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mr moto

Aurora reborn? ...Not! (I think)

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I stumbled across this website:

http://www.auroraplasticscorp.com/index.html

It looks like this was supposed to launch in 2012 but didn't. I never heard anything about it and I doubt that they ever actually got any products on the market or there would have been some buzz in the hobby. Still, it's fascinating and makes me wonder if all those molds still exist or what. Also, could there still be any life in it? Does anybody have any background info on this?

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IIRC, I e-mailed them a few years ago when I stumbled upon the 'site, but never got a reply. I think it's just as you stated-- an attempt to rekindle the fire of what was once Aurora.

My opinion? It looks like many or all of their planned or future releases were kits which have subsequently (since Aurora closed up shop in the late '70s) never been reproduced by anyone else, so perhaps the molds still exist. There was another topic here discussing Aurora, and what become of their tooling inventory, but not all of it was purchased by others from what I recall. Monogram acquired some, and even then, not all of it survived after it arrived in Morton Grove. I want to say the most "desirable" of Aurora's kits were purchased and taken away from their Long Island location, but I don't think I've ever read/heard what happened to the rest of Aurora's molds, and what remained at the end. Maybe it was mentioned in Thomas Graham's book?

There must be some connection with Tom Lowe who previously owned Polar Lights and produced several originally-produced-by-Aurora kits in the late '90s and early '00s. I have to believe the molds for the "Frankenstein's Flivver", "Dracula's Dragster," etc. still existed, rather than being reverse engineered, so why not other molds from Aurora's inventory?

Should we throw in Addar, too, to really complicate things? ^_^

Just for kicks, here's the wiki on Aurora:

"Aurora’s founders retired in the late 1960s and the company was sold to outside investors in 1969. After expanding into the toys and gamesmarket with limited success, the new owners sold the company to Nabisco in 1971. Nabisco in turn sold the model kit division in 1977 to Aurora’s one-time rival Monogram.

In the late 1990s and early 2000s, toy and hobby company Playing Mantis created a division called Polar Lights (as a reference to aurora) which reissued some of Aurora’s most popular kits. Other companies following in Aurora's shoes have reissued earlier Aurora kits. These include Moebius, Atlantis and Monarch, which mostly have focused on the Aurora trend of sci-fi and horror TV and movie figures and scenes. For example, Moebius, started by a former distributor of Polar Lights models in Glenwood, Florida, has reissued the large kit of the submarine Seaview from the 1960s Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea TV show and the old Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde kit (Moebius Models website). Monarch models is based in London, Ontario, Canada - started by a doctor (Powell 2009; Monarch Models website 2011). Atlantis Models is based in East Northport, New York, and though also making sci-fi figures, has equal focus on animal dioramas (Atlantis Models website; Powell 2010). Polar Lights, Monarch and Moebius all use an oval logo very similar in shape to that of the original Aurora style. The Atlantis (see Zorro re-issue) logo uses a more abstract, though nostalgic, oval broken into six sections.

In the 1990s, the family of Joseph Giammarino announced the return of Aurora Plastics Corporation as a manufacturer of hobby kits under the name LAPCO, or Lost Aurora Plastics Corporation, with a product line to include reverse engineered reissues of long gone kits. Nothing came of this. Again in 2007, Giammarino's family announced the return of Aurora, with their first offerings stated to include aircraft and figure kits from their original 1960s line (Giammarino 2007). Their web site lists products to be made available in May-June 2012, but as of September 2012 none are available to order."

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Tom Lowe's Playing Mantis (Polar Lights was a department of that company) reverse-engineered such former Aurora kits that they offered--those were not from original Aurora tooling. I was told, perhaps 20 years ago by the late Bill Lastovich that Monogram did in in fact buy pretty much all of Aurora's plastic model kit tooling, only to scrap the vast majority of it in the deep recession of 1981-82 in order to fund new product. It seems that Monogram's people found that very little of the Aurora lineup met their then-existing high standards for accuracy and parts fit.

That's all that I know about it.

Art

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The story I've heard for years in Model Airplane World is that Monogram bought Aurora's tooling but much of it was lost in some kind of railroad wreck. Back in the '70s/'80s, they reissued a few of the Aurora kits. They did some upgrading and improving on the airplanes, I believe.

Here's a list (by no means complete) of the Aurora-based Monogram (or Revell) models:

Airplanes (1/48)

Sopwith Camel

Fokker D.7

SE.5A

Vought A-7 Corsair II

GD F-111

Cars 1/32

'65 Barracuda

'65 Mustang 2+2 (at least once with Shelby decals)

'65 GTO

Cars 1/24

Aston-Martin DB4

Jaguar?

Maserati 3500

Ferrari 250 GTO?

Ford GT40

There might have been more.

Somebody reissued the Carl Casper Undertaker AA/C dragster, but I'm not sure if that was Revellogram. (I keep trying to come up with SOMETHING to do with that kit. Don't like the Undertaker but the chassis etc is pretty cool.)

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Some quick search around here will yield most of the stories about Auroras train wreck and existing tools.

Bottome line, I highly doubt that Aurora will come back as most of its niche market items have been brought back by other companies, either as repaired existing tooling or new tools.

Put a fork in this one, folks, it is done!

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No email reply indeed...

"We will bring back what was lost???" a bit fishy, since, as already mention, Monogram took most of Aurora molds back in 1977'78.

(Casper's "Undertaker" was reissued by PL).

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No email reply indeed...

"We will bring back what was lost???" a bit fishy, since, as already mention, Monogram took most of Aurora molds back in 1977'78.

(Casper's "Undertaker" was reissued by PL).

Yeah, sounds like there was another game at play here that had nothing to do with reviving old kits.

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