Only a year after the release of the “James Bond Secret Agent 007” bubble gum cards, the “Philadelphia Chewing Gum Corporation” issued a new set of 66 James Bond bubble gum cards for the American market. This new set contains 66 black & white pictures taken from the James Bond movie “Thunderball”. The new cards distinguish themselves from the previous set, due to the attached “Code-Quiz” printed on the cards reverse. Below you can notice the many different wrappers used by the Philadelphia Corporation to market this set. When mailing five wrappers and 75¢ to the “Philadelphia Chewing Gum Corporation”, they would send you in return a 007 T-shirt. The same principle also worked to purchase a “James Bond 007 Code-O-Matic”, a professional secret agent decoding machine for young budding spies or a James Bond “Exploding Code Book”.
All these precious gadgets are very hard to obtain these days. They are really worth looking for, for example, a T-shirt as shown in the pictures here below was sold in June 2015 for a staggering 300€. No it wasn't made by Brioni. Printed on the card reverse was a secret “Code-Quiz”. To decipher the secret code you needed the “Secret Code Capsule”. This simple paper decoder was inserted in each pack of cards.
“CODE-O-MATIC decoding machine"
“James Bond 007 T-Shirt "
A complete set of Philadelphia “Thunderball” bubble gum cards was sold on eBay on the 19th September 2007 for 161€. Single cards do pop up from time to time on eBay and other Internet retail stores. The counter display box is a must for every James Bond memorabilia collection. This beautiful manufactured box features artwork depicting Sean Connery leaving the baddies behind by using his Bell Jet Pack. This great gadget as developed by “Q” was used in the pre-sequence of “Thunderball”. The scene was shot in front of the Anet Castle. (Chateaux D’Anet). The castle is located in a small French village about 100 km. from Paris. Watch out for fake counter display boxes, sometimes they pop-up on the internet, but if you can buy one at a cheap price then it’s a very nice addition to your James Bond collection, well until you find the real one, that is.
An exclusive collector’s binder didn’t exist in the sixties but some stationary stores sold a three ring binder depicting Sean Connery artwork and the 007 logo. These binders do pop-up on the web auction pages and if you are lucky to get one with your bid, they make great binders to store your sixties card collection. The same problem occurred for the nine card protection sleeves. Those protection sleeves were manufactured in the eighties. Today we have many different things to protect our cards, see the page on “Precious to collect, Precious to protect”.
"James Bond stationary from the sixties"
Here below you may enjoy the complete 66 part card series. Lucky for the collectors, there are no special cards or known misprints in this series.