Aurora Pan-Am Space Clipper: 2001 Space Odyssey model kit


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Found this 1968 kit at the flea market this morning. The box has lots of water damage, but all the pieces are there. Not sure if it should stay in the box or if it would be acceptable to build it, so if you know anything about its rarity (or if it isn't very rare), let me know!

Ebay has one factory sealed with a current bid of $129. Completed 'open box' kits have gone in the $75-$100 range.
Ebay has one factory sealed with a current bid of $129. Completed 'open box' kits have gone in the $75-$100 range.

Thanks! Despite my desire to build it, I may keep in the box for a while. I only paid $30 for it, and it may gain some value once the 50th anniversary of the movie comes up in a couple years. I probably still won't want to part with it then, though.
It was reissued a number of times under different brands, so I'm not sure what value an Aurora original would have. I remember getting it in the mid 70s, Lindberg I think. No mention of 2001 on the box, the decals were orange and brown stripes.
Actually that is not entirely true, the Aurora shuttle has only ever been offered by Aurora. Airfix did an Orion shuttle was their own unique mold. Moebius did a new version of the Aurora kit at the same size with the same parts layout, but they corrected a few things on it, such as the angles of the grid patterns on the wings and added a couple smaller missing details. To my knowledge, Lindberg never reissued this as it was Monogram who got the Aurora molds after Aurora folded. But Monogram never reissued the Orion in their packaging.

The original 1968 issue Orion shuttle from Aurora is unique in that it has two bands around the fuselage and tail which feature a roughened texture (painted in a darker color on the instructions). When the model was reissued in the early 1970s with the Robert McCall style box art featuring the Orion blasting out of Space Station 5's docking bay, those rough texture bands were made smooth instead. This makes the earlier kit potentially a little more desirable to collectors. You can build it or sell it, although it might be best to get a Moebius Orion shuttle and build that (Pan Am decals are available via aftermarket sources) while saving the 1968 issue for keeping as is or selling. But if the kit has water damage, that might affect how much you can get for it.
Not just Airfix... USAirfix. Yes, the plastic is the same as the Airfix offering. But the decals were... ahem... interesting. It is a bit ironic that USAirfix went that route with their release of the Orion as in their reboxings of Airfix 1/144 airliners, they offered some nice U.S. based airliner decal options compared to Airfix's European based choices. So their 747 was done in the big Orange Braniff livery, their 727-200 had American Airlines markings, their L-1011 had TWA, one was offered with Eastern titles and they were all Scale-Master decals, meaning they were high quality and looked good when applied. So I was hoping the Orion might have some nice alternate real airline livery rather than the red and white stripes they gave it. At least Airfix's last reissue of the kit gives you proper Pan Am markings, even though the box art shows something else.
Life is too short to save stuff like this because it's a ''collector's item'', you're better off building it and enjoying it ! It looks great built up, super nice model, and i feel it's better looking than the new Moebius kit, which for some reason, to me, looks kinda bland, even though it's a modern kit with better fitting parts. Have fun with it!
I think I will build it. I was eyeing the Moebius kit as an alternative to the Aurora one, but it seems the general consensus is that the Aurora is the more accurate model, despite its inaccuracies--it's also a massive model. I'm also surprised how high the quality is for a kit that's almost 50 years old, there's almost no flash. But it is a little funny how Aurora back then was not concerned with saving plastic, some of the pieces are pretty thick. It's also a shame that the instructions told me ONLY Aurora-brand modeling cement can be used to bond the pieces--guess I'll have to track down a bottle ;) And thanks to everyone for the information! I wish a company like Finemolds or Bandai could get the rights to 2001. It'd be nice to get a run of all the crafts at an affordable price and in the quality of the recent Star Wars kits that have come out (the only other option now being SS resin kits).
In my opinion the Aurora kit is the better of the two- the Moebius kit is nice and corrects some details, but the hull looks better with the panel lines in the Aurora while the Moebius gives you a scattering of decals and the rest is up to you.

The Moebius Moonbus is fantastic however- a duplicate of the original Aurora with revised window option.

Any further mass produced kits from 2001 is very doubtful- the rights holders are many and have even more lawyers- they have no incentive to cooperate to provide anybody permission for an official licensed model kit.

There are a number of excellent garage kits out there if you want an Aries 1B, orbital defense satellites, Space Station Five, Space Pod or Discovery.
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