I loved talking to Allyson and love Esme's illustrations
BY ALLYSON MCCABE AND ESME BLEGVAD
December 13th, 2018
One of my favorite little toys was a quirky little die-cast car: The 007 Aston Martin, Goldfinger edition. I think it first came out in ‘65. I got mine between second and third grade when we went to London to visit my Aunt Mickey.
Back then, a kid from Denver going to London was a big thing. They had this huge toy store called Hamleys, which had this big display of spy toys. There was a suitcase full of spy gear, and a trench coat, and a camera where if you pressed a button it would turn into a gun. And right in the middle of the display was a car—but it wasn’t just a car.
If you pressed a little button, guns would come out of the side, and the window had a bulletproof shield. The best part was that the roof would open up, and there were two little men inside… One was James Bond and the other was the bad guy, who was in the ejector seat, where he could be thrown out of the roof. That just freaked my shit out!
Back then I didn’t want to be a rock star. I wanted to be an international spy girl. I wasn’t into girl stuff, but I loved James Bond! I would wear black leotards and turtlenecks, and that would be my spy outfit, sort of like “spy Beatnik”—either that or German electronic music—and I loved dressing up and playing with that car.
I remember ejecting the bad guy so many times, and then looking all over for him, which was kind of a spy thing to do. I think probably everyone who had that car lost the bad guy at some point. He was always hiding in someone’s shag carpet. Whenever I lost mine, I fantasized that a real spy would help me find him.
I was an odd little kid and both my parents worked, so I spent a lot of time by myself. At night my dad would read books like Sherlock Holmes to me in bed. And of course I had Harriet the Spy. There was just something I loved about secrets and mysteries. I always felt like there were things going on around me that everyone knew except for me, and I found out later as an adult that was true!