Tag Archives: models

Throwback Thursday: Monogram’s “Battlestar Galactica” models (1978)

These “Battlestar Galacatica” models were released by Monogram in 1978, the same year the TV show debuted.  My older brother had all four of them hanging from the ceiling of our room.  (I was a first grader in 1978, and still a few years away from model building.)

I definitely had watched the show, but I wasn’t quite as into it as the other boys in my class.  (And that’s probably ironic, considering my sheer fanaticism as an adult for Ron Moore’s remake series between 2004 and 2010.)

The other boys were constantly screaming about it.  (Maybe I was just a quiet kid — it seemed to me at the time that they were endlessly hollering about whatever it was that they liked.)  I’m not sure why I was less enthusiastic — I certainly loved my “Star Wars.”   And a year after “Battlestar Galactica” hit the small screen, my best friend Shawn and I went nuts for a show that is now remembered by few — “Buck Rogers in the 25th Century.”

 

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Throwback Thursday: Aurora’s “Prehistoric Scenes” models!

Few things evoke memories of my very early childhood like Aurora’s “Prehistoric Scenes” model kits.  Produced between 1971 and 1975, they were a series of “snap-together”-type models that required no glue.

Everything about them was cheesy — the box art, the simplistic model names (like “Giant Bird,” “Cave Bear” or “Armored Dinosaur”), and the bad paleontology.  (Some herbivores below have sharp teeth, and some of the ads I found show “Cro-Magnon Man” and “Cro-Magnon Woman” living contemporaneously with the dinosaurs.)

None of that made a difference to me when I was not much older than a toddler — I was utterly mesmerized by these things.  My older brother had a couple.  (I want to say the mastodon, or maybe the tar-pits?)

I myself was the ecstatic owner of the “Saber Tooth Tiger” when I was five or six, I think.  I might have been too young to have a model — usually, my parents more wisely bought me rubber dinosaurs to play with.  I wouldn’t be surprised if they bought me that one Aurora model to sate me just enough to keep my hands off of my brother’s models.  (Seriously, I had a very poor conception of ownership when I was very young.)

God, I loved that “Saber Tooth Tiger.”  It might as well have been a real damned prehistoric cat.  I remember running my fingertips over its teeth and claws, fascinated.  I remember poring over the images of the other models in the box art, as though they were glimpses into another realm.

I carried the model around a lot and proudly brandished it, and I was thrilled to explain the name to anyone who would listen.  I still remember taking it to my paternal grandfather’s apartment in New York City.  (Those were special trips because I got to “ring the buzzer” in the building’s lobby to let him know my father and I had arrived.  I also got cookies and milk at my grandfather’s place.)

Years later, when I was in grade school, I also received the “Armored Dinosaur” (the ankylosaurus).  I quite liked it, but it couldn’t elicit the devotion I felt towards that legendary cat.

 

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Throwback Thursday: Aurora’s Universal Monsters model kits!

I remember Aurora’s Universal Monsters model kits extremely fondly — even if they never actually belonged to me.  My older brother had versions of some of these in the 1970’s, and I was fascinated by them as a tot.  (The original model kits date from the 1960’s, but my brother had the later, glow-in-the-dark versions that were released a decade later.)

These things seemed damn near magical to me when I was a very small boy living in Queens, New York.  I wanted desperately to get my hands on them, like so many of my brother’s belongings.  I definitely remember his glow-in-the-dark “Creature;” “The Creature from the Black Lagoon” was a movie we’d seen on our black-and-white television.  He had others, too — maybe all of the original five: Wolf Man, Frankenstein, Dracula and The Mummy.

I’ve always said that if I ever become wealthy, I’ll have a special room full of the monster collectibles I remember from my childhood.  These things would have a shelf all to themselves.

 

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