JAMES BOND 007 CHEWING GUM (Somportex)
“Film Scene Series”, issued by “Somportex of London” in 1964 and simply named “James Bond 007 Chewing Gum”. A series of sixty black and white trading cards depicting on the front side a still from one of the first three James Bond movies, Dr. No”, “From Russia With Love” and “Goldfinger”. The cards where issued as a tie-in with the third James Bond adventure “Goldfinger”. They where manufactured in Denmark by a company named “Dandy Factories”. Like for every UK/ USA movie tie-in, the cards where announced in the official movie press book. This kind of announcements went on until the release of “Moonraker” in 1979. In every pack you could find three cards and a little piece of pink dusty chewing gum. The wrappers featured artwork with orange and black lettering. If you collected twelve wrappers and mailed them to Somportex, they would send you a Free 007 Badge. The badge, wrapper, cards and display box, are today all highly sought after James Bond memorabilia by collectors.
"Series One Wrapper"
Just like we have with our present trading cards, these first series of bubble gum cards showed several errors or misprints. Card N° 25; has two different versions, one that shows a picture of Shirley Eaton looking down and another, where she is looking up. The caption on card N° 55 displayed “Nadja Regin in Goldfinger” but actually the card shows a picture from the second James Bond movie “From Russia With Love”. Card N° 58 depicting another still of “Nadja Regin in Goldfinger” shows us a very rare error. On some cards you may find the number 27 displayed in the lower right corner of the bathtub. The “Goldfinger” campaign book announced that a total of 10 million cards will be distributed in packs through 75000 retail outlets. 10 Million cards on the move and still there was a big disappointment among the young collectors, card N° 59, this became the hardest one to get hold of, for many youngsters. The difficulty in obtaining card N° 59 was probably a set-up from the manufacturers to enhance their card sales. The counter display box is also a highly sought after piece of 007 memorabilia. A very simple design created out of black cardboard with an orange coloured lady that represented the world famous Golden Girl. In the movie Shirley Eaton was covered in gold paint, for titles and advertisements, it was actually Margaret Nolan. The text on the box was very simple, and read as follows.
"Counter Display Box"
The pictures displaying the beautiful pin-up girls where not accepted by everyone. Some frustrated parents claimed it was a disgrace that children could purchase pictures with half naked women in a sweet shop on the street corner. This issue went so far that it reached the national press and was actually discussed in the British House of Commons by MP's. As a result of the news coverage, the offending cards where shown in the late night magazine style show “The Braden Beat”. In 1965 the cards where withdrawn from sale after front page headlines in the Daily Mirror displayed the following text:
all these cards showed innocent pictures. I remember when the first
James Bond movies where screened at the Belgian theatres, the window
at the ticket counter displayed “KNT”. Meaning children
not allowed. Everybody knows now that a James Bond movie never shows
nudity on the screen. But that was the sixties.
When looking at the whole series, you may discover here and there some little errors or misprints. Mostly the edge of the card has been cut of in a non straight way or the picture on the card yields a bit more to the front or to the back. Here below you may notice the two different variations on card N° 25, Shirley Eaton looking up and the other where she looks down. A combination of these two cards was sold at eBay on the 23rd March 2008 for 106€.
Another well know variation is the picture of Ursula Andress as Honey Ryder shown on Card N° 35.
Card N° 39 displays a picture of Margaret Nolan. Again two variations slept into the packs, one were you can see the whole beach towel and another one showing partly the beach towel and Margaret's knee.
Card N° 44 displays a picture of Nadja Regin. In the left side picture her shoes are completly visible, the second one only displays half of her shoes. Just a slight detail, but for completist a must have.
The card N° 58 displayed here below shows a very rare misprint. Not very clear but on the lower right side of the bathtub you can see the number “27”. The card is very rare and much sought after by card collectors.