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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello HobbyTalkers!


Rather than continually start new threads here in this Modeling Forum for the benefit of improving the accuracy and completeness of my web-site entitled "Phrankenstign's Unauthorized Playing Mantis Model Inventory" located at www.phrankenstign.com, I've decided to post all further messages here in this thread only. This way people uninterested in helping or learning about the models Playing Mantis produced from 1995-2004 can ignore this thread and not be bothered by any of my posts dealing with these subjects.


I've spent years collecting various things that have interested me over the years. I'm NOT a rich guy, but I DON'T spend money on alcohol, tobacco, nor drugs. The nice thing about spending my money on adding items to my collections is that I get to keep them! People who spend money on a carton of cigarettes. cases of beer, and various recreational drugs end up with nothing to show for their money once they've smoked, drank, and/or snorted/shot up/eaten their purchases. I know many enjoy those things, and that's great for them. In my case, it has allowed me to put together fairly nice collections of DC comics/graphic novels/hardcovers/softcovers, Beatles music and memorabilia, CDs, DVDs, Blu-rays, Laserdiscs, and Lionel trains.


My dad played a major influence in my life because his interests in the subjects of my collections are what sparked my interests in those subjects to begin with! He bought DC comics in the early sixties for two reasons: 1) To learn how to improve his English skills---my dad had been born in Mexico, so English was his second language.....and 2) He liked the Superman family of comics. My dad was an early Beatlemaniac. He liked their music, so it was easy to get him to buy all of their early albums and singles. My dad was a Universal Monsters and science fiction fan too. He liked watching The Munsters, The Addams Family, Star Trek, Lost in Space, Planet of the Giants, The Time Tunnel, Avengers, Batman, Adventures of Superman, The Flintstones, etc. Since we only had one 25" color TV, I watched those shows he liked. I quickly became a fan too. He built and painted Aurora's Frankenstein and King Kong models. He even bought Gigantic Frankenstein, but he never built it. (I ended up painting and building it when I was a teenager.) My dad bought Frankenstein's Flivver and Dracula's Dragster (and a MPC(?) 1968 Firebird exactly like my dad's new car) for his brother who lived in Mexico. He gave it to him when we visited later that year. A year later when we returned, his brother had completed all three kits. The Aurora kits looked just like the pictures on the boxes, and the Firebird looked exactly like my dad's champagne/pewterish car---including the redline tires (like Hot Wheels cars of the time), black vinyl top, and wood grain console/glove box. A few years later when I started earning money from my paper route, I bought, built, and painted the Aurora Glow in the Dark versions of The Phantom of the Opera, Dracula, The Forgotten Prisoner of Castel-Mare, The Mummy, The Wolf Man, and The Hunchback of Notre Dame. (I also completed Barnabas Collins, The Werewolf (Quentin Collins), and The Mummy Machine, but they weren't as much fun. (I later realized my biggest problem and annoyance was due to the fact the first two were made of ABS plastic. Testors plastic cement simply didn't work very well at all in keeping Barnabas cape on him. Big globs of that cement kept the rest of him and Quentin together!) I kind of got off-track a little. As I got older, my dad kind of let me have his comics and the Beatle records (since I was always borrowing them anyway---comics helped me learn to read BEFORE I entered Kindergarten), models (apart from Big Phrankie, he had a few unbuilt models like a Jaguar XKE and Ford 1940 Truck ), the Lionel and HO trains (I played with them mainly at Christmas and he'd occasionally buy me accessories and additional locos & rolling stock). My dad was an early audio/video fan. I remember having a 25" color TV back in 1965. Hardly any of my friends had a color TV back then, and many were surprised when they came over to see that all TV shows and movies weren't automatically transformed into color. My dad also had a 6' projection screen in the late 70s around the time the first VCRs were being sold (which, of course, he'd already bought). His influence is what causes me to want to keep up with the latest stuff now. "It's a gift......and a curse!" as Monk would be apt to say!


