Sunday, December 28, 2008

I Didn't Know These Were Back - Monster Scenes Models Kits

The new issue of Rue Morgue Magazine includes an article by James Burreli reporting the return of Monster Scenes model kits. The originals were from Aurora and were snap-together kits, some of the first monster model kits I ever had, as they were for many kids.

For me and others they were gateways that led to the more famous Aurora monster models as well as cars and submarines and more.

The re-creations are from Moebius Models--who already offer a number of the Aurora kits--having apparently taken up where Polar Lights models left off a couple of years ago.

Monster Scenes are just being re-introduced, however. The series includess a host of kits: Dr. Deadly, a Giant Insect, the Frankenstein monster, The Victim--who was ultimately renamed the first time around I think--and even more characters, props and backdrop kits.

Though in a persona different from Warren comics, Vampirella was included in the original series of kits as well as the comic strip advertisement. I'm sure licensing is a different ball game for her today because there doesn't seem to be a reissue of that kit.

The advertising and promotion of those first kits was apparently controversial, but oddly, my parents, who were usually pretty conservative, didn't take much notice. I had a Vampirella, a Frankenstein and maybe one or two others. The day I got them, I heard my mother talking to one of her friends on the phone.

"Tell her about my new models," I urged. I'm not sure why I thought her friend would care.

"Sidney got some new model kits," my mother said in to the phone with mock enthusiasm. "Frankenstein and Vamper-roo..." she said.

"'Ella," I corrected.

"A gorilla," my mother said.

Again, miraculously not very controversial. She would object to Vampirella's outfits a couple of years later in the black-and-white comics magazines, but she must never have looked very closely at the boxes of Monster Scenes.

I reassembled the kits a lot and did a kid-style job of painting them. Eventually they broke or wore out, joining the list of toys that would be valuable if I'd never touched them and saved the original packaging.

A Vampirella leg, much like Darrin McGavin's lamp in A Christmas Story, stayed around in a box of model kit pieces a long time, but today my originals are long gone.

I don't have time for rebuilding kits these days though I worked on a Mr. Hyde again a few years ago, doing a better job than the first time.

I'm sure the Monster Scenes for serious model builders will be handled with a defter touch this time around, and we'll see the results in some web galleries. What's the old song, everything old...


Erik Donald France said...

Fascinating. I had no idea about these kinds of models. I do remember when I was a kid putting together a Jupiter 2 model from Lost in Space, and something from Space Invaders, and seeing one for Land of the Giants.

Other than that, mostly military type stuff for me. Oh, and a NASA model rocket collection!

laughingwolf said...

love it!

season's blessings to you and yours

Charles Gramlich said...

I didn't even know these existed until I was all grown. But I still wanted some.

Sidney said...

I remember the Land of the Giants one from when I was a kid also, Erik. I had a Spock but never a Lost in Space or Land of the Giants.

I don't know how we came to find them when I was a kid, Charles. They were in a store in Alexandria, I think, not in Pineville, but I'm not sure.

Mr. Karswell said...

I had nearly all of these kits as a kid too... unfortunantly 4th of July rolled around one year (late 70's) and I had a bunch of M-80's and well, that was it for my model kit collection. I must admit it was fun blowing them to pieces.... thinking about it today though I just wanna cry.

Lana Gramlich said...

I remember those! How cool would it be if they had slightly more modern ones like from Carpenter's "The Thing"?
BTW, sorry for my long, recent absence. Been busy with offline life. My best to you & yours for 2009!

Steve Malley said...

I was never allowed the monster models as a kid. My folks worried they'd draw me over to the Dark Side.

As it happened, they ended up meeting a long line of Vampira and Morticia wannabes...

Wish I had time to build one of these!

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