Aurora


Aurora Plastics Corp. began in 1950 as a partnership between Joseph Giammarino and Abe Shikes, who each brought his own specialty to the business (engineering and organization, respectively). Within two years John Cuomo would come on board with experience in sales. The company started out doing contract work for others, producing plastic parts for various items.

The interesting part of the story begins in 1952 when the company was introduced to the hobby market, and began manufacturing model airplanes. Another company called Hawk was already selling plastic model planes (a few of which Aurora blatantly copied for their first releases), but these were only available in specialty hobby stores; Revell's model cars could be purchased at retail outlets, but they produced no airplane kits. So, Aurora immediately gained success with their model planes by having them available for sale in normal retail outlets, and at prices that were more than competitive.

Aurora monster models Aurora also went about more consumer-friendly practices than their more (possibly insular) hobby-minded competitors. They molded their planes in brighter-color plastic, to appeal to the kids who would be buying them, and also simplified the entire kit-building process - something which made hardcore hobbyists blanche, but which again drew in the younger boys who were their primary target market. Aurora also didn't skimp on the box art: colorful, dramatic images practically jumped out from the shelf, enticing the buyer who, after all, may have had several kits to choose from, and who might not have been thrilled to look at unassembled plastic pieces.

Throughout the 1950's and '60's, Aurora continued to build on their primary line of military airplanes by introducing kits devoted to civilian aircraft, military ships and other vehicles (especially tanks), and even a limited number of automobiles. Their first 'figural' kits - model kits devoted to a character rather than a piece of machinery - was the Blue Knight and the Black Knight, in 1956.

The figural kits took a horrific turn starting in 1962 when Aurora launched the first of its monster-themed models, Frankenstein, to a skeptical trade. The kit was instantly a smash success, and the company's machines worked 'round the clock, seven days a week, to crank out the plastic pieces for the Frankenstein kit, as well as the Dracula and Wolfman kits which soon followed. These too became top sellers, so that by 1964, Aurora had sold nearly seven and a half million of the monster kits.

A whole host of horrors continued to spring from Aurora's mold-making machines, some which melded monsters with automobiles, some with glow-in-the-dark parts. Superheroes, spaceships from TV and film, and historical characters could also be found in boxes bearing the familiar oval Aurora logo. When the Batman TV series became a pop culture sensation in 1966, the company cranked out a number of Bat-vehicles. Prehistoric cavemen and dinosaurs were snapped up by imaginative kids.

The company lasted until 1977. By then part of Nabisco Corporation, Aurora had been limping along for years, its sales steadily declining for various reasons. The main reason, however, was simply that kids weren't building models in the numbers they had during the previous two decades. Nabisco basically broke up the company and sold the pieces.

Thankfully, Aurora's models have not disappeared for good. Not only do many kits (built and unbuilt) still survive, untouched by the hoary hand of time, but companies such as Polar Lights and Revell-Monogram (formed by the joining of two separate model giants) have re-issued popular kits from the Aurora catalog.

Today's collectors and builders can thus have their choice: purchase the original kits at collector prices, or (in most cases) find a modern reissue at a fraction of the vintage item's value. Either way, adults who thrilled at Aurora's imaginative model kits in their youth can reintroduce the hobby to their kids and grandkids - and the mystique surrounding the name of Aurora can live on.

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Aircraft

World War I
Airco SE-5A
Albatross
Albatross D-3
Albatross D-5
Barnstormers Customizing Kit*
Breguet 14
DeHavilland DH-4
DeHavilland DH-10
Dogfight
F2B Brisfit*
Fokker D-7
Fokker D-8
Fokker Dr-1
Fokker E-3
Goth
Gotha G-V
Great Air Battles of World War I
Halberstadt CL-II
JN-4D Jenny
Nieuport 11
Nieuport 28
Pfalz D-3
SE-5 Scout
Sopwith Camel
Sopwith Triplane
Spad XIII

Between the Wars
Boeing F4B-4*
Boeing P-12E
Boeing P-26A
Curtiss Hawk P-6E*
M-2 Mailplane
SBC-3 Helldiver
Tiger Moth

