Review and photos by Griffin
Ever since it was discovered in the late 1800s, Triceratops has remained one of the most well known and iconic dinosaurs of all time. By this I mean it’s actually one of those dinosaur names that an average person with no interest in paleontology taken off of the street would know (A true honor only a select few kinds of dinosaurs have ever been able to claim). It was one of the last dinosaurs ever to be alive during the Maastrichtian at the tail end of the Cretaceous as well as being the largest of the Ceratopsian dinosaurs, measuring 26 to 30 feet from beak to tail. This model by Carnegie was part of its original lineup in 1988 but has been released over a few times since then. The one you see here is the latest from 2007.
Many of Carnegie’s older dinosaurs have recently been re-released with new paintjobs (Allosaurus, Iguanodon, Stegosaurus to name a few). The funny thing about this one, however, is that it was replaced by a completely different sculpt of Triceratops several years ago that was seemingly more up to date. Then, for some reason the folks at Carnegie decided to bring the old one back for a third time, replacing its replacement (Confusing, I know). Honestly neither sculpt is completely accurate.
The most impressive thing about this figure in my opinion is the positioning of the limbs and its pose. For a very long time, ceratopsians were always depicted in a sprawling, lizard-like pose, hinting at the assumption that they were sluggish, clumsy creatures. Carnegie, however, modeled their Trike in a very upright, active pose, very reminiscent of a large modern mammal. This is odd since some of their other models from the same time, like their Apatosaurus for instance, remain very old fashioned. I’m not complaining though.
The head is nicely sculpted with a very sharp and angular look. When viewed face to face, a clear triangle can be drawn connecting each of the three horns. Unfortunately the head also seems a tiny bit too small in proportion to the rest of the body when I look at it. In addition, I also think the frill could afford to be larger. The last two things about this model I find inaccurate are both due to the age of the piece. The first is the mouth. Unlike modern reconstructions of ceratopsians with cheeks, this one clearly has a mouth that opens all the way back like a lizard’s and is made even more visible by the presence of red paint. It puzzles me that while applying a new paintjob, they chose to make this outdated feature stand out. The other problem with the figure is its feet. Not only are they crudely sculpted but they are columnar and elephant-like. It is now believed that ceratopsian digits were more splayed.
The paint on this figure is very different from all the Carnegie triceratops before it, which sported a base color of gray. This one, however, is a rich golden brown color accented by chocolaty brown along the back, around the frill and on the face. The horns and beak are gray and the toenails are black. The eyes are painted dark, glossy black-brown which I really like. It looks like the eye of a buffalo or other large herbivorous mammal (which triceratops most likely would have behaved like in its day) rather than the cold yellow eye of a reptile.
All in all I would say this isn’t the best Triceratops model out there, but it’s still not bad, especially considering the sculpt is over 20 years old! If you are a ceratopsian lover like me, I say go for it. Like many of Carnegie’s dinosaurs it is 1:40 scale and can easily be obtained at any store or museum that already has Carnegies.