Few dinosaur toys are as strikingly exotic as the Carnage Collection by ReSaurus Company Inc. It is a bit of a mystery why these spectacular figures have received so little attention here on the blog, and by ‘little’ I mean ‘none’. So, after being overlooked here for more than five years, I’ve finally taken it upon myself to give Carnage a little love.
The Carnage Collection (not to be confused with the entirely unrelated Carnegie Collection by Safari Ltd) is a line of large articulated action figures that were released in the late 1990s. There are eight figures in the collection, none of them to scale to one another, including old favourites Tyrannosaurus, Stegosaurus, Triceratops, and Velociraptor (the latter, by then, a household name). But there were also some more obscure characters in the line: Giganotosaurus, Protoceratops, Deinonychus, and to be scrutinised here now, Syracosaurus.
The first thing one notices upon first glance is the stunning colour scheme; the Styracosaurus sports one of the more adventurous colour palates in the series. Deep reds, sharp orange-yellows, and deep blue-greens, are splashed over this figure like a Pollock painting. Or a piece of Luis Rey palaeoart. Some living reptiles and amphibians sometimes wear such gaudy colours, but I find it unlikely that a large dinosaur such as this would do so. Who knows?
For an action figure this model is pretty accurate. Correct number of toes? Not quite – only three. Correct number of fingers. Check – although really only three should be functional. Correct proportions? Just about, the head is a bit large, the arms a bit small. Correct position and distribution of horns? Well, there’s a little bit of artistic license, but pretty much, check. There is certainly no doubt this is a Styracosaurus. On the topic of horns, the head is wondrous. The attention to detail rivals any ‘museum-quality’ replica. Lumps and bumps add character, peeling horny sheaths on the horns and beak add realism; there’s even a gash or scar on the frill: evidence of a recent battle. These are excellent touches other companies stray away from.
There are also fine textural details on the body. There are broad scute-like scales on the back and hips and lots of wrinkles on the flanks. Speculative, of course, but aesthetically pleasing. The figure is also accompanied by a display stand in the shape of what I think is supposed to be a Styracosaurus footprint. The stand (not pictured) is also incredibly detailed with ferns, undergrowth, rocks, even a tiny lizard.
The ‘action figure’ status of the Carnage line invites comparison with the Jurassic Park figures by Kenner. I’ve counted them up and this figure has a whopping 11 points of articulation, including the bendable tail. The similarly sized Jurassic Park figures had considerably less. Let’s take the original Triceratops for comparison, which has a single measly point of articulation (sort of…). The Carnage dinosaurs are therefore hugely superior in this regard. That said, for display purposes, there aren’t many alternative postures that can be construed that look convincing and so the articulation doesn’t really add much to the figure.
The Carnage Styracoaurus is an appealing and distinctive figure which stands up relatively well to picky palaeontologists. Other figures in the line may not fare so well, especially the ‘raptors’, but they are, after all, a product of their time. The Carnage line is out of production so it off to Ebay with you. The Sytracosaurus is the only Carnage figure I own, so if anyone else has any of the other dinosaurs in the collection, perhaps you would consider submitting a review of one or two for the Dinosaur Toy Blog?