Nabisco's X-rated toy scandal of 1971

Originally published at:


From Mental Floss:

Link is to Neatorama. The considerably more informative Mental Floss link is here:

Eager to trumpet their daring new line, Aurora’s marketing made the unfortunate choice of plastering each box with a stamp: “Rated ‘X’ for Excitement!”

So, not literally X-rated.

It brings to mind the same sort of, er, eccentricity that led to Chiller. I shall refrain from linking to Youtube.


Related: Jeffrey Dahmer was age 11 when this was released.




Oh SpaghettiOs!


Only because torture isn’t as naughty as sex.


I remember these! Or very similar things. My big brother had some monster models that “animated.” Rubber bands and levers made them move, It was like a little scene.

I can’t find the one I’m thinking of. It had a coffin and when you closed it and then opened it up again, the person or monster inside had spun over and it looked like a different person or thing was inside. I was fascinated.

It was a simpler time. A stranger time. A better time.


Wow. I’d forgotten about the pirates of the Caribbean stuff, thank you! I had several aurora horror movie models (werewolf, mummy, Dracula, Frankenstein–my tastes went more for monsters than torture) and LOVED the dinosaur stuff, for which I had a dining room table full of connected scenes, but had forgotten the skeleton pirate stuff completely! I definitely had a couple of those. In fact that product shot just triggered some deeply buried nostalgia so pretty sure I had that exact one.


Not really. I am sure that was just sarcasm or a joke, but people like to falsely link media, be it horror movies, video games, heavy metal, etc to actual real violence, and there isn’t any actual causation effect.


My parents didn’t see any problem with those, so I had a couple of them, along with my brother and sister. We kids thought they were great, and I’ve barely become a psychotic killer at all!

Seriously, there’s a limit to the realism of the goriness you’re going to get out of a 4" tall polystyrene model, especially when assembled and painted with typical kid skills.

The Aurora movie monsters were much bigger and way better, especially with the glow-in-the-dark pieces. I think we missed the pirate skeleton ones, though, so thanks!


Well aware as someone who loves heavy metal, video games, horror movies, etc.

You ask me what the biggest factor in pushing Dahmer towards unspeakable evil, I’d say it was the booze. Has the ability to make habitual abusers more twisted.


Well. . . the X rating was a lot more broad back then. Today we think of it as exclusively for porn (in fact the “XXX” triple-X rating, though not official is what the porn studios proudly display to show how hardcore they are), but it applied to extreme violence as well. “Clockwork Orange” was X-rated, for example, not just for the rape but for the “ultra-violence.”

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Huh, maybe by the standards of the 50s, but by 1971 that was common street wear even in NYC much less SoCal.

Really none of the scenes in this kits are any more than what was already shown on TV monster movies in the early 70s. This whole “controversy” sounds like a bunch of pearl clutching like the Satanic Panic that followed a decade plus later.

Those were AWESOME! There was also stuff like that as aquarium decorations that were actuated by feeds from the air pump. Coffins that opened and closed with a skeleton jumping out, pirates that would swing swords and so on.

Glow in the dark models were my favorite! I seem to recall a glow in the dark mummy kit, or maybe it was a regular one and my dad had some how sourced glow in the dark model paint for me.

How times change. Today that movie is just slow paced and mild.

I have a few kinky friends that would debate that.

Ah, yes, the “educational guillotine”. I’ve been waiting for a comeback ever since.

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I remember the awful fuss kicked up by the Mars Attacks bubble gum cards, but it was mostly kicked up by the Daily Mail, so, meh.

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I find myself more than a little embarrassed now. I was a huge fan of the Aurora monster models back in the 1960s, owing to the fact that one of my friends from school had a full set of these things that he and his father had lovingly painted and assembled. My own father was somewhat horrified by these things, so he had no interest in helping me similarly. Although the figures in the torture set were much smaller than the previous models, I found them much easier to paint and snap together (I had a tendency to get impatient and assembling the models before painting, a tragic mistake). As a not-terribly-bright pre-adolescent, I had no notion of the sexual innuendo in these things. I mean, I guess I thought Vampirella and the Victim were pretty and all, but I didn’t see any particularly dirty possibilities in them. These model sets were also very cheap, so I was able to collect nearly the entire set… until my grandmother noticed them, and apparently gave my parents a lecture on how they were fostering depravity in their son.


I mean, how else are you going to inspire kids to be interested in the French Revolution, right?


You could bake a nice cake?