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The Aurora Plastics Corporation of New York, USA, was founded in 1950, and started making plastic kits in about 1952.

Towards the end of the 1950s, Aurora had hooked up with Playcraft in the UK, and Aurora products were being marketed in Britain as one of the Playcraft brands.

Around the same time, Playcraft seem to have sold the rights to their ~1:76 00-gauge-scale Highways slotcar system (made for them by Jouef) to Aurora (a few years later Playcraft launched a new larger-scale replacement range, Champion).

Aurora continued making and improving the slotcars, supplemented by 1:32 "Scalextric-scale" plastic car kits until they brought out the Aurora AFX slotcar range, with separate standardised chassis and clip-on plastic bodyshells.

The company introduced an unsuccessful plastic-on-metal range of cars in 1968, unimaginatively called the "Cigarbox" range, which everybody immediately recognised as a rip-off of the "Matchbox" branding.


The original owners sold the company in 1968, after which, during the ill-advised craze for US food companies diversifying their portfolios into toy companies, it ended up being owned by Nabisco, who broke it up in around ~1977.


Amongst the younger(ish) section of the UK toy enthusiast population, Aurora is remembered for their AFX slotcars, older UK collectors remember the Aurora Knights plastic kits, which were extremely well received.

American collectors remember the unique Monsters series of kits, and sci-fi enthusiasts remember the unique kit of Mr Spock firing his phaser at a three-headed snakey creature.

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