AzoftSpotlightTop 70 Most bizarre gadgets from movies

Top 70 Most bizarre gadgets from movies

By Alexandra Weinstein on August 24, 2011

When you think of top notch gadgets, the chances are that some of them have, sadly, only ever existed on the silver screen. From James Bond’s kit to Star Wars’ gadgetry, from robots to time machines, films have produced a steady stream of the most gorgeous technological eye-candy you could possibly dream up. Ask anyone their favourite Bond gizmo and you are likely to get a different answer. Likewise, pick out R2D2 from Star Wars and someone will ask why C3PO was excluded. At some point you just have to pick out great gadgets and let them speak for themselves.

The Copter Hat From Inspector Gadget

The Copter Hat From Inspector Gadget

Inspector Gadget might not have been the most adroit spy in the world, but he sure had a convenient way of getting around. Sleuthing across a city presents numerous travel problems: morning traffic, mid-day traffic, evening traffic, crowded sidewalks, crowded buses, an utter dearth of taxicabs, etc. For all the amazing super-cars that spies traditionally drive, nothing compares to the transportation power of a concealed personal helicopter under your fedora. While Bond might be stuck behind a bus that keeps stopping every half-block, Gadget would just up and fly across town with nothing slowing him down (and never has to worry about finding parking at his destination.)

Robocop from Robocop

Robocop from Robocop

Half-man, half-robot, Peter Weller was perfect as Robocop – a prototype brought in to police the streets of Detroit in the near future. Fighting some of the nastiest hoodlums on film and his nemesis ED 209, Robocop’s visor gives him a 4x zoom (no confirmation on whether that’s an optical or digital zoom). Not content with super aim and a gun that holsters in his thigh, Robocop also boasted body armour that carried him through several vicious firefights. Design flaws? Prime directive number four tends to get in his way from time to time.

Mobile Phone From Tomorrow Never Dies

Mobile Phone From Tomorrow Never Dies

 

Today’s mobile phones can outperform desktop PCs, but in 1997, most of us were lucky to have a functioning phone that fit in our knapsack. However, in Tomorrow Never Dies , 007 was connected to MI6 with a futuristic mobile phone boasting several unique features. Its built-in fingerprint scanner read prints left behind by perpetrators and instantly revealed their identities. The phone also served as a stun gun for close quarter encounters and missions where firing a gun would tip off enemies. Finally, Bond’s phone doubled as a remote control for his BMW, allowing him to drive it from afar, and to summon the car to him when the route was too fraught with danger.

Wall-E from Wall-E

Wall-E from Wall-E

Wall-E is proof positive that personality can be just as if not more important than the spec sheet. Pixar imbued this simple droid with an engaging personality and ingenuity. Skyhooks, RC spy planes and race cars are cool, but after a few minutes with Wall-E you can’t help but love him. The scene where he temporarily loses his sense of identity is stunning – you can see the human “magic” is (temporarily) missing and the effect is shocking. Wall-E is devoted to duty, compassionate, smart, tough and resourceful. While lots of gadgets have a nice initial “wow” factor, Wall-E is the one you could happily live with forever. One day we hope animatronic pets/toys such as Pleo, D-Rex, Kota, Furrby and Elmo Live live up to Wall-E’s promise. Everyone should have one.

Old lady disguise from Total Recall

Old lady disguise from Total Recall

While trying to make it onto Mars undetected, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s character Quaid disguises himself with an impressively hi-tech old lady disguise. After Quaid’s subterfuge is rumbled, the disguise opens up in segments to reveal the Austrian action-hero and Governor of California (same person, believe it or not) looking slightly sheepish at being in a dress. The full-head mask then doubles up as a useful exploding diversion (‘Get ready for a surprise!’). Talk about multi-purpose gadgetry…

X-Ray Glasses From The World Is Not Enough

X-Ray Glasses From The World Is Not Enough

James Bond’s two biggest loves were always stopping villains and chasing trim. Not surprisingly, one of 007′s favorite weapons were the x-ray glasses that helped him do both. After all, any respectable spy should be able to enjoy a night at the casino while surreptitiously spotting weapons on some people and scoping out lingerie on others (a capability Bond was never shy about using.) Never one to be taken by surprise, Bond always knew who his aggressors were, and possessed the tactical advantage of preparing himself accordingly.

Cigarette Dart Gun From You Only Live Twice

Cigarette Dart Gun From You Only Live Twice

Cigarettes kill, but Bond’s  cigarette dart gun made sure you didn’t even have to smoke to meet your demise. A brilliant little weapon, the gun looked just like an ordinary cigarette, except when you lit it, a rocket-propelled dart flew out and exploded upon impact with Bond’s target. These days such a weapon might be less practical, now that smoking in most indoor public places is illegal. But outside all bets are off, and a man lighting up a cigarette in the shadows might be the last thing a hoodlum sees before it all goes black. It also comes in handy for breaking out of locked rooms and holding cells, as Bond ingeniously demonstrated in You Only Live Twice.

Paladin Tether Weapon from Jumper

Paladin Tether Weapon from Jumper

Paladins constantly are trying to pursue and capture or kill Jumpers – not an easy task when a Jumper target can literally disappear and reappear instantaneously almost anywhere. To combat this ability, the Paladin forgo bullets and TOW missiles. They get a little primitive in fact yet do it with style. And anything fired in Hayden Christianson’s direction is pretty satisfying anyway. The tether weapon looks like a ninja lightsaber. It explosively and accurately fires a line at a Jumper. If it succeeds in snaring its target, it discharges electric shocks that disrupt a Jumpers ability to teleport. Pretty cool. But we still want that 90 minutes of our lives back.

Utility belt from Batman

Utility belt from Batman

Every version of the Batman utility belt has its unique charms, but the classic grapple gun is a persistent and endlessly handy feature. Pictured is the variant from the 1989 blockbuster, in which Michael Keaton’s Batman put the belt’s grappling hook and paralysing gas dispenser to good use in his fight against Jack Nicholson’s evil Joker.

Explosive Chewing Gum From Mission: Impossible

Explosive Chewing Gum From Mission: Impossible

Tom Cruise introduced meanest stick of Wrigley’s the world had ever seen in 1996’s Mission: Impossible. Dubbed “ Red Light, Green Light ” gum, the stick of candy was anything but child’s play. One side of the gum was red and the other was green. When combined, they produced a big enough explosion to knock a helicopter clear out of the sky. And this gum carries more risks than a toothache; it seems that the agent had to be quite precise to avoid falling victim to his own secret weapon. Hazards notwithstanding, adhesive, explosive gum has endless uses and rescued Cruise from numerous sticky situations. Pun intended.

TV-Wristwatch From Octopussy

TV-Wristwatch From Octopussy

It’s tough to top the swashbuckling image of James Bond receiving video intelligence feeds and cable television on his arm thanks to his  TV-enabled wristwatch in Octopussy. We might be able to watch YouTube clips from our iPhones, but we’re still waiting to call up  ESPN or FX on our wrists. Interestingly, a company actually attempted to sell a television wristwatch with meager success a few months before the movie’s release. Sadly, the watch required wearing a headset for sound and a bulky receiver for the TV signal. Their impractical burdens outweighed their benefits, and almost no one wore them after the novelty wore off.

Miniature Unmanned Spy Plane from Eagle Eye

Miniature Unmanned Spy Plane from Eagle Eye

 

Eagle Eye offers up two cool unmanned spy planes. One is a Predator spy plane appearing several times in the film. Predator UAV’s saw heavy by the US military in Iraq and Afghanistan. But Eagle Eye’s coolest gadget is the miniature UAV marvel launched by a soldier during the opening sequence to pursue, id and monitor a fast-moving target. The unmanned plane transmits optical and infrared images as well as long-range audio back to HQ. It has the muscle to pursue a speeding automobile. All this is delivered in a package small enough to fit in a backpack and provide true stealth reconnaissance. The Eagle Eye UAV appears to be a near-future iteration of existing military UAV’s like Dragon Eye and RQ-11 Raven.

Contact Lens Video Camera From I Spy

Contact Lens Video Camera From I Spy

For situations where even hidden sunglass cameras are too conspicuous, contact lens video cameras ensure you don’t miss a frame of the room or get a chest full of lead in the process. In I Spy, Eddie Murphy sports one of these innocuous oculars and sings some Marvin Gaye to Owen Wilson. Not exactly the most fascinating use for such bleeding-edge technology, but then again, I Spy wasn’t exactly a blockbuster flick, either. Nonetheless, the lenses made for some serious intrigue. (Although it does beg the question of how contact lenses containing wires and video transmitters were still transparent enough to see through.)

Lighter With 83 Options From Our Man Flint

Lighter With 83 Options From Our Man Flint

For a lighter with more options than a fully loaded Maserati, one must wonder how there is still ample room for fluid in the Lighter With 83 Options. Boasting such exotic features as steel-cutting lasers and impact explosion triggers, the lighter may well be all a spy needs to complete his mission and smoke a celebratory cigar. The movie Our Man Flint was more of a comedy than a serious spy thriller, and unfortunately we never did get to see what the majority of those 82 other options consisted of. The only foreseeable problem with using such a gadget in the field might be the sizable manual one would have to carry in order avoid confusing “option 57” from “option 75,” or other similar, perhaps disastrous mistakes.

