007 SPY FILES COLLECTABLE CARD GAME (GE-Fabbri)

Release Date
January 2002

Set Configuration:
150 Base Cards
10 Joker cards
10 Cards per pack
32 Magazines

In January 2002 a brand new James Bond magazine popped up at the local book stores. “007 Spy Files” magazine was issued as a run-up to the new James Bond movie “Die Another Day”. The content of the new 007 magazine was aiming to the younger James Bond fans in the age between 8 and 14. Each magazine was packed with pictures showing gadgets, cars, allies, villains, Bond girls and all kinds of spy things to teach the youngsters in how to become a spy. The retail price for the first magazine was £0,99 about 1,5€ at the time, following magazines would be issued every fortnight at a retail price of £1,99 or about 3€. The idea behind this first issue being sold for less is simple mass marketing, it is thought by companies who sell this type of part magazine that the first issue is the pull in and each issue after this will sell less, with around ten or so issues in it’s pulled from shops and sold as a print on demand subscription basis. Each magazine contained 24 colour pages and a wrapper pack containing 10 collectable game cards. The beautiful designed 007 gifts that came as a bonus with the first three issues were something to look out for. A first gift came in the shape of a small tin box embossed with the 007 Gunlogo, the tin box could be used to collect your spare or double cards so you could trade them at the school yard. The second bonus was a hardboard magazine holder, the magazine holder was finished in a shiny silver colour depicting the 007 Gunlogo surrounded with bullet holes. What everybody was waiting for was that third issue, here the bonus was again a tin box but bigger in size to hold all the 160 cards.


"Small Tin Card Box"
"Spy Files Magazine Holder"
 

"Tin Collectors Box with 007 logo"

There was 32 spy files magazines, enough to get about two sets and if lucky a few jokers. Inside the tin box was divided in five parts, one part for each card category. All these wonderful 007 items were manufactured by GE Fabbri. When one took out a magazine subscription, a “007 Spy Files Recorder Pen” was given as bonus free gift. A real 007 spy gadget, the spy pen was able to record and replay recorded conversations. A gadget that came straight out of Q’s laboratory.

"Digital Recording Pen"

It was a while ago, but this time it was really collecting and swapping cards just like we use to do at the schools playground in the sixties. The collectable game card set was divided into five different categories; “Allies”, “Locations”, “Q-Branch”, “Vehicles” and “Villains”, each category holding 30 cards and two holographic joker cards. This time there was no possibility to buy a complete box, as the cards were only issued with magazines. Fans soon became aware that each issue had almost the same cards, so buying double issues to speed up the collection became a waste of time but all in all collecting the 150 base cards went quiet quickly. The joker cards were another matter, issued only in limited numbers in each issues print run they became very rare and very soon they became a big request on eBay, sometimes offered for 5 to 6€ per card. The cards were beautiful manufactured, but on many cards the picture was out of centre. For the die-hard collectors this developed a huge amount of misprints (see additional variation checklist). Today the cards and all the accessories are offered on eBay and memorabilia markets for very interesting prices.

Second Issue “007 Spy Files”
Third Issue “007 Spy Files”

The magazine was packed with spy information and many different puzzles. To solve the puzzles you needed special decoding lenses. The lenses came as a bonus with the first magazine. They were packed in a silver envelope embossed with the 007 Gunlogo.

"Special Decoding Lenzes & Cards"

Issued with magazine number three there were five checklist or divider cards, one card for each category and one card to explain the game rules. These cards were a little higher than the actual game cards and could be used as dividers inside the big tin box. Within the last magazine there was an order form to obtain your missing cards, including the joker cards, because of this special service I was able to compose a second set.


