Among theropods one of the most popular and well known is the Jurassic Morrison Formation’s Allosaurus, also known from Portugal and possibly Tanzania as well. Though it lived in pop culture in the shadow of Tyrannosaurus, the Allosaurus was arguably a more efficient animal all together. Allosaurus combined the perfect blend of characteristics to help make it an efficient predator and was no doubt a versatile and adaptable animal. Along with Tyrannosaurus and several Morrison Formation neighbors the Allosaurus was released as part of Carnegie’s original line in 1988. Looking at this old fellow next to newer Carnegie models, a collector such as myself, who grew up during the “Dinosaur Renaissance,” starts to feel a bit old. Though it hardly stands up to the modern Wild Safari and Papo Allosaurus figures, this was probably the best figure of the theropod money could buy for its day.
For the most part the Carnegie Allosaurus looks very much like the original Tyrannosaurus. Back then it was common to depict Allosaurus as a miniature Tyrannosaurus but in reality it was a much different animal. While they may have had a similar design more time separates Allosaurus from Tyrannosaurus than Tyrannosaurus from us humans. Taxonomically as a coelurosaur Tyrannosaurus is more closely related to modern birds than to Allosaurus.
At any rate, this Allosaurus doesn’t look much like an Allosaurus should but Carnegie did still manage to throw in a few trademark characteristics. The proportions are all fairly good, even if any hint of this archosaur’s musculature is non-existent. The longish arms (when compared to Tyrannosaurus) are there, as are the three clawed fingers. Unfortunately, the large thumb claw was left out but there are companies that are still doing that today. The horns above the eyes while on the small side are included but the crests that lead up to the eye are missing.
Unlike the larger Tyrannosaurus figure this Allosaurus has a much more horizontal body structure which given the year it was produced is quite welcome. Though designed as a tripod mine is actually capable of standing on two legs with the tail clear off the ground. I’m sure this is a feature unique only to a small handful of toys but if not I would be surprised. Carnegie as we know to this day still produces tripod theropods. Also, the hands are not pronated but properly face each other. Was that intentional? I doubt it.
Looking at the head it is a shame that it was never given an update, something Carnegie would eventually do for the tyrant king. Nope, the head on this Allosaurus is nothing short of a rectangular block of rubber with a pink paintjob inside the mouth and painted on teeth. The rest of the figure is various shades of greens and the toy was produced in a couple different color schemes but they all involve greens of one sort or another (the original gray and rare model aside). The one being reviewed is the lighter of the two green models. The claws, including the hallux are all painted grey. The skin is covered in weird wrinkle scales that I cannot really describe in any other way. For the sake of completeness with this review the model is 1/40 in scale like all the old Carnegie toys, it measures about nine inches from nose to tail and stands four inches tall.
While grossly outdated, the old Carnegie Allosaurus still has plenty of nostalgic charm and for collectors of older models is well worth seeking out. If accuracy and detail are your game than there are plenty of other Allosaurs to choose from that blow this one out of the water but keep in mind that this toy has over twenty years on it and for its time must have been something special, for me it still is. Though not as common as some of the other Carnegie toys it is possible to find this guy in lots on eBay from time-to-time.
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