Connery "Thunderball" - Sideshow Collectibles

At the height of Bond in 1964, Sean Connery once again returned to the big screen in a bigger and better film – “Thunderball” – which is still to this day the highest attended “bums on seats” Bond movie ever released. After endless legal issues over copyright, Thunderball finally made it into production, and upon release, became a global success breaking all previous Bond box office records.

Sideshow Collectibles, founded in 1994, has been exclusively licensed to create a line of 12" collectible figures in the likeness of all five Bond actors, key villains and some of the famous women.

James Bond - Sean Connery

Item No: 7717
Size: 12 inch (304mm)
Weight: 5.00 lbs (1.30 Kg)
Units: 5500
Artist: Mat Falls
Released: December 2004

Order Online - Sideshow Collectibles

Official Description
This deluxe Connery is expertly captured as Bond from the movie 'Thunderball.' Bond shows off his brawny legs in his diving outfit with this 12" figure.

The figure has over 30 points of articulation for full range diving action and comes in a full colour box with figure stand! Bond is equipped with Q's aquatic propulsion dive rig, dive mask, dive knife, fins, and spear gun.

Right: Reverse box art


Look Up! Look Down! Look Out!
Sideshow has bravely stepped up to recreate a true Bond icon, and has managed to convey the style, scope, scale and sophistication of the movie in a wonderful 1:6 scale figure. The climax of Thunderball takes place over the stolen nuclear bombs in a dynamic undersea action sequence, and this is where Sideshow has plucked Bond’s appearance.


The exclusive version of this figure comes with the famous 007 rebreather device. This addition gives the figure extra exclusivity and is a very nice trinket. Based on the movie prop, this item is extremely finally detailed as the gold, silver, grey and black re-breather has been masterful crafted by the sideshow team. The re-breather, however, does not fit into the figures month or hand! If you are a series collector this will be a must, but if you want to display the figure out of the box, it is hard to justify the exclusive version of the figure.

Flipping Good
Bright blue divers fins and goggles set off the famous orange wetsuit. The pair of fins are perfectly modelled with no flashing visible. Sideshow has chosen to create two separate flippers rather then a cheaper single fin. There is a slight difference between the left and right to enable the figures feet to sit comfortably. The stiff plastic holds them firm and look great on the figure.

Fitting and removing the flippers required a little skill but once you have mastered the task it is easy. They are tight fitting and don’t restrict any of the figures ankle movements, allowing them to be positioned to simulate swimming.

Blue in colour, the dive mask is a great snug fit once it’s on, and the elastic makes it easy to fit the mask over the figures head, both on or raised. The faceplate is just large enough for you to see Connery’s detailed face. Detailing on the mask is fine, including the silver lining.

Also included with the figure is the divers knife and sheath that Bond used to great effect during the film’s climax. The sheath is made out of sideshows pleather material can easy be attached to the figures lower leg. However, if you remove the knife (which can be held by the figure) do so very carefully, as the toggle to fasten the knife is very weak and easy broken. The knife itself is well made, and the silver and blue handle are film accurate, fitting snugly into the sheaf or the figures right hand.

“I think he got the point”
Scaled correctly to the figure, the ridged spear gun has been well detailed and is excellent for this scale. Detailed with silver highlights, the weapon is easily grasped by the figure, and extremely helpful in dispatching foes, both above and below the sea. The gun, however, does not look like the film version, due to the amount of detail possible on this scale.


Dive, Dive, Dive!
The biggest accessory, and by far the best, is the dive rig made up of tanks and mini propulsion unit. Featured in the finale of Thunderball, Connery’s Bond receives this ground breaking undersea technology from Q. Enabling him to escape a couple of close calls, the finally detailed model is comprised of several fixed components and cable and valve to oxygen tanks, that fits neatly into the figures hand or month. The gold highlights are crisp and well defined.

Upon closer inspection the join lines are clearly visible on the model, however most of these appear to be lines that are featured on the film version. The propeller on the propulsion unit is fixed which is a good thing, as it will not become lost in the future. Fitting the tank and propulsion unit to the figure is simple. Using the two cloth looped hooks around the figures arms and a buckle lets you to secure the tanks to the figure. If all this was not enough, the figure comes with a pre-attached watch. As with most Sideshow Bond’s, the watch is finally detailed but small amounts of bleed are visible between the black face and surround.


