Forum member and good friend John Cox sends us in this report about the recent James Bond Collectors Weekend which just concluded in Chicago, USA. And as a part of this fantastic report I can tell you we’re the first site to cover the news, so there you go! CommanderBond.net is up on top again!
And just as a little teaser, we’re hoping to have photos for you soon!
Before reading the report I must give a major thank you to John for this excellent report! Feel free to discuss this report in the CommanderBond.Net Forums in our newly erected United States Forums.
Bonding in Chicago
By John Cox
I just returned from the fourth annual James Bond Collectors Weekend, held
July 20 to 22 in Chicago, Illinois, and I’m happy to report that the weekend
was a major success! Fifty or so dedicated Bond fans and collectors traveled
to “the Windy City” from all over the world, one from as far as Japan! On
Friday we gathered for a Bond themed costume party held in the suite of The
Seneca Hotel, right in the exclusive Gold Coast area of Chicago. We toasted
Agent 007 with champagne, exchanged gossip about BOND 20, and played James
Bond trivia games late into the night. Great fun!
On Saturday we were treated to a full complimentary breakfast at the The
Seneca, then the dealer room was opened up for the massive Bond Sale of
choice 007 collectibles. In attendance was a representative from Corgi who
gave the group an exclusive look at upcoming vehicles (watch for the AVTAK
break-away Renult), and solicited our opinions as to what should come next.
(I suggested Vijay’s rickshaw taxi from OCTOPUSSY after all, it is a
“company car.”) Also in attendance was SpyGuise, one of the largest dealers
of 007 merchandise in the world. By all accounts, this was the most
successful sale yet.
Following the sale, a luxury bus whisked us out into the farmlands of
Illinois (with Bond videos playing on the onboard TV system) for what proved
to be a highlight of the weekend. Get ready for this. As we pulled up to a
charming house located between a cornfield and a golf course a hush fell
over bus. Because there on the front lawn were: the Neptune Submarine from
FYEO; the jet boat from MOONRAKER; not one, but two Q-boats from TWINE (one
that did the barrel roll and one with wheels that went on shore); the famous
speed boat from LIVE & LET DIE (which did the world record jump over Sheriff
J.W. Pepper); a parahawk from TWINE with a dummy villain on board; the Wet
Bike from TSWLM (the first Wet Bike ever made, we learned); and a weapons
sled from THUNDERBALL. Wow! These vehicles are owned by the Ian Fleming
Foundation and are stored at the home of IFF board member Mr. Doug Redenius.
While we had our pictures taken beside the vehicles, eight members at a time
were taken inside the house to explore Doug’s massive Bond archive, the
largest collection of Bond memorabilia in the world! Let’s just say if Doug
doesn’t have it, it doesn’t exist. Boarding the bus for the return trip to
Chicago, each attendee received a gift courtesy of Corgi — the blue Z3 from
Saturday night was free time for the attendees to explore the city. I took a
look at the one and only Bond location in Chicago — the ice rink where Bond
out-skates three KGB agents in the short story “Live at Five.”
On Sunday the group assembled in the Signature Room on the 95th floor of
famous Hancock Tower for a very special luncheon with Bond author, and all
around nice guy, Raymond Benson. Following a very good lunch (with a view to
a kill) Raymond spoke at length about how he goes about writing a Bond
novel. During a Q&A session Raymond revealed a few choice details about his
next, yet untitled, Bond book. As we know, the setting is Japan and the
villain is Goro Yoshido (introduced to us in NEVER DREAM OF DYING), but the
news which brought applause from the fans was the fact that Tiger Tanaka
will return! “And he won’t be a villain, I promise,” joked Raymond.
Following the talk, Raymond played his own original “James Bond Suite” on
the piano, which brought him his third standing ovation of the day, then
signed copies of NEVER DREAM OF DYING. Thanks, Raymond! While this was the
official end of the weekend, the fans lingered in the bar and continued to
talk shop and about where the next weekend might take place. Key West? San
Francisco? Who knows? But I will be there!