Ian Fleming's fictional (and phenomenally successful) superspy James Bond returns Friday in the new film Quantum of Solace. In the course of 46 years, 22 films, and 6 lead actors, the spy codenamed 007 has gone through many adventures, from the bottom of the sea to the moon and all points in between.Along the way he's foiled many outrageous plans (including hijacking a space shuttle and contaminating the gold in Fort Knox); battled many outrageous villains (including Jaws and Dr. No); and met many outrageously beautiful women with outrageously creative names (including Pussy Galore and Holly Goodhead). And, of course, there are the many outrageous gadgets that James Bond uses and encounters… 5. The bowler hat in . At first glance, you might think that the devious villain Goldfinger likes to surround himself with impeccably dressed assassins, such as his man Mr. Oddjob. Yet Oddjob's suit and bowler hat is not only the height of fashion; it's also functional, hiding a razor-sharp brim capable of decapitating its victims. 4. The ski-pole gun in . As if skiing isn't dangerous enough (it killed Sonny Bono, Michael Kennedy, and many others), James Bond ups the danger factor with a rifle hidden in a ski pole. The ski handle doubles as the trigger, though it can only hold four rounds -- good luck reloading while being chased by an avalanche! The perfect Christmas gift for old-school skiers who complain about the young punk snowboarders taking over their slopes. 3. The yo-yo buzzsaw in . A lethal update on a beloved children's toy, the yo-yo got a murderous makeover in the Bond film Octopussy. It looks more or less like a conventional yo-yo, but when activated, it sprouts spinning buzzsaw blades capable of killing one MI6 agent and nearly slicing up James Bond himself. Spinning blades are, of course, a favorite staple of Bond weapons; they are as lethal as they are cinematically dramatic. 2. The explosive toothpaste in . Dentists warn about using hard-bristle toothbrushes and brushing too hard. That caution especially good advice in the world of James Bond, where you never know if that innocent tube of toothpaste is really liquid plastic explosives. Exploding toothpaste is exactly the sort of idea that gets in people's heads and only further delays the lines at airport security. 1. The lethal bagpipes in . With the very notable exception of the United Kingdom, in most places bagpipes generally aren't cool. Like the noble accordion or the humble cowbell, bagpipes don't command a lot of respect in the world of musical instruments. But the killer bagpipes developed by gadget guru Q for use by his special agents is nothing to laugh at, having been specially equipped with a hidden flame thrower. If that doesn't work, the bagpipes also contain a machine gun to thwart villains and music critics (if the ridiculousness of being shot at by a bagpipe doesn't kill them with laughter first).
Benjamin Radford is a writer, columnist for LiveScience, and film critic. He has written and directed two short films, one of which will be released in 2009. Learn more at his web site.Related: