Deinonychus (Carnegie Collection by Safari Ltd.)

Now here’s a figure I know some of you will recognise from your childhood – the Carnegie Deinonychus trio. Remember your childhood? Those halcyon, carefree days that were spent frolicking through flowery fields and dawbing awful dinosaurs using wax crayons? Well, those days are gone – GONE – and you can’t have them back. Ever. However, if you’re lucky you can still get this long-retired figure from your youth back into your collection, and it’s a nice little piece for its age.

Of course, these days it’s horribly out of date (no feathers, inaccurate hands etc. etc.). However, it’s still a lovely little 20-year-old figure. Three ferocious Deinonychus are stuck into the rocky base, all of them lunging forward at some unseen prey. The poses are very dynamic and convincing – two of the animals have their left legs springing them forward with the right leg raised high, while the other, with its right foot touching the ground, looks like it’s about to fall over in the frenzy. They are very reminiscent of Bob Bakker’s famous depiction of a running Deinonychus – they even appear to have wattles.

As is typical of the early Carnegie figures, fine detail can be a little lacking – particularly when it comes to the heads, which look a little crude and blobby, as do the painted-on eyes and teeth. In addition, the animals’ feet that connect with the base are – at least in the case of the rear pair – notably larger than those raised in the air. Not a single claw is painted either (although they do have the correct number of toes). However, in some places the detailing is rather good – the animals all have nostrils, ears and a covering of scales (incorrectly nowadays, but it was 1990) and I like the subdued sandy-with-tiger-stripes colour scheme. There are also suitable skin folds to give the creatures a sense of fluidity and motion.

It’s a curious little figure this one – one of the minority of early Carnegie figures to have a base and the only one to feature 3 animals at once. These days smaller dinosaurs are released at a different scale to the behemoths like Tyrannosaurus, Diplodocus etc. which makes these early efforts at keeping all the Carnegie dinosaurs at 1:40 very interesting (see also Protoceratops and Dimetrodon which, admittedly, is not a dinosaur). Each Deinonychus here is about 7cm long, which at 1:40 scale gives them a length of 2.8m. That’s close enough, as is the stated length of ’10 feet’ on the base, which for some reason they have translated to a stupendous 8 metres! Steady on, Utahraptor hasn’t been discovered yet.

The Carnegie Deinonychus trio is a fantastic vintage dinosaur collectible – few other figures have matched the dynamic presentation of these animals. It’s a must have for any Carnegie collector of course. Unfortunately it doesn’t appear on eBay as often as some of the other old Carnegies, but if you see it I would highly recommend picking it up.

10 Responses to Deinonychus (Carnegie Collection by Safari Ltd.)

  1. Pingback: Velociraptor (Carnegie Collection by Safari Ltd) | Dinosaur Toy Blog

  2. I’d buy it for the collectability, but other than that I don’t really like it that much.

  3. I had this one from my not-so-gone childhood. I pulled them off the base (sans one foot) for better playability before I had the internet or could read the words ‘Carnegie Collection’. 🙁

  4. Awful lump of plastic from Safari Carnegie’s ‘best forgotten’ period.

  5. You hit the nail on the head here. I had it as a child and it’s gone. I still frolic through flowery fields and draw awful dinosaurs though.

  6. I you look at the left foot of the figure on the right, you can clearly see that lacks the “terrible claw”.

  7. The first paragraph is going to bring every reader to tears, Marc. Well done.

  8. I have these little guys from my childhood. Unfortunately my model is painted really really really really sloppily. The one photographed here looks like a masterpiece compared to mine.

  9. Ah, the miserable passage of time…

    I never had this when I was younger, but I would love it now. 🙂

  10. Certainly one – or three – of my favorites! And so glad they stayed with me from childhood 🙂

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