Memorable Spy Gadgets: What Would You Want?

My fabulous friends and authors Piper Bayard and Jay Holmes have just published a terrific novella called The Spy Bride, which is part of a Risky Brides collection.

In honor of their release, I got to thinking about some of the memorable spy gadgets from TV and film. Here are some of my faves:

Maxwell Smart’s Shoe Phone

Maxwell Smart holding shoe phone, from Get Smart

Sure, in the days of cell phones, transmitting messages over a shoe might seem silly. Plus, this baby would be caught in two seconds in a TSA security line. But when Get Smart aired in 1965, a portable phone was a swank idea. And hiding it in your shoe seemed pretty spy-cool. These days, I’d probably be happier if the bottom of my shoe had a different gadget, like maybe a Roomba so I could clean my floor just by walking around.

Men in Black Neuralyzer.

Men In Black, Agent J holding neuralyzer

This handy-dandy device erases memories with a flash, which can then be replaced by a different version of events. While useful for hiding the existence of aliens from the common citizenry, I think a lot of people would love to have this gadget to erase the memories of others in their lives who might not have seen their best side and could use a new perspective.

John Steed’s Umbrella.

John Steed & umbrella from The Avengers

John Steed, of the British spy series The Avengers, was known for carrying an umbrella which he used as a weapon. If needed, the umbrella contained a saber he could pull out in a pinch. Currently, my umbrella only protects me from rain, but I could come up with a few handy tools I’d love to tuck into an umbrella.

Mission Impossible Self-Destructing Tape.

Mission Impossible -- smoking tape player

Who can forget the way missions were delivered in the Mission Impossible series, and films following? An agent picks up the recorded message, listens to the instructions, and then hears, “This tape will self-destruct in five seconds. Good luck…” Yes, I know we don’t have tapes or players like this anymore, but the notion of self-destructing gadgetry is an appealing one. As a parent, some days I’d like to have a “should you not get off this video game and do your homework in the next ten seconds, your cell phone will self-destruct.” (Yeah, I’m fun like that! ;))

Chuck’s Intersect.

Intersect computer from Chuck

The Intersect from Chuck stores all the intelligence data the United States government possesses and recognizes patterns that help catch the bad guys. Unfortunately, this big pile of data gets shoved into the brain of one unsuspecting geek named Chuck. But this would be very handy for an agent, don’t you think? Or even for your daily life, to be able to shove everything you know or should know onto a drive, stick it in your brain, and access it at will? That sounds like a gadget I could use.

James Bond’s Aston Martin.

Aston Martin in Q's lab

The first car to be equipped with gadgets in a James Bond film was this beauty, the Aston Martin from Goldfinger. It had GPS, machine guns, smoke screen, tire slashers, and more — all the things I need to get around in my Houston traffic. (Kidding…just kidding!) But hey, a bunch of cool spy stuff in your car? And not just any car, but an Aston Martin? Yes, please.

So there are a few of my favorites. Hope you’ll share some of yours in the comments!

And now for a quick ROW80 Update! A Round of Words in 80 Days (ROW80) is the writing challenge that knows you have a life:

1. Edit, polish, and release two more short stories in my Paranormal Playground series. I did some editing this week and worked on blurbs as well.

2. Read 12 books. Read The Best Medicine by Tracy Brogan. That brings me up to three.

3. Attend Immersion Master Class and follow-up. Attended a couple of weeks back and just got back comments from a valuable critique partner.

Also, I recently learned that I placed 2nd in the YA category for the New Jersey Romance Writers Put Your Heart in a Book contest! Congratulations to the other winners, Jessica Ruddick and Ann LaBar.

Now what are your favorite fictional spy gadgets? And how was your week?

Risky Brides book coverEight novellas.

Great authors.

Wonderful price.

Barnes & Noble


23 thoughts on “Memorable Spy Gadgets: What Would You Want?

  1. First and foremost, CONGRATULATIONS! No surprise at all that you would be in the Winners Circle. 🙂

    This is great! I love all of these, though if I had to pick one to own, it would be the Aston Martin. I love the Bond cars, especially the one that is also a submarine. Holmes assures me this is preposterous, and we’ll be doing an article about it in the near future. Still, a girl can dream. 🙂

    Thank you for your entry. You rock!

    1. Thank, Piper!

      And it doesn’t surprise me what Holmes said. (After all, Bond himself is preposterous. How has he outrun so many bullets?!) But yes, a girl can definitely dream about a car like that.

  2. YAY, you on being in the winners circle with your YA!

    A spy gadget? Harry Potters Invisibility Cloak. Hands down. No more getting caught in public with bad hair days. If I weren’t SUCH a goody-two shoes, I might even expand reduced grocery and clothes expenses. *straightens halo*

    Ever wonder what people say when you aren’t around? I could BE there and learn the truth.

    No. Wait. I can’t HANDLE the truth. (Someone should pick that up as a great movie line.)

    Waving “Hi” to Piper who is sitting on my noggin comments. I OWN And am reading RISKY BRIDES. You can gift me with a trip to Denver instead of that free copy. Just a thought…

    1. I want under that invisibility cloak with you, Gloria! (I’ve heard it can hold two in a pinch.) Where would I go? No more concert backstage passes needed! *straightens dented halo*

      Thanks for stopping by, Gloria! You’re always a delight. 🙂

  3. It’s hard to decide between the awesome of the Aston and the groovy of the shoe phone…

    Huge congratulations on the contest!! I’m so impressed with you. Those YA categories have fierce competition. You rock, girlfriend. 🙂

      1. You might be on to something. You could get some cheep generic cell phone guts from a Korean manufacturer and produce your own shoe. They would probably sell well as long as they came with Bluetooth earpiece paired so that consumers would not have to place the shoe near their face.

  4. Congrats, Julie. And I’m glad to hear someone a generation younger than I am knows about Get Smart.

    This wasn’t a spy thing, but when I was a kid, there was a serial shown at the movies on Saturdays – Saturdays were devoted to kids back in those days – in which the hero had a leather jacket with rockets attached to it. He could fly anywhere with that jacket on. I don’t remember his name or the name of the series, but I always wanted that jacket.

    1. Thanks, David! My father was a huge Get Smart fan and made sure we knew who Maxwell Smart was. 🙂 (As well as Inspector Clouseau.)

      I saw a movie several years back called Rocketman that sounds similar. It was really good. My kids enjoyed it too!

  5. I have to admit that I’m a fan of “Chuck,” and therefore the intersect. They’re not exactly spy gadgets, but the Farnsworths from “Warehouse 13” are awesome. If you haven’t seen that show, the Farnsworth is basically an old-school, steampunkish video phone. Even in the age of cell phones, that’s still a pretty cool gadget.

    1. Hi John. You can easily purchase a Walther PPK at a reasonable price. They make a nice light carry pistol. I might be mistaken but I think that in the movies they accidentally equipped Sean Connery with a Walther PP rather than a PPK.

    2. Any of Steed’s partners? LOL. Yes, those ladies were really something, weren’t they? My favorite remains Emma Peel, played by Diana Rigg who was also a Bond girl.

      1. She’s the one I remember the best. The last episode I saw was the one where her replacement (played by Linda Thorson) arrived and Emma departed. I liked the relationship between her and Steed; there was never any hint of romance, totally professional.

        Diana Rigg is a fine actress. Did you see her in the episode of Doctor Who from a couple of years ago?

  6. Rosa Klebb’s poisonous shoe-knife in the Bond “From Russia with Love” film is one of my favorite Hollywood spy gadgets. Lotte Lenya did a fantastic job playing Rosa Klebb.

  7. Congrats on winning!! Awesome. As for spy gadgets, Just about anything Bond has. Even in the latest movie when he’s presented with a tiny radio, and told its a radio, it’s so well done that you just can’t help be attracted to it. But if I had to choose one, it’d be the DB7. I grew up with one of them. Made by matchbox, of course, but it was good enough for me at the time 🙂

Comments are closed.