Aurora Monster Models and Prehistoric Scenes Kits – Part II
When I was a youngster, I loved to build monster model kits. I would see ads in the back of Famous Monsters of Filmland and I would send away for them via mail order or have my mom take me to local hobby shops to purchase them. The premier company in horror model-kits back then (1970’s) was Aurora. I started with the Universal Monsters model kit collections and soon moved on to the Prehistoric Scenes Kits. Eventually, the kits I owned went to the big toy graveyard where all kids things seem to find their end. For the longest time I thought those model kits were gone forever. But recently, I have found many of the wonderful kits I enjoyed as a kid, still available for purchase.
Aurora Prehistoric Scenes kit molds were first bought by Monogram who only kept seven of the Dinosaurs and the Wooly Mammoth. Sadly they destroyed the other kit molds to reuse the material. Then Revell bought Monogram and re-released the dino kits (twice). Today you can still purchase many of the Aurora Dinosaur kits under the Revell label. Although the box art is different, the kits are basically the same as the old Aurora kits minus the bases and extra accessories.
the same Ankylosaurus model released through the years…
Many of the Aurora Monster Model kits were purchased by several different companies such as Playing Mantis, Moebius, and Polar Lights. It is a bit of work to hunt all of these down as they release them sporadically but you can get almost all of them. I have recently purchased, The Forgotten Prisoner and the Aurora Godzilla model.
On top of that there are several companies that release customizing kits under the “What if…” banner and alternative pieces market which are often called Conversion Kits. You can change the head of the original Godzilla to one that is more in line with the movies. You can change the heads of the Triceratops to create different horned dinosaurs such as the Torosaurus or the Monoclonius. You can change the head of Dr. Jekyll to match the original film “The Fly” (which looks amazing). You can now buy Julie Adams to fit with your Aurora style Creature From the Black Lagoon, where she will be set in his arms like the famous scene from the film.
Today’s model kits are amazingly detailed and there are quite a few hobbyists that take great pride in the building and painting of these kits. Many are limited release and can sell for upwards of $200. There are 3 types of kits, plastic, vinyl, and resin kits. The resin kits are the most expensive and offer the most detail.
One new kit I’ve been waiting for is Gorgo, by the company, Monarch. It was supposed to be released last year but no one has heard any news since. I hope they continue there plans to release it, because it is a fantastic model. Update: model kit was released – you can see my build here: Monarch Gorgo Model Kit
Below are some links if you care to check out some more info and pics on the subject. Some of the pics used here are from these sites.
If you want to learn more about the Aurora Kits and product lines, a good place to start is with the documentary dvd, The Aurora Monsters: the model craze that gripped the world. You can get the dvd at monstersinmotion.com or Amazon.
Gallery of classic kits:
this model is gone forever, the molds were destroyed.
Gallery of new kits and conversion accessories:
same body, different head, new dino.
Model builder vids: