|Sam's Toybox Homepage|
When I was growing up, one of the greatest joys in my life was putting together Aurora plastic monster model kits. In 1970 or so when I discovered them, Aurora was selling twelve models all in Glow in the Dark versions, the first twelve headings on this page. I owned each of the dozen models, some more than once as I would play with them and eventually break them. Aurora went out business and the monster model molds were sold to various companies including Monogram and are now owned by Polar Lights, a division of Playing Mantis. I am tickled to death to see the models re-issued and will own them all once again. Here for your enjoyment are a few original Aurora models, a number of re-issues, a few non-Aurora monsters, and links to some very cool sites. Mega Hobby's online store has a good selection of Polar Lights models.
Other model kits in my collection: Marvel Comics Models by Toy Biz and Other Cool Models - my catch-all page of all the rest of my models.
The Creature from the Black Lagoon
Aurora's Creature model was an excellent sculpting of the gillman from the 1950s movie. Both of these are re-issues cast from the original Aurora molds. The Monogram one is item number 6490 from 1994 when they also released the Phantom of the Opera. The long-box version on the right is model number 7501 dated 1999 by CineModels distributed by Polar Lights.
You can get all three creature movies in the very reasonably priced Legacy Collection DVD set from Amazon.com.
Aurora's Dracula kits are original sculptures and were not meant to be of Bela Lugosi, though the box art for the first Dracula is clearly him. Four re-issues cast from the original Aurora molds and a Monster of the Movies Dracula. The Monogram "Luminator" was cast in neon plastic and is item number 1620 from 1991. A total of six Luminator monster models were created all of which are on this page. The next kit is the 1991 recast by Monogram, item number 6008. The next version if a Bonus Value Pack from Monogram and included paints, brush, glue and the model kit. Item number 6380, this was one of four Wal-Mart exclusive model released by Monogram in 1994. The long-box version is item number 424-98 dated 1999 by CineModels distributed by Polar Lights. The Revell model is a re-issue of Aurora's 1975 "Monster of the Movies" Dracula, item number 85-3634 dated 1999.
You can get five Dracula movies in the very reasonably priced Legacy Collection DVD set from Amazon.com.
It is rumored that the Dr. Jekyll as Mr. Hyde molds were destroyed and that the kit will never be re-issued. One can hope that the rumors are untrue. Meanwhile, here is the Aurora Dr. Jekyll kit from their Monsters of the Movies series, a snap-together model dated 1975. Update: Moebius Models has reissued three versions of the Dr. Jekyll as Mr. Hyde model in 2007. Woo Hoo. First is the standard long box release then the squarebox Glow in the Dark version. The third kit shown, the long box "Frightning Lightning" version was produced in limited edition as an exclusive kit only available at the 2007 Chiller Theatre show (mine is kit #135 of 480).
Famous Monsters of Filmland Magazine created this new "monster" for Aurora. This is the Polar Lights re-issue, item 7509 dated 2001.
Aurora's Frankenstein model is a fairly accurate sculp of Jack Pierce's make-up though it reminds me more of the Glenn Strange incarnation (House of Frankenstein) than of Karloff. The Monogram "Luminator" was cast in neon plastic and is item number 1619 from 1991. The Monogram Bonus Value Pack is item number 6375 from 1994. The Revell model is a re-issue of Aurora's 1975 "Monster of the Movies" Frankenstein, item number 85-3633 dated 1999.
You can get the five original Universal Studios Frankenstein movies in the very reasonably priced Legacy Collection DVD set from Amazon.com.
Three Godzilla models, the middle one is a re-issue of an Aurora. The first kit is a large snap-fit kit from Lindberg, item number 71344 dated 1995. The back of the box gives a simple explanation of using 'washes' and 'drybrush' to paint the model. The second model is a re-issue of the 1960s Aurora kit, item number 7502 dated 2000. The third is a new version by Polar Lights and is a full 16 inches tall. A great kit, item number 05046 dated 2002.
The Godzilla - The Ultimate Collection DVD set from Amazon.com has five of the more popular Gozilla movies.
A recast of the Aurora Hunchback of Notre Dame model. Licensing problems prevented Polar Lights from using the name "Hunchback" so they went with "Bellringer" instead. This is model number 5090 dated 2002.
Versions of the Hunchback starring Lon Chaney, Charles Laughton, and Anthony Quinn are available on DVD from Amazon.com.
