As I kid, I was turned on by plastic.
Well, plastic model (hobby) kits.
From a company named Aurora.
A wonderful place.
Fuck off Willy Wonka and your chocolate minions.
This factory was IT.
Oh Aurora how I miss your wonderfully kitschy plastic pop-culture glue and snap together sexiness.
It was a company I adored. No. more than adored. I was obsessed.
Everything they manufactured was perfect in my eyes.
Aurora Plastics Corporation was founded in 1950 by Joseph Giammarino in Brooklyn, New York (my hometown, sniff).
I thank him to this day. He was a model master.
I required every molded monster, television personality that came of the magical Aurora factory. Even the box art was cool.
Don’t ask me how much the empty boxes go for on auction sites.
My favorite series was the controversial Monster Scenes plastic snap-together kits.
They primed me for puberty before the the babysitter nudie-girlie dances entered my Saturday nights (long story).
Released in the early 70′s to revitalize the brand, (then owned by Nabisco the cookie company interestingly enough), Aurora released the scantily clad, barefooted “Victim” model kit complete with outfit of a hottie hitchhiker right out of a Grindhouse flick.
It was love at first snap.
Bless her plastic cutoffs.
I owned two of the kits.
Then out came Vampirella complete with ample bosom and sharp teeth that dealt the final blow to my childhood.
A busty female vampire in an outfit or what was left of one; cut way too provocative for the audience it was designed for. How I wished she could bite me with those plastic fangs (or at least rub against me in that outfit). Well, she did rub against me in that outfit. I don’t recall any objections although she did come apart at the seams at times. Glue was definitely stronger then *snap*.
I’m ashamed to recall how many times I ran my hands over her fine tan plastic (I never used paint as suggested by the instructions). Stopping at her breasts. Creating ringlets. Gently with an index finger. Giggling. Always giggling.
Me. Not her.
Let’s just say parents (pent-up moms; dads were too busy with spinning index fingers), were enraged with this line of model kits.
Didn’t help how the box illustrations were provocative artsy, plastered with “Rated X…for Excitement,” printed on the tops.
The “Victim” model was an accessory of sorts, well she was a victim. Slim enough to fit into scene kits named “The Pain Parlor” and “The Hanging Cage.” Guess it’s understandable why the National Organization for Women were in an uproar and stormed Nabisco headquarters.
It’s tough to swallow but these kits were responsible for the final blow to the Aurora empire. Concerned parents’ groups in the early 70′s deemed these model kits and playsets too sinister and depraved for their sensitive, impressionable youth.
Worried moms and dads (oh please, dads were forced), mounted an assault on all the popular monster toys and comics of the day, urging boycotts and letter writing campaigns.
In November 1971, the kits were shipped for sale in Canada (yet another reason to admire Canada, I guess), and the original molds destroyed.
The entire creative team for Aurora was fired. Heartbreaking.
I would trek miles to find these kits. Several stores in Brooklyn still carried them after they were discontinued. I remember one dimly-lit five & dime outlet across town with the balls to still sell them. Cost was 2-4 bucks.Today at auction I’ve seen pristine kits, still in shrink wrap going for up to $800. Talk about an investment!
The gold old days of voluptuous plastic are gone. Well, not really. There is some around. It’s cost prohibitive but replace may your love interest. Add it up. Should be cheaper than a significant other.
I confess. My mother made my entire (10) G.I. Joe Adventure Team disappear in 1975 when she discovered a couple of naked Barbies in the map room of the G.I. Joe Headquarters.
What a shame. Another fortune lost.
It was all innocent. Really!
1). Cherish your memories. Remember the joy of your personal history. It made you who you are. It placed you where you are right now. Cherish the plastic chains of your past yet know when they’ve overstayed their welcome. Your past has no place in your current. Unless you fit nicely into a Vampirella outfit. In that case, call me.
2). Know when it’s time to destroy the molds. Of who you were. You’re not there anymore. I believe I’m smarter and better than the day before. Know when it’s time to fire the creative team or the inner and outer voices that stir your ego, feed you stories that don’t suit your life path and tell you how you must follow rules you didn’t create.
3). Plastic toys can still be fun. OK, read into this the way you like. I control my credit cards. I use and abuse them for everything. My new plastic “victims.” I pay them off monthly and take the reward points. I also use the itemized statements to monitor my spending habits and seek areas of improvement. Like when I cut $20,000 in annual restaurant spending down to $3,000.
Plastic can be your friend. It can do all kinds of stuff, even vibrate from what I hear.
Discover how the enjoyment over your present is much better than what thrilled you in the past.
I can admire a “Victim” Monster Scenes Kit in original packaging without regret over where I’ve been.
It keeps me out of the cages and pain parlors created by those who don’t have my best interests at heart.
You must do the same to survive.