Tag Archives: Polar Lights

(Book Review) Aurora Model Kits by Thomas Graham

The Most Useful Reference Guide to AURORA MODEL KITS Gets Useful Update

Aurora Model Kits by Thomas Graham

Aurora Model Kits with Polar Lights, Moebius, Atlantis 3rd Edition by Thomas Graham (Schiffer Publishing, 2017)

Perhaps no company or toy line better defines 1960s and 70s Monster Kid culture than the beloved Aurora Plastics Company monster model kits.  Launched in 1963 with the iconic Frankenstein Monster, Aurora quickly added  Dracula and The Wolf Man. 

Aurora Frankenstein Model

The company had a hit on their hands with the original trio and quickly expanded to include a full line of iconic Universal Monsters, Toho creatures and more.  For the next 20 years, fantastic creatures of film and TV appeared to feed the ravenous appetites of Monster Kids.  Today, the Aurora monster model kits sit beside Famous Monsters of Filmland and Shock Theater as the matches that set fire to many a lifelong love, some would say obsession, with classic monsters.  The gorgeous painted box art by James Bama evoke the glorious cover art of Famous Monsters of Filmland and is a strong contributor to collectibility of these model kits to this day.

For many collectors of classic monster memorabilia, the Aurora model kits are holy grails.  Thomas Graham‘s reference book has been a valued resource for collectors since it’s first publication in 2005.  The 3rd edition, published in May 2017 provides an additional 15 pages more than the previous editions and more comprehensive coverage of the model companies that followed Aurora, including Polar Lights, Atlantis and Moebius. Executives from these companies explain how they have added to the list of revived Aurora models, with information on reissues and current collectors’ market values.

Aurora Model Kits History

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Over 500 color photographs enhance this comprehensive history and guide to Aurora models, now updated to include new companies continuing the Aurora tradition. Aurora executives, sculptors, artists, and engineers who created the models tell the story in their own words. Every model Aurora made is described in detail.
Aurora Model Kits Book Contents Page

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Aurora Model Kits 3rd Edition Interior Spread

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Collector Resource

While we focus on the iconic monster models on this site, it’s important to note this is a book about all the products from Aurora and the companies that followed.  To that end, this book provides excellent coverage of all the model categories including other licensed characters figures from Film and TV, dinosaurs, aircraft, auto, military and more. Importantly for collectors, Graham provides a comprehensive directory of every model with details to help you determine the precise version for your collection.

Aurora Model Kit Directory

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The Directory includes In-depth information on every model kit:

  • original release dates
  • factory number
  • box art description and versions
  • reissue details
  • approximate current value

If you’re a serious collector of monster model kits, or just love these kits and want to know more about their history, I highly recommend this book.  I’ve owned the 2nd edition for several years and the 3rd edition update is an important expansion that I am finding quite helpful in understanding the reissue versions from Polar Lights, Moebius and Atlantis, which I often find confusing.

In addition, the updated pricing valuation is useful.  Really a limitation of price guides because valuations are fluid and change with the latest auction price, Graham’s research is helpful in setting a benchmark for what a collector can reasonably expect to pay, or price to sell, a specific model kit for.  A  general rule of collecting is that an item is worth what a buyer will pay for it.  Regardless, I find having a benchmark for valuation a useful reference point when considering purchases and the research Graham has done is quite helpful for collectors.

Where to Purchase:

Aurora Model Kits with Polar Lights, Moebius, Atlantis 3rd Edition by Thomas Graham is available now. Retail Price is $29.99 but can be found for less online.  Click the image below to  order on Amazon:

Related Articles:

(Video) Monsterama Episode 20 – Aurora Monster Model Kits

Aurora Monster Model Kits Are Definitive Monster Kid Collectibles

Aurora Monster Model Kits

What can we say about the Aurora monster model kits that hasn’t been said many times before?

Of all the great monster toys and merchandise available during the mid-20th Century classic monster heyday, nothing rivals the Aurora monster model kits for their impact on Monster Kids of the 1960s and 70s.

From the mesmerizing James Bama box art, to the highly detailed sculpts by Bill Lemon and Ray Meyers, these model kits were true pop art.  Kids spent endless hours assembling, painting and starting at these fantastic works of imagination.

This episode of Monsterama digs into the monster models of Aurora Plastics Corporation in all their versions of their monster model kits up and through to the Polar Lights re-issues of the 1990s.  Sit back and get ready for a sweet trip down nostalgia lane, fellow Monster Kids!

Collecting Aurora Monster Model Kits:

 

Schiffer Collectors Guide to Aurora Model Kits

Over 450 color photographs enhance this comprehensive history and guide to Aurora models. The Aurora empire was once the worlds largest producer of hobby products. Here, corporation executives, sculptors, artists, and engineers who created Auroras models tell the story in their own words. Every model Aurora made is described in detail, with information on reissues.  Published in 2007, market values are a bit dated, but this is still a very useful reference guide that I use frequently.
Aurora Model Kits Collectors Guide Aurora Model Kits (Schiffer Book for Collectors)

Aurora Monster Scenes – The Most Controversial Toys of a Generation

Rated X…for Excitement!  This book is dedicated to one of the great debacles of the toy & hobby industry. Written and presented by the men behind the Monster Scenes, then and now, this is a must-read book for fans and collectors alike. Andrew P. Yanchus, original Aurora Project Manager in 1971, opens his vault of artifacts and doles out his first-hand anecdotes of the series that went so wrong.

Aurora Monster Scenes Book
Aurora Monster Scenes – The Most Controversial Toys of a Generation


The Aurora Monsters: The Model Craze That Gripped the World

Produced by Cortland Hull and hosted by Zacherly, this two hour DVD features in-depth interviews, a wax sculpture demonstration, rare photos, sketches & promotional material related to Aurora, never seen by the public. – 1 hour 45 minutes, plus a “Zacherley, behind-the-scenes” bonus feature.