The Luminator of King Kong is the rarest in the series. It is item number 1623 from Monogram in 1992. The next kit is from Polar Lights and is item number 7507 dated 2000. The King Kong's Thronester is a re-issue of a less popular (at the time) 1960s kit, item number 5016 dated 1998.
The original 1933 version, as well as the hokey 1976 version and Peter Jackson's excellent 2005 remake of King Kong are all available on DVD from Amazon.com.
The box on the left is an original Aurora Glow in the Dark Mummy model from the late 1960s. This version was still factory sealed when I bought it, which meant there were two pieces of cellophane tape holding the box shut. I carefully opened the box to reveal a model cast in black plastic. This is the English version, produced by Aurora Plastics Co. U.K. Ltd., Beeching Road, Bexhill. Kit number 452. The Monogram Luminator version is item number 1622 dated 1991 and the Bonus Value Pack is item number 6378 dated 1994, also by Monogram.
You can get the five original Universal Studios Mummy movies in the very reasonably priced Legacy Collection DVD set from Amazon.com.
Aurora's Phantom model is reminiscent of Lon Chaney's silent film portrayal of Eric, the tortured composer from Paris. The sculpture was probably made just different enough to not incur copyright infringement from Universal or the Chaney estate. This Monogram Luminator is a re-cast of the Phantom from the original Aurora molds, done in orange neon plastic. Item number 1624, dated 1992. The second model is a new sculpt by Polar Lights of the Phantom with his organ. Item 5027 dated 2000.
Plenty of versions of the Phantom, from the silent 1925 Lon Chaney version to the 2005 movie of Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical are available on DVD from Amazon.com.
The kit on the left is an original Glow in the Dark Witch from Aurora. It is partially assembled using the glow pieces and has a rather poor paint job, reminiscent of the painting I used to do in my youth. Kit number 470, dated 1972, it is cast in dark gray. The long box version is a Polar Lights re-issue and is cast in an off-white color. Interestingly, the bottles, jug, and oil lamp are cast in clear plastic in the new kit. Nicely done Polar Lights. Model 5092, dated 2000.
The Aurora Wolf Man was an original sculpture and was not meant to portray Lon Chaney Jr's character. Original box art was a fairly good representation of the model, though the Polar Lights re-issue box, now approved by Universal, is clearly of the Chaney incarnation. The Monogram Luminator is a re-cast of the Wolf Man from the original Aurora molds, done in yellow neon plastic and is item number 1621, dated 1991. The Bonus Value Pack is from Monogram in 1994, item number 6379. The long box version is a Polar Lights re-cast from the original molds and looks nothing like the box art. Kit number 425-98, dated 1999. The second, wider long box is a new sculpt by Polar Lights and closely resembles Lon Chaney and includes the tree. Model number 5018, dated 1999. The Wolf Man's Wagon is a Polar Lights re-cast from a 1960s Aurora kit. Model number 5015, dated 1997.
As set of five vintage Wolfman movies is available in the very reasonably priced Legacy Collection DVD set from Amazon.com.
The Aurora Bride kit was put out in the early 1960s and was no longer produced when I started building these kits in the early 1970s. This is a re-cast from the original Aurora mold and was among the first kits re-issued by Polar Lights. Model number 5005, dated 1997.
One of a few kits that Aurora put out in Snap-Together form, this is a Polar Lights re-cast from the original mid 1970s kit. Model number 6802, dated 2000.
Not an Aurora kit at all, this is the Ymir as brought to life by Ray Harryhausen in the 1957 movie 20 Million Miles to Earth. It is the one and only vinyl model kit I own and was put out by GEOmetric Design. Since I don't have the box I have no idea of the kit number or year.
This movie, and most of Ray Harryhausen's other movies are available either singly or in multi-film giftsets from Amazon.com.
|Manufacturer:||Aurora, Revell, Monogram, Polar Lights, Lindbergh, GEOmetric Design|
|Vintage:||1960s - 2000s|
|Obtained:||Ebay, MonsterInMotion.com, hobby stores, flea markets, and elsewhere.|
Keith Meyer's Aurora Models Page - Lots of info and the Aurora Catalogs
60s Wing of the Gallery of Monster Toys - great pics of built-ups
Plastic Model Building Mania - lots of Aurora and other kits
Lowbudget Records Model Museum - lots of non-Aurora kits - great painting
Aurora Model Kits Video - two hour long VHS - quite cool
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Last Modified: February 10, 2008
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