World War II
AT-6 Texan*
B17 Bomber Formation
B-17 Flying Fortress*
B-25 Mitchell
B-26 Marauder
Boeing B-29 Superfortress*
British Spitfire
Curtiss P-40
F4F Wildcat
F6F Hellcat
Foke Wulf
GB-798 Giant Bomber Gift Set
Gift Package 1
Gift Package 2
Gift Package 3
Jap Zero
Messerschmidt ME-109
P-38 Lightning
P-40 Flying Tiger
P-47 Thunderbolt
P-51 Mustang
P-61 Black Widow
PBY Catalina
PBY-5 Catalina
SNJ Trainer

Post War Military
A-37 Strike Jet*
A-7D Corsair II
Avro CF-100*
Avro Arrow CF-105
B-47 Stratojet
B-58 Hustler
Boeing B52 Stratofortress*
Boeing KC-135 Jet Stratotanker*
C-119 Flying Boxcar
C-141 Starlifter
Cessna T-37*
Convair B-36 Giant Bomber*
Convair B-58 Hustler
Convair Vertical Riser XFY-1 Pogo
Douglas F4D Skyray
Douglass B-66
F-100 Super Sabre
F-101 Voodoo
F-102 Dart
F-104 Starfighter
F-105 Thunderchief
F-107 Fighter Bomber*
F3D Skynight
F4H Phantom
F4J Blue Angels
F7U Cutlass
F-85F Thunderstreak
F-86D Sabre Jet
F8U Crusader
F-90
F9F Panther
F9F-6 Cougar
Famous Fighters 4-in-1 Kit
Hiller X-18
KC-135
Lockheed F-94 Starfire
Lockheed XFV-1 V.T.O.
McDonnell Phantom 110
North American B-70
North American F-100 Super Sabre*
Nortrhop N-156 Freedom Fighter
Nuclear Powered Bomber
Ryan X-13 Vertijet
S2F Hunter Killer
S2F-1
Temco TT-1
TFX F-111 A & B
X15 Rocket Powered Plane*
Yak-25/MiG-19

Helicopters
Bell AH-1G Assault Copter*
Bell UH-1B Huey
HC-1B Chinook
Hiller Hornet Ram Jet
Kaman HOK Egg Beater
Lockheed AH-56A Cheyenne
Piasecki H-21 Work Horse
Piasecki H-25A Army Mule
Sikorsky CH-54A Sky Crane
Sikorsky HH-3 Jolly Green Giant
Sikorsky S-55 Wind Mill

Civilian Aviation
Aero Commander
Aero Jet Commander
Beechcraft Super 18
Cessna 310*
Cessna Skymaster
Piper Apache
Piper Aztec C
Piper Cherokee 180

Airliners
Beoing 720B Western
Beoing 737 United
Beoing 747
Beoing 757 TWA
Boeing 707
Boeing 720B
Boeing 727
Boeing 737
Boeing 747
Convair 880
Convair 990 Jet Mainliner United
Douglas DC-10
Douglas DC-8
Douglas DC-9
Russian TU-104

K & B Collectors Series
Albatross C-III
Boeing F4B4
Boeing P-26A
Breguet 14A
DeHavilland DH-10A
Fokker E-3
Fokker E-5
Gotha G.V.
Halberstadt CL-II
Nieuport 28
Pfalz D-3
Sopwith Triplane

Ships

Historic Sailing Ships
Armed Command Junk
Black Falcon
Bon Homme Richard
Buccaneer Sea Raider
Chinese Junk
Cutty Sark
History in Miniature
Privateer Corsair
Roman Bireme
Schooner Bluenose
Sea Witch
Sovereign of the Seas
USS Constitution
USS Hartford
Viking Ship
Wanderer Whaler

Modern Ships
Atlantis*
Battleship USS Iowa
German Battleship Bismarck
German 'Wolfpack' U-Boat
Graf Spee
HMS King George V
Japanese Sub I-19
Moscow
Motorizing Kit for Nuclear USS Enterprise
Naval Battles of World War II
Russian Guided Missile Submarine
SeaLab III
SSN Nautilus (reissue)
SSN Sea Wolf
SSN Skipjack
Tucumcari Hydrofoil
U-156 German U-Boat
US Navy Task Force
USS Bennion
USS Destroyer Bainbridge
USS Enterprise (nuclear carrier; larger model)
USS Enterprise
USS Forrestal
USS Guadalcanal
USS Halford
USS Independence
USS Missouri
USS Nautilus (Famous Fighters)
USS New Jersey
USS Saratoga
USS St. Paul
Wheeler Cruiser
Yamato

