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Vampirella model

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  • Vampirella model

    No, not the girls they use to promote the character at comicons and for photo covers. I'm talking about this --

    Click image for larger version

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    I had one of these as a kid, when they first came out in 1971. This was (and still is, in its reissue kit form) part of a series called Monster Scenes, originally produced by the Aurora Plastics Corporation. Aurora had a major success on their hands when they released the original monster model kit of Frankenstein back in 1961, and they continued to crank out kits based on Universal and other monsters through the 1960s, cashing in on the monster craze which rode the wave of late-night and Saturday afternoon Creature Features and Famous Monsters of Filmland magazine.

    Monster Scenes took the monster model kit to the next level. At 1/13 scale (about 5-6" for the figures), these were smaller than Aurora's original line of 1/8 scale monster models, and about the same size as the larger scale action figures of today. Each was both a kit and a toy. Easier to build for beginning modellers because it was a snap-together rather than glued kit, the line consisted of both figure kits (Frankenstein's Monster, Dr. Deadly, The Victim, and Vampirella) with movable arms, and prop or "set piece" kits (The Pain Parlor, The Hanging Cage, Gruesome Goodies, and The Pendulum). You could build a little diorama with the kits and move the characters around to act out scenes from your own little imaginary monster movies. (This was in the days before action figures caught on big time, so this was a nice double-duty hobby kit/toy.) Monster kids loved these, but some parents and women's organizations in 1971 were outraged at both the scantily-clad Vampi and politically-incorrectly-named "Victim" figures and the gruesome castle torture chamber devices, and there was also the fact that the product line's advertising tag line was "Rated X... for Excitement" (leading one to wonder what Aurora's marketing department was smoking). The line only lasted about a year; a planned second wave of kits (that would have added figure kits of Dracula, Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde, and The Wolfman, and larger kits of The Animal Pit, The Dungeon, and a Giant Insect) was cancelled. The 1/13 scale figure molds were later retooled for Aurora's "Monsters of the Movies" line of a few years later.

    Aurora Plastics went out of business in 1977 (although the Vampirella model kit was still available from an ad in the back of Famous Monsters for years, from Captain Company, the merchandising arm of the Warren Publishing).

    Now these kits have been recreated for adult collectors and modellers to enjoy with their own kids by Moebius Models, which remanufactures a lot of the old Aurora kits these days.
    Last edited by positronic; 11-09-2012, 03:10 PM.
    DE pull list: Will Eisner's The Spirit: The Corpse Makers, ERB's The Greatest Adventure, Green Hornet '66 Meets The Spirit, PSP: Herokillers, KISS/Vampirella, Mighty Mouse

  • #2
    My local hobby store has several of those models on their shelves.
    I should stop by there and see if they can order the Vampirella model.
    My mom thought it was to 'racy' for me to have as a child.
    Yet she never had a problem with the torture devices, monsters, and mad scientists.