Category Archives: AAA

Brachiosaurus (AAA)

Review and photographs by Indohyus, edited by Suspsy

It is amazing to think how much new paleontological findings can change the whole nature of the field. It can change how an animal walks, what it looks like or even create brand new species, as is often the case with early figures of Brachiosaurus, which are clearly based off Giraffatitan, as the neck and tail are often shorter than the actual Brachiosaurus. As is the case with the review subject: the AAA Brachiosaurus.

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At 7” long and 5.9” high, this is a moderately sized figure, not massive but not too small. The pose is fairly stoic, with only a curling tail to show any motion. It’s an overall dark blue colour, almost black, with a yellowish underbelly, and areas such as nails and eyes painted in a grey. A slightly boring paint job, but it seems reasonable for a large animal.

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Accuracy for AAA models are hit or miss, and this is definitely an older, less accurate one, akin to their Triceratops or Pteranodon. While most the features are decently accurate for Giraffatitan (as mentioned earlier, the neck and tail should be longer for Brachiosaurus), there are a few areas that seem off. It feels overly chunky, especially in the legs, making them seem too short for the animal. It also features feet that are more like paws than the columnar, rounded hooves the real animal would have had, with toes that are extended further than they should be. The bend in the tail also seems slightly improbable, as the ligaments probably would prevent this position in life.

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Overall, this is an okay toy from a collecting point of view, aside from lovers of more retro-looking dinos, or want to represent Giraffatitan. This is meant for children, as the plastic is very durable and can take drops and falls very easily. It will definitely keep children quiet for a while, so well worth picking up for the toy box.

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Styracosaurus (AAA)

Review and photographs by Dilopho, edited by Suspsy

AAA is a company that had prominence when many of us were young, way back before we cared about detail or company or accuracy. Instead, just cared about actually having a dinosaur figure. And surprisingly, Styracosaurus was not a dinosaur often made into a figure back then–Monoclonius was a winner among the horned dinosaurs. Hah, and now it’s the reverse, with Monoclonius disappearing and Styracosaurus rising to second place behind Triceratops. The figure we will be looking at today is the version by AAA, and as we will see, it’s a darn good one!

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Now, two things may strike you by looking at this picture. One, this figure is really good-looking! And two, those horns look blunt. And there is a reason for that: they are not normally blunt! If you can find this figure in good condition, it should have long, curving horns on the frill, and the nose horn should be nice and sharp. But alas, I let my nephew borrow this figure, and his mother decided to safety proof it by cutting the ends of the horns off! Evil! But yes, cruelty to dinosaurs aside, this figure does look really good. Considering this figure is from the age of tail-dragging theropods and menacing pterosaurs that carry off prey with their feet, this figure has some nice accuracy going for it! It is well-proportioned, pretty sleek-looking, and not a snarling monster. In fact, it has some pretty nice realism too–the gentle eyes work wonders here.

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The pose is as if the dinosaur is on the alert, having stopped mid-stride to check the surroundings. The flared nostrils indicate that it has smelled something . . . but is it food or a predator? Truly, only the AAA sculptors can tell. The colour scheme is a base coat of pale yellow with a soothing purple laid over top of it. The strange, diamond-like shapes on the side, yellow with reddish outlines, add a hint of colour to the dinosaur. It makes the figure look active and helps to “thin it out,” making it look less chubby. As you can see, the paint can be rubbed off with play, but thanks to the yellow base coat, kids hardly notice it. But collectors will. Then again, there’s almost no way you’ll find a pristine AAA figure due to their age, so if you want one, you shouldn’t care about paint scuffs or you might be very frustrated!

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The face of this Styracosaurus is . . . extremely funny to me! It looks like a grumpy old turtle in my mind, but they have done a really nice job with the beak and mouth. They went through the trouble to even add a black wash on only the mouth in order to make it stand out more. What great amounts of detail! However, many dinosaur collectors nowadays think that the mouth would not stretch back that far without any cheeks.

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The head from a normal view, however, looks great. The wrinkles and scales work nicely, but there are still some flaws. The pupils on the eyes pop out in a bulge, so it’s very hard to avoid paint wear if you keep it in a box. The spikes on the frill may also be problematic, as some of them seem too short, and the main two are very thick, as thick as the nasal horn. Also, the notch at the top of the frill looks strange. Finally, the small spikes on the cheek area seem too small.

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​I have found that this AAA Styracosaurus seems more at home with the Carnegie Triceratops than his AAA brethren. And both of them certainly seem at home both in a sandbox or on a shelf. This dinosaur, while lacking some accuracy, is still leagues ahead some of his friends and it shows the progressive nature of dinosaur reconstructions in a really nice way. I would totally recommend this figure if you can get behind the minor issues with paint and accuracy.

Stegosaurus (AAA)

Charging out of a 1950’s B-rate dinosaur movie comes the AAA Stegosaurus, a truly retro toy from a bygone era. You can all breathe a sigh of relief, this will be my last review of these little AAA toys. The punishment is almost over.

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These toys feel like they’re from the 1970’s but I just don’t know, and the internet is lacking in information. Regardless of its age this toy certainly has a vintage vibe to it. The tail is swung low and the dinosaur appears to be shambling forward on squat little legs. No attempts at accuracy here, not even for the time it was produced. This is a toy, first and foremost.

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I actually quite like this toy, even if I don’t display it on a shelf. I particularly like the bumpy skin texture, creases in the skin, and the overall head-sculpt complete with fleshy dewlap. The toy is painted in various brown tones and measures just over 4” in length.

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As with the other AAA toys I’ve recently reviewed this is a toy that will probably only appeal to retro nostalgics and vintage collectors. These toys seem hard to track down individually but probably appear frequently in lots on eBay.

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