"Divider Cards & Game Rules"

There is in fact two versions of this card set producing a number of different cards. Three months before the official release GE Fabbri tried out the set in one county of the UK, this produced a number of cards with the front picture being on the back of the card and the back picture of the card being on the front. Some cards had different pictures or reframed pictures, one or two cards went thru re-text information, and all of the cards in this first limited run have a different copyright year. These cards are to be considered very rare. It appears to me that some of the variations are minor cropping differences of no real interest although some are significant cropping. Other involve significantly different pictures, sometimes due to cropping and other times a different picture altogether. This can be the front which contains the description & number, or the back - where full size picture is. It appears that most if not all of the "errors"  involving different pictures on the front or back of the cards involve different copyright years. For example Allies #06 where one variation has a picture of Honey Ryder on the back and another variation has the same image although reduced in size so that James Bond also appears. Similarly Vehicles #12 which is the same image but cropped & moved edgeways significantly enough to produce a "different" image. For both the copyright years are different so the 2001 version is likely to be from the test series and 2002 from the main series. Similarly Allies #02 has two completely different images on the back, Vehicles #06 which has two completely different images on the back and different cropped images on the front. Again both show different copyright years. There are some cards that have variations that are both dated 2002. I assumed all cards dated from 2001 are test, and have identified a few variations between some 2002 cards that do not seem to be test variations (due to their copyright dating). There is also a variation for Joker Card: The Big Bang. There is a very rare variant with a dark blue reverse, in the style of the Villains Joker Cards. I assume it was a printing error. Some examples are shown here below.


Allies #02 Back Normal

Allies #02 Back Variation

Allies #02 Front Normal

Allies #02 Front Variation

Allies #06 Back Normal

Allies #06 Back Variation

Allies #06 Front Normal

Allies #06 Front Variation

Locations #02 Back Normal

Locations #02 Back Variation

Locations #02 Front Normal

Locations #02 Front Variation

Vehicles #06 Back Normal

Vehicles #06 Back Variation

Vehicles #06 Front Normal

Vehicles #06 Front Variation

Vehicles #12 Back Normal

Vehicles #12 Back Variation

Villains #13 Front Normal

Villains #13 Front Variation

Villains #14 Front Normal

Villains #14 Front Variation

Villains #29 Front Normal

Villains #29 Front Variation
(Special thanks to Glyn Roberts for the above pictures)

The advertising pamphlet which came with the magazine indicated that there were "special edition" cards. I assume this came with the 2002 magazine but cannot be sure but I doubt it was from the test series. See the pamphlet here below, on the bottom right hand corner under "Agent Warning", it shows a card I have never seen. I assume it could be the - Location -- Joker card showing the Piz Gloria mountain resort  on the top of the Schilthorn, (it is Blofeld's clinical research institute) as depicted in the 1969 On Her Majesty's Secret Service. Consequently I would now suggest that there are 5 special edition Joker cards that were issued in the test series (classified as variations) and these would be Q Branch and Allies.


Locations Extra Joker Card

Locations Extra Joker Card

Villains Extra Joker Card

Villains Extra Joker Card

Vehicles Extra Joker Card

Vehicles Extra Joker Card
(Special thanks to Glyn Roberts for the above pictures)

In 2016 it came to my knowledge that the same magazines were issued in Poland. The picture here below showing magazine N°. 2 in their own language.

"Magazine N°. 2 issued in Poland."

"Allies"

02 03
05 06
08 09
011 012
014 015
017 018
020 021
023 024
026 027
029 030

"Jokers"

"Locations"

02 03
05 06
08 09
011 012
014 015
017 018
020 021
023 024
026 027
029 030

"Jokers"

"Q Branch"

02 03
05 06
08 09
011 012
014 015
017 018
020 021
023 024
026 027
029 030

"Jokers"

"Vehicles"

02 03
05 06
08 09
011 012
014 015
017 018
020 021
023 024
026 027
029 030

" Jokers"

"Villains"

02 03
05 06
08 09
011 012
014 015
017 018
020 021
023 024
026 027
029 030

"Jokers"

As James Bond, GE Fabbri will return in 2007 with another James Bond collectable card game. More details and information on this set are in a special chapter on the “007 Spy Cards Commander Set”.

