SpyCast 3.5.24
Ep 623 | 3.5.24

The James Bond Collector - with Mike VanBlaricum

Show Notes


Mike VanBlaricum (X; LinkedIn) joins Andrew (XLinkedIn) to discuss his journey as a James Bond fanatic and collector. Mike is the President of the Ian Fleming Foundation.

What You’ll Learn


  • How Mike became an obsessive James Bond collector with 10,000 artifacts
  • Mike’s favorite Bond cars, movies, and books
  • How From Russia with Love was one of John F Kennedy’s favorite books
  • Mike’s tips on the best place to start if you want to read the Bond novels


  • The passion of a collector
  • Pop culture influencing the “real” world

And much, much more …

Episode Notes

This week on SpyCast, Andrew was joined by James Bond collector, fanatic, and President of the Ian Fleming Foundation Mike VanBlaricum to celebrate the opening of the Bond In Motion exhibition at the International Spy Museum. The exhibition is a celebration of six decades of 007 vehicles and features 17 iconic pieces from the EON Productions Archive and the Ian Fleming Foundation. In this episode, Andrew and Mike discuss his lifelong interest in James Bond and his journey to owning around 10,000 Bond-related artifacts. How did Mike first get into the business of collecting, and how has his life been shaped by the original work of Ian Fleming? Tune in to find out!


Mike is a graduate of the University of Illinois where he received his B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering. His collection of original Fleming Bond books will eventually find its home at the University’s Rare Book and Manuscript Library. The University of Illinois is also the birthplace of everyone’s favorite fictional sentient artificial general intelligence computer, HAL 9000 from the classic 1968 film 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Quotes of the Week

I've always been fascinated about the study of creativity. And so, between wanting to understand spy craft and that whole human side as well as creativity, creativity like Fleming – How one person can change popular culture, you know, ultimately, something that came out of his mind can change popular culture is just fascinating to me.” – Mike VanBlaricum




*Beginner Resources*



  • For Your Eyes Only: Ian Fleming + James Bond, B. Macintyre (Bloomsbury USA, 2008)
  • Licence to Thrill: A Cultural History of the James Bond Films, J. Chapman (I.B. Tauris, 2008)
  • Ian Fleming, A. Lycett (St. Martin’s Press, 1995)



Primary Sources 

*Wildcard Resource*

  • Who’s The Deadliest Bond? Pierce Brosnan – And by a high margin! Brosnan’s 007 had an average of 27 kills per movie. His runner-up, Roger Moore, clocked in an average of 16.6.

o Read the stats by movie here. License to Kill indeed...