Velociraptor (Carnegie Collection by Safari Ltd)

Review and Photographs by Quentin Brendel (aka Pachyrhinosaurus), edited by Suspsy

Velociraptor‘s name rose to fame in the early 90s’ with the release of Jurassic Park, despite the creature in the movie being actually based on the related Deinonychus. It wasn’t until 2003, however, that, alongside a woolly mammoth, the Carnegie Collection produced a Velociraptor. It wasn’t their first dromaeosaur, with their trio of Deinonychus being retired just a few years earlier, but the Velociraptor was many steps up from the earlier model. It originally came in a bright orange colour with a red head and black markings, but in 2007, it was repainted to the coloration seen here. I don’t have the orange version to review (in fact it’s the only post-2000 Carnegie figure I’m missing), so today we’ll focus on the repaint.

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The Carnegie Velociraptor is posed in a tripod stance, with its tail touching the ground for support. The arms are spread apart and the head is turned to the right with an open mouth. All over the body, there’s a bumpy, leathery skin pattern like that of an elephant, but with suggestions of scales in some places. The skin has a very tight feeling to it, as there isn’t much more than the bare minimum of soft tissue on the model. The Velociraptor is mostly light brown or tan in colour with a grey underside and there are brown stripes originating on the dorsal area of the model. The tongue is sculpted separately (though it isn’t as distracting as that of the Carnegie Quetzalcoatlus) and the mouth interior is painted pink with bright white teeth. The eyes are gold with a slit pupil, like those of some snakes. Each of the claws are neatly painted black.

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In length, this Velociraptor is 7 and 5/8 inches from snout to tail and 2 and 1/2 inches high at the hips. According to Safari Ltd’s 2014 catalog, it’s in 1:10 scale, unlike most Carnegie figures which were in 1:40 scale. As with most Velociraptor figures of its time, this one lacks any form of feathering. It’s now widely known that dromaeosaurs possessed pennaceous feathers, including long, but symmetrical feathers on their wings. There are much older depictions of dromaeosaurs with feathers, dating back to at least the 1980s’, though feathers on raptors did not become commonplace until much more recently. It is also rare to see older figures which do not have pronated wrists, which fortunately, this Velociraptor lacks. There should probably be some kind of patagium at the elbow joint, but as it’s an older figure, it isn’t a huge problem. The skull matches that of the AMNH specimen pretty well. It has a more exaggerated angle of the snout which leads me to believe this Velociraptor‘s head was based on this skull. The general proportions look about right, though the tail should be a bit longer and thinner. Additionally, the eyes are painted to have slit pupils, which are unlikely as modern birds have round ones.

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Despite the Carnegie Velociraptor‘s shortcomings in accuracy, it is still a classic figure, but as science changes, so should our dinosaur models. In 2015 the Carnegie Collection released its final figure: a revised version of Velociraptor. It may not be perfect, but if you’re looking for a more scientifically accurate figure, then I would recommend buying the new one as it was pretty much the best Velociraptor on the market for the short time that it was produced. Older figures do have lots of nostalgia attached to them, though, and if you want a bald raptor from the nineties, I couldn’t think of a better choice. This figure was retired in 2015 but can still be found for sale online, as well as the less-common, earlier red variant.

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