The KING's Story!!!

"Here is some history about me and my collection.

I just turned 47 in Sept (Wow! Soon I will be 50, if I live that long! You never know!)

I started building models when I was 7. Just like most kids, I would build cars, planes, and boats. My story you have heard hundreds of a kid I loved to watch monster movies, so in 1961 when Aurora came out with Frankenstein, I had to have it!

So from '61 to '65, I built monster models. I only had 9 monster models. My dad left when I was 3. My Mom did not have much money to buy what my 2 brothers and I wanted. I had Frank, Dracula, Wolfman, Mummy, Creature, Phantom, Dr Jeckyll, Hunchback, and Godzilla. I also had Superman, Batman, Blue Knight, and JFK.

I always wanted the monsters in cars but never got them. I was able to get models in the summer because I would stay at my Nanny's house. She was the best person in the world! I always say if everybody had a Nanny like mine, the world would be a better place to live!

I guess that is the main reason I have the collection I have today. In 1970 I dumped my models in the garbage, never knowing how much they meant to me.

So now let's go to 1987. My kids are 7, 5 and 4. They loved to watch monster movies with me, so I started to think about the pleasure of building models at Nanny's, and what a great time I use to have! I said to myself, "What a nice thing to do with my kids!"

So I started going to hobby shops asking for Aurora monster models. Nobody knew what I was talking about?! I asked around for a long time if anybody knew where I could get Aurora models from...after almost a year I talked to someone who knew of a place in California that had models for sale.

It took him weeks to get the address! I wanted them so bad I would call him at work almost every day!! Then I got the address. It was John Green. That was Jan 1988!

I was going to get the 9 models I had when I was a kid until I found out how much they were! An original Frankenstein, in the box, was $175.00!! I said I guess I'm not going to get any models! Than I went back to the list and saw built-ups. I said, I don't need the box...Frankenstein was $6.00!! That was more my speed!!

I started off slow, buying about $500.00 in models a month from John Green. The kids loved opening up the boxes and seeing what the models looked like! For me it started bringing back memories of great times at Nanny's house! So every time I look at my models, I think of my Nanny! She died in 1994, at the age of 92. I miss her very much.

Anyway, most of the Aurora stuff you see I had gotten by 1993. It seems the past 2 years I have been buying less and less. Until eBay!

I have gotten alot of nice Aurora stuff in the past 6 months on eBay!!

Also, just to let you know, two of my Aunts worked for Aurora. One worked from '62 to '64, the other worked there in the '70's.

I remember painting the Phantom at Nanny's one day and my Aunt coming home from Aurora and saying, "You know they have that model already painted nicely at the factory", and then my other Aunt, who worked in a bank saying, "That's o.k. He's doing a nice job painting his."

I also have a large collection of Rat Finks, Weird Ohs, MPC, and resin.

Oh, before I forget! You said duplicates in stages, but that's not the case!

To give you an idea...if you look at Frankenstein, the first one is unpainted, next is a factory paint job, and the next the first dry brush paint job I did when I met Bill Ayers in Washington DC, back in 1991!

He showed me how to do it, and then one painted by Bill years later with a resin head to look more like Karloff.

But mostly with the monsters it's; unpainted, then factory, and a nicely painted...and with the others its factory, then nice paint.

95 % of the boxes are unbuilt kits. Some of the buildups are ones I have not gotten around to strip and repaint.

I have about 240 built-up Auroras, 50 factory Auroras and about 260 different box versions (years, size, etc.).

So I think you know everything now!"

- Phil Ceparano (Oct 99')