Check List:
"Allies" Base Cards
[ ] 01 James Bond
[ ] 02 Original M
[ ] 03 Moneypenny
[ ] 04 Q
[ ] 05 Felix Leiter
[ ] 06 Honey Rider
[ ] 07 Tatiana Romanova
[ ] 08 Kerim Bey
[ ] 09 Pussy Galore
[ ] 10 Tiger Tanaka
[ ] 11 Kissy Suzuki
[ ] 12 Tracy di Vincenzo
[ ] 13 Solitaire
[ ] 14 Sheriff J W Pepper
[ ] 15 General Gogol
[ ] 16 Anya Amasova
[ ] 17 Milos Columbo
[ ] 18 Octopussy
[ ] 19 General Pushkin
[ ] 20 Kamran Shah
[ ] 21 Pam Bouvier
[ ] 22 Current M
[ ] 23 Bill Tanner
[ ] 24 Jack Wade
[ ] 25 Valentin Zukovsky
[ ] 26 Natalya Simonova
[ ] 27 Charles Robinson
[ ] 28 Wai Lin
[ ] 29 Q’s assistant
[ ] 30 Dr Christmas Jones
 
"Allies" Joker Cards
[ ] Dropping In To Help
[ ] Leap Of Faith
 
"Locations" Base Cards
[ ] 01 Crab Key
[ ] 02 SPECTRE tr. School
[ ] 03 Auric Enterprises
[ ] 04 Fort Knox
[ ] 05 Shrublands
[ ] 06 Palmyra
[ ] 07 Volcano Lair
[ ] 08 Piz Gloria
[ ] 09 Draco’s estate
[ ] 10 Baja oil rig
[ ] 11 Crocodile farm
[ ] 12 Dr Kananga’s lair
[ ] 13 House of Fun
[ ] 14 Atlantis
[ ] 15 Amazon Temple HQ
[ ] 16 Space station
[ ] 17 St Cyril’s monastery
[ ] 18 Monsoon Palace
[ ] 19 The Eiffel Tower
[ ] 20 Golden Gate Bridge
[ ] 21 Brad Whitaker’s HQ
[ ] 22 Olimpatec Centre
[ ] 23 Arkangel Facility
[ ] 24 Severnaya Base
[ ] 25 Janus headquarters
[ ] 26 Printing works
[ ] 27 Wai Lin’s armoury
[ ] 28 Caviar factory
[ ] 29 The Maiden’s Tower
[ ] 30 MI6 headquarters
 
"Locations" Joker Cards 
[ ] Snow Go Area
[ ] Party Animal
 
"Vehicles" Base Cards 
[ ] 01 The Dragon Tank
[ ] 02 Aston Martin DB5
[ ] 03 Rolls Royce
[ ] 04 Lockheed Jet Star
[ ] 05 BSA Lightning bike
[ ] 06 The Disco Volante
[ ] 07 Little Nellie
[ ] 08 Bird 1
[ ] 09 Bathosub
[ ] 10 Double-decker bus
[ ] 11 AMC Matador
[ ] 12 Lotus Esprit
[ ] 13 The Liparus
[ ] 14 Speedboat gondola
[ ] 15 Glastron speedboat  
[ ] 16 Moonraker
[ ] 17 The Neptune
[ ] 18 The Acrostar
[ ] 19 Union Jack Balloon
[ ] 20 Zorin Industries' airship
[ ] 21 Aston Martin Volante
[ ] 22 BMW Z3 Roadster
[ ] 23 Russian tank
[ ] 24 ICBM carrier train
[ ] 25 BMW 750iL
[ ] 26 BMW R1200 motorbike
[ ] 27 The Stealth Ship
[ ] 28 The Q Boat
[ ] 29 BMW Z8
[ ] 30 Parahawk
 