The Swiss Army Knife From Get Smart

The Swiss Army Knife From Get Smart

Every secret agent needs his trusty pocketknife. Hundreds of potential scenarios call for a versatile multi-tool, but Maxwell Smart’s special issue  Swiss Army knife goes a few steps beyond the model you might have toted as a young boy scout. For starters, the pocketknife came equipped with a flamethrower that could roast opposition up to six feet away. When greater distance stood between Agent Smart and his targets, the knife’s built-in blowgun with poison tipped darts took center stage. A folding scope was also included for ease of targeting. Lastly, the Swiss Army tool boasted a pocket crossbow that fired harpoons connected to spider-silk nano-silk with the holding capacity of  steel cable. All told, it’s hard to imagine a situation in which this little gadget wouldn’t assist Max in making his getaway.

Mark III Armor Suit from Iron Man

Mark III Armor Suit from Iron Man

The movie goes through several iterations of Tony Stark’s trademark “Iron Man” flying armor – from the most crude Mark I which he uses to escape captivity from terrorists to the Mark III that figures into the final battle. The power armor is composed of a gold-titanium alloy and is the culmination of many of Tony Starks engineering masterpieces in a single sleek package. It is powered by Tony’s arc reactor heart, can fire projectile bursts of energy, can fly via 4 air control surfaces, provides long-range communication and has a heads-up display (HUD) that fighter pilots can only dream of. It is a beautiful work of imagination that only the movies can deliver in quite this way.

The Pontiac GTO From XxX

The Pontiac GTO From XxX

James Bond was always famous for having slick and super-equipped rides, often featuring exotic weapons or invisible cloaks that allowed him to avert disaster with vigor and aplomb. When it comes to the most action-packed spy car ever assembled, however, even Bond would be jealous of Xander Cage’s 1967  Pontiac GTO. Aside from being one of the most powerful and capable muscle cars in American history, Cage’s GTO was an all-out war machine, capable of taking down any one foolish enough to stand in front of his lead foot. Twin rocket launchers took care any vehicles in  hot-rod tank’s path, while exploding hubcaps dispensed with ill-intentioned tailgaters. Just to err on the side of too much weaponry, the car also came stocked with a flamethrower in the event Cage ran into any unexpected opposition. For defense and escape, the car featured parachutes for slowing (or soaring off roadside cliffs, as agents so often do) and an ejection driver’s seat for when you’ve gotten in a bit over your head. In an age where European super-cars dominate action movies, XxX offered a sorely-needed tribute to this ferocious piece of American muscle.

Shoe phone From Get Smart

Shoe phone From Get Smart

In an age where cellular phones can fit in the palm of a toddler’s hand, the shoe phone from the original TV series Get Smart might not be today’s most desired spy gadget. But in its day, the clunky device was both top of the line and humorous to watch. The 2008 movie featured a modern version of the shoe phone, which was a bit sleeker, but still no match for an iPhone 3GS. (Then again, even the most suave spy can only look so good talking into a size 11 shoe.) Still, agents need a lot of pocket room, and cell phones just take up space. Store it in your shoe and that’s more room for cyanide pills, exploding dental floss and the like. No matter how you look at it, the shoe phone may not have been sexy, but it sure was funny.

The Golden Army Schuffstein Glasses from Hellboy 2

The Golden Army Schuffstein Glasses from Hellboy 2

Hellboy and his team seek access to the underground troll market under the Brooklyn Bridge. Previous searches have been fruitless but the team is under new management in Doctor Johan Krauss. He provides crates containing the rare Schuffstein Glasses. Using Krauss’ superior investigative technique and the Schuffstein glasses, they find a mean old Scottish troll disguised as an old cat lady. Hellboys less gentle skills then take over and the team achieves its goal.

The Eyeball Camera From Doomsday

The Eyeball Camera From Doomsday

One might assume that getting your eyeball destroyed in a military riot would be a bad thing. For many of us, it would. For Major Eden Sinclair, though, this childhood trauma enabled her to take utilize one of the most intriguing spy gadgets in recent memory. The cybernetic Eyeball Camera can be slid into her eye socket and provide binocular sight, or dislodged and rolled down a hallway where it acts as a pivoting video transmitter. The feed can be watched by Sinclair on her wristwatch from anywhere nearby. This portable and inconspicuous surveillance gadget is infinitely helpful in planning out your room clearing tactics before bursting in all-guns-blazing.

Golden Gun from The Man With The Golden Gun

Golden Gun from The Man With The Golden Gun

Perhaps the most famous James Bond gadget of all, the Golden Gun consisted of a pen, a cigarette lighter, and a cufflink. It sounds like something MacGyver would whip up, but Bond had him beat with this flashy firearm. The downside is that the weapon only held one bullet, but fortunately, that was usually all Bond needed to put down the villain on the receiving end of the 24-karat barrel. The bullet could travel a distance too; it’s just too bad he was unable to build a model with a high- capacity clip. Then the bad guys would really be in for a gleaming spray of death.

