Collecting 1960s Aurora Plastic Sports Model Kits
Aurora Plastics Corporation created six model kits in 1965. Today, these "Sport Magazine Great Moments in Sports" items are a rare and valuable item.
Aurora Plastics Corporation got together with SPORT Magazine in 1965 to create a series of six plastic model kits entitled "Great Moments in Sports".
The series features a scene from the 1920s Dempsey-Firpo boxing match, classic poses from baseball's Willie Mays and Babe Ruth, basketball great Jerry West and football's Johnny Unitas and Jim Brown.
Relatively simple to piece together, the models came in boxes with a picture depicting the athlete in one of his most famous moments. The original packages also contained booklets with text written by SPORT editors, but the real attraction for youngsters was, of course, the chance to construct the model. A change of pace, maybe, from model cars and airplanes that were the usual subjects for this hobby. Often found in department stores and hobby shops, the Aurora kits were a unique, if short-lived niche in the toys and games sections of 1960s stores.
Today, the kits which survived in the original unopened form are worth $60-300, with the Ruth and Mays commanding the most interest because of their popularity.
Not many kits did survive in their original form and because of a lack of popularity (I once found a stash of 15 in a second hand store in the early 1980s), there aren't many unopened kits to be found. Those that are do not always emerge in pristine condition. The box is made of thin cardboard and subject to water damage and mildew despite a thin layer of outer cellophane.
Aurora produced the kits only for a short period of time during the 1960s and did not extend the series beyond the orginal group.
While Hartland statues, which were also produced in plastic during the 60s but came already assembled, have retained a cult following, the market for Aurora models is not nearly as great. There don't seem to be any sports memorabilia dealers who specialize in them, but they can be seen from time to time in auction ads run by Sports Collectors Digest magazine.
Finding one at a major card show is a possibility and one might also search on-line sites such as e-bay. No price guide that I know of lists pricing for the kits that have been constructed. However, if you're a history buff that might be part of the fun if you can find a kit at a reasonable price.