Mat Irvine: Of all model companies, Aurora is probably the one that most interests model historians. It’s not that Aurora ever made the largest number of kits, or that they were the most intricate or accurate (some of the aircraft certainly weren’t) but Aurora carved out a niche by making the best-known series of ‘monster kits’ - ever.
Even if you have no interest in monsters, you are almost certainly aware of the Aurora models of Dracula, Wolfman, the Mummy and Frankenstein’s Monster. But this book doesn’t deal directly with these, instead its subject is the sub-category that came out of these models, known as Monster Scenes.
Creator of the Aurora Monster Scenes kits was Andrew P. Yanchus, when he worked as a member of Research and Development at Aurora’s HQ in West Hempstead, Long Island, New York. Andy had a long-time interest in figure kits, especially movie monsters, so he had an ideal career working for the model company that created such kits.
But this was the 1970s, when Aurora was owned by food company Nabisco, which not only did a double-take at this strange acquisition, but then protest groups formed to complain about ‘toys that were not (deemed to be) suitable for their children’.
Where things went wrong (below left) a demonstration, and (right) a book denouncing ‘Toys that Don't Care.'
Andy Yanchus (below left) and Dennis Prince in Andy’s display room.
Part 2 of the book is a listing of all the kits, with box variations, layouts, listings and labelling of all the parts, along with built-up kit pix.
From Mat Irvine’s collection (below), some of Andy’s built-up Monster Scene figures.
A highly recommended read for those with a particular interest in the subject, and for anyone with an eye on how even a model company can become embroiled in political intrigue.
Published by StarComm Publications, 2014
256 pages, softback, full colour
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