Skyhook from The Dark Knight

Skyhook from The Dark Knight

DA Harvey Dent and Lt. Gordon ask Batman to extract mobster accountant Lau from Hong Kong. Lau is shown holed up in a tall secure office tower surrounded by security forces, body guards and modern surveillance & security gear. Lau has also paid off the Hong Kong police force. Bruce Wayne hatches an ingenious and ballsy entry and escape plan requiring a combination of futuristic gizmos – the key gadget being Skyhook. The Hong Kong sequence is short and breathtaking. Fox schedules a meeting with Lau and plans a cell-phone EMP in the lobby which can be remotely activated. Wayne, now suited up as Batman, fires shaped charges on synchronized timers from a nearby building. The EMP is triggered disabling surveillance and communication systems in Lau’s building. Batman then cape-glides to an upper floor and smashes in through a window near Lau’s location. Batman quickly dispatches Lau’s personal body guards and grabs Lau. The police and security detail react quickly and have Batman cornered holding Lau captive. The shaped charges blow the window behind Batman, who immediately deploys a homing beacon. Seconds later Batman and Lau are suddenly yanked from the broken window by a cargo plane fitted for the Skyhook system. It’s an impressive sequence that epitomizes Batman’s imaginative gadgeteering.

The Neuralizer From Men In Black

The Neuralizer From Men In Black

Secret agents do more than just battle terrorists and organized crime: they also fight against the worst scum of the universe. These agents are known as the Men In Black, and their slickest gadget is one of the most practical for daily use. A small, portable memory erasing device, the Neuralizer is an MIB agent’s most important tool. All the agent has to do is flash the bulb at the intended person or crowd and stand back as their memory of what just happened is erased. If the person has witnessed something top-secret, the agent can erase their memory of the event, and then offer some neutral explanation for it (for example: “There was a gas leak”). Men in black always wear dark black sunglasses that are specially constructed to protect them against the effects of the Neuralizer.

Cell Phone Sonar From The Dark Knight

Cell Phone Sonar From The Dark Knight

Imagine the ability to see every square inch of a city simultaneously. You could track your friends, incriminate your enemies, and locate almost anything you desired. This is the kind of power that Batman wielded in 2008’s soon-to-be-classic The Dark Knight. Using a multitude of flat-screen displays, Batman could view anywhere in Gotham City on a massive, ostentatious machine. There was no need to set up cameras on every street, either. Rather, the machine locked onto every cellular phone signal in the city and repurposed the phones’ speakers as sonar emitters. In this way, everyone and everything could be imaged using sound waves broadcasted from the phones. Such power quickly leads to corruption, and that’s why the machine came with its own self-destruct system to ensure that it was only used for its expressed purpose.

Lightsabers – Star Wars

Lightsabers – Star Wars

An elegant weapon, for a more civilized age.” Whether your particular brand comes in badass red, noble hero blue, or Samuel L. Jedi purple, the lightsaber is such an intimidator, it can even make a two-foot Muppet seem tough. You don’t even have to use it, just flick it on and its unmistakable hum clearly says: “Somebody’s walking out of here without a limb.”

The Train Set from Silver Spoons

The Train Set from Silver Spoons

I didn’t know one kid who didn’t want this oversized train set at some point.  There’s really not much to it aside from the fact that you can, you know, ride on the friggin’ thing, but when you’re a kid, sometimes the simplest joys are the greatest.  When I was very young, I had a friend who actually had a secret tunnel from his living room into his bedroom, and I thought that was the coolest thing I had ever seen.  I probably would have had a stroke if he had laid down some train tracks on it.

Remote Control – Click

Remote Control – Click

The remote control with unending possibilities. In “Click,” Adam Sandler plays Michael Newman, an overworked architect who discovers a truly universal remote, one that allows him to pause, fast-forward, mute and rewind real life

Scramble suit from A Scanner Darkly

Scramble suit from A Scanner Darkly

Another invention of Philip K Dick’s fiction, the scramble suit is the hi-tech costume that electronically disguises everything about the wearer’s appearance in 2006 movie A Scanner Darkly. Employed by the narcotics police officers of A Scanner Darkly’s bleak vision of a drug-riddled America, a scramble suit presents an individual with a trippy, constantly fluctuating appearance – perfect for keeping undercover officers’ identities secret.

Green Lantern Ring

Green Lantern Ring

A power ring is a weapon in the DC Universe, most notably used by the Green Lantern Corps. These rings are considered to be the most powerful weapons in the DC Universe, as its effects are limited only by the imagination and willpower of its wielder Each Green Lantern possesses a power ring that gives the user great control over the physical world as long as the wielder has sufficient willpower and strength to wield it. While the ring of the Golden Age Green Lantern was magically powered, the rings worn by all subsequent Lanterns were technological creations of the Guardians of the Universe, who granted such rings to worthy candidates. Reason You Wish You Had It? Is so freaking cool!!

James Bond’s Aston Martin

James Bond’s Aston Martin

The Aston Martin was first introduced in Goldfinger with machine guns, a back shield, an oil slick, rotating license plates and tire slashers. Different models made appearances in Thunderball, The Living Daylights, Die Another Day and Casino Royale .Each model had cool add-ons like a cloaking shield, laser weapons and even a defibrillator. God, I want one of those cars

Plasma gun from The Matrix

Plasma gun from The Matrix

The Matrix introduced us to the Wachowski Brothers’ high-octane take on the classic ray gun: a variation on the plasma rifle, a mainstay of sci-fi action and videogames alike (see Babylon 5 and the Halo series, for example). First wielded by the treacherous Cypher, this device presumably, though not explicitly, uses an electromagnetic accelerator to fire a blast of ultra-hot ionised gas – that is, plasma – at an unlucky target. The theory is that such a weapon would cause acute, destructive burns. The closest thing we have to real plasma rifles for the time being (fortunately, perhaps), are the plasma torches used in robotic manufacturing processes as powerful but short-range cutting tools.

Jack Bauer’s PDA from 24

Jack Bauer’s PDA from 24

Like James Bond’s mobile phone from Tomorrow Never Dies, Jack Bauer’s PDA could do almost anything. Satellite photos or building schematics? No problem! Encrypted messages from terrorists? Piece of cake! As long as Chloe was feeding him the information, there wasn’t anything that his PDA couldn’t do.

Pee-wee Herman’s Bicycle

Pee-wee Herman’s Bicycle

When I was a kid, Pee-wee Herman was the coolest guy in the world and pretty much everything I ever wanted to be.  Fortunately, my tatstes changed quite a bit as I got older and I haven’t been caught wearing a grey tuxedo and masturbating in an adult theater (yet).  One aspect of Pee-wee’s Big Adventure that I still long for, though, is his incredible bicycle.  It’s no wonder that Pee-wee traveled across the country in search of his stolen bike, as the thing made regular bikes seem like mere stone wheels.  Pee-wee’s bicycle was fit for James Bond, complete with limitless chain storage and jet propulsion. I think that at some point, every kid dreams of having an awesome bicycle, and no bike was better than Pee-wee’s.

Sony VAIO UX Premium Micro PC from Terminator Salvation

Sony VAIO UX Premium Micro PC from Terminator Salvation

John Connor uses the Sony VAIO UX Premium Micro PC as a communication tool in the movie Terminator Salvation. He also hands one to the half machine/half human Marcus Wright to communicate with. Towards the end of the movie, we see John Connor using it to track his father, Kyle Reese using the GPS feature. The micro PC offers some interesting features: Bluetooth, GPS, solid-state drive, Wide Area Network 5 (WAN5) technology, USB 2.0 ports, and two cameras for video conferencing. The cost is a pretty hefty $2,500.

Ferris Bueller’s Computer

Ferris Bueller’s Computer

Computers can do just about anything now, and it’s only a matter of time before one passes the Turing test.  But in 1986, computers were big, clunky machines that took forever to do anything, and God forbid you even owned a modem.  Ferris’ computer, though, was years ahead of its time. In addition to simulating the sounds of snoring and coughing so as to trick your parents when you’re off driving around in your friend’s dad’s Ferrari, Ferris’ computer could change the number of days you’ve been absent at school.  Knowing what I know now and having that type of machine in 1986, I’d be either filthy rich or locked up in federal prison.

Computer from Minority Report

Computer from Minority Report

We’ve all become accustomed to our current computers (typing and pounding on them), but while touch screens seem like the future, this computer from the movie Minority Report takes it to another level. The hand motions to see visual images and tapping and squeezing to zoom into pictures and objects would be absolutely amazing. There would be no need to ever use a mouse, a keyboard (the computer offers voice commands) or a screen. I’m just wondering why Apple hasn’t developed this thing already, oh yeah… they need inspiration from someone else first.

Robot from I, Robot

Robot from I, Robot

I loved this movie even though it didn’t do well with critics. Maybe it was because of the sweet car in the movie, an Audi of course or the fact that the Robot, Sonny looked freakin’ awesome. I’d love to stroll down the road with one of those robots by my side and see if anyone messes with me. It would be great for all the lazy Americans who need things done but never want to do it themselves.

Iron Man Suit from Iron Man

Iron Man Suit from Iron Man

In the recent blockbuster 'Iron Man,' Robert Downey Jr. plays Tony Stark, a billionaire defense industry inventor who builds a suit that gives him extreme strength, an array of weapons, and the ability to fly. Surprisingly, calling it standard comic book fare would a mistake. According to an article from Popular Science, an inventor named Steve Jacobsen and his company, Sarcos, are working on an exoskeleton for the military that would allow soldiers to pick up hundreds of pounds without breaking a sweat. The XOS uses a series of sensors and hydraulics controlled by a computer that's designed to mimic and minimize the strain on the user's muscles.

