Spinosaurus (2009) (Carnegie Collection by Safari Ltd)

Review by Dan Liebman of Dan’s Dinosaurs

In 2009, Safari released what they are hoping will be the definitive replacement of their original Carnegie Spinosaurus figure. The original, which bears the classic “Sail-backed Allosaurus” appearance, has seen two variants in color. This latest model seems to have adopted a decidedly natural set of hues, looking rather appropriate for a large predatory dinosaur.

Spinosaurus Carnegie

Casual observers might be quick to point out the similarities between this highly anticipated Spinosaurus and the one manufactured by Papo. While Papo remains a true giant when it comes to detail, their Spinosaur is known to have several issues with scientific accuracy (after all, it is based upon the model seen in the third Jurassic Park film). Carnegie’s 2009 Spinosaurus is all about scientific accuracy; it is well known that the manufacturer collaborates closely with paleontologists when sculpting their figures.

Spinosaurus Carnegie

This figure looks lean and quick, not overly muscular and lumbering, but a fit carnivore which one can easily envision lingering near the edge of Egyptian waters, waiting for an ideal moment to strike like lightning. The body is primarily vanilla-toned, with a charcoal dorsal division. The prehistoric eyes are golden, and the mouth interior glistens nicely. A bit more definition in the fenestrae would have been nice, but it’s scarcely missed.

Spinosaurus Carnegie

Most of the wrinkles in the body are running vertically, and the neutral coloring helps to make this texturing visible. Some may complain that the figure looks too plainly textured given its size, but I’d say it’s about appropriate for a Carnegie. The flanks are lightly armored with attractive scutes, which might offer a bit too much friction under heavy child’s play. Still, the rows of scutes make the Spinosaurus a pleasantly tactile figure to handle. The infamous dorsal sail is rounded nicely, though perhaps a bit too symmetrical.

Spinosaurus Carnegie

Like the Giganotosaurus, this Carnegie therapod relies on its curled tail to act as a third leg for support. Much like the slightly shorter Giganotosaurus, the tail tip can be easily balanced against other objects to give the Spinosaurus a more natural posture. Otherwise, the animal is impressively accurate. The forearms bear claws of proper proprtion, the slender skull has the distinctive nasal crest, and the jaws are properly lined with conical teeth suited to stabbing and holding fast to slippery prehistoric fishies. The figure even has the well-defined kink in the jaw, a distinguishing characteristic for the Spinosaurus and its relatives.

Spinosaurus Carnegie

In terms of size, this is easily the largest carnivorous dinosaur in the entire Carnegie Collection. It is less than an inch shorter than the Papo Spinosaurus, but otherwise comparable in size. You’d be hard pressed to find a high quality, accurate sculpt of this species for a similar price point. This figure does a great job of reflecting the primeaval, otherworldy quality of the dinosaur kingdom – it looks familiar, but alien at the same time. Perhaps it is so fascinating and terrifying for that very reason; it is something not of our world, something we were not meant to look upon.

Spinosaurus Carnegie

 Available from Safari.com (here) and Amazon.com (here)

27 Responses to Spinosaurus (2009) (Carnegie Collection by Safari Ltd)

  1. Pingback: Spinosaurus (Furuta) | Dinosaur Toy Blog

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  3. Aunque se ve muy bien esta figura, lamentablemente está desactualizada en estos momentos debido a los nuevos datos reunidos a cerca de Spinosaurus. Espero que Carnegie saque una nueva versdión actualizada de este animal, como lo va a hacer Collecta para este anño, el cual se be bastante impresionante y natural.

  4. Pingback: Diplodocus (2008) (Carnegie Collection by Safari Ltd) | The Dinosaur Toy Blog

  5. Damndest thing–I put a candy tin, all of 3/4″ high, under the tail of my model about a month ago. I set it on a table when I dusted the surface on which it is displayed only to discover the feet had realigned themselves to hold the tail tip 3/4″ above the table top. No more tripod.

  6. Pingback: Diplodocus (2008) (Carnegie Collection by Safari Ltd) | The Dinosaur Toy Blog

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  11. The Carnegie sculpts are improving when it comes to the dentition – one need only look at this year’s Cryolophosaurus, and next year’s Carnotaurus looks like another step up.

  12. I remember salivating at the prototype of this model. It was utterly perfect. This would have been one of, if not THE best figure on the market if not for the fact that the paint botched the detail. Mainly this is in regards to the teeth, which look like stumpy pegs instead of conical steaks that stab fish and grip them tightly. I don’t see any excuse for this, seeing as how Papo can make a figure as small as Allosaurus and have the teeth sharp enough to nearly break the skin (if they were but a little harder). Some may call this nitpicking, but really, whats the point of buying a figure of a carnivore if it has the teeth of an Apatosaurus?

    As for Papo, I know people love to hate on them here, but when they have their best sculptors working on a dinosaur that isn’t related to Jurassic Park…they can’t be touched – Look at the Allosaurus and Pachyrhinosaur. Both are the best figurines of the respective dinosaur on the market.