Rockets & Missiles

Bomarc IM-99
IRBM Thor
M8E2 Weapons Carrier & Ground Support Warhead
Mace TM-76
Nike Hercules
Regulus II*
USAF Lunar Probe

Figure Kits

Monsters
Movie Monsters
Addams Family Haunted House
Bride of Frankenstein
Creature
Customizing Monster Kit 1
Customizing Monster Kit 2
Dracula
Dr. Jekyll as Mr. Hyde
Forgotten Prisoner of Castel-Mare
Frankenstein
Gigantic Frankenstein
Godzilla
Hunchback of Notre Dame
King Kong
Mummy
the Munsters
Phantom of the Opera
the Witch
Wolfman

Monsters of the Movies
Creature
Dracula
Dr. Jekyll
Frankenstein Monster
Ghidrah
Mr. Hyde
Rodan
Wolfman

Monstermobiles
Dracula's Dragster
Frankenstein's Flivver
Godzilla's Go Cart
King Kong's Thronester
Mummy's Chariot
Wolf Man's Wagon

Monster Scenes
Dracula
Dr. Deadly*
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
Frankenstein
Giant Insect
Gruesome Goodies*
Hanging Cage
Pain Parlor
the Pendulum
Vampirella
the Victim

Comic Book Super Heroes / Comic Scenes
Batman
Captain America
Incredible Hulk
Lone Ranger*
Robin
Spider-Man
Superboy
Superman*
Tarzan*
Tonto
Wonder Woman

Other 1960's Figures
Alfred E. Neuman, MAD
American Astronaut
Babe Ruth (Great Moments in Sport)
Blackbeard
Captain Action
Captain Kidd
D'Artagnan the Musketeer
Dempsey-Firpo (Great Moments in Sport)
Dick Tracy
Doctor Dolittle - Pushmi-Pullyu
Flag Raising at Iwo Jima*
Frog (Castle Creature)
George Washington
Gladiator
Good Shp Flounder from Dr. Dolittle
Green Beret
Guillotine
Hercules and the Lion
Ilya Kuryakin (The Man From UNCLE)
James Bond 007
Jerry West (Great Moments in Sport)
Jesse James
Jimmy Brown (Great Moments in Sport)
John F. Kennedy
Johnny Unitas (Great Moments in Sport)
Mad Barber (Canada)
Mad Dentist (Canada)
Mad Doctor (Canada)
Napoleon Solo (The Man From UNCLE)
Nutty Nose-Nipper Machine
Odd Job
Penguin
Spartacus
Vampire (Castle Creature)
Wacky Back-Whacker Machine
Willie Mays (Great Moments in Sport)
Zorro (Walt Disney)

Prehistoric Scenes
Allosaurus
Armored Dinosaur
the Cave*
Cave Bear
Cro-Magnon Man
Cro-Magnon Woman
Flying Reptile
Giant Bird
Giant Woolly Mammoth
Jungle Swamp
Neanderthal Man
Saber Tooth Tiger
Sailback Reptile
Spiked Dinosaur*
Tar Pit
Thre Horned Dinosaur
Tyrannosaurus Rex

SciFi-TV-Movie

Archie's Car
Banana Buggy
Batboat
Batcycle
Batmobile
Batplane
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang*
Dick Tracy Space Coupe
Flying Saucer
Flying Sub
Green Hornet Black Beauty
Land of the Giants (giant snake)*
Land of the Giants Spaceship
Lost In Space (giant Cyclops)
Mod Squad Station Wagon (1/25 Scale)*
Moon Bus
Nuclear Airliner
Nuclear Submarine Seaview
Pan Am Space Clipper: 2001
Ragnarok Orbital Interceptor
the Robot from Lost In Space*
Rocket Transport Spindrift
Seaview from Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea
Space Shuttle Orion
UFO from The Invaders
Voyager