Surface from James Bond – Quantum of Solace

Surface from James Bond - Quantum of Solace

It’s a scene after any gadget lovers heart. MI6 agents collaboratively chase leads and begin to piece together critical evidence leading to a shadow organization known as Quantum. The centerpiece is an investigative “ready room” for lack of a better term equipped with a tantalizing combination of large displays (one a long table, the other a wall), a touchscreen interface and a scanner. Money is scanned, photos are ID’d, virtual images are rearranged and highlighted with finger touches and swipes of the hand. It’s all quite impressive. While it’s reminiscent of Minority Report, MI6’s room is far more believable.

Force Fields from Star Trek

Force Fields

If 'Independence Day' or 'Star Trek' taught us anything, it's that we're screwed if our enemies invent force fields. Maybe that's why our military and many scientists around the world are putting so much money and effort into developing Plasma Shields, which have similar properties to their fictional counterparts. The basic premise is this – plasma, which is gas with all its particles ionized, thickens at high temperatures. If properly focused and controlled, it could prevent objects from passing through. The US Military is currently developing the Plasma Acoustic Shield System, which creates mini explosions of plasma to both momentarily stun an attacker and deflect projectiles.

The Opti-Grab from The Jerk

The Opti-Grab from The Jerk

In Carl Reiner's farce, gas-station attendant Navin Johnson (Steve Martin) rigs a nose-resting handle for eyeglasses for an entrepreneur who then markets it as the Opti-Grab. The item becomes a sensation, earning Johnson untold millions … until disaster strikes and Navin's left with nothing but a thermos. But that's all he needs.

Portable brain-wave detector with a built-in tongue box from Barbarella

Portable brain-wave detector with a built-in tongue box from Barbarella

She's a five-star, double-rated, astronautical aviatrix with a lust for life — and her mission is to find the missing Durand Durand. No, not the band (Duran Duran), but the renegade scientist the group is named after. Roger Vadim's supremely campy adaptation of the French comic strip "Barbarella" is a sexy shagadelic romp, and the gizmos in it are a bizarre amalgam of medieval-looking metal and old-West-style wood with things like chrome hands attached for no apparent reason. Austin Powers would be right at home in Barbarella's (Jane Fonda) fur-lined spaceship.

Mach 5 from Speed Racer

Mach 5 from Speed Racer

The Mach 5, Speed Racer’s primary vehicle, is impressive, packed with nimble moves, blazing speed and combat capabilities. In addition to its standard jump jacks and gatling guns, the Mach 5 is eventually fitted with a bullet-proof shielded cockpit, shredder, tire shields, emergency hot spare tires, twin front-mounted saw blades and tire crampons. So while Bond failed to provide us with a drool-worthy automobile in 2008, Speed Racer delivered the goods. (As with most movies of this type – each one of the Mach 5’s abilities comes uniquely – perhaps suspiciously – handy during key moments in Speed’s race sequences.)

The Communicator from Star Trek

The Communicator from Star Trek

While not quite as stylish as the shoe-phone from "Get Smart," the communicator used by the crew of the USS Enterprise (from the 1960s TV show through their many movies) may be the most prescient gadget in sci-fi history. Anyone who's ever flipped open their phone and walkie-talkied a pal owes a debt to Mr. Spock and Captain Kirk (and they couldn't even text message!). Now if only our Razr would make that cool communicator chirping sound …

UHF Single-Digit Sonic Agitator Unit From Die Another Day

UHF Single-Digit Sonic Agitator Unit From Die Another Day

You can't have a list of movie gadgets without a couple of items from Q Branch: Whenever James Bond wears jewelry, you know it's not just to accessorize. In this Bond flick, 007 (Pierce Brosnan) sports a gold ring that, when turned, emits ultra-high frequency sound waves capable of smashing glass or giving you a really, really severe migraine (no, it's not a wedding ring).

Programmable Batarang from Batman Returns

Programmable Batarang from Batman Returns

The various Batmen's utility belts have been loaded with all sorts of goodies, from Adam West's bat-shark repellant to Christian Bale's magnetic grappling gun. But our favorite (as in most ludicrous) bat-gizmo is the programmable Batarang that Michael Keaton uses in "Batman Returns." But since the villains in Tim Burton's plodding sequel don't really move that much, programming their locations into the weapon seems really superfluous.

Al Czervik's golf bag from Caddyshack

Al Czervik's golf bag from Caddyshack

In the snobs vs. slobs comedy classic, real estate mogul Al Czervik's (Rodney Dangerfield) poor caddy totes around a gargantuan golf bag that carries far more than just his irons. Loaded with a remote-controlled club-ejector, built-in stereo (that sadly blares only Journey) and a tapped beer keg, the bag pulls off the amazing feat of making golf seem fun.

The Rebreather from Thunderball

The Rebreather from Thunderball

We're listing the pen-sized oxygen apparatus from 007's fourth film just because the mini-scuba was so convincing, the British military contacted the filmmakers for the specs — proving that sometimes "military intelligence" is indeed an oxymoron.

