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    Description

    Phantom of the Opera and Wolfman Head Pre-Production Prototype Group (Aurora Products, 1974-75). Oversized plaster heads, from designs used on the original Aurora model kits, and created by Aurora for use in similar licensed products. The group includes four Phantom of the Opera heads, each in two pieces to create a mold (all but one have a base, and stand approximately 3.25" tall), plus one Wolfman plaster head (in one piece), which also stands about 3.25" tall. Very cool! Includes two original invoices from Aurora, postmarked 12-27-74 and 1-24-75. The pieces are referred to as "patterns" and "premiums". About Fine condition. From the Gene Salamacha Collection.

    More Information:

    Gene Salamacha was born in Ukraine in 1928, and emigrated to the US in 1947, with his parents and siblings.  In 1949 he enlisted in the US army and served in Korea.  After returning to New York, he enrolled at Pratt Institute, studying fine art sculpture, model-making and industrial art, graduating in 1957. 

     

    In 1960 Gene began his career in the toy business, working at Remco until 1973, then for Kohner

    Brothers from 1973 until 1979, while also taking on freelance projects for Aurora and Mego.  He

    worked on Wolfman and Phantom of the Opera for Aurora, and on Batman, Captain America,

    Aquaman, Dr. McCoy and Scottie of Star Trek, The Wizard of Oz, The Flintstones, and Planet of

    the Apes for Mego.

     

    The work began with an original illustration, which then was used to create a blueprint by the engineering department.  Each model-maker/sculptor working on a project was given a blueprint, which outlined measurements, and dimensions of the doll head, body, arms, and sometimes with clothing attire as part of the object.  An artist had to transpose the 2-dimensional drawing into an original 3-dimensional space rendering, creating an object which was an original art creation in itself.  Creating the model, or sculpted head, was tedious work, requiring precision instruments, and many hours of hand-crafting of the objects in clay, then creating molds and sub-casts.  There were prototypes in clay, plaster, wax, and soft plastic.  At each level, every object had to be sanded, or polished, then measured and re-measured for accuracy.  Some of the prototypes were made in two halves, then joined in final stages creating the soft plastic prototype. 

     

    From 1987-1995 Gene worked at Shelcore, his last employment before retiring, where he worked on a large number of Walt Disney projects, as well as projects part of Shelcore's large extensive line of child development products. 

     

    Salamacha also freelanced on projects for Matchbox, Avon, and Knickerbocker, and left a very distinguished career, having worked on thousands of individual creations during his lifetime. He passed away on October 31, 2010. Look for items accompanied by From the Gene Salamacha Collection in this session and in Session 3 of this auction.



    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    February, 2016
    18th-20th Thursday-Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 14
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,132

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