Whether you are a fan of KISS or not, it's hard not to deny the impact they've had on the music scene since their debut in the 1970s, from theatrics, to flamboyant stage costumes and even treating their concerts as rock and roll parties, they've left their mark and many bands afterwards have tried to capitalise on that style at the time and afterwards.
In 1976, KISS released their biggest album to date Destroyer. While it gained mixed reviews, it has since become a cult classic. In 1998, Polar Lights released a series of 4 KISS model kits as part of the 20th anniversary celebrations. The next one we're going to be looking at is Gene "The Demon" Simmons. The box art features a close up of the infamous Destroyer artwork, with the KISS logo in the upper portion. The rest of the box has GENE SIMMONS up the side and his autograph.
The back of the box is a plain white box. Inside, we have the instruction sheet, Destroyer poster. You only need one poster to make the diorama, but Polar Lights put one in each model kit. Plus some sales leaflets on other kits available at the time. The model kit itself is molded in flesh plastic and does require glue to put together.
The kit doesn't take long to assemble and even amateur model makers should have it done within about an hour. The pieces fit together really well and I had no problems putting it together. The real skill is in painting the figure itself, as there are the sequins on the codpiece, make up and the eyes on the boots that require a steady hand and a fine paint brush.
In 2009, Polar Lights released a new version of the Gene Simmons model kit, as part of the Destroyer 35th anniversary. This time, it came in a collectors tin and came prepainted and was snap-fit, rather than a traditional kit.
Around the same time as the original release, Polar Lights released Limited Edition versions of the kits. They are the same as the regular release and simply come molded in black and white.
A very fitting tribute to KISS and rather obscure in terms of KISS merchandise. A full set of the original 1998 kits will set you back around £80-90 on the secondary market. The 2009 snap-fit editions will set you back around £45 for a full set.