Now here’s a dinosaur figure that’s somehow evaded review year after year. The classic Stegosaurus model by Safari Ltd has gone through several incarnations since its original release in 1988-9. The Stegosaurus figure is one of the originals in the Carnegie Collection line up. Although it was treated to minor sculptural tweaks and a repaint and re-released in 1996, and then re-released with another new colour scheme in 2007, the basic figure remains essentially unchanged. As such, it has become outdated, and I wouldn’t be at all surprised if Safari Ltd decided to release a brand new Stegosaurus in the near future. It would be most welcome, and deserved for such a dinosaurian staple! However, let’s not get ahead of ourselves – we must get around to giving the original some attention.
For some unknown reason, Stegosaurus is fast becoming my favourite dinosaur. My younger self would never have let this happen, enthralled with vicious carnivores as I was. Perhaps this is a sign that I’ve mellowed with age, my tastes changed – refined one might say. Whatever the explanation, I can’t begin to articulate… isn’t Stegosaurus an amazing animal! I mean really. You know that tingle of awe you occasionally experience in your core? Well, maybe it’s just me, but I’ve started to feel that about Stegosaurus. Which is really why I’ve picked out this figure for review. I’m reviewing, as you will have judged from the photographs, the most recent version.
The original colour scheme was a bland mixture of mossy yellows and browns, the repaint more exotic and exciting browns and oranges. The most recent scheme is green with red plates. This particular colour palette has become a trope for Stegosaurus restorations. I don’t know who started the trend, but I guess it stems from the idea that Stegosaurus flushed its plates with blood. Whether this was to aid in the regulation of body heat or for spectacular displays for defence or sexual attraction is never clear, but the red-plated stegosaur has perpetuated in pop-culture ever since. I’m not complaining mind you, since these splendid hues fit Stegosaurus rather well.
The Carnegie Stegosaurus is relatively accurate, there aren’t any major bloopers to speak of (though I’m no stegosaur expert). More than anything it suffers more from a slightly slovenly appearance, as was the general case for most dinosaurs in the 1980s. The model is a product of its time and it’s important to place it in historical context. The drooping tail is old-fashioned by today’s standards, but I don’t think it’s anything to criticise.
The head is correctly diminutive, the shape of the plates is accurate, and the tail sports four spikes. It has 24 plates, a few too many. The feet of the fore and hind limbs are quite dainty, their undersides almost convex, which makes the animal feel less massive than it should. The skin texture is wrinkled and elephantine, rather than scaly as it should be, and there’s no armour on the underside of the neck. The sculptor can’t be blamed for the latter, since the presence, or at least the extent, of ‘gular armour’ in Stegosaurus, is a relatively recent discovery.
It’s most tempting to compare this figure with Safari Ltd’s Wild Safari versions (reviewed here and here, one of which is streets ahead of this Carnegie Collection model. Still, all in all, this is a nice little figure, even if it is really due an overhaul. Of the original Carnegie line up, Tyrannosaurus, Triceratops, Brachiosaurus, and Diplodocus have all received brand new sculpts (and the originals are still available too). Surely Stegosaurus, another big character in the world of dinosaurs, is next in line for a reboot?
Here’s the official Safari Ltd page for this figure.