Category Archives: Carnegie

Carnotaurus (1996 Version)(Carnegie Collection by Safari Ltd.)


Let me start off by saying this is a review written on impulse. I didn’t expect to write a review today and never thought I would even own the model I’m reviewing. There is a bit of a story here so get comfortable, maybe grab a drink. I think I might need one too, a stiff one. Last week I placed an order for two dinosaur models I’ve been wanting for some time now. One was the Papo running Tyrannosaurus; the other was the Carnegie 2011 Carnotaurus re-sculpt. Waiting for a package to arrive is always intense. You check outside your door for it everyday, even if you know the arrival date and have a tracking number. When it finally does arrive it doesn’t matter that you know what’s in it, the process of opening still feels like opening a gift. That is unless, what’s in it is not what you were expecting or wanting. It was a fairly large box I found on my front steps, as I imaged it would be. Both the previously mentioned models are quite large. Once opened I was greeted by the stunning yet inaccurate Papo Tyrannosaurus and after admiring it set about looking for the other. At first I thought it was forgotten because it should be sitting right there but hiding under the packaging, there was a Carnotaurus. It was not the Carnotaurus mind you but it was a Carnotaurus. Instead of the beautiful, dynamic and accurate 2011 Carnegie Carnotaurus I pulled out that other Carnotaurus, the small cheap looking 1996 model by the same company. Needless to say I went through some stages of anger and grief but then it occurred to me…I could review this thing. So now before I go through the hoops required to acquire the model I actually paid for I’m doing this. And yeah, I’m a bit bitter about it so bare with me.

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Carnegie was sculpting better looking theropods in the 1980’s. That said, it is kind of cute and has a certain charm. It’s a toy though and while the new model is also a toy it is also an accurate well crafted collectable. At 3” tall and about 7” long the model does fit in to the 1:40 scale that Carnegie used to strive for. It’s very small but the actual animal wasn’t very big despite what the Disney movie may have told you. It stands in the typical tripod pose, arms outstretched and mouth agape. Not very dynamic, akin to so many open-mouthed Chinasaurs produced in years prior. Superficially it does look like a Carnotaurus but I think some of the Disney merchandise probably did the animal more justice. The brow horns are there, the short stubby arms, a series of raised scutes run along the back. The paint is pretty awful with a lot of run-off and the overall green body color does nothing to help it look less cheap. The horns and scutes are orange as well as much of the raised wrinkles and scales on the body. It almost looks like it has suffered a lot of paint rub off but it was an intentional choice. The green paint job is actually a repaint from 2007 (maybe that’s why they sent me the “new” Carnotaurus by mistake). The original model was grey and black and while it didn’t help much it certainly looks more appealing than the green and orange on the “newer” model.

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There really isn’t much more to say about this thing, it is absolutely a toy and stands glaringly apart from most of an otherwise stellar collection. I won’t bother getting into details of accuracy because; well, just look at it! I see no reason why anyone should feel compelled to own this model unless they’re a Carnegie completist or are somehow enamored by its cuteness. It is in the 1:40 scale so if that is something important to you than you might want to consider the 1996 Carnegie Carnotaurus. As for mine and what will become of it? I’m going to have to return it to the seller. Hopefully this little guy will eventually find his way into a kid’s sandbox or somewhere he’ll be appreciated.

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Tyrannosaurus rex (2014) (Carnegie Collection by Safari Ltd.)


Just as the Carnegie collection’s 10 year milestone was celebrated with the release of an updated Tyrannosaurus sculpt, so this year’s 25th anniversary sees the release of an all-new T. rex figure, one better suited to the line’s current aesthetic. This latest generation T. rex is an obvious improvement still further on the old version, and shows a commendable level of background research, even if it’s still not quite the ‘definitive T. rex‘ figure that some might have wanted it to be. Still, if nothing else, we’ve certainly come a long way from the chunky blockhead with painted-on teeth.

