Home movies were the very first way that you could enjoy a motion picture in your own home, on your own schedule. Not only that, but for the first time, you could own it. Granted, these early 8-millimeter films were black-and-white, silent (often with added subtitles), and only excerpts, but film collecting as a hobby had begun.
Ken Films was only one of the companies who issued such films. They were probably the smartest, because they endeavored to make as many licensing deals with major studios as they possibly could. Their catalog was large, and they survived into the early days of the VCR.
Five of the seven releases were are going to examine were available in two lengths: 50-foot reels (which lasted around 3&1/2 minutes) and 200-foot reels (which lasted about 14 minutes). It is important to point out that the box art, from a front view, is completely identical between these two sizes. If you are looking at an Internet auction, and you are shown no other items to compare the scale, you will have no way of knowing what you are trying to buy, unless you can see (or ask for) the item number on the spine of the box. The 50-foot reels had numbers that always started with the digit "5," while the 200-foot reels always began with a "2."
The invention of the Super 8 format in 1965 added variant editions to the films that were released, meaning that there were now four releases for each film (50 and 200 foot versions of both 8mm and Super 8). You might suspect that the arrival of color and sound created even more editions of each film, but this is not the case. In fact, by the end of our list, Ken Films had dropped the 8mm format completely, as you will see.
1) Rodan the Flying Monster (Ken Films #229 & #529, 1964-65).