Knights
3 Knights pack
Black Knight fo Nurnberg
Blue Knight of Milan
Gold Knight of Nice
King Arthur
Red Knight of Vienna
Richard I
Silver Knight of Augsberg
Sir Galahad
Sir Kay
Sir Lancelot
Sir Percival

Other Fighting Men
2 American Fighters
Apache Warrior
Aramis - 3 Musketeers*
Athos - 3 Musketeers*
Confederate Raider
Crusader
Gladiator with Sword
Gladiator with Trident
Porthos - 3 Musketeers
Roman Gladiators
Steve Canyon
Three Musketeers
United States Marine
United States Sailor
US Air Force Pilot
US Army Infantryman
US Marshal
Viking

Guys and Gals of All Nations
Chinese Mandarin
Chinese Girl
Chinese Mandarin and Girl
Dutch Boy
Dutch Girl
Dutch Boy and Girl
Indian Chief
Indian Squaw
Indian Chief and Squaw
Mexican Caballero
Mexican Senorita
Mexican Caballero and Senorita
Scotch Lad
Scotch Lassie
Scotch Lad and Lassie

Wildlife
American Buffalo
Big Horn Sheep
Black Bear & Cubs*
Black Fury
Butterflies of the World 1
Butterflies of the World 2
Cougar
Forged Foil Buffalo
Forged Foil Cougar
Forged Foil Stallion
Thoroughbred Race Horse
White Stallion
White Tailed Deer

Whoozis?
Alfalfa Whoozis
Denty Whoozis
Esmerelda Whoozis
Kitty Whoozis
Snuffy Whoozis
Susie Whoozis

Cars & Trucks

1/64 Trucks
5,000 Gallon Milk Truck
5,000 Gallon Gasoline Trailer Truck
40 Ton Trailer with Power Shovel
20 Ton Van Trailer
US Army Supply Depot Trailer
US Army 5,000 Gallon Fuel Transporter
US Army Engineers Power Shovel and Transporter

1/30 Ex-Best Cars
Fuel Injection Special 1953-54
Gilmore Special 1935
Maserati Special 1940
Miller Special 1931
Monroe Special 1920
Murphy Special 1922

1/32 Cars and Hot Rods
1912 T Truck
'21 T Coupe
'22 T Sedan
'24 Buick Get Away
'24 Buick Touring
'28 Chevy Roadster
'29 Ford Woodie
'32 Ford Pickup
'32 Ford Sedan
'32 Skid-Doo, Ford
'39 La Salle Hearse (with a Curse)
Alfa Romeo
American LaFrance 900 Pumper (firetruck)
Austin-Healey 3000
Baja Boot
Beatnik Box, 1929 Ford Pick Up
Black Beard's Tub (Scene Machine, 1970)
Boob Tube (Scene Machine, 1970)
Butterfly Catcher (Scene Machine, 1970)
Charger, 1923 Ford T Rod
Chevy Custom Pick-Up
Chevy Monza GT*
Chevy Monza SS
Chevy-Chaparral
Cobra GT Coupe*
Corvair Corsa
Corvette
Cunningham*
Cunningham Phantom Customizing Kit
Customized Alfa Romeo
Customized Austin Healey
Customized Corvette
Customized T-Bird
Demolition Demon
Drop Out Bus (Scene Machine, 1970)
Dune Buggy
Ferrari America
Ferrari Sportster
Fiat Abarth
Ford GT
Ford Mustang Fastback
Hemi Under Glass
Hi Stepper, '22 Ford
Hot Surfer, 1930 Ford Fire Engine
Jag Hellcat Customizing Kit
Jaguar
Jaguar XK-120
Lola T-70
Mako Shark
Meat Wagon, 1937 Packard Ambulance
Mercedes Benz 300SL
Mercedes Customizing Kit
Mercury Comet
MG
MG Bullet Customizing Kit
MG TD
Moody Monster, 1928 Chevy
Mustang
Old Ironsides
Peppermint Fuzz (Scene Machine, 1970)
Plymouth Barracuda
Pontiac GTO
Porsche Carrera
Ram Rod, 1932 Ford
Road Raider, 1929 Ford Touring
Rover BRM
Sad Sack, 1927 Model T Ford
Scat Cat, 1934 Ford Rolls
Shiftin Drifter, 1927 Ford
Show Trailer
Snap Dragin, 1927 Ford T Coupe
Spyder, Ford T Dragster
Sunbeam Tiger
T Dragster
T For Two, 1921 Ford
Teepee T (Scene Machine, 1970)
Thunderbird
Tiger Shark Customizing Kit
Triumph Spitfire
Triumph TR-3
Triumph Wildcat Customizing Kit
Wolf Wagon, 1929 Ford A Pick Up
Woodin Wagon, 1930 Ford
Wurst, The (Scene Machine, 1970)
XKE Gran Turismo
1/25 Cars
'34 Ford Stock and Street Rod
Aston-Martin DB-4
Aston-Martin Super Spy Car
Chaparral Lightning
Chevy Chaparral
Double Deuce '22 Ford
Ferrari Berlinetta
Ferrari Scorpion
Ford GT
Ford GT Flying Tiger
Maserati 3500 GT
Porsche 904 GT
Porsche Messerschmidt
Studebaker Avanti
Undertaker Dragster
XKE Jag
XKE Jag Convertible
XKE Jag Spitfire
Ford 427 Engine
Customizing Automobile Parts

