Carnotaurus (Papo)


In the past, Papo have tended to make their theropods either too scaly or too monstrous. Fortunately, the real Carnotaurus was both very scaly and rather scary-looking – why, it even had a pair of devilish horns protruding from its very toothy head. If any dinosaur was begging to be turned into a figure by the French toymongers, it was surely this one – and wouldn’t you know it, they’ve pulled it off very nicely.

PapoCarno (5)

That said, you’d be forgiven for thinking that something about this figure looked a little familiar. The lunging posture, the attractive, dappled green colour scheme…there’s an uncanny sense of déjà vu. Which is entirely justified – just as Papo have ‘taken inspiration’ from (mostly) Jurassic Park in the past, this figure’s a pretty shameless copycat of the Sideshow Dinosauria statue, only mirrored (and with both feet on the ground, of course). Your opinion on such cheeky imitation is likely to vary, but it’s a little galling that Papo don’t offer so much as a nod and a wink to the sculptor of the original piece.

PapoCarno (7)

Nevertheless, ‘referencing’ such well-informed source material has ensured that this is one of the most anatomically accurate Papo figures to date. Of course, Papo don’t claim scientific accuracy etc. etc., and there are some flaws – notably, the muzzle is too wide, and the head and arms are a little too large relative to the body. In fact, the head (but fortunately not the rest) rather resembles those of the steroidal, gigantic ‘carnotaurs’ in Disney’s godawful 2000 CG lemur-fest, Dinosaur. However, it is still, from an anatomical standpoint, one of the best Carnotaurus toys ever produced – the body overall is excellently proportioned, the head is short and deep, and the horns are correctly flattened and project sideways and slightly upward.

PapoCarno (1)

More than this, it’s possessed of that elusive, ‘organic’ believability that Papo bestow in almost all of their dinosaur figures, scientifically accurate or no. This is a creature with suitable bulk – the musculature is convincing without straying into He-Man territory, the tail base is nice and thick, and the twisted pose (copied though it may be) is exciting and means that the figure is sure to stand out, even among the most tightly crowded collections.

PapoCarno (2)

Then, of course, there’s the matter of sculptural and paint detail. Papo certainly aren’t about to break their streak of being streets ahead of their rivals in this respect, and this is one of their most beautiful figures yet. While adopting the Sideshow colour scheme has certainly helped them in avoiding their occasional habit of coating their figures in dull, turdy browns, there’s no getting away from the fact that the careful paint application is seriously impressive. Sculptural fine details, too, are once again so superior as to make other figures look like bad jokes (of course, some of them are). The head in particular is a miniature marvel, festooned with scales and spines and tiny, glaring yellow eyes.

PapoCarno (3)

So is this the best Carnotaurus toy on the market? Yes and no (what, you expect me to be decisive?). Its only serious contender is the Carnegie Carnotaurus, but that just happens to be one of the best figures that line has ever produced; certainly, it beats the Papo hands down in anatomical accuracy in addition to having a notable size advantage. The Papo is arguably less elegant and certainly less scientifically sound, but is also much more convincing as a living, breathing animal, with superior paintwork and highly intricate sculptural detail. Both of them are worth owning if you love the glorious weirdness of that mouth on legs.

Available from Amazon.com here.

19 Responses to Carnotaurus (Papo)

  1. Pingback: Dimetrodon (Papo) | The Dinosaur Toy Blog

  2. This is an amazing sculpt and together with the Carnegie 2011 versión Carnotaurus this is the best in the market by far.I’m a big Papo fan and I’ve been hoping they release a Papo Giganotosaurus for ages.I hope they decide to do it .I would be jumping of happiness if they do it.Thanks for producing this stunning figure.

  3. I was lucky enough to have picked up the Battat Carnotaurus when it first came out,and I can certainly see that it is indeed outstanding,but I’ll have to disagree with the notion of the 2011 Carnegie Museum version of Carnotaurus having a poor pose,a head that doesn’t look right or has awful teeth.On the subject of this Papo one,I’ll have to say I really like this one.

  4. First off, I don’t understand why people like the Carnegie Carnotaurus so much. The posture is hands-down one of the worst I have ever seen in tripods. I also don’t like the head and the teeth are awful. For an outstanding accurate Carnotaurus, Battat is still unrivaled.

    As far as Papo goes, anatomical inaccuracies aside, it is indeed a 5 out of 5 stars figure. Simply stunning for a toy. Disney influence is also apparent, not a bad thing either (though the Disney creature was more of a TRex with a Carnotaurus head an arms …

  5. try happy hen toys. they have it for a low price too.

  6. This German shop sells it too and ships it everywhere in Europe. Unfortunately the page is only in German: http://www.urzeitshop.de

  7. Father of Daniel

    That is a cool dino and the favorite dinosaur of my son Daniel. He calls it Linoubli dinosaur for some reson. He has not figured out the dino names yet hehe

  8. Disney’s ‘Dinosaur’ is NOT godawful. There are people out there who like it! Are you a movie critic or just want to insult the people who like it?

  9. Does anyone know a good place to buy the papo carnotaurus? Please reply I need it

    • A place called “Everything Dinosaur” in the U.K. carries it,so you can get it from there.They will ship to anywhere (unless you already happen to be in the U.K.

    • Everything Dinosaur is the only retailer that currently has it available. It’s based in the UK, but they’re pretty good with shipping and service. That’ll be your best bet to find it.

  10. Is certainly true that the Papo Carnotaurus has front legs with claws and head slightly too big, but other to be a more detailed picture, does not have a tripod position that the Carnegie Carnotaurus has and reduces the scientific accuracy of the reproduction.

    • Actually,the Carnotaurus could actually assume the position that is seen in the Carnegie Collection model seen above in the review,so it actually IS scientifically accurate.The main complaint about the so called “tripod position” (other than repetition I guess) comes from a misinterpretation of the models as being depicted as walking with the tail dragging the ground while they are actually shown as being in a stationary pose while roaring out as if at a rival.

      • Of course you are right to say that the position taken by the Carnotaurus was possible but for me it was unlikely, because I think it is very unnatural …

  11. Sin duda alguna es una figura muy atractiva.Coincido con Marc en que el detalle escultórico y la pintura son muy buenos.Puede que no sea tan perfecto como el de Carnegie,pero tiene a su favor la postura (mucho más dinámica y agresiva),bastante alejada de la típica pose trípode.

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