BOOMER FLASHBACK – AURORA MONSTER MODELS
I’m not old enough to land deep within the “boomer” parameters, but close enough to catch the tail end of some of the childhood remembrances. I had an uncle who was only five years older than me. He had these cool monster models. I don’t remember the movies or the actors (like Bela Lugosi or Boris Karloff) that these models were depicting, but I do remember I had to have my own collection. My parents obliged, buying one model at a time for me to assemble. Why my mother thought a five year old kid could handle the task seems puzzling to me now. I’d put ‘em together alright, but there was dried glue smeared around the edges and probably some pieces in the wrong place. I think Mom helped with the painting and I know she renovated the models to its intended assembly... More than once. At that age, I wasn’t content with the models being a showpiece. These were monsters and by golly, they were gonna act like monsters. So I’d treat ‘em like an action figure and have them square off against each other with the subtlety befitting a five year old and, sure enough, parts would fall off. I’d cry about it, but Mom would always come to the rescue and restore the models. I separated them into bad guys and good guys. The bad guys were the ones that looked the meanest to me. Here’s the lineup with some nicely done YouTube links showcasing the models.
THE BAD GUYS
Those claws and the teeth made this guy the meanest. Plus he didn’t look like a human. The “breast plate” had to be painted yellow, that was non-negotiable in my mind, and I don’t think I painted much of his body ‘cuz the parts were already in green. (The Creature)
This guy took the same aggressive stance as the Creature and had the same mean look on his face. The Claws and teeth weren’t as sharp, but they still looked imposing enough to kick the Hunchback’s ass. (The Wolfman)
The theme was dark black and he had those cool bats hangin’ around him. He also had one of the meaner looks on his face. (Dracula)
THE GOOD GUYS
He looked like he was sleepwalking so I guess that’s why he was a good guy. Not mean enough looking to join the bad guys. He had that cool split on his forehead that was unquestionably painted red against a green face, and those two things coming out of the side of his neck, which to me were as puzzling as those two square stones on the ground in front of him that were always the first pieces to fall off. (Frankenstein)
You’d think Kong wouldn’t be a good guy ‘cuz he was squeezing that little girl in his hand. But the look on his face seemed to be more of a mix of anxiousness and a blank stare that you’d see plastered on the face of a doofus. Kong was killer in the fights, though. I think the girl could easily be removed leaving him with a fist that would land some knockout blows on the Creature and the Wolfman. He often rescued his fellow good guys. (King Kong)
He looked like he was scared to me. I felt sorry for the poor guy. The dude in the dungeon behind him was scarier. As I said, I never saw the movie. So I don’t know what the mask was for. Come to think of it, I still don’t. (The Phantom)
This guy seemed passive as all get-out to me. Just looked like a normal dude with a bunch of tape on him. No match for a real monster. I remembered being kinda puzzled by the box art ‘cuz I think it showed him with a “greenish” hue. Hospital tape is white. Even I knew that and I was only five. I painted the cobra green though. (The Mummy)
This dude was a wuss. He was already in the “don’t hurt me, Creature” stance complete with a scared look on his face. Felt sorry for him, too. King Kong to the rescue! (The Hunchback)
About ten years later Aurora started making some of the model pieces glow in the dark. I was too old to play with monsters by then, but young enough to consider this “glow-in-the-dark” crap to be blasphemous.