THE STORY OF 007 (Monty)
“For Your Eyes Only”, was announced during the end titles of “Moonraker”. I still remember the little movie theatre in Germany where I first saw the movie. Why do I remember this event so clearly? Well at that time I was doing my bit and doing my military service in Germany. So it doesn’t matter where you are, Bond is everywhere, even here in Taiwan when I’m busy writing this book. Many notable technological advances happened in 1981 one of the most exciting was the First Flight of the Space Shuttle Columbia. This was also the first year that the word “Internet” was mentioned and MS-DOS was released by Microsoft along with the first IBM PC. On the world stage the events that captured the imagination included Lady Diana Spencer marrying Prince Charles, “The Prince of Wales” and the first high speed train service in Europe commences with the French TGV between Paris and Lyon. But let us stay with agent 007, many companies had a tie-in with “For Your Eyes Only”, but sadly no trading cards were manufactured. The card collectors had to wait until 1984 between the release of “Octopussy” in 1983 and “A View To A Kill” in 1985. The Holland based “Monty Gum”, a sweet and candy manufacturer from the city of Leiden issues what must be one of the largest James Bond trading card sets produced. The set was titled “The Story Of 007” and contained a staggering two-hundred cards. The set was issued twice, the first 100 cards came to the market in 1984 and depicted stills from the first James Bond movie “Dr. No” to the 13th movie “Octopussy”. “The Story of 007” was reissued in 1985 as a tie-in to the latest James Bond movie “A View To A Kill”. Monty added one hundred extra cards to cover a complete pictorial on the latest James Bond movie “A View To A Kill”. The cards were printed in full colour on heavy cardboard and they looked like a film slide.
The manufacturer produced a collector’s album or a so called “Monty Album”, according to the text on the front cover. The album was really special, if you didn’t manage to collect the whole series, you could always enjoy the missing cards in black and white, as all the cards where pre-printed inside the album. The cover depicted colourful artwork of Sean Connery, Roger Moore, Barbara Bach, Richard Kiel, and others. On the last page you could personalize your album by writing your name, address and age on pre-printed lines.
Also available but very hard to get is an uncut sheet as shown here above. Currently the price for the cards and the album is variable, expect to pay between 10€ and 80€ or more. I’ve seen such prices on eBay for the combination of an album and the first 100 cards, but if you are in Belgium or Holland, you may be lucky to find one at a local flea market for a fraction of the mentioned price. The first series containing one-hundred cards came in a small yellowish counter display box. The little box depicted the same artwork as displayed on the wrappers, one side of the little box displayed some advertising artwork to promote the famous "A-Team" trading cards. The second series containing two-hundred cards came in a large box. The box design was similar to the album depicting colourful artwork of many Bond stars. A beautiful item not to be missed in any serious James Bond collection..
The wrappers had a very simple design, the front and back displaying different artwork of Roger Moore as James Bond on a yellow and red background. The wrappers are difficult to find, although they do pop-up on eBay and other on-line stores.
Something more on the cards, most of the pictures are taken straight from the movies but several stills are publicity or promotion stills for the movie. The card borders are far away from being smoothly, actually these cards weren’t cut as they do today what makes the borders very rough. For each movie the card designer used a different colour for the title banner, from green to pink and blue. The card reverse is plain hardboard, nothing strange about that feature because the cards were supposed to be glued into the album. If one can't manage to find the cards, starting here is a two-hundred card pictorial checklist in full colour.