Allosaurus (1988) (Carnegie Collection by Safari Ltd.)

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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7 Responses to Allosaurus (1988) (Carnegie Collection by Safari Ltd.)

  1. I have to say, this is my favourite Allosaurus figure so far. Maybe I’m just a sucker for the old-school look of it, or the John Sibbick-style paint job, but it’s nice to look at. I’d happily choose it over the angry snake-like Papo figure. I wish someone would an Allosaurus figure like the one seen in the Sideshow model attacking Camarasaurus.

  2. I got a non-tripod one in a Goodwill bag also with the orange Carnegie spino

  3. I remember wanting this one when I was a kid. I do have the newer Allosaurus, but this one, despite its flaws, is still a very good dinosaur toy

  4. Well whatever your dubious views on giant theropods ;), I’m happy that you reviewed this figure, was well overdue. I have very fond memories of it.

  5. I had one of these back in the early ’90s. The later sculpt was certainly an improvement, but I think even that’s not up to the standard of more recent Carnegie efforts, and certainly doesn’t match the more recent Wild Safari version. I wouldn’t mind seeing another Allosaurus from the Carnegie line, maybe with a similar colour scheme to the original in homage (and ‘cos I like the black!).

    One thing about the review though – Allosaurus was a more ‘efficient’ animal than Tyrannosaurus, you say? Whatever does that mean? 😛 Is it just because it has longer arms? The two were very different animals, as you say.

    • Well I guess I’ve gone and done it now, looks like my days are numbered on the DTB. 🙂 No, I’m mostly just trying to show some love for the underdog. Tyrannosaurus is still a personal favorite for me too. I wanted to elaborate more in my review on what I was trying to say but I was getting too off topic as it was. To me Tyrannosaurus seems very specialized and while specialized animals are good at what they do they don’t seem well adapted to change. Allosaurus just seems to me to be an all around well put together dinosaur, nothing too fancy but just the right amount of features to make it a versatile and adaptable animal. The arms certainly help too. Allosaurus just seems to be a more generalized animal and they’re often better adapted to change. Maybe efficient was not the right word because Tyrannosaurus certainly had the tools to be an efficient predator, never mind the arms. But if someone asked me to design the perfect big carnivorous theropod it would come out looking a lot like Allosaurus.

      Carnegie really does need to do an updated Allosaurus. While the newer one is certainly better than the older it is still grossly outdated. I love the WS model but why did it have to be green!

      • Because it is a mean green, fighting machine. But if you think about, they already had a lot green back then. The Rex, the Allo, both Apatos. Makes you wonder if the Allo was supposed to hide in plain sight, given how much it looks like the Apato…

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