"Vehicles" Joker Cards
[ ] Air Raising
[ ] Motor Mayhem
 
"Villains" Base Cards
[ ] 01 Dr Julius No
[ ] 02 Ernst Stavro Blofeld
[ ] 03 Red Grant
[ ] 04 Rosa Klebb
[ ] 05 Auric Goldfinger
[ ] 06 Oddjob
[ ] 07 Emilio Largo
[ ] 08 Fiona Volpe
[ ] 09 Irma Bunt
[ ] 10 Dr Kananga
[ ] 11 Tee Hee
[ ] 12 Baron Samedi
[ ] 13 Francisco Scaramanga
[ ] 14 Nick Nack
[ ] 15 Karl Stromberg
[ ] 16 Jaws
[ ] 17 Hugo Drax
[ ] 18 Aris Kristatos
[ ] 19 General Orlov
[ ] 20 Kamal Khan
[ ] 21 Max Zorin
[ ] 22 May Day
[ ] 23 Georgi Koskov
[ ] 24 Franz Sanchez
[ ] 25 Alec Trevelyan
[ ] 26 Xenia Onatopp
[ ] 27 Elliot Carver
[ ] 28 Dr Kaufman
[ ] 29 Elektra King
[ ] 30 Renard
 
"Villains" Joker Cards
[ ] Fight Fright
[ ] Double Jeopardy
 
"Q- Branch" Base Cards
[ ] 01 Walther PPK
[ ] 02 Q Branch briefcase
[ ] 03 Flick knife shoes
[ ] 04 Garotte watch
[ ] 05 Razor-trimmed bowler
[ ] 06 Bell jet pack
[ ] 07 Safe-cracking copier
[ ] 08 Buzz-saw watch
[ ] 09 Golden gun
[ ] 10 Blade-edged tea tray
[ ] 11 Metal fangs
[ ] 12 Wrist dart gun
[ ] 13 Spiked umbrella
[ ] 14 Yo-yo buzz saw
[ ] 15 Acid fountain pen
[ ] 16 Poisoned butterfly
[ ] 17 Keyring finder
[ ] 18 Exploding bottles
[ ] 19 Ghetto blaster
[ ] 20 Explosive toothpaste
[ ] 21 Grenade pen
[ ] 22 Airbag phone box
[ ] 23 Plaster cast missile
[ ] 24 Laser watch
[ ] 25 Walther P99
[ ] 26 Remote control phone
[ ] 27 Sea-Vac
[ ] 28 Inflatable ski suit
[ ] 29 X-ray glasses
[ ] 30 Walking stick gun
 
"Q- Branch" Joker Cards
[ ] Lab Locations
[ ] The Big Bang
 
Collectable Gadgets
[ ] Small tin box with 007 Logo
[ ] Big size tin box with 007 Logo
[ ] Hard board collectors map
[ ] 007 Spy Files Recorder Pen (subscribers only)
[ ] Silver Envelope with decoding lenses

Variations & Extra Joker Cards Check List:
"Allies"
[ ] 02 Cropped differently on front/ Completely different image on the back: TEST
[ ] 05 Cropped differently on front and text change: TEST
[ ] 06 Completely different image on back/ Cropped differently on front: TEST
[ ] 09 Completely different images on front and back: TEST
[ ] 13 Cropped differently on front: TEST
[ ] 20 Cropped differently on front: TEST and NON-TEST (Only NON-TEST has cropping variation; TEST identical to more common national version)
[ ] 24 Completely different on front: TEST
[ ] 26 Completely different on back: TEST
[ ] 30 Completely different on front: TEST
 
"Allies" Extra Joker Card
[ ] Never believed to be released
 
"Locations"
[ ] 01 Cropped differently image on front: TEST (Could be rarer NON-TEST Var. matching TEST cropping)
[ ] 02 Completely different image on front/Cropped differently on back: TEST
[ ] 07 Completely different image on front: TEST
[ ] 10 Completely different image on front: TEST
[ ] 11 Completely different image on back: TEST
[ ] 14 Completely different image on back: TEST
[ ] 16 Completely different image on back: TEST
[ ] 17 Completely different image on back: TEST
[ ] 24 Completely different image on back: TEST
[ ] 25 Completely different images on front and back: TEST
[ ] 28 Completely different image on back: TEST
 