Anyway, years later while visiting the new Super Kmart in Newport News, VA, I happened to see the short box version of Frankenstein's Flivver and The Mummy's Chariot on sale right after Christmas. Originally they'd been priced at $9.99, but they had been reduced to $4.97. It was the first time I'd actually seen a Polar Lights kit in a store. Prior to that, I'd only seen a few of their early kits at www.playingmantis.com and www.polarlights.com with the animated Playing Mantis intro. I'd always wanted to build all of the so-called Odd Rods, and now I'd have a chance for the first time in 30 years! Those two kits rekindled my interest in models. At the time I lurked in the HobbyTalk Polar Lights forum off and on. It wasn't until the four long box Toys 'R' Us exclusive models came out that I finally started posting in the forum and joined the friendly people there with Lisa Greco moderating. As each new kit was announced, I became more and more enthusiastic about acquiring each one. Most of the kits appeared to be reissues/repops, but along the way Polar Lights soon added their own originals. The more I collected, the more important it became to keep track of what I had. (It's much easier and faster to collect models, than it is to build and paint them---at least for me. My kids were young, and they took much of my free time. Once they were put to bed, then I had time to build models---along with whatever else I had going on!) Anyway, as I started to compile my list of Polar Lights models, model numbers, UPC numbers, MSRPs, year released, etc., I discovered James D. Farrow (another Polar Lights Bulletin Board member) had also been doing something very similar. However his model numbers and UPC numbers didn't match in two cases. It was then that I posted my list for the first time in a thread. That was when we realized my short box Frankenstein's Flivver and The Mummy's Chariot from Kmart were different than his long box Frankenstein Flivver. Until then, we didn't know the kits had been packaged differently. I decided to add his kits to my list. Other members of the Polar Lights bulletin board soon started adding their knowledge of what Polar Lights had released. My list grew from containing only what I actually owned to containing everything that Playing Mantis had released under the Polar Lights and Aurora brand names. Mr. Farrow was the most helpful in compiling as much information about everything released. I can't thank him enough for all of his help over the years.


Many of the members appeared to have found some value in referencing my list in that thread, so I decided it might be interesting to create a web-site that not only listed the kits, but contained pictures also. It was then that I used the space my cable company supplied for the first version of "Phrankenstign's Unauthorized Playing Mantis Model Inventory". The title might be a bit unwieldy, but Playing Mantis had released kits under both the Polar Lights and Aurora logos. Putting those two logos in the title would have meant having to differentiate Playing Mantis Aurora kits from Aurora Plastics Corporation kits. That would have made the name even MORE unwieldy, so I stuck with that first name.


Creating the pages became a bit of a challenge in making them as easy to use and as informative as possible. Early on it became apparent not everyone has the space on their monitor to view the Frames version. My original intent was to replace the original "No Frames" list with it. However a few members mentioned they preferred the simplicity of the original, so I kept both versions. The "Side-By-Side Comparisons" page was developed because the collector in me wanted to see how various reissues/special editions/repackaging differed. Rather than have to remember what each kit looked like, I figured side-by-side comparisons would be most useful. It's much easier to show someone the differences than it is to have to describe them. It was kind of fun for me to see how kits such as the Cartoon Network Scooby-Doo! Mystery Machine changed in just a couple of years. I also found the Snap Draggins fun to compare.


