Before the 1950s, toys inspired by monsters and scary films were not popular – they just weren't for kids. This began to change when the classic film Frankenstein was released to television, exposing children to a whole new, exciting genre.
had been creating do-it-yourself kits since 1955, with popular kits like knights in shining armor, historical figures and aircraft pilots. It wasn't until the burgeoning popularity of monster films that Aurora decided to create monster kits. Even though the films were popular, creating a toy monster was controversial because people thought they might damage children’s psyche.
This, however, did not turn out to be the case, and after some careful consideration Aurora produced its first monster kit: . This toy became so popular so quickly that retailers could barely stock them on the shelves before every box was snatched up. The company was so busy that production was pumping out new kits around the clock.
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It is true to say that monster mania swept the country and Aurora responded by rolling out a bunch of new monster kits. The classics included Dracula, The Creature, Godzilla, King Kong, Mummy and Wolf Man, to name a few. In all, Aurora produced 13 successful monster kits over the course of about six years. When the novelty of these monster kits wore off, Aurora responded by creating new kits that would glow in the dark. These new toys injected some much needed life into the line of toys, and helped carry the brand well into the 1970s.
One thing that set the Aurora monster kits apart from other toys was the detailed, bold boxes they came in. Aurora commissioned artists to design the boxes so they would stand out, and it proved to be a clever marketing tool. Today many collectors are more interested in finding the original cardboard boxes than the actual kits themselves. During this time Aurora also created big, bold, full-page ads that ran in monster magazines and comic books. The paintings were stunning and today remain iconic images that remind us of the classic monsters of yesteryear and the monster mania that was felt by all. Aurora is no longer around today, but the monster kits have been sold to various other companies which have re-released the designs over the years. The classic monsters are clearly never going to go out of style.