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  14. Bucketfoot—

    This spinosaurus is the most accurate representation of the dinosaur in figure form produced anywhere. Yes, it is not as detailed as papo’s, I’ve never claimed it to be. Papo’s however is JUST a jurassic park dinosaur. They didn’t bother to research the fossils. Carnegie did, didn’t they?

    As for it having thin legs– You know what, I’m fine with it. Carnegie is trying to show that dinosaurs weren’t fat clunky slow animals like they once were thought to be, so they make the legs thin.

    Lack of detail?? There are at least a hundred little scutes along it’s body, along with the classic carnegie wrinkles all over– Yes, it isn’t as detailed as the papo piece, but saying it’s detail free… You say I’M the one smoking crack??

  15. The sculptor / artist isn’t at fault here for the teeth. The original of this Spino was GORGEOUS. Safari, for whatever reason, throws away a lot of this detail when putting stuff into toy form..

  16. I think the spino is fine. I enjoy the detail level. Sure, Papo makes super detail, but that is not why I chose “replicas” to collect over just any old toys. It is because of the scale size and accuracy. I hate the idea of Spino being displayed as a more heavier built and more powerful dino than Trex because I truly believe he is not and Safari illustrates this.

  17. i dig the colours, and finally sculptor actually looked at a spinosaurid skull/jaws. papo’s is pretty as a sculpture, but for accuracy it still looks like somebody stuck a crocodile’s head and a sail on an allosaurus.

    this one’s more gracile build is also more in keeping with the majority view on spinosaurus’ build and bulk.

    and i agree with the above. i desire some sort of marriage between the best of papo and the best of safari.

  18. Ugh…those teeth look poor. Say what you will about the scientific accuracy of Papo’s donis, but they are clearly better sculptors. The teeth on my Papo spino are all incredibly sharp and have spaces between them. Also, The skin looks fairly realistic with not only folds in all the appropriate places, but invividual scales. The skin on the Safari creature is like that of a shiny elephant

    IF only their was a way to combine the scientific accuracy of the Safari with the superior detail and craftsmanship of the Spino…

  19. Papo isn’t one for accuracy. That company wants detail, and good looks. They have achieved that. However, this Spinosaurus, even when compared to Papo, is much more beautiful!

  20. Considering how brilliant Safari’s Carnegie Tylosaur was I remain seriously underwhelmed by this figure. Despite the hysterical finger pointing at the inaccuracies of the Papo Spino (you gotta laugh, most of these kids speak as though they’ve got a complete Spino fossil stashed in their bedrooms and that every postulated anotomical detail must be gospel), Papos reigns supreme for detail, presence and character. This guy looks like the wimpy runt of the litter. The original artists sculpt looks so much better. What happened? I don’t see anything to justify the greedy price tag either (wasn’t it all about the paint finish?). They really should have put their efforts into another marine animal rather than another often made Spinosaur. Still, the new Postasuchas is a whole other ball game (again, there seems to be something of a price hiking agenda with this company ……. we still have plenty of choice this side of the Atlantic so be careful not to bite the hand Safari ………

  21. Best. Spino. Ever.

    And the teeth aint lumps andy. Speak after you hold the replica in your hands.

    • Smoking crack again, Cordy? I can’t even BEGIN to list what is wrong with this figure – from the lck of detail and stubby teeth (which I had to replace in mine so I could bear to look at it), to the ridiculously large body vis-a-vis the skinny legs and tiny feet.

      Oh and those do not help it STAND by itself, either, as it ought to.

      As far as ‘scientific accuracy goes – re-read what I posted above.

      This is typical of late Carnegie SCHLOCK which is surprising given their Mosasaur, Postosuchus and Nigersaurus sculpts, which are all SMALLER and (almost) could pass for resin pieces.

      Ergo Carnegie has NO EXCUSE for botching this one so badly. NONE.

      As far as the Papo Spino goes, it is, and will continue to be, THE BEST toy Spinosaurus figure out there. No, its not supposed to be a Strasser or Foulkes piece. Its just an awesome work of art – which can also stand by itself.

      Frankly Carnegie’s inferior Theropods (with their stubby teeth, lack of detail, and all-too-skinny legs and small feet) make me want to puke.

      • It feels to me you’re passing your opinion as a fact. I totally disagree with your problems with the Carnegie theropods.

        I think this IS the best Spinosaurus figure. You’re entitled to your opinion, but I find it arrogant if you phrase it as a fact. Regarding Papo, I think they make some of the worst and most overrated prehistoric animal figures, given how riddled with mistakes they often are (Velociraptor, Oviraptor, Pteranodon, Tyrannosaurus…). I think their Spinosaurus is one of the worst as it doesn’t look like Spinosaurus!

        As for the stability issues, I’ve heard people saying their Carnegie Spinosaurus has never had standing problems. And it seems the Papo Spinosaurus CAN have standing problems, as seen on its review on tis site: http://dinosaurcollector.wordpress.com/2009/05/23/spinosaurus-papo-2/ (See the paragraph below the photo.)

  22. What terrible teeth this replica has and why oh why did they not paint the lumps over the body another colour. After a good make-over this dino might look OK.

  23. Good Lord, that is amazing.

  24. Awesome! The best Spino I`ve ever seen! Can`t wait until it`s here in Germany!

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