As I have mentioned before, there is a lot of evidence that the first two licensed Godzilla items produced in America were the Ideal board game and the Aurora model kit. This makes sense, as both were inspired by the popularity of KING KONG vs GODZILLA, which established Godzilla as a household name.
The kit has been re-issued several times, and as a public service, I just wanted to take a quick look at the artwork before we look at the 1972 version:
On the left, the original 1964 Aurora model. On the right, the re-issue by Polar Lights, which was around the year 2000. It was cool that Polar Lights retained the original artwork, but just in case you are ever looking at an auction, and all you can see is the front (which happens), and, just in case the seller is unscrupulous and trying to pull a fast one (which happens), you can see here that there are differences, particularly in the font, and really clear in the GODZILLA logo. By the way, a sealed Aurora specimen recently went for $800 on Ebay! [Edit: a few years late, over $1,000!] Of course, unopened vintage models are rare anyway, but even the opened ones are pretty pricey, if you can find one.
But, it's a great kit either way, and the 1972 edition was a re-release of the 1969 one, which was unique, in that it added the GLOW-IN-THE-DARK parts that Aurora was doing at the time with all of their monsters, such as Dracula, Wolf Man, etc.
|Some pieces even still on the tree!|
It strikes me that Godzilla would look weird with his entire head, hands, feet, partial tail, and dorsal plates glowing in the dark, but I bet it made a cool addition to a kid's bedside table. (Wait, the plates on his back do glow in the movies!)
If you want to build one, I'd advise tracking down the Polar Lights version; there are tons of them still out there, and they aren't too expensive. The 2000 line also included their King Ghidorah and Rodan, which, while we are talking about American model kits, look like this:
|And are equally nifty!|
Apparently, the Rodan and King Ghidorah were added in the 1970's, but also re-issued by Polar Lights, luckily. Also, there was one more vintage Aurora model from the 60's, originally called "The Godzilla Go Cart," but for some reason, Polar Lights wasn't allowed to use that title, and they had to go with "The Go Cart." But it makes them MUCH easier to tell apart from their vintage versions.
Finally, here are full scans of the vintage instruction sheet--of course, the amount of blood you want to put on Godzilla's hands is up to you!
|This is just....so......weird.....|
Tomorrow, or very soon thereafter, I have a very special post coming...something that doesn't add up to much, time-wise, but something I am really excited about, because it isn't available anywhere else!