THE WOMEN OF JAMES BOND (Inkworks)
During the summer of 1998, approximately a half year after the release of the “Tomorrow Never Dies” trading card set, the by now world famous trading card producer “Inkworks” announced a new series of James Bond cards. For the first time since the release of the first James Bond movie “Dr. No” in 1962 a trading card series appears on the memorabilia market depicting only glamorous stills of Bond girls. The title of this series is very obviously “The Women Of James Bond”. The cards distinguish themselves from the other series because of their special size. “Inkworks” announces these cards as “SUPERVUE Premium Trading Cards”. To promote this glamorous card set, the card company distributed a gorgeous double sided sell-sheet full of interesting information for the collector and two different promotion cards P1 & P2. This time the base set contained only 72 cards compared to the 90 cards in the previous sets issued by “Inkworks”. The cards were randomly packed by five in metal-foil wrappers depicting the “Woman Of Bond” logo. The counter display box contained 36 packs and as usual ”Inkworks” guaranteed a complete base set when you purchased a sealed counter display box. If not, the missing cards would be replaced for free by “Inkworks” for as long there stock held out.
For the first time in the James Bond trading card history, this unique set contained five autographed cards. These autograph cards were personally signed by Caroline Munro as Naomi, Lois Maxwell as Miss Moneypenny, Lois Chiles as Holly Goodhead, Shirley Eaton as Jill Masterson and Lana Wood as Plenty O’Toole. Caroline Munro and Shirley Eaton are much seen guests on many movie memorabilia fairs. Personally I met both ladies at a movie fair in Holland and I had a chat with Lois Chiles at an events diner party in London, something special that will be in my memory forever. If the Bond Stars are a guest at an event local to you why not pop along, they are so lovely to meet.
The personally signed autograph Bond Girl cards are numbered from A1 thru A5. Actually the autographed cards were not inserted into the packs, the packs contained randomly inserted “Autograph Redemption Cards”. These redemption cards had to returned to the manufacturer in order to obtain the autographed card. Then the redemption card was perforated in one corner and was send back to the owner together with the autographed card. These five autographed cards are extremely hard to obtain and when they pop-up on eBay or somewhere else they are expensive. Actually these are the first hand signed James Bond trading cards, a must for every serious card collector, the same counts for the redemption cards.
Again this card series contains three levels of chase cards. A first chase set is titled as “Early Encounters” and exist of six cards with stills depicting the first Bond Girls that played on the side of Sean Connery. This six card set was announced on the sell sheets front page as “The Spies Who Loved Me”, on the reverse as “Early Encounters”. An error, who knows? The glamour girls are Zena Marshall as Miss Taro, Ursula Andress as Honey Ryder, Daniela Bianchi as Tatiana Romanova, Shirley Eaton as Jill Masterson, Honor Blackman as Pussy Galore with her Flying Circus. The Bond girls are presented on a psychedelic sixties background. The cards were numbered from E1 thru E6 and randomly inserted into 1/17 packs. The cards are very difficult to get hold of, but I guess that counts for all of the Bond Girls in this set. The second level of chase cards, “Bond’s Best” contains only three cards, depicting the most popular and glamorous Bond girls of all time. Only inserted in 1/35 packs and numbered as B1, B2 & B3 they are the toughest cards to get your hands on. The first Bond girl card is of Diana Rigg who played the role of Tracy Di Vicenzo in the by Peter Hunt directed James Bond movie “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service”. The Second Bond Girl card is of Barbara Bach who played the role of Major Amasova in “The Spy Who Loved Me”, the third James Bond movie starring Roger Moore as agent 007. The last card is Michelle Yeoh who appeared in Pierce Brosnan’s second James Bond movie “Tomorrow Never Dies” in the role of Chinese agent Wai Lin. Rumours are that there was a nine card uncut sheet. Personally I have never seen one of these rare uncut sheets.
The wrappers were manufactured in a metal black foil depicting the 007 Gunlogo with a red belt going over and trough the ooh ooh seven containing the title of the card set; “The Women Of James Bond”. and a girl silhouette lying on top of a gun.
"Women Of James Bond Wrapper"
During the promotion campaign “Inkworks” announced a Top Secret card, “The Bond Mystery Girl”. This top secret card is a still of a Bond girl that pop-ups on the screen for a very short time. Soon after the cards were released the name of the mystery girl got out. It was Minnie Driver, who played the role of Irina the country singer in “GoldenEye”. Sadly the card was only available in 1/108 packs and numbered as M1.
Like the previous James Bond card series, “Inkworks” manufactured a collectors album. The binder depicted a red coloured silhouette of a woman on a black-purple background and a some artwork of Sean Connery in a “From Russia With Love” style. And of course the 007 Gunlogo and the title of the new card series “The Women Of Bond”. The counter display box followed the same glamorous style as the binder. The retail price for a single pack of cards was at the time 1,99$, about 2€.
During the early summer of 1998 a double sided sell-sheet was distributed through the retail shops. It was superbly designed showing the back of an almost naked woman, just wearing a tiny diamond string and a bracelet, holding a ladies gun in her right hand, This piece of paper is a must in every James Bond collection. Is there a single James Bond collector in the world that would be able to resist this wonderful card set. I think not!
“Basic Card Set”