That was then. Back in 2004, Playing Mantis passed into history once Racing Champions bought it. It was at that point that very little news was being issued about which plans (if any) by the original Playing Mantis staff would be carried out by the RC2 crew. For me, it occurred at a tumultuous time in my life. As 2005 rolled along, I found it difficult to find the time to update the web-site. Then August 29th, Hurricane Katrina ended nearly all my plans. No, my home wasn't damaged very badly---only $24,000 damage that was nearly fully covered by my insurance. (I was back living in my home within a couple of weeks.) However I spent the next year recovering from it. I helped others, as they helped me, make temporary repairs on their homes for those who could move back into their homes. The ones who couldn't in many cases were able to salvage what they could by putting their stuff in storage units. All of us helped one another as much as we could. Bottom line: the web-site was not updated. Later, I finally retired from the USAF after 20 years of service. My brother asked me soon after if I'd help run a Little Caesar's Pizza restaurant he was hoping to open in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. At first, I told him "Thanks, but no thanks. I'm happy working at Best Buy." However when he asked me again a few months later, I decided it might be fun accepting his challenge. I promised to help him for a minimum of two years. And I did. The problem (from the perspective of the web-site) is that I put all of my stuff in storage in Gulfport, Mississippi during my stay in Sheboygan. All the Playing Mantis stuff was out of reach for the entire time I was there. It wasn't until I returned to Mississippi 2 1/2 years later that I finally got access to that stuff. Throughout the years, I'd started to pay for the domain www.phrankenstign.com, while also paying for a hosting site. (One place registers the name of the site and directs all people trying to access the site to the servers of the hosting site where the files and pictures for each page are actually stored.) I never intended to abandon the site, but being a parent of teenagers became a very busy time for me. Now they've all graduated high school and are going to college. They all have their own cars, so I no longer have to drive them. Last Saturday, my oldest daughter got married. Next week she'll be entering the USAF as a linguist (hopefully). My other daughter and my son will be in college for at least a couple more years. The upshot of all this is that I have much more time now. That's why I can now dedicate the time to complete it. After all, there is only a finite number of stuff Playing Mantis produced. Will I ever be able to truly list and picture everything? I don't know. There are a few things I know about that I just have not been able to get my hands on. I'm sure there are things I don't know about. I hope people reading this thread who have knowledge or ownership (or both) of things not on my site will notify me about it. So much for my plea!






Here's the first mystery I'd like to solve:


Back in 2004, a few kits were announced for release soon by Playing Mantis. These kits were:


1) 2004 Pontiac GTO


2) Dodge Coronet 500 Convertible


3) 1964 Pontiac GTO Convertible


The kits I bought in 2005 of those particular models have the RC2 brand in place of the Playing Mantis logo that had previously appeared on the #6400 and #6401 Great American Rides models.


The first one above has the 4-digit Model #6402 with the UPC number 0 90733 06402 8. Previously, all Playing Mantis models had the UPC prefix "0 90733".


The second kit above has the 5-digit Model #53001 with the UPC number 0 36881 53001 5. The UPC prefix, "0 36881" appears to be allocated to RC2.


The third kit above has the 5-digit Model #53003 with the UPC number 0 36881 53003 9. Since this kit came out later in 2005, it appears the UPC prefix "0 36881" is, indeed, allocated to RC2.


Since the aim of my web-site is to document ONLY Playing Mantis products, I don't plan on including pics and information for kits 2 and 3 from above because of the change in UPC prefixes. However kit 1 above has the Playing Mantis prefix. Is it possible some kits exist of #6402 with the Playing Mantis logo? It seems odd RC2 would release a kit without its UPC prefix unless the production run had started BEFORE RC2 took over. It would make sense to only change the logo and NOT the model number if retailers had already ordered the 2004 Pontiac GTO previously from Playing Mantis. I don't know how well #6402 sold. If a second run was produced by RC2, perhaps they didn't want to confuse retailers by changing both it's model number and UPC number. If my speculation is correct, then the way to prove it would be to find an example of kit #6402 with the Playing Mantis logo. Does anyone out there in HobbyTalkland have one? Please check your kit stash if you have such a kit in your collection. If you do, please let me know. You may own the solution to this mystery. Adding that kit to the web-site would then be my newest goal!
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
That first request for help may go unanswered forever, if my guess is wrong about there being a first release of #6402 with the Playing Mantis logo.


The following kits DO exist. I saw them. I touched them. I regret not buying them now. When Playing Mantis first started distributing the Toys 'R' Us exclusive #7504 Frankenstein, #7505 Wolf Man, and #7506 Dracula kits, they inserted a Toys 'R' Us flyer on the bottom of the box visible through the plastic shrink wrap. I don't know how many flyers were inserted, but at some point they ran out. I remember seeing quite a few kits of those three without them. When I purchased those three kits, I made sure each one contained the flyer. At the time, I thought the kits had been selling well. I therefore assumed subsequent runs produced wouldn't have them. I guess the demand was satisfied with those initial runs at the time, so further runs weren't produced after all. Within a few months, all of the kits were sold. A couple of years later when I'd decided to create the web-site listing all variations, it occurred to me I'd never acquired the "flyerless" kits. So those became the first kits I listed in my "Want List". I'd be willing to trade one of my extra #7503 "The Mummy", #7504 Frankenstein (w/flyer), and #7505 Wolf Man (w/flyer) kits for those "flyerless" kits. I'd be open to cash deals or bartering for other things.


