Second issue of #270 with gold chrome bumpers and grill, and red tyre slashers.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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