MI6 caught up with Ben Robinson from GE Fabbri, publisher of The James Bond Car Collection part-works magazine...

James Bond Car Collection Interview
19th May 2008

In January 2007 MI6 previewed the James Bond car collection - a part works, fortnightly collector's magazine complete with James Bond model cars presented in detailed movie scenes. The brilliantly detailed 1:43 models were set in diecast metal, with accurate gadgets and character figurines, and presented on a moulded base.
James Bond Car Collection Line-up

Recently, MI6 caught up with the project manager, Ben Robinson, to discuss the conception of the magazine and his impressions of the James Bond searies.

How did the new car part-works come about and who is involved in the development work?
GE Fabbri had already produced one successful Bond partwork: 007 Spy Files. That was a kids magazine. We saw an opportunity for a collectors product and the cars were an obvious, collectible feature of the Bond franchise. We could support the model with a magazine devoted to the car and its scenes in the film. It began with development is between us and EON, first. Then we tried various model makers and scene artists.


Above: Issue 20 features Daniel Craig and "Casino Royale"...

How did you decide which cars/vehicles to feature in the part-work?
Beginning with the key cars and scenes - Aston Martin DB5; "The Spy Who Loved Me" Lotus; Citroen 2CV - we drew up a list and then researched the interest levels with a focus group. Thankfully, even the lesser known cars are involved in an interesting scene.

How long does it take to produce one issue and the car? Can you talk us through the this process?
Planning and briefing for the cars begins six months before the finished model is delivered. We commission art scenery in the UK, the figurines are sculpted in France and the UK, while the cars themselves are manufactured in China. The magazine is produced by a small UK team in two weeks.

It was reported that the part-work was to be stopped in the Netherlands, why is this?
We market test the collection in each market to work out whether it's worth going forward to a full scale launch. The market test only runs for a few issues and is only available in part of the country. That's what happened in Holland. We're now due to launch nationally in the Netherlands in early 2008.

Above: The debut edition cover art for the James Bond car collection magazine...



People have asked why they the part works is so sporadically received, can you shed any light on this?
There were some production problems that led to a rather sporadic publication schedule in France. They were all related to maintaining the quality of the cars and making sure that they were as accurate as possible. We decided that it was more important to have the best possible product than to make the deadlines. These problems haven't affected the on sale dates in any of the other countries.

Which is your favourite James Bond vehicle?
Jack Wade's blue ZAZ in "GoldenEye". I like bubble cars.

What was your first ever Bond experience?
On TV, I remember the opening of "The Spy Who Loved Me" - Bond's Union Jack parachute opening - and that was the coolest thing I'd ever seen. In the cinema it was "The Living Daylights" when I was 14.

Related Articles
James Bond Car Collection Line-Up
James Bond Car Preview

Thanks to Ben Robinson and GE Fabbri