One thing I did notice while comparing the kits, was the shrink wrap was nearly identical from kit to kit---both the seams and the thickness. What I don't want to trade for is a kit that has been opened and then shrink wrapped again. After all, I'm trying to be 100% accurate historically. I don't want to have anything on the web-site whose authenticity can be challenged as being faked/manufactured/counterfeited. (So far there was only one instance that I can think of where I posted incorrect information on the web-site. I posted some erroneous details about who ended up with the lowest number kits of #8001 The Wolf Man. As soon as I found out about the error, I quickly deleted the inaccuracy.)


===============================================


I've also listed Playing Mantis Toy Fair Press Kits. I believe Dave Metzner was the one who was nice enough to send me a few of them back in 2002. (Thanks, Dave!) A couple of months ago, I was able to acquire a couple more from 1996 and 1998. (They will be added to the web-site soon!) That leaves only 2 or 3 I'm missing. I don't know if Playing Mantis had a presence in 1995 at Toy Fair, so a press kit from that year may not exist. Since press kits exist for 1996-2002, I think it's okay to assume Playing Mantis continued to attend and issue press kits for 2003 and 2004. If you have any of those kits, please let me know. I'd like to work out a deal for them.


===============================================


Finally there is one last item I have been unable to find on ebay. It's the Forbidden Planet C-57D Starcruiser art print by Chris White. I believe it was given away free at Wonderfest 2001. I don't remember if they were only given to Polar Lights Bulletin Board members, or if they were given to anyone attending who wanted one.


It's possible another art print was given away in 2004. If so, I have no information about it.


If anyone has any knowledge on where I can acquire either one or both, please let me know.


===============================================


Should you know of anything Polar Lights/Aurora-related that you feel should be on the web-site, please don't hesitate to tell me all about it. I'm sure there would probably be others who would like to learn about it and, if possible, see pics of it too.


One thing I neglected to mention. I'm sure there may be some people out there who don't wish to part with something unique they may have. If that's the case with you, then I'd like you to know something. I'd be happy to accept pictures of your item(s), along with your permission to post them. Depending on the item, I would hope you'd follow the format I've set for the specific type of items. I would like pictures of model boxes for each side. Art prints should have at least one very clear picture. (I can always create a small version of each which (when clicked on) would bring up a bigger version.) Two pictures for shirts would be ideal---front and back. In other words, I would like the pictures to adequately show as much about the item(s) as possible. Care to share?
 

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First of all, let me say how happy I am you are getting back to this project.
I used to use your site for reference all the time back in the day.
Interesting read on the history of it all.
I completely understand the whole being too busy to update thing.
There are sections of my site that have been neglected for far too long as well :(
But there are only so many hours in the day, and I have way too many hobbies.

T

It's possible another art print was given away in 2004. If so, I have no information about it.

If anyone has any knowledge on where I can acquire either one or both, please let me know.
I checked my site, and it looks like the Enterprise was the print for 2004
http://www.tylisaari.com/models/shows/wf2004/goodies.JPG

Also, not sure if you saw this bit of stuff back then or not.
But Chris White gave a presentation at WF that year and showed some images of box art mock-ups of kits that never happened
WONDERFEST 2004

Also wanted to mention that Chris is still a member here, and he may know where you could still get some prints if you need them.
 

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I don't see the coffee mug or the fridge magnets. Do you have those? We got them as part of the big WF group hand out.


~RK~
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I checked my site, and it looks like the Enterprise was the print for 2004
http://www.tylisaari.com/models/shows/wf2004/goodies.JPG

Also wanted to mention that Chris is still a member here, and he may know where you could still get some prints if you need them.

