Die-cast: Johnny Lightning Silver Screen Machines: 007

Johnny Lightning creates fun James Bond mini dioramas …

When we think of certain movies we picture the cars that were stars, such as Steve McQueen’s Mustang in Bullitt, or Sean Connery’s Aston Martin in many James Bond movies.

That’s what we as modelers build, and what us die-cast car collectors like to collect. These are famous wheels, iconic vehicles that remind us of the fun and excitement of the movies they appeared in, and just maybe, of a car we once owned, or at least dreamed we would.

The June issue of Scale Auto goes in-depth on how to build great plastic replicas of some of these iconic screen gems, so pick up an issue. Yet our die-cast portion of the website wasn’t about to be outdone, so we asked our friends at Round2 to show us their latest releases that tie into the Silver Screen.

Guess what, Round2’s Johnny Lightning brand is just releasing its first 2020 Silver Screen Machines dioramas and, lucky us, it features cars from two noted James Bond flicks, the original Dr. No, and the newer Skyfall. These feature 1/64 versions of the famous Aston Martin DB5 so synonymous with Bond, and a 1957 Chevy Bel Air convertible that was involved in a Dr. No chase scene.

The Screen History

Anyone who has watched a James Bond film knows the silver Aston Martin that first appeared in the exciting Goldfinger, the third Bond film. Admit it, seeing that name Goldfinger triggered your brain to remember Shirley Bassey belting out the theme song? … the man with the Golden touch …

One reason we all know the sleek, handsome DB5 is that it appeared in eight Bond films starting with that ’64 classic, and guess what? It’s back in No Time To Die, the latest Bond thriller due out this fall. We all can picture the oil spirting from the back to help put a villain’s car in a ditch, its ejection seat to blast a bad guy through the roof and machine guns coming from the lights up front. Gotcha!

Need a reminder of where else you’ve seen this classic car? It also appeared in Thunderball, GoldenEye, Tomorrow Never Dies, Casino Royale, Skyfall, and Spectre.

The ’57 Chevy is well regarded as a collector car, but not necessarily one we immediately associate with James Bond. Younger folks (under 65) may have to go watch Dr. No, and the rest of us may need to stretch our memory banks a bit to recall that a bad guy picks Bond up in the black Chevy Bel Air before being dispatched and Bond himself drove it in a chase scene. Johnny Lightning reminds us of another movie fun fact on its hang card. A brief view of the speedometer during the chase scene was actually a speedometer from a Ford Fairlane. Ha!

The Models

OK, these are 1/64 die-cast so we don’t expect super detailing, yet we know Johnny Lightning has for years delivered sharp miniatures in metal for value-oriented collectors.

The Skyfall Aston is nicely cast with a detailed grille and mirrors cast into the front fenders. Taillights are red and amber and there are black and white European license plates front and rear. Seams are crisply executed too with the roof panel well delineated where the villains will find themselves flying soon. Likewise the hood and trunk are well outlined, as is a gas filler door, side venting and the bulletproof screen that would rise out of the trunk lid in the movie.

Inside is a brown and black interior and of course the tires are rubber while the wheels are chrome. There’s even a small Aston logo on the lower front quarter panel and minute markings on the hood and trunk lid.

The backdrop for the black tin stand is James Craig as 007 walking toward you through a tunnel-like spinning vortex from the Skyfall 2012 promo posters. The cool 007 logo with a pistol is on a chrome plate on the backdrop’s base, for both cars.

That’s a cool sophisticated look, while the Dr. No diorama is, well, sexier with semi-clad women from the movie on its yellow backdrop with Sean Connery in tux and bowtie looking on. Atop the backdrop is the wording “The First James Bond Film” along with film credits and author Ian Fleming’s name in red.

The black Chevy sits on a yellow base and like many Johnny Lightning cars, has an opening hood, plus rubber whitewall tires. All the silver chrome trim is painted on, as with other JL cars, including the side accent, fin accents and those big front and rear bumpers. I like that you can read the gold Bel Air logos on the fins’ side trim and the gold Chevy logo and script on the hood’s nose.

Interior here is red and silver with nice door detailing and the windshield is trimmed in silver, including the side vent windows.

These two cars are Release 1 in the diorama series this year with more movie-related cars coming. No word on Release 2 and 3 just yet, but these hang cards tout Release 4. It will include Ecto1, the modified 1959 Cadillac wagon from Ghostbusters and the creepy red 1958 Plymouth Fury from Christine. Plus Round2 says more Bond cars are coming on regular hang cards this year.

So, build your own favorite movie car models, but enhance your displays with these fun Silver Screen Machines from Round2’s Johnny Lightning brand. Oh, and Round2 also tells us that if you want to build a Bond car model several releases in plastic are coming later this year. Don’t shake them, or stir them!

Vital Stats: 007 Aston Martin, ’57 Chevy

Maker: Johnny Lightning
Scale: 1/64
Stock No.: JLDR013
MSRP: $15.99 each

Link: Autoworldstore.com

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