Aurora Plastic Model Kits – A Brief History

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By Alan Bussie Google+ profile

Many thanks to John Burns, Tom Graham and the innumerable number of collectors who have helped to compile this information over the years. Without your tireless attention to detail, this would be impossible.

Aurora was one of the most prolific names in American Modeling from 1952 to 1977. The line was very diverse and included military and civil aircraft, shipstanksmissiles, figures (monster and many others), science fiction, automotive, animals, guns, totem poles, HO train items, electronic kits, “Coppersmith” sets, prehistoric scenes and more.

The Early Years – The Brooklyn Era
In 1950, Abe Shikes and Joseph Giammarino created Aurora as an injection molding job-shop. Injection molding was booming in post-war American and business went well. In 1952, they hired a salesman named John Cuomo. The three produced many toys but quickly realized that plastic model kits were the wave of the future, so they banked Aurora’s future on it.

Kit production started in the Brooklyn Plant in late 1952. These kits were in one-piece flip-top boxes and carried the circular logo and the “U-Ma-Kit” slogan. The first two kits were the 1/48 F9F Panther Jet (kit #22) and 1/48 Lockheed F-90A (kit #33).  These first two kits carried no landing gear or missiles and had minimal rivet and panel line detail. Box art was simple and used two colors. There was no price extension after the kit number.

First Issue Aurora F-90A #33

Issues exist with the instructions printed on the inside of the box and with the instructions printed on a separate piece of paper.

If you have the early Hawk releases of the F9F or F-90, Continue reading “Aurora Plastic Model Kits – A Brief History”