|Screamin' Model's 'London After Midnight' Kit|
Model kits possessed a fantastic appeal: build and paint your favorite icons from the screen and, afterwards, proudly display them. In the '60s Aurora's largest customer base had been kids, but by the mid-1980s model kits had found a more diverse and older clientele: collectors.
No longer were model kits being manufactured in plastic, but in vinyl and resin. This new industry spawned what came to be known as 'garage-kits', models casted and sold by hobbyists themselves and small companies. Due to the small size of these distributors, many garage kits were produced in very limited numbers. Where an Aurora model kit may have been a few dollars in the '60s & '70s, a resin garage kit could easily set a collector back $100 - $200. They were primarily sold through hobby stores, magazine ads, and conventions such as Fangoria & Chiller Theatre. However, much like Aurora in the '60s, the monster kits were some of the best sellers.
At a time when action figures lacked the detail they do today and, also at a time when action figures consisted mainly of super-heroes, model kits became a horror collector's dream.
One of the earliest companies to license popular movie characters for their series of vinyl kits was Screamin' Models. What follows is some of their best:
|One of Screamin' Model's first kits|
The 1/4 scale Jason (above) came with a removable hockey mask and extra machete blades.
|The 'Dream Master' in vinyl|
|The Mistress of the Dark's first time 'model'-ing|
|The Saw Is Family|
|A silent terror|
|A friend to boils and ghouls everwhere|
|He's ready to bark at the moon!|
|They'll tear your soul apart|
|Haddonfield's favorite maniac|
|Size matters not|
Today the detailing of action figures rival that of any model kit and can be bought at a far cheaper price. The garage kit industry that thrived in the mid-'80s to the late-'90s has, sadly, all but been extinguished. However, the fun of building and painting a kit and displaying it - knowing that your work went into it - is something that action figures could never replace.