October 08, 2015

Toys in the Attic: Aurora Monster Models of the 1960s Part 8 'The Aurora 13' Dr. Jekyll as Mr. Hyde

Aurora's first monster model was Frankenstein which appeared in 1961. Aurora followed with twelve more monster kits over the next five years. These 13 kits are affectionally referred to by collectors as "The Aurora 13.' 

'The Aurora 13'  No. 8 Dr. Jekyll as Mr. Hyde
"...and late one accursed night, I compounded the elements, watched them boil and smoke together in the glass, and when the ebullition had subsided, with a strong glow of courage, drank off the potion. The most racking pangs succeeded: a grinding in the bones, deadly nausea, and a horror of the spirit that cannot be exceeded at the hour of birth or death. Then these agonies began swiftly to subside, and I came to myself as if out of a great sickness. Excerpt from R.L.Stevensons 1888 novella.

There was something strange in my sensations, something indescribably new and, from its very novelty, incredibly sweet. I felt younger, lighter, happier in body; within I was conscious of a heady recklessness, a current of disordered sensual images running like a millrace in my fancy, a solution of the bonds of obligation, an unknown but not an innocent freedom of the soul. I knew myself, at the first breath of this new life, to be more wicked, tenfold more wicked, sold a slave to my original evil; and the thought, in that moment, braced and delighted me like wine.

...I stole through the corridors, a stranger in my own house; and coming to my room, I saw for the first time the appearance of Edward Hyde."

1964 saw a heyday for monster kits with the release of The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Dr. Jekyll as Mr. Hyde, King Kong and Godzilla in the Long Box series. ...All the kits in the series featured a creepy diorama which helped provide ghoulish haunts for the monsters. The dioramas were sculptured as suitable environments for each, with accessories such as bats, rats, lizards, spiders and other eerie stuff.

Original Kit Issued: 1964 - 1968 as Catalog #460
Plastic: White
Sculptor: Attributed to Adam “Larry” Ehling
Box art: James Bama
Re-Issued: 1969-1975, 1992, 2000

"I have no soul. I'm beyond the pale. I'm one of the living dead!"

The kit shows Jekyll already transformed into Hyde, holding the formula beaker up while grasping his own neck. Also on the flat base are a stool, table (complete with other beakers and spider web), two rats, and a nameplate that gives the name of the kit. The Mr. Hyde depicted here closely resembles that portrayed by Fredric March on film. The original molds for this model have been lost or destroyed, so that no modern reproductions can be made.

Dr. Jekyll as Mr. Hyde Glow in the Dark
1970-75 Reissue of #482
Plastic: Brown & luminous
Square box format
Box art: Harry Scheme

Toys in the Attic: Aurora Monster Models of the 1960s

Web: "Collecting Aurora Monsters" Dennis L. Prince
Web: Professor Plastiks "Aurora Monster Kit History"
Print: Aurora Model Kits by Thomas Graham

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