"Locations" Extra Joker Card
[ ] Great Escapes: TEST
 
"Vehicles" 
[ ] 01 Completely different image on front: TEST
[ ] 06 Completely different image on front/ image cropped differently on back: TEST
[ ] 10 Completely different images on front and back: TEST
[ ] 11 Completely different images on front and back: TEST
[ ] 12 Completely different image on back: TEST
[ ] 15 Completely different images on front and back: TEST
[ ] 16 Completely different images on front and back: TEST
[ ] 19 Completely different images on front and back: TEST
[ ] 23 Completely different image on front: TEST
[ ] 28 Cropped differently on front/ Completely different image on the back: TEST
[ ] 30 Completely different image on back: TEST
 
"Vehicles" Extra Joker Card
[ ] Chases And Races: TEST
 
"Villains"

[ ] 02 Completely different images on front and back: TEST
[ ] 06 Completely different image on back: TEST
[ ] 08 Cropped differently on front: NON-TEST (No TEST card as far as I know; but could be with exaggerated cropping)
[ ] 11 Cropped differently on front: NON-TEST and TEST (TEST Var. has same cropping as rarer National Release Var.)
[ ] 12 Completely different image on the back: TEST
[ ] 13 Cropped differently on front:  NON-TEST and TEST (TEST Var. has same cropping as rarer National Release Var.)
[ ] 14 Cropped differently on front & sometimes missing name on front: NON-TEST and TEST (TEST has same cropping as spelling error 2002 Var)
[ ] 15 Cropped differently on front/ Completely different image on the back: NON-TEST and TEST (TEST Var. has same cropping as rarer National Release Var; only TEST has different image on reverse)
[ ] 16 Cropped differently on front:  NON-TEST and TEST (TEST Var. has same cropping as rarer National Release Var.)
[ ] 21 Cropped differently on front: UNKNOWN (Could be TEST and/or NON-TEST; no current known NON-TEST variation examples)
[ ] 24 Cropped differently on front:  NON-TEST and TEST (TEST Var. has same cropping as rarer National Release Var.)
[ ] 25 Completely different image on front: TEST
[ ] 29 Cropped differently on front: NON-TEST and TEST (TEST Var. has same cropping as rarer National Release Var.)

 
"Villains" Extra Joker Card
[ ] Fall Guys: TEST
 
"Q- Branch"
[ ] 03 Cropped differently on front: TEST (Could be rarer NON-TEST Var. matching TEST cropping)
[ ] 08 Cropped differently on front: NON-TEST (No visible differences in cropping with TEST Var.)
[ ] 09 Completely different images on front and back: TEST
[ ] 12 Cropped differently on front: TEST (Could be rarer NON-TEST Var. matching TEST cropping)
[ ] 15 Completely different image on back / text on the front: TEST
[ ] 19 Cropped differently on front: : TEST (Could be rarer NON-TEST Var. matching TEST cropping)
[ ] 20 Cropped differently on front/ text change:  NON-TEST and TEST (TEST Var. has text change; NON-TEST Var. has unique cropping)
[ ] 25 Cropped differently on front: TEST
[ ] 27 Completely different image on back: TEST
 
"Q- Branch" Extra Joker Card
[ ] Never believed to be released
 
Summary:
"TEST List "

Allies: 01, 02, 05, 06, 09, 13, 20, 21, 24, 25, 26, 30
Locations: 01, 02, 07, 10, 11, 14, 16, 17, 24, 25, 28 (+ Joker)
Vehicles: 01, 06, 10, 11, 12, 15, 16, 19, 23, 28, 30 (+ Joker)
Villains: 02, 06, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 21, 24, 25, 29 (+ Joker)
Q-Branch: 03, 08, 09, 12, 15, 16, 19, 20, 24, 25, 27

2002 Cards with Two Variations List:
Allies: 20
Locations: N/A
Vehicles: N/A
Villains: 08, 11, 13, 14, 15, 16, 21, 24, 29
Q-Branch: 08, 20

Special Thanks to Joseph Watchorn for providing information to update the checklist

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