Vault Tales 176 AAA Entelodon

This is going to be a look at another of one of my favorite kinds of figures–prehistoric mammals! And it’s one of those figures that is weird in and of itself, of an animal that is pretty weird too. I am speaking of the AAA Entelodon, one of my quiet favorites, and a bit of an oddity as far as figures go.

This figure first made an appearance in about 2005 or so. I can vaguely recall based on what schooling I was doing (Geomatics) and what city I was in (Calgary). I couldn’t exactly say how, but one search or another led me to a German toy site (possibly but don’t quote me there…) that had all kinds of figures–but what really stood out was this unusual, and unknown, AAA Entelodon. There was also a Hyaenodon. It was incredibly exciting–and nobody knew anything about them! This was back before the various forums existed online, or even social media, it was just email lists and personal contact! I had lots of different collector friends through that, and these figures came out of nowhere–nobody was aware of them.

I did end up ordering a few of each of the figures–given the distance they would travel, I decided I would need a few! I most likely ordered other figures too, but couldn’t say what, they did have a number of interesting things then. Based on the site at the time, I thought they could be surprise figures from Bullyland (there were several other Bully models available there). But, through conversations, they were not–although I did find out about the upcoming Bullyland Paratypothorax (also a lost gem of a figure) by asking about these! Once the figures arrived, I knew at least enough to know the company, they had the characteristic AAA logo on the belly, as well as the animal name–AAA being a company known for kind of mid-range quality prehistoric figures, and also a wide variety of modern animals, many of which were life-size casts from real specimens!

The first impression of the figure was how exciting it was! Entelodont figures were not common at all, with only a couple having been made at all (and I don’t think available by then either). More exciting, the figure was clearly based off of the Entelodon from Walking with Beasts (AKA Walking with Prehistoric Beasts), the BBC follow up to Walking with Dinosaurs. As that particular program never had any figures released for it, to the great disappointment of collectors everywhere, this unofficial model (as well as the Hyaenodon) would make great stand-ins. Everything from the WwB style was there–the highly exaggerated facial bosses, the heavy body and thin legs, even the colour. The paint was not applied well (mine shows a lot of wear, but it always looked like that) but given the animal represented, could just indicate an old individual that had been through a lot! No matter what, this was the closest we had yet come to a ‘museum-quality’ figure of these weird beasts. And it was already rare…

So rare, I have no idea if they are even still available–not long after I got my figures, the site also had a larger (much larger) version; it looked essentially the same but was around twice the size! They then sold out, and now I have no idea if they’re available anymore. AAA tends to pop up here and there, but I don’t recall seeing them, and they might have been discontinued. The extra models that I purchased were sold or traded long ago as well; I try to not keep doubles for no reason! So it’s disappointing that you probably won’t find this model anywhere now. As an added twist, the company Chick Yuet appears to have made rough, dollar-store-quality copies of these figures…but they went out of business in 2007 (although copies of those might still show up on AliExpress and the like)…The good news is that several of the modern companies have made their own entelodonts now–Safari, CollectA and Mojo all have models, and they’re incredibly varied in appearance (and yes, I have all of them too!). So for fans of prehistoric mammals, this one would be worth looking for, but you should be able to satisfy the need for a giant terror pig of some kind from a different company at least. But you will have a tough time recreating the WwB episode…!

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