One of the more unusual early Carnegie releases (© 1988), this Protoceratops is less dinosaur toy, more cheap-‘n’-cheerful diorama. The inspiration’s pretty obvious for anyone who’s read a dinosaur book or two (a classic case of mistaken identity – nobody tell this guy!), but it made for an odd early entry among the chunky theropods with painted-on teeth.
For starters – it’s tiny. The adult Protoceratops has been faithfully recreated in 1:40 scale, which makes it no more than about 4-5cm long. These days it’d probably be rendered in 1:10, as was the case with the Carnegie Oviraptor and retired baldy Velociraptor. Nevertheless, it’s been sculpted quite nicely and holds up surprisingly well on close inspection. The head displays the characteristic flared jugals and there are recessed areas corresponding with the frill openings, while the skin has a scaley look and a convincing sheen. The paint job could’ve done with a little more care, but the striped green colouration is acceptable, while individual eggs are picked out nicely in the nest.
Of course with this figure you not only get the adult but an adorable widdle baby as well. The pair are facing each other which gives an air of interaction about the scene. Given the size of the juvenile I like to imagine that it’s wandered over from nearby and the ‘mother’ is trying to scare if off before it starts scrambling the eggs. Then again, I should probably get out more. It’s a nice little scene, but the fact that the animals are moulded into their base will put off a lot of people who like free-standing figures that they can position and display as they see fit.
Being retired – and having been retired for a long time – it can be a little hard to come by too. I managed to pick mine up on eBay on the cheap, but it was the only one I’d seen in quite a few months of looking. Evidently this olde Carnegie just didn’t sell as well as the block-headed Tyrannosaurus and generic-o-pod Apatosaurus. Still, if you see one going for a song as I did then I’d urge you to snap it up, as it’s a charming and – dare I say it – quite cute (oh, the horror!) little slice of Cretaceous Mongolian life. If you insist on a little more drama then get the Feathered Dinosaurs Toob and pose the Velociraptor as if sneaking up behind the mother. You big old meanie you.
And finally….an aerial view.