Thanks for reminding me. Actually, I have that Enterprise print from 2004! I'd forgotten it had served as the Wonderfest giveaway that year. As I was looking through the stuff I hadn't put on the web-site yet, I came across a large envelope Chris sent me postmarked May 28, 2004. He was nice enough to send me that particular print (signed & with a personal note) along with a promo sheet entitled Star Trek 2004: The Final Frontier in Sci-Fi Modeling. I'd intended on posting it sometime next month, but instead I'm going to work on posting both in the next couple of hours now that I know what the print was from. Thanks Trevor!


btw I remember asking Chris whether he had any C-57D prints from 2001, but he told me he'd forgotten to keep one copy for himself. That was the only one he was missing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
I don't see the coffee mug or the fridge magnets. Do you have those? We got them as part of the big WF group hand out.


~RK~

I have a Badboy Snap Draggin box magnet and a Robby the Robot box magnet. Are there any others? I plan to add those soon, but I never got the coffee mug. Care to make a deal?


btw I just added the Wonderfest 2004 NCC-1701 print and the 2004 Star Trek flyer!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Side stepping through the Polar Lights world

As I've been updating the site, I've also been doing a bit of research through past threads to find information/minutiae/trivia that I could use. I kept seeing the Polarpaedia thread at the top, so I decided to check it out again. (I hadn't gone through it in years.) Anyway, it mentioned the Magical Mystery Machine Tour. Many here probably don't know about it, but it was a project that many in the Polar Lights Bulletin Board took part in. In the early 2000s, there was a commercial where a gnome is snatched from someone's yard. They "thief" takes it on a world tour with him sending pictures of the gnome in various locals around the world back to the owner. (I don't know if that's what inspired us to do something similar, but it's what I remember our project being like.) What ended up happening was that someone bought, built, and painted the Polar Lights Scooby-Doo Mystery Machine. A list of Polar Lights Bulletin Board member volunteers was made with the intent being the Mystery Machine would be sent to each volunteer in the list order. Upon receiving the Mystery Machine, the volunteer would take pics of it in interesting locales in their area, before sending it to the next member on the list. Once the Mystery Machine had visited the last member on the list, that person was to return it to what amounted to be the overseer of the project. I think we'd all decided to present it to Lisa Greco (PLBB moderator and PL Customer Service Rep) from the start. (I may be wrong about that.) This is where Murphy's Law came into play......


As the Mystery Machine made its rounds, some people would forget to send it on right away until they remembered, or the overseer reminded them to send it to the next person. The project ended up taking YEARS to complete. By the time the last person on the list was done with it, Lisa Greco no longer worked at Playing Mantis/Polar Lights.....let alone moderate the PLBB. I believe Lisa did end up getting it. However not all of the pictures made it to the overseer which appears to have been Steve Iverson. He created a nice web-site where he lists many (not all) of the participants along with the pics the members took of the Mystery Machine around the world.


Since being away from Hobbytalk, I don't remember ever having seen the web-site Steve had created until yesterday. It was very interesting checking out the unusual places some people had the Mystery Machine visit. As I looked at the list, I noticed someone was missing from the list. I checked it again. I was right. Someone was missing from that list who I was sure had participated. It was ME! I remember receiving the Mystery Machine carefully packed one fateful day. I grabbed my camera, gathered my three kids, and off we went on our mission---take pictures of the Mystery Machine in interesting places around the area. We did so on what appears to have been a beautiful day. I turned in the negatives to get developed and I asked for 2 prints of each picture. When I received the printed pics a day later, I remember carefully packing the Mystery Machine back in the box it had come to me in and I sent it to the next person on the list. I remember following the instructions to the letter. What I don't recall is what I was supposed to do with the pictures. I know I sent them, but I don't recall whether I was supposed to send them with the Mystery Machine to the next person or if I was supposed to send them to the overseer. I'm guessing now I must have sent them to the overseer, because otherwise the box would have gotten heavier and heavier each time it was sent to the next person on the list. Whoever the overseer was at the time, (I don't know if Steve was the only one or if someone else had also been an overseer for the project) he should have gotten my pics. I'm guessing they were probably misplaced over the years since the project took so long to complete. (They may have even gotten lost in the mail!) That's probably why Steve didn't have my name on the list nor any of my pictures.


