While most of the year’s new prehistoric collectibles have been released by summer, the heavy hitters always seem to arrive fashionably late. This sounds better than any figure being “delayed,” and besides, the wait only serves to heighten our anticipation. The first Carnegie of 2011 struck at the end of May, with the release of the exotic stegosaurid Miragaia longicollum.
From the Carnegie’s own Matt Lamanna and longtime sculptor Forest Rogers, this model was developed in close collaboration with Dr. Octavio Mateus of the Lourinhã Museum. As one may surmrise, Mateus was the first to describe this Portuguese plant-eater just two years ago, in 2009. Considering the lengthy development time required for a figure of such quality, this is a pretty quick move from discovery to collectible. It would not be unreasonable to expect more contemporary species from the Carnegie line in the future. Hint hint.
As we know, the technology used in mass producing these figures has improved dramatically over the years, although having a fresh mold certainly can help. Rogers’ sculpt incorporates both traditional pebbly texturing on the skin with more dynamic wrinkles throughout. One can quickly recognize her trademark fleshy skin hanging at the flank, and the stretching and pulling of skin around the arms. The body bulges appropriately for a herbivore, but maintains the artist’s traditionally lean form. If any thyreophoran lends itself well to Forest’s graceful style, it would surely be the long-necked Miragaia.
Admittedly unique and perhaps even comical in appearance, the Miragaia may garner considerable appeal from its name. More people are becoming aware that dinosaur names needn’t end in “saurus” all the time, bearing down on the popular (if understandable) tendency for humans to homogenize and generalize prehistoric life. One can scarcely deny the beauty of the animal and its respective name, so this collectible offers a rare chance to languish in the wonder of the ancient world, rather than shudder in disgust or terror.
One of the trickier things about mass-produced toys is that they usually need to be child-friendly. I must admit that even at 1:30 scale and 9 inches long, this critter could be quite a nasty weapon in the hands of rambunctious youngsters. The long rows of plates and spikes are slightly pliable and rounded, but a blow delivered with enough force could result in a frustrating visit to the ER. If your kids are not prone to violence however, I wouldn’t worry about it.
The rear left foot is marked “0311,” and the stomach stamp contains all the usual info. I shall also point out the presence of the mighty cloacal slit; to quote the great Marc, we check these things so you don’t have to.
Despite the somewhat rigid physique of a stegosaur, this Miragaia has plenty of movement to fire up the imagination. The head cranes left while the tail swings right, mighty strides across the Mesozoic landscape while the open jaw suggests a bellowing communication of some kind. Most likely, it is a warning call against the upcoming Carnegie Carnotaurus. He’s hoping you will keep them far apart from one another, on account of their vast geologic disparity.
With CollectA’s Dacentrurus coming this year as well, it remains to be seen which of these stegosaurs will be the true titan of 2011. If you’re not one to pick sides though, feel free to check out the Carnegie Miragaia. Great size, detail, and tropical colors make this a hard dinosaur to stay away from.
The new Miragaia is available from the following sellerson eBay here