The Piano from Big

The Piano from Big

Apparently the giant piano from Big is an actual, purchasable toy, but I’ll be damned if I’ve ever met anyone who’s actually owned one.  The Bigpiano is probably more of a novelty than a toy you’re actually going to play very often, as anything more than a simple tune would probably get tiring pretty fast.  Maybe it’d be a great way to get in shape, but playing Beethoven could result in a heart attack.  I imagine I’d spend most of my time getting a running start and then sliding across the keys before messign around for a few minutes and then growing frustrated.

The puzzle box from Hellraiser

The puzzle box from Hellraiser

Granted, it's not a toy you'd want your kids to play with, but the mystical puzzle box from Clive Barker's seminal horror film is one cool Rubik's Cube. Promising pleasures beyond anything imaginable in the physical realm, the puzzle box has one drawback: If you solve it, mystical demons called Cenobites are released and it's their idea of "pleasure" that you have to endure. One man's pain,

AMP suit from Avatar

AMP suit from Avatar

These militarized exo-skeletons shred through the Pandora landscape, but I think they'd be much more effective the way James Cameron put his own to use: posting sentry duty on his front lawn. Bet there are plenty of abandoned Frisbees and whiffle balls on Cameron's property

Invisibility cloak from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

Invisibility cloak from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

There's an entire world of magic to choose from in Harry Potter, but the invisibility cloak seems like the most practical — and the most feasible — for mere muggles. No more waiting in lines. (Yeah, no more waiting in lines — that's the primo perk of an invisibility cloak. Riiiiight.

Space meals from 2001: A Space Odyssey

Space meals from 2001: A Space Odyssey

Ten years after the year 2001 actually happened, we still don't have any space stations, moon colonies, or homicidal computers. But we're mostly just upset that no one has invented packaged space meals, which allow you to drink the essence of food like fish and corn through a straw.

Heat ray gun from War of the Worlds

Heat ray gun from War of the Worlds

Unstoppable behemoths are always pretty cool but HG Wells’ invaders from Mars really took the biscuit with their giant tripods blasting a terrible heat ray that incinerated everything unfortunate enough to be in their paths. The 1954 film featured two varieties of heat ray (red sparks and green blobs) and in the words of one of the characters: ‘It neutralizes mesons somehow. They're the atomic glue holding matter together.’ Quite.

Omega 13 from Galaxy Quest

Omega 13 from Galaxy Quest

The plot of Galaxy Quest hinges on a mysterious device that allows the user to travel a mere 13 seconds into the past, an ideal length of time if you need to re-try an unsuccessful pick-up line or if you just spilled coffee all over your new suit. Also, since it's only 13 seconds, you don't run the risk of killing/becoming your own grandfather

Babel Fish from Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

Babel Fish from Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

Of all the Dr.-Seuss-goes-galactic inventions in Douglas Adams' Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, we mostly want to get our hands on a Babel Fish, a tiny creature that allows you to understand every language in the universe. Unfortunately, in order to use the Babel Fish, it has to be inserted into your brain via your ear canal.

Lightbike from TRON

Lightbike from TRON

If you mashed together an electric car, a one-person vehicle, a Segway, and the Bat-cycle, and then painted the whole thing black and neon, you would probably have to be some sort of eccentric billionaire just to afford the whole thing. But then you'd have a reasonable real-world facsimile of TRON's digital-world light cycle, which would make you the coolest person in the world. (We recommend wearing a helmet, though).

Jet pack from Thunderball

Jet pack from Thunderball

Sean Connery has admitted that he feels Thunderball is the moment when James Bond films started to focus too heavily on gadgets. For everyone else it was the moment when Bond uses the most awesome jet-pack to escape from Duvall in the opening sequence. It must have been an even more jaw-dropping experience in the mid-60s to see Connery putting this technology to work, and its only real competitor in the cool jet pack stakes came when Boba Fett flew into the Star Wars movies. Jet packs never really took off (ahem) in the way that many of us would have liked. Expensive, dangerous and difficult to control – outside of space exploration, you are pretty unlikely to see one in action outside of the movies. Still, we can dream…

SQUID recording technology from Strange Days

SQUID recording technology from Strange Days

In the bleak dystopian future of Strange Days' 1999, a device called SQUID (or Superconducting Quantam Interface Device) allows a user to record his thoughts and experiences. Consumers can then buy SQUID tapes to relive those experiences. On one hand, this would be a great tool for teaching empathy, allowing you to truly walk a mile in another human being's shoes (not to mention clothes, body, and plane of existence.) On the other hand, think of how much more fun an episode of reality TV would be using SQUID: You could actually experience the glamour of singing on American Idol.

