“The name’s Bond. James Bond.” Ah, the suave secret agent is back, and he’ll be hitting cinemas from next week. But can he top Connery? The Sun thinks so, calling the latest outing “the coolest James Bond film yet.” The Daily Mail gives Skyfall 5 out of 5 stars: “Marvelous action mayhem,” with The Mirror giving Skyfall 5 out of 5 stars: “Enthralling, explosive and often very funny.” The broadsheets are not quite as gushing, but they’ve stilled doled out very positive verdicts. Which begs the question: what can we buy not only to enjoy the film to its utmost, but also to get a taste of that secret-agent lifestyle? Our top ten is below.
1. (Pre-order) Skyfall on Blu-Ray
Skyfall has been dubbed the best Bond film yet by some of the critics, so this film is clearly going to be a must-have for any 007 aficionado.
We’ve listed it here with prices subject to confirmation. This is because it’s not yet available on the shops (of course), but you can register your interest before you pre-order your copy on Amazon. If you can’t stand the wait to getting your Bond fix, take a look at the Blu-Ray box set of the current Bond films, which are available to buy through Give as you Live below.
2. (Pre-order) Skyfall soundtrack
If you’re of the opinion the single has not already been played to death, the Skyfall soundtrack will be available to buy at the end of October. One Amazon reviewer gives their view on Adele’s single: “This song is moving and I feel that it is a bit mysterious since we do not really know the details surrounding ‘Skyfall’ … She has a powerful voice and I can’t wait to check out the movie. :)”
Personally, I was disappointed not to hear the thunderous main Bond theme peppered throughout Adele’s single, but I suppose it’s time for something a little fresher. (Current price – £16.94, raising 17p for charity.)
3. Complete Bond on Blu-Ray
The transfer quality to Blu-Ray disc is a good one across the board, according to the fans, so this collection seems to be a real bargain at less than a fiver a film. James Bond box set (Blu-Ray) – at £89.97, it raises £1.35 for charity through Tesco.
4. Vintage Bollinger Champagne
Bond enjoys a bottle or two of champagne, and vintage Bollinger is his choice. The wine house has released special edition Bond Bollinger, available from the Whisky Exchange. At £125, it raises £3.12 for charity.
Alternatively, if you want something that’s definitely ready to drink now, you can go for this 2000 Bollinger, which we think should be a superior tipple at £79.97 – almost half the price. (Raises £3 for charity).
5. Mix your own Bond martini (the “Vesper”)
Bond famously drinks vodka martini (shaken, not stirred). Of course, any fool knows that normally a martini should always be stirred, so as not to water down the drink too much.
Bond bucks the trend to take his Brobdingnagian beverage shaken, simply because this monstrously alcoholic drink needs to be watered down a little to keep it drinkable.
Here he is in Fleming’s debut Bond novel Casino Royale, published 1953:
“A dry martini,” [Bond] said. “One. In a deep champagne goblet.”
“Just a moment. Three measures of Gordon’s, one of vodka, half a measure of Kina Lillet. Shake it very well until it’s ice-cold, then add a large thin slice of lemon peel. Got it?”
“Gosh, that’s certainly a drink,” said Leiter.
Unless you can get your hands on some export-strength Gordon’s, to recreate this monster of a drink you’ll need to buy the below:
Image credit: Tabascoman77
6. The latest Bond watch
Bond films always come with an associated watch, and Skyfall is no different. This time around, it’s Omega’s 007 Seamaster. If you’d like to own one, the 007 Omega Seamaster watch clocks in (get it?!) at an impressive £3,260.
If you can’t justify that kind of spend, remember it raises £81.50 for charity. Although we’ve heard Timex also do a range that’s considerably cheaper…
7. 007 eau de toilette spray
This 007 fragrance is billed as something which “embodies the uniqueness of Bond’s character, both dangerous and sophisticated.” And what’s not sophisticated about a gunmetal-black 007-branded aftershave? In all honesty, I have to report that Fleming’s original protagonist James Bond would not be seen dead wearing what he considered “perfume.” But if the aftershave really is dangerous as well as sophisticated, perhaps that could be arranged.
It’s a snip at just £20, and it raises 75p for your charity.
8. Poker set
We all know that James Bond loves a gamble. We don’t recommend you take it as far as our favourite secret service operative, but here’s a good poker set for a home game. (James Bond preferred to play Carte in the casino, but the modern Casino Royale film freshened this up to poker.) The poker chips in this set are the same weight they use at the World Series Of Poker, they’re made of real clay (not plastic) and there are enough of them for a ten-handed game of Texas Hold ‘Em.
The cost is just £79 – raising 79p for your charity through Give as you Live.
9. The Bond books
Why not introduce yourself to the books that started it all? The complete collection of 14 original Ian Fleming novels, with very nice artwork, is available for £60 (£2.10 donation to your charity). If you’ve read them all, Kingsley Amis, writing as Robert Markham, wrote the follow-up instalment Colonel Sun (Foyles Bookshop, £9.09 – donates 31p), which is a good read. Sebastian Faulks’ recent attempt, Devil May Care (Foyles Bookshop, £5.59 – donates 19p), also captured the spirit of the original books. You can also try the latest novel, Carte Blanche (Geoffrey Deaver, Waterstones, £5.35 – donates 10p), although it’s received mixed reviews.
10. Aston Martin experience day
Drive not one, not two, not three, but four different Aston Martins: the Aston Martin DB7 Volante, the Aston Martin Vanquish, the Aston Martin V8 Vantage and the Aston Martin DB9 convertible. You’ll get to play spy as you go for a treasure hunt across the Buckinghamshire, Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire countryside. (Location is Hertfordshire).
Costs considerably less than buying one outright at £499, and raises £24.95 for your charity.
You only give twice
Remember, when you’re looking for gifts this Christmas, when you shop with Give as you Live you can give twice – by supporting your charity or school, at no extra cost to you. Take a look at our programme of Christmas gift guides for more inspiration.