In 1961, Aurora Plastics Corporation created their first monster model kit. Production on these kits ran 24 hours a day to keep up with demand. Over the next ten years, in a tiny house in St. Paul, Minnesota, my grandfather bought 13 monster model kits and assembled and painted them to the best of his ability. My dad remembers these models, remembers his dad painting them.
Then they disappeared.
Sometime around 1995 we found a box of my dad's old toys in the attic of his old house. When we went through the box, we found his beloved Hot Wheel car collection including the orange plastic Hot Wheel tracks his father used to hit him with when he was bad. We found his WWII army helmet that he'd spray painted silver and put on his head before it had completely dried. There was an imprint of his hair in the paint. And, finally, we found the monster models.
It was love at first sight. I spent all day carefully cleaning off decade’s worth of dust, admiring the tiny details and pondering some of my grandfather's interesting paint color choices.
After a few years, the monsters were set aside and replaced by other things like friendship bracelets, telephones and cars. It wasn't until 2006 that I remembered the models. I searched the internet hoping against hope that some old kits were available to purchase. I so desperately wanted to build my own monster models. What I found was extraordinary...the kits were re-issued in the 90's. Some had been remade using the original molds, some had to be re-cast using original model pieces. All were available for me to purchase, to build and paint and love as much as I had loved my grandfather's models.
And one day, not long after I started collecting my own model kits, my dad gave me his father's monster models. It was the best gift I'd ever received and one I will always treasure.
Now that my collection of kits is complete, this blog will be dedicated to documenting my progress as I build and paint each of my 16 monster models. It'll be my virtual display case filled with my grandpa's models and (eventually) my own.
I hope you'll join me on this journey fueled by nostalgia, love and styrene plastic cement fumes. I swear by Frankenstein's yellow undershirt that it will be a good time.