Geordi La Forge's VISOR from Star Trek: The Next Generation

Geordi La Forge's VISOR from Star Trek: The Next Generation

On Star Trek: The Next Generation, the blind-from-birth Chief Engineer wore a vision-granting VISOR (Visual Instrument and Sensory Organ Replacement), which gave him several special sight abilities, including infrared and microscopic vision. That's pretty cool. But we'd wear this VISOR even if we weren't blind. It just looks awesome.

Barb-o-Mite from Futurama — The Beast With A Billion Backs

Barb-o-Mite from Futurama — The Beast With A Billion Backs

A hair gel composed of nano machines that Fry combs onto his unruly locks. In moments the nano bots shape and trim Fry’s coif back to its normal state. This is one nano application that we would love to have access to – no more bad hair days with Barb-o-Mite! Coming July, 3000 AD.

The transporter from Star Trek

The transporter from Star Trek

If science could get off its lazy rump and invent a simple process of subatomic dematerialization/rematerialization, just think of how much better our lives would be. No more gas-guzzling cars. No more terrible plane travel. Considerably less pollution. Unfortunately, this does mean that you would no longer have any excuses to skip family reunions.

Paulie’s Robot from Rocky IV

Paulie’s Robot from Rocky IV

There’s a lot of weird human-on-robot lust to be considered, but Paulie’s robot from Rocky IV would be a dream come true.  Never again would you have to leave the couch to grab something to drink or a snack, but more importantly, the robot would never complain about its role as an electronic slave.  Paulie changed the robot’s voice from a harsh, buzzing tone to the soothing tone of a woman’s, which leads me to believe that one could program the robot to sound however he or she desires.  Would you like your robot to sound like Penelope Cruz?  How about Sam Jackson?  Regardless, having a compliant servant is tough to beat.

Flying cars from The Fifth Element

Flying cars from The Fifth Element

Flying cars are the norm for futuristic films, cropping up everywhere from The Fifth Element to Back To The Future. In fact, pretty much the only place we can't see them is floating around outside our windows. We reckon time's up for roads, with their mile-long traffic jams and pedestrian crossings. How great would it be to just take to the skies, where we could avoid traffic jams by simply flying over the other cars?

DeLorean from Back To The Future

DeLorean from Back To The Future

Flying cars are one thing, but a car that can fly and also travel through time, is quite another. There are some key events in history, such as the demise of the Roman Empire and the Battle of Stalingrad that have been the bane of history lessons for years, simply because they're too dull to learn about. If the DeLorean were a school bus, history classes would have been much more fun. We could have witnessed those events unfold firsthand, and been back before the lunch bell rang.

Giant reflective shield from Sunshine

Giant reflective shield from Sunshine

A giant reflective radiation shield sat atop the Icarus II, the spindly spaceship of Danny Boyle’s recent sci-fi movie Sunshine, and kept the crew inside from frying as they drew ever closer to the sun. With the film’s designers aiming for a particularly authentic look, they modelled the gold-leaf sunshield after the real-life shielding on Nasa satellites.

Lotus Esprit Submarine Car from The Spy Who Loved Me

Lotus Esprit Submarine Car from The Spy Who Loved Me

James Bond gadgets never cease to amaze us. One such contraption is this submersible Lotus Esprit, which Mr 'shaken not stirred' took for a dive while escaping the attentions of a crazed rocket shooting helicopter pilot (as you do). Unlike the rest of the gadgets on this list, the submarine car could be hitting our shores (quite literally) very soon. One hardcore James Bond fan has already created his own version, the Squba submarine car, although the fact that it is a convertible kind of defeats the purpose.

The Goodie Room from Tropic Thunder

The Goodie Room from Tropic Thunder

Les Grosman won’t win any beauty awards, but he has a certain panache greatly enhanced by a killer stereo system and remote-controlled mood lighting. He also has a hilarious obsession with tough-guy rap songs like “Low” by Flo Rida and “Get Back” by Ludacris. Les gets what he wants and the Goodie Room is well equipped to back him up with some crazy freaky dance floor ambiance.

Dejarik from Star Wars

Dejarik from Star Wars

Life-size chess had been attempted before — History of the World Part I (too kinky) — and after — Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (borrrr-ing) — Star Wars, but three-dimensional, full-contact space chess seems like an idea whose time has come. Who doesn't want to see a Mantellian Savrip body slam a Kintan Strider? Checkmate.

Time machine from The Time Machine

Time machine from The Time Machine

We had actually forgotten to include this gadget, but fortunately we used it to come back and rectify our mistake… oh, alright, we’ll get on with it. The fiction of HG Wells makes a second appearance in the list with this time machine – superbly realised on the silver screen in the 1960 classic film.

Invented by a Victorian scientist, who uses the device to travel into a future world where the beautiful Eloi live in fear of the Morlocks, the time machine looks a bit like a cross between a shed and the inner workings of a clock. Still, it is a wonderful gadget, both in the film and in concept.