Everyone familiar with dinosaurs knows the name Apatosaurus, and those not familiar with dinosaurs probably are familiar with it but still call it Brontosaurus despite a name change over 100 years ago. I won’t bother getting into any of that as anyone reading this review most likely already knows the story. Let’s just say that whenever I talk about dinosaurs with the average person I’m forced to describe any sauropod as “you know… like Brontosaurus.” I’ll admit, I prefer the former name over the current but it is what it is and ultimately has little to do with the figure I’m reviewing.
It was the year 1988: I was four years old, the “Dinosaur Renaissance” was about two decades in and the book “Jurassic Park” was two years away from publication. Dinosaurs were still frequently depicted as they were in days past. Only a year previously Invicta released it’s rendition of the famous Apatosaurus as a lumbering tail dragger. But a new brand of dinosaur figures was about to be released, one that would reflect the knowledge of the time and ultimately out compete Invicta. Though outdated by today’s standards, the original Carnegie Collection was unlike anything else at the time.
The Carnegie Apatosaurus is a big one and depending on which version you own would measure 5” in height and 21-23” in length if not for the bend in the neck and tail, this length puts the figure at about 1/40 in scale. It is also quite heavy weighing in between 1-2 lbs again depending on the version you own. Mine is the smaller 1996 version but was pre-dated by another in 1994 and as said the original in 1988. The colors also vary depending on which year the model came from. The two later versions are the Carnegie standard greens with a darker pattern dorsally. The original was grey and tan and where color is concerned honestly better looking in my opinion. The figure is well textured with many wrinkles and scales with more of the former as seems to be the Carnegie tradition.
The overall stance of the figure is quite dynamic. The newer model strides forward with a low slung tail that curves up. It is important to note that the tail does not drag on the newer models but in the older the tip does touch the ground. The neck curves up and back down with the head veering towards the left. It gives the appearance that the animal is looking for food or at some unseen predator or perhaps its offspring; a baby Apatosaurus was also released with this model but will not be reviewed here.
The model has a lot of bulk to it, you get a sense of size with this figure. The proportions are fairly good, but I think the figure could stand
a bit taller. The front legs are shorter than the back as should be but the feet are huge and inaccurate, but given the release date it is forgivable. The current consensus is that with sauropod feet only the thumb claw could be seen on the front limbs and the first three in the back. These large inaccurate feet are common with the older Carnegie sauropods; I can understand the number of toe nails but why the extra large feet I can only guess. All the toe nails are painted grey.
The head is appropriately small but could probably be smaller; the neck is beefy but could probably be beefier and a bit longer. The head is the right shape. No Camarasaurus skull on this guy. The paint job leaves a lot to be desired. The mouth is a sloppy pink line and the teeth merely white spots painted on randomly. The nostrils are high up on the head as was the mindset of the time. Currently it is thought that they were closer to the front of the snout. The eyes are yellow with black pupils. Along the back and tail a prominent ridge has been sculpted which accurately reflects the tall spines the actual Apatosaurus had. The tail comes close to the ground or touches it in older models when
it should be held higher but the figure still looks good regardless. The tail is a bit on the short side and lacks the long thin tip but being a toy this should come as no surprise.
Overall what we’re left with is a well made but dated Apatosaurus that seems to walk the line between the old school and new school way of thinking in terms of what dinosaurs were like. It is still a handsome figure essential to any sauropod collection unless you’re the type who only wants the most accurate figures, but keep in mind that what is accurate now may not be in a matter of years or even days. If you’re a Carnegie collector this one will have to do as they have yet to release an updated version.