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First impressions are good. While the tripod pose is a pity, the subtle sideways sweep of the tail at least looks less stiff and unnatural than the obvious ‘prop tails’ on the Carnegie Cryolophosaurus and Concavenator. The overall proportions of the body are excellent; the hips are massive, the chest suitably barrel-shaped, and the arms are as tiny as they should be (by no means a given in T. rex toys, in spite of the animal’s reputation). The head appears very large at first glance, but it’s by no means disproportionate for T. rex – ‘Stan’ in particular is noted for its outsized-looking noggin.

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In fact, the head in particular is excellent on this figure, corresponding closely to real T. rex skulls without appearing ‘shrink-wrapped’. Careful attention has been paid to the shape of the animal’s hornlets and bosses, and there is ample room for jaw musculature (an occasional problem with T. rex figures) alongside nicely realised superficial details such as the nostrils, ears, and beady eyes. The teeth are appropriately proportioned and, while of course making concessions to the fact that a child would probably want to deploy the jaws as a weapon, don’t appear overly blunted.

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The head is borne on a lovingly detailed, impressively muscular neck, while the torso is certainly robust – although perhaps not robust enough. The Carnegie style certainly favours rather svelte (but by no means emaciated) dinosaurs, and here it seems that the torso could perhaps do with being a little deeper, which would have made the protrusion of the pubic ‘boot’ a little less obvious. The ankles and feet also seem a little delicate for T. rex, and could do with some widening side-to-side. While we’re discussing the beast’s multi-tonne chunkiness, its big fat rear end might also not be big and fat enough.

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Yes, I’m afraid that the problem with Carnegie theropod backsides persists in this figure – that tail base is simply too thin to accommodate the pretty meaty muscles that ran from the tail to the thigh and helped drive the creature forward (the better to hunt Triceratops, lawyers and what have you). Still, it seems churlish to complain about this sort of thing when so few other figures get it right; this remains an unusually well-researched figure, and will please anyone used to despairingly trudging past the usual hideous dreck in their local shops.

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All in all, it’s been quite a journey for the Carnegie T. rex – from chunky child’s plaything, through smush-faced terracotta wonder, to stripy green, toothy-grinned splendour. There may remain anatomical nitpicks, and (as with other Carnegie figures) it perhaps could have used a little livening up aesthetically – there are no decorative spines or feathers, and the paint app leaves something to be desired. Nevertheless, it’s a figure I’d recommend to anyone hankering for a decent 1:40-ish scale model of a freakish coelurosaur in their life.

Available from Amazon here and Ebay here.

Upcoming releases from Safari Ltd (New for 2014)


It has become an annual dinotoyblog tradition, around this time of year, to post an overview of each toy company’s upcoming dinosaur figures. So, here we go again, starting with Safari Ltd.

There’s just a single new addition to the Carnegie Collection in 2014, a brand new version of the ever-popular T. rex. This model will be the third (or sixth, depending how you look at it) incarnation of this infamous dinosaur in the Carnegie Collection to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the line.

Tyrannosaurus rex 25th Anniversary Carnegie Collection

There will be five new figures added to the Wild Safari line in 2014, as follows:

Monolophosaurus. An interesting choice – nice to see a more unusual dinosaur represented.
Monolophosaurus Wild Safari 2014

Pachyrhinosaurus. This is an a predictable choice considering the leading character in the upcoming Walking with Dinosaurs 3D movie is a Pachyrhinosaurus.
Pachyrhinosaurus Wild Safari 2014

Suchomimus. Or is that Baryonyx?
Suchomimus Wild Safari 2014

Carcharodon megalodon. A giant extinct shark.
Carcharodon megalodon Wild Safari 2014

An ammonite. Can you identify the species?
ammonite Wild Safari 2014

Finally, Safari are offering up a new set of ‘cave people’ consisting of various hominid species.
hominids Safari 2014

For detailed discussion of these new figures, see this thread on the dinotoyforum: http://www.dinotoyblog.com/forum/index.php/topic,1690.0.html