1/16 Old Timers & American Classics
Buick Bug
Curved Dash Olds
Mercer Raceabout
Rambler
Stanley Steamer
Stutz Bearcat
1903 Rambler Model E
1904 Oldsmobile Curved Dash Runabout
1909 Stanley Steamer Model E2 Runabout
1911 Buick Model 13 Roadster
1913 Mercer Type 35J Raceabout

1/16 Racing Scenes
Chrysler 392 Fuel Injected Engine
Donovan 417 Blown Engine
Four Funny Car Drivers
Funny Car Chassis
Pinto Funny Car Body and Custom Painters
Racing Mechanic with Tools & Equipment
Racing Speed Shop
Super Scale Pinto Funny Car
Super Scale Vega Funny Car
Vega Funny Car Body and Custom Painters

Motorized Cars
Customized Motorized Pontiac
Leapin Lena (Go Toys)
Motorized 1932 Ford Hot Rod
Pontiac Fireball

Military Vehicles

1st Series, 1956-69
155MM Long Tom
3 Army Tanks
8 Inch Howitzer
British Centurion
British Churchill Tank
Japanese Medium Tank
M109 Howitzer Tank
M-46 Patton
M8 Munitions Carrier
M8 Munitions Carrier and 8" Howitzer
Panther
Sherman Tank
Stalin Tank
Swedish 'S' Tank
Tiger Tank*

2nd Series, 1970-75
155MM Long Tom Gun
Centurion Tank
Churchill Tank
Howitzer Tank
MBT-70 Main Battle Tank
Medium Tank
Munitions Carrier
Munitions Carrier and 8" Howitzer
Panther Tank
Patton Tank
Sherman Tank
Stalin Tank
Swedish 'S' Tank
Tiger Tank

3rd Series, 1976-77
Centurion V
JS-III Stalin
King Tiger
M-109 S. P. Howitzer
M-46 Patton
M4A3E8 Sherman
M8E2 Munitions Carrier
MBT-70
Pzkpfw. V Panther A
Type 97 Chi-Ha

Diorama Kits
Anzio Beach
Rat Patrol

Phota-Scope
Stalin Tank
Tiger Tank

Other Aurora Items

Alaskan Totem Craft
Aquarium
Camelot figurines
Mannlicker Rifle
NFL Miniatures
Oz-Kins figurines
Savage 99 Rifle
Tarzan King of the Jungle figurines
Totem Craft
Winchester 94 Rifle

HO-Scale Buildings
Church
Colonial House
Joe's Diner
Model Tree Kit
Railroad Station
Ranch House
School House

Model Motoring
Curved Bleachers
Doubel Station Pit Stop
Grandstand
HO-Gas Station
Judges Stand
Start-Finish Pylons

Snaparoos
Antarctic Explorers
Big Hooks
Explorers of Space
Grand Prix Racers
Harbor Fleet
Heavy Movers
Historical Transportation
Jet Liners
Light Aircraft
Old Time Cars
Old Timers
World of Ships