My Aurora
Prehistoric Scenes
Model Site
How to tell the Boxes Apart
What's New
Prehistoric Scenes
Production History
Kit Section
The Models
The Gallery
In Production Now
For sale and trade
My Section
My Kits
My Collection
Odd Stuff
Design Sketches
Never produced items
Interesting Items
Promotional Items
Boxes and Insertsl
Instruction Sheets
Maps and Inserts
How to tell the boxes apart
Related Links
Contact Me


Have you ever seen an auction for a kit you were interested in, but couldn't tell if it was a 1971 or 1972 issue from the picture? Well, you could email the seller and ask. Then hope he knows the answer. Or, you could take a look at some of the information I have put here.

First off, the '72 boxes are bigger than the 71 boxes. Only problem is, unless they are side by side, it's really hard to tell which is which from a picture that way.
If you can see one of the sides of the box, then you can know for sure.

This one is an easy one. No sides look the same as each other. Forget about the front for a minute though and look at the other sides. The 71 is on top, and the 72 is on the bottom. Look at the left and right sides. On the 72 there are pictures of all 14 kits on the side panels. On the 71 you have the cool picture on the one side, then the text panel on the other side. On the back, 71's are identical to the front. On the 72's you have the same picture as the front, except the text panel is on top of it.

Ok, what if you can only see a crappy picture of the front? No problem it you know what to look for.

2 Aurora boxes

.Now take a good look at the picture to the left. The 71 is on top, 72 on the bottom. What do you see that is different?
The Aurora name is in color on the 71, it is in white on the 72.
The name Prehistoric Scenes is in white on the 71 and in black on the 72.
The name of the model is almost in the center of the box on the 71. It is more towards the bottom on the 72.
Lets move on to the top/bottoms now. The top and bottoms are the same on the boxes. Pictured to the right are the 71 on top, and the 72 on the bottom.
Besides the fact that the date is printed on the top/bottom, there are a couple other obvious differences.
71 has the kit name printed in color, where the 72 has it in white.
71 has the words "snap together" in bold, where the 72 has the words "no cement needed" in bold instead.

While we are talking about tops, lets look at something else while we are here.

Take a close look at the 3 pictures above and see if you can pick out the differences. You will have to click on the pictures and look at the larger versions.
Give up? Here's the answer. The one on the left is a US box. The middle one is a UK (Eurorpean) box. The right one is Canadian.
How do I know? Look at them again. Look along the bottom of the flaps. The US top says "PRINTED IN CANADA MADE IN USA". Hence a US box. The Canadian one says "MADE IN CANADA PRINTED IN CANADA. It also says "INSTRUCTIONS EN FRANCIAS A L'INTERIEUR" which I belive says instructions in French. Now the middle one is tricky unless you know what to look for. That's because it doesn't say anything. No "MADE IN" or "PRINTED IN". Which means is wasn't made in the US or Canada. That only leaves elsewhere. The only elsewhere that Aurora made kits was Europe.
Now to the really tricky stuff. How to tell the different nationalities from the front of the box.
All 3 of the boxes below are Canadian. The one on the left is a 1971 Canadian. See the little printing above the white "prehistoric scenes". Says instructions in French. The middle one is a 1972 Canadian. See the small printing above the black "prehistoric scenes". Same as the left one. Now for the twist. The one on the right is a 1972 Canadian. How can you tell? You can't from this picture. The only reason I know is because I have the box and it says made in Canada on the top flap.
I don't know why there are some that have the printing on the front and others don't. Maybe after I handle a few more I will find a patten. For now it is another one of those mysteries.
Now you're probably wondering about the Eurorpean versions. Well I don't know any way to tell from the front. The only European I have looks identical to the US version.

If anyone has any other information they would like to share, I would be glad to hear it.
If you have anything that shows I am wrong on any of this, please let me know.

2000-2006 trevor ylisaari