September 27, 2015

Toys in the Attic: Aurora Monster Models of the 1960s Part 11 'The Aurora 13' The Forgotten Prisoner & The Witch

"The Aurora 13" No. 12 The Witch
As Halloween draws closer we continue our look back at the monster model craze of the 1960s with what collectors refer to as 'The Aurora 13'. The Aurora classic monster models are probably the most important and influential monster products ever made.

The Witch (aka The Salem Witch)
Original Kit Issued: 1965 - 1966 as Catalog #430 
Re-Issued: 1969-1975, 2000

One of the last of the original line-up, and lacking any film or comic tie-in, the Witch kit nevertheless sold fairly well. The elaborate "dressing" of the "set", and the archetype of the main subject may be why. There is just so much going on in this kit. The knick-knacks and scattered arcana make for a painter's dream. The peak of popularity for monster figures had been reached in 1965 when The Bride of Frankenstein and The Witch hit toy store shelves. Both kits featured intricate dioramas with more tiny accessories such as bats and bottles etc. than their more modest predecessors had. Unfortunately, the molds for The Bride were scrapped due to damage in 1966, which led to the lack of appaerance of that kit in the reissues of the monsters in the Frightening Lightning and Glow series three years later. 
The Witch Glow in the Dark

1970-75 Reissue of #468
Plastic: dark brown/ light green / luminous
Square box format
Box art: Harry Scheme

"The Aurora 13" No. 13 The Forgotten Prisoner of Castel-Maré'

Original Kit Issued: 1966 - 68 as Catalog #422
Re-Issued: 1969-1972, 1992, 1994, 2001

Since the sales had been declining for the monster models, the last kit to be issued as a Long Box item was the 1966 Forgotten Prisoner of Castel Maré, which wasn´t actually based upon a classic movie character. The model had been developed and copyrighted by the staff of the Famous Monsters of Filmland Magazine. A magazine with which the Aurora company had been cooperating during the monster craze in the mid-Sixties when the monster boxes included coupons for free sample issues of the magazine. 

The magazine also sponsored a contest where kitbuilders were to customize the Aurora monster kits. The results published in #32 of FMoF magazine revealed that most builders had created elaborate dioramas with plenty of accessories. A fact that Aurora had in mind when they created The Witch and The Bride. Despite this, no more monsters were to be developed until 1971 when the controversial Monster Scenes series was issued.

Forgotten Prisoner of Castel Maré Frighting Lighting Strikes Version
Issued 1969 only as  #461

Forgotten Prisoner of Castel Maré Glow in the Dark
1970-75 Reissue of #461/481
Plastic: Brown & luminous
Square box format
Box art: Harry

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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