Carnotaurus (World of History by Schleich)

Available on Amazon Here.

If you didn’t know; in the late 60’s a dinosaur renaissance took place, which sparked new ideas and discoveries in paleontology.  Of course, through the 70’s and 80’s, change was slow, most of the public was still being taught that dinosaurs were cold blooded and sluggish.  It was during this time a new, single, well preserved dinosaur skeleton was unearthed in Argentina.  Its name was Carnotaurus! By the late 80’s and early 90’s you had Carnegie toys and Jurassic Park, a new era of Dinosaur fanatics have emerged. Even though T-Rex and Stegosaurs continue to be popular classic dinosaurs, one of the new classic dinosaurs is the Carnotaurus.  It has been a very popular dinosaur in the toy world lately, as for Schleich; it is their second attempt at the Meat-Eating Bull.  So without any further ado, here it is, Schleich 2012 World of History Carnotaurus!!!

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History: The notable points about Carnotaurus, and I’ll keep it brief since, I am sure most of you are aware of this info. Carnotaurus was discovered in Argentina in 1984.  It lived during the Late Cretaceous and most likely fed on small prey animals.  It had a pair of brow horns on its skull, a nearly straight neck, its arms were tinyvestigial forelimbs, and might have been one of the fastest theropods.

Figure: It is made from a soft, pliable plastic that has a soft natural feel to it. The scale is approx 1:35. It is a robust model especially in the head and neck. Carnotaurus is sculpted in a very basic, neutral, standing position.  The head and neck are slightly turned to the side as the rest of the body is straight, and a slight curve in the tail.  It stands up nice and tall on oversized feet with one foot forward.  Down the vertebra column there are row of spikes from the top of the head to the tip of the tail.  From the neck to the base of the tail are a couple lines of scutes along the flanks.  The head has a mouth that can be opened or kept closed, which is good, because most dinosaur toys never shut their mouths; they just roar and roar all day long.  Along the skull there are bumps and ridges.  The teeth are small and are set in a shallow mouth.  The two prominent brow horns are massive; jutting out from the skull.  The head-to-body joint is fairly obvious.  The feet are huge with three long toes and one short toe per foot.  The arms are short with three fingers pointing downward and slightly inward.

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The paint job is nice and for the most part neat.  The coloration is maroon, with a brown front skull, jaw and a tan brown underbelly that snakes around the legs.  The scutes, claws, and horn are white. The teeth are a little sloppy with the white paint but not too bad.  Along the vertebra column there is a darker maroon colorization.  The eye color is blue.  The eye, inside the mouth and nostril, all have a glossy wet sheen.  The skin has a small pebbly texture with skin folds and veins along the neck and torso.  There is even a small hint of a ribcage underneath the skin. The skin texture is quite simply beautiful.

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Scientific Accuracy:  In my opinion; the sculpt was one part Dinosaur the movie, one part cool, and one part real science.  First, this is my nit-pick so bear with me, as an active hunter it is important to be able to see your prey.  This is why many predators have stereoscopic vision, since it allows for depth perception and the ability to judge distances.  When you look at this model straight on, it’s like looking at a shaggy dog, where are the eyes?  How could it possibly see straight ahead?  The eyes are hidden behind all the bumps jutting out from its skin.

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Another area of concern is the arms and feet. The arms are a little too long and missing a digit on its hands.  There should be four fingers, not three. The feet are out of proportion clown feet that are simply massive.  Some people might not notice the feet, or think that at least it stands without tripod pose but it is hard not to notice.

Another pet peeve is why every artist tries to make dinosaurs look like dragons by putting a row of spikes down the back. I have looked at many skeletal reconstructions (on the internet and you can only trust that so far) of Carnotaurus, and I do not believe the vertebrae would be jutting out like that down its back or have scutes that are that long and spiky.

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The head may be a little big but the brow horns technically could be that big over the bone core.  The neck is long and rather flat which would make it accurate.  The skin is pebbly and has dermal scutes which, due to skin impressions from the flank of the only known specimen that was excavated; it is known that its body was covered with small, pebble-like scales with lines of larger scutes, running in rows along the flanks of its body.  So the design team gets a point on that one.

Playability:  This figure rocks as a “toy”.  It is tough, looks menacing, the mouth opens and closes, the skin has real feel to it, this is a cool toy!  The paint job takes a pounding and can stand up to rough house style of play.  It’s worthy of the toy box or anywhere else were dino adventures are played.

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Overall Appraisal:  Due to its color and size I think this model displays very well.  If you are looking for just one Carnotaurus and you compared Schleich version with the current renditions from Papo and Carnegie, the outcome is very clear.  If you want a scientific accurate Carnotaurus for your collection or diorama, go with Carnegie, unless you are recreating a scene from the movie Dinosaur.  If you want a flat out amazing figure, the choice is Papo.  If you feel like shelling out the dough for the sandbox, then go with the Schleich.  Of course why would you choose to just get one model?  My final verdict, it really is a cool dinosaur toy despite its scientific issues.

Available on Amazon Here.

10 Responses to Carnotaurus (World of History by Schleich)

  1. Love those dinosaures but i didn’t know this one in particular ! And the pictures are really great too 🙂

  2. I like the horns and the color

  3. I’ve yet to see a really good Carnotaurus figure. The Papo one might be the best we get (aside from the unaffordable Sideshow statue). Carnotaurus’ hands are probably best described as a mitten over digits II-IV with a ridiculous “Iguanadon spike” on digit I. No, really, go look at the bones. Digit I is almost nonexistent, digit II is a little bigger, and digit III is a little bigger than that, and capped with a small claw. But digit IV is truly remarkable.

    Sculptors also tend to make the skull much wider than it really was.

  4. Pretty bad figure,IMHO.
    Good pictures and nice review though.

  5. Great pics & review. Interesting interpretation of the brow “horns.” They truly resemble a bull’s horns–likely to be used in interspecies jousting. While that interpretation may have little to do with the real animal’s eye “crests,” it does aid in remembering its humorous name. Could be the silly things were there for shade, or intimidation…

    The fact we think so “much” is known about the animal due to the nearly complete skeleton and skin impressions implies there is so much more NOT known about so many other animals. It is well to remember that nearly everything we imagine about them is highly speculative, hence the need for Art to temper Science: Papo’s gambit.

    I’d love your take on Schleich’s recent Pentaceatops, which to my untrained eye rings a bit more true, at least in the sense of suspending disbelief in the eye of the beholder, than this charming clunker.

    Cheers.

    • What a true statement! Our understanding of prehistoric animals has come a long way, but much of it is still speculative and educated guess work. Twenty years from now we might be laughing at ourselves for things that we consider true today. I am interested in the new Pentaceratops, but I don’t trust Schleich.

  6. Papos allosaurus had spines running down the back, right?

    • Yes, the Papo took some artistic license with a mix of large and small protruding spines or scales on the Allosaurus body.

      • Yes. Sadly I’ll have to admit that schleichs recent dino figures have been aimed towards inaccuracy. And with new companies like papo and collecta on the rise, it would be fun to see how schleichs going to pull this one off.

  7. Great pictures and lovely comment, however although the figure is intended as almost all Schleich products to say the least for children is too childish and does not convince me.

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