Deinonychus (AAA)

2.8 (13 votes)

Once there was a time when Theropods simply were divided into ‘Carnosaurs’ (the big ones such as Allosaurus and Tyrannosaurus) and ‘Coelurosaurs’ (the smaller ones such as Coelophysis or Compsognathus). Then along came Deinonychus, an irritating new predator who did not really fit into this concept. When it was discovered in 1969, no one could guess it was the herald of a radically different approach to looking at dinosaurs, eventually leading to a new theory of bird ancestry.

AAA dinosaurs are rough vinyl figures. This Deinonychus is no exception. On its belly it says “Dromaeosaurids”, not going closer into a certain species. The figure can nevertheless be identified as a Deinonychus easily in my eyes. It is 14, 5 cm high and 19, 5 cm long.

The detailed scaled skin is of a brown / tan colouring, only the eyelids are blue while the eyes are yellow. A fleshy lappet reaches from the lower jaw down to the breast. The overall look of the figure is somehow clumsy, yet I like it.

It is the perfect opposite of how Dromaeosaurs are seen today, a different and old-fashioned interpretation of the skeletons of the “running lizards”. Compared to the highly popular, agile and quick raptor interpretations of nowadays, nearly everything is wrong with this figure: The posture showing it leaned on its broken tail, the “we do not know where else to put them” – position of the arms and the overemphasized claw. The skull is more frog style, not really respecting the way the skull bones were attached to each other.

Yet I refuse to regard this figure a complete failure. As mentioned above, it perfectly represents both an obsolete approach to Dromaeosaur build and the confusion about the Dromaeosaurs after their discovery.

Comparison of the AAA dromaeosaur with the modern feathered Deinonychus toy by Wild Safari (Safari Ltd).

Photos by Fembrogon.

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Comments 6

  • Used to think the AAA figures were brilliant as a kid, lol. Looking back on them, especially this one, you realise they’re just so awful they’re good.

  • I think this is representative of a pervasive prejudice at the time. Dinosaurs were nothing more than terrible LIZARDS for all but the most intelligent of Paleontologists. The prejudice against them was ground into people’s skulls as ‘fact’. Wherever it initially came from in the 20’s, it is one of the most embarrassing eras for science ever.

  • To be fair to AAA, their mammals – the hyaenodont and the entelodont – are excellent, scientifically up to date replicas.

  • Don´t know exactly, could be be from somewhere in the beginning of the 90s. It definitely looks older. Doesn´t have a year on the belly imprint…

  • How old is this figure? It is interesting!

    • Late 90’s to early 2000’s is what I remember. I’m really sure I remember this particular abomination was being sold in ELC in 2003. I used to go there all the time when I was 6 to pick up an AAA model.

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