1978 Aurora Racing Sets

1978 commercial from the UK and Ireland for Aurora Racing Sets

Aurora Plastics Corporation was founded in March, 1950 by engineer Joseph E. Giammarino (1916–1992) and businessman Abe Shikes (1908–1997) in Brooklyn, New York (moving to West Hempstead, Long Island in 1954), as a contract manufacturer of injection molded plastics.

With the hiring in 1952 of salesman John Cuomo (1901–1971), the company began the manufacture of its own line of plastic model kits. These kits were marketed to young hobbyists, as were the kits of rivals Monogram and Revell. Aurora profitably targeted to a younger demographic than their competitors, creating smaller-sized, less detailed models at a lower price point.

Although their first offerings were aircraft kits in a “Famous Fighters” line,[2] it is with their figure kits that Aurora is most associated and had their biggest success. Following a series of “knights in armor” and historical figures, Aurora acquired a license from Universal Studios to create a line of kits based on Universal monsters, which became the company’s most popular offerings. Aurora’s kit of Frankenstein appeared in 1961, and was followed by twelve other monster figures that were issued and reissued in various versions through the early 1970s. Together with their other licensed models based on characters from movies, TV shows and comic books, Aurora’s figure kits continue to be highly valued by collectors.[3] Aurora used artist James Bama for some of their box art.

Info gleaned from Wikipedia

1980 Scalextric

C3073-scalextric-mini-slot-carsScalextric advert from Christmas 1980.

Scalextric came from the Scalex brand of Minimodels Ltd, which was a clockwork powered race car system that first appeared in 1952. Their inventor, B. “Freddie” Francis, showed Scalextric (“Scalex” plus “electric”) cars at the annual Harrogate Toy Fair in 1957 in the UK. In 1958, unable to meet demand for their popular range, the parent company was sold to Lines Bros Ltd, who operated as “Tri-ang”. Their subsidiary Rovex, which specialised in plastic, then developed Scalextric, converting the metal cars to the easier and cheaper to mould plastic. The track, which was originally a rubber compound, became moulded plastic at a later date. Production continued at Mini-models in Havant until 1967, when it moved to Rovex’s own site.

When Lines Bros collapsed, their subsidiary Rovex-Triang, which handled Scalextric and the Triang railway brand, was sold off, eventually becoming Hornby Railways. Although Scalextric remained based in the UK, most of the products are made in China.

Results were hit in 2007 by the closure of the Scalextric Race World retail store in Tacoma; Scalextric-USA created a store front in Auburn, Washington showcasing Scalextric slot cars, tracks and accessories.

Scalextric 1980

Advert for Scalextric from 1980

Scalextric is a major international brand of slot car racing that first appeared in the late 1950s, and is currently owned by Hornby.

TCR Driving Sets

TCR Driving Sets advert from the 80’s

Total Control Racing (TCR) was a toy brand from Ideal which debuted in the late 1970s, similar to slot car sets, with approximately HO scale cars (and smaller scale semi-trailer trucks) that operated on a slotless track.

The plastic track contained lanes of three metal tracks about 2 mm (0.08 inch) wide, which made contact with three brass pads on the underside of the cars, providing power. The plastic track had two such lanes, and cars could change lanes with the press of a button on the controller. TCR sets came with “jam cars”, a slow moving drone which both racers had to avoid crashing into. Like Matchbox’s Powertrack, some cars featured lights.

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1980s Scalextric

Scalextric came from the Scalex brand of Minimodels Ltd, which was a clockwork powered race car system that first appeared in 1952. Their inventor, Mr B. Francis, showed Scalextric (“Scalex” plus “electric”) cars at the annual Harrogate Toy Fair in 1957. In 1958, unable to meet demand for their popular range, the parent company was sold to Lines Bros Ltd, who operated as “Tri-ang”. Their subsidiary Rovex, which specialised in plastic, then developed Scalextric, converting the metal cars to the easier and cheaper to mould plastic. The track, which was originally a rubber compound, became moulded plastic at a later date. Production continued at Mini-models in Havant until 1967, when it moved to Rovex’s own site.

When Lines Bros collapsed, their subsidiary Rovex-Triang, which handled Scalextric and the Hornby railway brand, was sold off, eventually becoming Hornby Railways. Although Scalextric remained based in the UK, most of the products are made in China.

Results were hit in 2007 by the closure of the Scalextric Race World retail store in Tacoma, however Scalextric-USA created a store front in Auburn, WA showcasing Scalextric slot cars, tracks and accessories.