A Few of the Gory Details from Dennis L. Prince

 
  From his article "Collecting Aurora Monsters"  
   

Where Have All Your Monsters Gone?

"Now, it's time to ask yourself where your monsters are. If you built monster kits in the '60s and '70s, chances are you lost track of them somewhere between acid rock and Pong. Many of today's collectors blame Monster Mom for throwing out their prized creeps. Those with more sadistic tendencies probably shot them up with a pellet gun or treated them to a fatal firecracker. If only they knew then what we know now.

Aurora had kids' budgets in mind when it released the original monster kits. Original long-box monsters were a mere 98 cents ($1.49 for the larger kits). In the 1970s, glow kits were typically selling for about $2. Monster Scenes were priced at $1.30 and $2. Monsters of the Movies sold for only $2.

   
Today, expect to pay at least $200 or more for a long-box monster, depending on the character. Frightening Lightening kits are often double or triple in value due to their limited production. Even the more plentiful square-box glow kits have risen sharply in value, commanding at least $150 each. Monster Scenes often bring in prices ranging from $150 to $300. (Of course, the Canadian-only MS Dracula, Jekyll/Hyde, and Giant Insect bring in more than $1,000 and beyond…each!) And Monsters of the Movies sell within a range of $100 to $400. Rodan and Ghidrah command prices near $1,000.
   

Dissecting a Monster Kit's Value

As with any collectible, overall condition (wear and tear) dictates selling value. Aurora monsters, though, have a few additional attributes that determine how much the kit will ultimately command.

   

Years in Production: If there weren't many then, there are even fewer now. Frightening Lightening and Monster Scenes kits are in much shorter supply than most long-box and glow kits. Monsters of the Movies, the last inductees into Aurora's monster family, also had a limited run, with Rodan and Ghidrah being the most difficult to find. In many cases, availability will outweigh overall condition when pricing a kit.
   
Country of Issue: You'll find many foreign-produced Aurora kits. Aurora had factories in Canada and Great Britain. These kits were packaged in lighter-weight cardboard boxes, and the Canadian kits included instructions printed in French. These kits are less valuable than their domestic forerunners.
   
Completeness and Partial Assembly: Naturally, a Frankenstein kit missing a head is not what the doctor had in mind. Any kits missing parts will command significantly lower prices. Even kits missing "sprues" (the plastic runners the parts are attached to) can be somewhat devalued. Also, kits that are partially assembled or painted will earn much lower prices than an untouched specimen.
   
Boxes and Instruction Sheets: Believe it or not, many collectors actively seek boxes and instructions to accompany their built-up monsters. They also search for boxes in better condition than those they currently own to increase the overall value of their collection.
   
Sealed Kits: Like new is, like, wow! There are still many sealed kits to be had, but the prices are definitely stiff (recently, a sealed 1962 Dracula pulled in over $2,500 at eBay.) Domestic long-box kits and 1969 issue glow kits were wrapped in coarse cellophane. Foreign kits, 1972 glow kits (issued in lighter-weight boxes), and Monsters of the Movies were wrapped in traditional heat-shrink plastic. Kits shipped to hobby stores were not sealed, allowing store customers to inspect the contents before purchase.
   
Built-Up Kits: If Mom didn't throw away your built-up monsters, she might be auctioning them instead. Many collectors want only built kits since they can be had at far lower prices than boxed kits. Other collectors desire a built kit to display alongside their mint-in-box treasure. Regardless, built kits often require cleaning, stripping, and restoration, bringing down the asking price drastically.
   
Factory-Built Kits: Aurora regularly assembled and painted its kits at the factory, including them with kit shipments for stores to display. Some kits, such as Monster Scenes, even included cardboard backdrops for added promotion. Among collectors, factory-built kits are in high demand, often commanding double the price of an unbuilt kit.
   

Where Monsters Dwell

Ten years ago, you could only find classic Aurora kits by hooking up with antique, toy, and kit dealers. Today, however, the Internet is reuniting collectors with their creatures of old. Many dealers have Web sites where they publish online catalogs. Online auctions are the newest trading grounds for monster models (big surprise, huh?). Check the listings at any person-to-person auction site and you're bound to find an Aurora ghoul. To save time, search for "Aurora" or a combination of Aurora and a creature's name on eBay, Yahoo Auctions, or Amazon.com Auctions. On any given day, you'll usually find several listings of each kit.

Even more exciting for collectors who actually want to build these monsters again, there are plenty of reissued kits available at your local toy and hobby stores. Monogram Models acquired most of Aurora's molds back in 1977 and has been reissuing select characters since 1983. Moreover, Revell recently reissued Frankenstein and Dracula kits struck from the Monsters of the Movies molds

     

There's even a new Aurora on the block: Polar Lights, a division of Playing Mantis, has been busy retooling and reissuing faithful replicas of the original Aurora monsters, right down to the long box itself. In addition to Aurora monsters, Polar Lights is also developing new figure and theme kits (Lost in Space, Three Stooges, Kiss) in the grand tradition of Aurora. The kits are affordably priced at around $20. Polar Lights is introducing a whole new generation to the joys of kit collecting."

   
  Click Here for the Aurora Monster Kit History  
   
  This excerpt from an article found at AuctionWatch.Com  
   
  You'll find many excellent sources to purchase original and repro Aurora merchandise, and so much more on the LINKS PAGE.