A stroke of luck! Last year, I cleaned up a lot of stuff in my dresser compartments. I had stacks of pictures and a few brand new photo albums. I figured a good way to organize the mess was to put as many pictures as I could into the empty photo albums. As I did so, I came upon the Mystery Machine photos. I remember wondering whatever happened with the whole project, but at the time I was in a bit of a hurry in getting the mess cleared away. By the time I was done, I'd forgotten about those pics. That is, until I saw Steve's web-site. I sent him a message asking him about it, and he stated he'd posted everything he had at the time. He told me he doesn't have the software he used to create that web-site anymore, but that he might be able to transfer it over to Wordpress sometime. (I assume he must be using that on his current CultTVman web-site.) He did tell me to pass any photos along if I have them, so I'm hoping he'll add me to his web-site soon. I went to look for the first set of prints in the photo albums, and I found them ALL! I know that, because whenever I nearly always bought 24 and 36 exposure rolls of film. The way my camera loaded the film, I usually got 26 and 38 pictures out of the two types of rolls. The photographs I was able to find totaled 38! (I'm not a professional photographer and neither is my son, but most of our pics came out pretty good.)


Last night I spent a couple hours scanning all 38 pics and saving them to files. I also started writing notes for each pic describing where the Mystery Machine is. I'm going to finish today, and then send the pics and notes to Steve. I hope he's able to post them soon. It'll help add another piece to the puzzle of that crazy little project us ex-Polar Lights Bulletin Board members took part in.


I wonder what I'll be working on tomorrow.....PL magnet mini-boxes maybe?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Something came up last night and I totally spaced this. Sorry. I'll get to it this weekend I promise.
No problem!


I finally sent Steve all the pics I took for the Magical Mystery Machine Tour along with notes about each pic. I thought it was going to be easy, but I couldn't remember the names of some of the places I'd taken the Mystery Machine to. I surfed around quite a bit and called a few different phone numbers I found of people who might know something. I even called the Biloxi Visitors Center. They gave me the most helpful information about one particularly difficult place I was having a big problem identifying.


......But I did it! I figured out the name of every single place along with its address/location. I don't know how Steve is going to present them on the web-site, but I hope others who haven't had their pictures posted with the Mystery Machine see this and get motivated enough to send their pics to Steve also. Who knows? Maybe that web-site may someday document the whole trip after all! I'm keeping my fingers crossed for that!
 

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Do yo have any pictures of your collection you could post?
I've got a bunch of stuff from Polar lights/Playing Mantis/Johnny lightning...

I'd have to dig it all out, but it would help if I knew the missing items you're searching for :)

Denis
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
If you don't see it now, then hopefully you'll see it soon!

Do yo have any pictures of your collection you could post?


I'd have to dig it all out, but it would help if I knew the missing items you're searching for :)

Denis

Yes. Nearly everything I have is pictured on my web-site, www.phrankenstign.com. If it isn't pictured already (and isn't already identified as "Coming soon!), then I'd probably like to either buy it or get good, sharp pictures of it to post on the web-site. If you are willing to sell it and we work out a deal, then I'd take the pictures of it myself to post on the web-site.
 

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Yes. Nearly everything I have is pictured on my web-site, www.phrankenstign.com. If it isn't pictured already (and isn't already identified as "Coming soon!), then I'd probably like to either buy it or get good, sharp pictures of it to post on the web-site. If you are willing to sell it and we work out a deal, then I'd take the pictures of it myself to post on the web-site.
Cool... I'll check it out...
 

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Didn't see these in your inventory
might have missed them though...
I'll check my kits for the Monster models without the Toys r Us flyer...



Denis
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
I actually have the Batman poster, a Star Trek Poster, a flat, unfolded Bride of Frankenstein box poster(?) and the 4 different (The Wolf Man, The Phantom of the Opera, The Three Stooges, & The Mummy) Chris White poster-sized lithographs already. I hadn't posted them, because I didn't have a camera and the thought of taking each one out of the frame I put them in, scanning portions of each, and then stitching countless pieces together wasn't something I was looking forward to doing. Now that I have a decent digital camera available for my use, it shouldn't take too long to add them all. (The printing on the Chris White lithographs is first rate. I didn't think it would be possible to improve the images much from the boxes, but I was soooooo wrong!)

As for the note pads and the Dinosaurs ad, I don't have any of those. They'd make nice additions to the other promo items on the site.
 

