In a time where complaints about violent video games turning kids into cold blooded killers is the flavor of the month, it seems odd that a toy could have been made in 1971 that prompted such outrage, that makes Quake and their ilk pale in comparison.
Long gone model company AURORA made quite a name for themselves with some of the cooler model kits around. With a line that included great looking dinosaurs, classic Universal Studios monsters, and a fairly decent Godzilla and Mothra, they were THE great model company of the day.
But as sales for these classic monster characters began to wane, the creative geniuses at AURORA stayed up all night brainstorming, and came up with arguable the most offensive parent scream inducing toy of all time.
And they kicked it all off with this fiendish comic book ad.
What else can you say about this but "GOOD LORD"? Not only is it a shocking ad for any kids comic, but you get that clever jab at New York from Vampirella! And not even the most hardcore GI JOE playsets came with a guillotine and a kettle full of coals and red hot pokers!
How could any budding serial killer refuse a cool toy like this?
This morbid series of 8 different model kits featured the evil Dr. Deadly, Frankenstein's Monster, Vampirella, various torture equipments (one lovingly titled "The Pain Parlor", and perhaps the most disturbing model subject of all "THE VICTIM".
Luckily, even AURORA realized that their follow up kit NECRO LOVE TOY was going a bit too far
Obviously it didn't take long for numerous groups to protest the hell out of this toy. According to the AURORA MONSTER KITS website:
Massive protests against the kits came from religious publications and general newspapers, since they all thought that it promoted sex and sadism among children. All the negative publicity led to an immediate stop of production for these kits in May 1971, by the company which now had new owners: Nabisco Inc. The kits remaining on the toy store shelves led to new protests in November, this time outside Nabisco's headquarters in New York. These protests held by groups as: Parents for Responsibility in the Toy Industry, and National Organization for Women, resulted in a recall of the Monster Scenes kits from store shelves in the U.S.
One of the few models where even experts have a tough time telling if it's assembled or not
The National Organization hasn't called for the banning of a toy since the Mattel "Math is Hard Barbie" debacle in 1990, so you have to give credit to AURORA for their long standing record.
How many toys get a rap for promoting "sex and sadism"? That's quite an accomplishment by anyone's standards.
One just has to just wonder if Jeffrey Dahmer played with these when he was a boy.
As you would expect, these hard to find kits fetch a pretty price on the collector market, with Mint in Box specimens easily approaching the $300 range and even $30 for instructions.
Anyway, the next time you hear someone complaining about the violent toys kids love these days and the bad influence of wrestling, videogames, and toy guns, just show them these to shut them up.