The Most Gruesome Toy Ever
July 12, 2002 11:09 AM   Subscribe

The Most Gruesome Toy Ever Well, maybe not, but Retrocrush does make a good argument for this Aurora Monster Model kit of the Girl Victim. Check out the comic book ad, featuring Vampirella and Frankenstein's monster. Do kids still play with monster dolls and monster models, or have they been shelved as un-PC? Never had the models, but as a girl in the '70s, I loved my cousin's monster dolls (uh, action figures?). (Link via Cruel Site of the Day.)
posted by GaelFC (16 comments total)
Amateur stuff! My brother and I faked Auroras with our little sister's Barbies and, once we'd torn them apart and screwed bits of Action Man and Bozo the Clown on to them, it's a wonder we were never profiled by the FBI serial killers unit.
posted by MiguelCardoso at 11:23 AM on July 12, 2002

Gosh. I remember that ad from when I was a tyke, but didn't know there was any controversy. Either I was clueless or weird, or both.

Mostly it just seems hyper-cheesy.
posted by hackly_fracture at 11:24 AM on July 12, 2002

Do kids still play with monster dolls and monster models, or have they been shelved as un-PC?

Yes, yes they do, and they've actually gotten much more offensive...
posted by bobo123 at 11:43 AM on July 12, 2002

more offensive? that means more fun!
posted by jcterminal at 11:46 AM on July 12, 2002

Eh, I doubt many Tortured Souls figures are sold to kids... it's mostly arrested adults after those.
posted by MegoSteve at 11:52 AM on July 12, 2002

There's a great Lynda Barry comic where Marlys and Freddy watch a monster movie and then they're all confused as to why the Mummy (the pre-Rock Mummy) was considered scary. After all, he just kind of teetered towards his could walk away and still escape. Says Marlys: "My brother's idea to make the Mummy more scary: Give him a deadly smell."
posted by GaelFC at 12:06 PM on July 12, 2002

Well I just have to post on this thread...

I am a huge fan of the classic Aurora monster models, and the one kit I always wanted when I was a kid but my mother would never let me have is the Guillotine.

A few years ago a company called Polar Lights began putting out reissues of the classic Aurora kits, and the Guillotine was one that fans were begging for. Tom Lowe (the head of Playing Mantis / Polar Lights) said "absolutely not" for ages, and then finally gave in. Through a happy chain of events I would up with the very first reissue kit to roll of the production line, signed by Tom Lowe himself. You can see it here.
posted by Lokheed at 12:27 PM on July 12, 2002

Ah, the joys of childhood....I remember when we'd tie our old G.I. Joes, barechested, to tree trunks and drip blazing bits of melting plastic sprue from model airplane kits on them to interrogate them...never got around to Sis' Barbie and Midge, though that might've been fun as well....
posted by alumshubby at 12:47 PM on July 12, 2002

so are you gonna open that up and let us see the inside, lokheed?
posted by modofo at 12:48 PM on July 12, 2002

Very cool, Lokheed. I remember the ads in comic books also, although I never had any of the Aurora kits. I did have GI Joes, though, as well as a (probably non-Hasbro) Batman cape, cowl and boots to fit them, so my Joes not only interrogated each other, they did so with lots of *BIFFS* and *POWS!*
posted by yhbc at 12:52 PM on July 12, 2002

modofo -
I actually own three copies of the kit. One is a signed and numbered edition that was made available only to the bb members, then I got the very first production kit. Both of those are sealed and will remain so. The third one is a plain old retail kit I picked up at the local hobby shop.

You should see the look on people's faces the first time they see my framed guillotine. It definitely makes for a good conversation piece.
posted by Lokheed at 12:55 PM on July 12, 2002

Lokheed, can you give us the brief version of how you ended up with THE first one, and autographed to boot? Do you know someone at the model company?
posted by GaelFC at 2:18 PM on July 12, 2002


I had spoken on several occasions to Lisa Greco (the Queen of Styrene), who was the the main liaison from Polar Lights with their message board and who coordinated things like online promotions and kit building contests. I had been laid off from my job, and was going to auction off one of my numbered kits (I had two at the time). Before I put it up for grabs on a public site I offered it first to other board members who had missed out on the initial release. When Lisa saw that I was selling off the kit, she sent me an email offering me the FIRST kit as a gift. It had been given to her personally by Tom Lowe, and in addition to his signature he also wrote "never say never" -- the phrase that had been the rallying cry for getting the kit reissued.

In terms of actual value, I suppose the kit is worth around $25. In terms of sentimental value, to me it is priceless.
posted by Lokheed at 2:52 PM on July 12, 2002

Interesting...Polar Lights sells a model of the "Bellringer of Notre Dame"....
posted by rushmc at 8:29 PM on July 12, 2002

Ah, the joys of childhood indeed. I haven't thought about my Aurora Frankenstein and Dracula kits for many many years. I still have Frank's head, and Drac's cape, around here somewhere, long after the rest of the models have disappeared.
posted by LeLiLo at 8:57 PM on July 12, 2002

yeah, rush, there was quite a controversy when that happened. Up until about two months before the release it was still the Hunchback, but then Disney rattled their swords saying that they owned the copyright on all toys with the Hunchback name. Polar Lights did the math and came to the conclusion that although they were solid with their rights to release the kit and would eventually win any legal challenge it would cost too much money. They changed the box art and the nameplate, and immediately Posthumous Productions marketed a replacement nameplate. Being a tiny little company, they flew totally under the Mouse's radar.
posted by Lokheed at 9:23 PM on July 12, 2002

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