Featuring the world famous 3 panel artwork of Frank McCarthy and Robert McGinnis, Sideshow has created a new oversized box to accommodate this new figure. Larger then their previous 12” boxes, but slightly smaller then the oversize 14” Jaws box, this box is deeper to hold the dive rig. The inner flap gives a mission briefing and cast list. This is highlighted by figures featured in the opening credits of the film.

On the reverse we are given a brief glimpse into Connery’s long acting career starting with Bond and moving up until Finding Forester. The bio also notes the wide assortment of awards and recognition he has won. The box is finished with Sideshows usual ‘Bond Gadgets’ and ‘Villains Gadgets’ which briefly looks at the gizmos featured in the film. Breaking up this information is eight film stills plus images of the figure, of which one highlights the new stand.

With two previous Connery’s under their belt, this third Connery has been resculpted by Sideshow. This new Connery figure has to be one Sideshow’s most challenging, and has resulted in one of the finest pieces overall.

A new head has been sculpted by Mat Falls to enable the figures mouth to hold the regulator. With new detail lines around the month and a slight goldfish look, the lower half of the head has been finally detailed. Falls has yet again managed to create a striking resemblance to the real life Bond. The slight improvements in Connery’s face improve the overall appearance.

Both hands have been changed to perfectly grasp the spear gun knife and regulator. Closer inspection reveals finer details on the hands and toes including defined veins, creases in the skin at the joints and nails. Small amounts of flashing can clearly be seen on both hands and over the crown of the which is a shame, though this does not distract from the overall appearance.

Compared to the two previous Connery figures, the tone on this figure is a lot softer.

Detailing on the head is to high standard, with no visible bleeding on any of the edges and soft highlights and defections the detailing is equal to past Bond figures. The lips and mouth could have been detailed a little further to aid the expression that is created.


“What sharp little eyes you have”
Detailing on all of the accessories is extremely high, especially the exclusive re-breather.
Due to the nature of the figure, the lower half of the body is exposed. If Sideshow had detailed the legs it would have easy improved overall appearance of the figure.

Using Sideshow's well-established sixth scale male body, Connery’s Bond has all the movement you would expect. He features tight fitting joints from the head, neck, ball-jointed shoulders, chest, cut biceps, double jointed elbows, and wrists. The waist down has a twistable waist, hips, thighs, and knees and ankles. Designed to be positioned in a swimming pose and sporting the range of accessories when fully equipped is next to impossible to stand freely. The tight fitting wetsuit allows for a nearly a full range of movements.

The first wetsuit to be produced in the Bond range by Sideshow works well. The white cloth shorts exposed lines are clean and well tailored. They fit with the orange half suit compatibly; the nappy wrap around is popper’ed into place on the figures waist. On the whole the orange suit works extremely well, and all the show lines are clean with fine stitching. The costume has been produce with a tight fit in mind, and Sideshow has added just enough material to comfortably position the figure in any Bond pose. Sideshow has recreated the film costume on this scale extremely well, including the extra forearm detailing.

Aquatic Propulsion Dive Rig
Dive Mask
Dive Knife
Spear Gun.


If you are a collector of Sideshow’s Bond series, buying the exclusive figure with a re-breather is a must. If you are a regular, or new collector, this figure would be the perfect place to start.

Recommend over Sideshow’s two previous Connery figures, this third figure sets the bar higher than any other sideshow 1:6 scale range. With a well crafted range of accessories, Sideshow have left us wanting a second Thunderball figure, equipped with the Bellex Rocket pack which would be a great treat for 2005.

Finally, the figure comes with a new Sideshow James Bond stand that allows you to pose the figure horizontally to capture a swimming pose. Overall, the product is one of the freshest and most adventurous figures Sideshow has produced to date in the classic Bond series.

MI6 Rating

Related Articles
Thunderball MI6 Movie Coverage
Sean Connery - James Bond

Images courtesy Sideshow Collectibles. Original content is copyright mi6-hq.com © 1998-2004.

Bond materials © Danjaq and United Artists. Bond trademarks ™ Danjaq.