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Good to see you back, Phrank. Been a long time since the camaraderie and postings from the original group. As my handle says, I'm an Aurora Fan but was drawn to this sight by Polar Lights and the chance to buy reissued Aurora models. The Johnny Lighting / Thunderjet bodies were exciting too. I don't have time to chronicle all my purchases through out the years (because I smoke, drink, and get high) but I'm glad there are people like you out there, who do.


Among my favorites are my signed and numbered Guillotine, the Stooges, Odd Job and Bond I won in Lisa's contests, and my complete collection of Monster rods I never wise would have never bought if not for Polar Lights. Also, the Adams Family and Bates house look so cool on my Slot car track.


Thanks for what you do, bro. Let me know if I can help. I'm a model builder more than a box collector, but I still have a bunch of cool stuff.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
It's always nice to see familiar names here!


I don't consider myself a "box collector" though. I do build and paint models. I mainly like figures. However it usually takes me months to finish a model, while it just takes a few clicks on ebay to buy one.


As a collector of Beatles records back in the 70s, I became intrigued with the many variations from around the world both in cover artwork and the songs themselves. I made a conscious effort to try to collect every version of every song. I succeeded in that endeavor except for maybe a handful that I don't know about. I guess it was the excitement of "the hunt" that kept me going with that.


When I started spending time on the PLBB, I found myself building models I never thought I'd be able to own without paying big bucks for the (mainly) Aurora originals. I didn't know how long Playing Mantis would continue to produce Polar Lights and Aurora models, so I made sure to get them as they were coming out. I figured if they ever stopped producing them, I'd have them in my stash waiting for the day I'd have time to get to each one. Having got the Beatle song variant collecting bug similar to the Pokémon fever of "Gotta catch 'em all", I soon found myself seeking out the variants to add them to my web-site. Somewhere down the line I'm sure I'll sell much of the stuff, but hopefully not before documenting everything possible from Playing Mantis' years of Polar Lights and Aurora production.


You can help by checking out the web-site to let me know of any item that is not listed at all you believe should be, whether you own it or only know of its existence.


In the next week, I think I'll start adding the items I have that aren't listed yet. Then, as time permits, I'll add the associated pics and descriptive pages for each item. Until now, I've usually only listed a few of those items in the "Coming Soon" section. That way people here don't take the time looking for things to help out that I've already got. I'll also update "My want list" to include all of the stuff I don't have that I know about.
 

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Good to see you back, Phrank. Been a long time since the camaraderie and postings from the original group. As my handle says, I'm an Aurora Fan but was drawn to this sight by Polar Lights and the chance to buy reissued Aurora models. The Johnny Lighting / Thunderjet bodies were exciting too. I don't have time to chronicle all my purchases through out the years (because I smoke, drink, and get high) but I'm glad there are people like you out there, who do.


Among my favorites are my signed and numbered Guillotine, the Stooges, Odd Job and Bond I won in Lisa's contests, and my complete collection of Monster rods I never wise would have never bought if not for Polar Lights. Also, the Adams Family and Bates house look so cool on my Slot car track.


Thanks for what you do, bro. Let me know if I can help. I'm a model builder more than a box collector, but I still have a bunch of cool stuff.
Yeah I'm a Freak when it comes to Monarch and Aurora kits and the swag that you can get your hands on ....and all of the vices you've listed above I'm guilty of as well lol...except the getting high part...oops my nose just grew again....damn..... Oh well we still come from the best generation ever! and This Polar Light project absolutely Rocks... :)
Denis
 

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Yeah I'm a Freak when it comes to Monarch and Aurora kits and the swag that you can get your hands on ....and all of the vices you've listed above I'm guilty of as well lol...except the getting high part...oops my nose just grew again....damn..... Oh well we still come from the best generation ever! and This Polar Light project absolutely Rocks... :)
Denis

I'm glad you like it.


I would have continued with Polar Lights under the RC2 and later Round 2, but that would have been a lot more work. Since my preference is for figures, the fact RC2 and Round 2 produce a lot more vehicles was also a reason I didn't continue. I don't know if anyone else is crazy enough to try documenting what those companies produce(d), but it sure would be nice if someone does!


Of course, having a good reference web-site for Monarch and Moebius would be great too! The kits those companies have produced are amazing!
 
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