Category Archives: Carnegie

Woolly mammoth (Carnegie Collection by Safari Ltd)

There’s a vast array mammoth models out there in the world of prehistoric animal figures but they rarely get much attention here on the Dinosaur Toy Blog. That is, of course, because they are just boring old mammals, but let’s not hold this against them, they can’t help it. So, it had to happen eventually – I’m finally reviewing a mammal!

Wooly Mammoth Carnegie Collection by Safari Ltd

There are all sorts of different mammoth species (belonging to the genus Mammuthus) and many of them also have common names. For example, there’s the Steppe mammoth (M. trogontherii), the Columbian mammoth (M. columbi), and everyone has heard of the woolly mammoth (M. primigenius). It is this latter species that Safari Ltd chose to immortalise in plastic form as part of their extensive and ever-growing Carnegie Collection range. The figure was released in 2003 so it was quite a late addition to the museum line, especially considering the ubiquitous nature of the creature. The name of the animal is embossed on the inside of the left forelimb and reads simply ‘MAMMOTH’, but all of the other branding for the toy refers to the model as a woolly mammoth, so we are going with that.

Wooly Mammoth Carnegie Collection by Safari Ltd

This is a satisfyingly hefty figure, 14 cm high and 20 cm long (1:30 scale). It therefore rivals the size of most of the dinosaurs in the same collection, including some of the smaller sauropods.

Wooly Mammoth Carnegie Collection by Safari Ltd

The woolly mammoth was covered from head to toe, and from trunk to tail, in hair (or wool, I suppose), and the body of the Carnegie figure is masterfully sculptured with a shaggy-looking texture. This wavy hair hangs down from the midline in a natural way, and is expanded into a puffy hump above the shoulders, and a flat-topped dome atop the head – a distinctive characteristic of this species. The underside of the trunk is flat and smooth, presumably to assist its function as a manipulating appendage. The relatively small ears jut out from the body in a somewhat comical way, but this cuteness is counteracted by the sweeping and dangerous-looking coiled tusks. In my figure the tusks are slightly asymmetrical and distorted, but this does not detract in any way.

Wooly Mammoth Carnegie Collection by Safari Ltd

We have the preserved hair of woolly mammoths so we know they were brown, as is this figure. The eyebrow ridges are picked out in a slightly lighter tone, which gives the animal a mature, distinguished, almost wise appearance. There are no inaccuracies to speak of – mammals tend to have it good in prehistoric animal toy land. The tusks are a pale colour that I’d describe as…ivory.

Wooly Mammoth Carnegie Collection by Safari Ltd

There aren’t many mammals in the Carnegie collection, the only others are a pair of Australopithecus hominids, and a Smilodon, all of which are now retired. This is probably because Safari Ltd have had several other lines of which prehistoric mammals have played a significant part (Wild Safari; Missing Links). Now that Missing links line is retired, perhaps there’s justification for adding more prehistoric mammals, or other Cenozoic creatures, to the Carnegie Collection?

Wooly Mammoth Carnegie Collection by Safari Ltd

“Who do you think you’re calling a ‘boring old mammal’!”

To conclude, this is a great figure of a woolly mammoth and, although I’m more of a reptile enthusiast myself, I highly recommend it. It is still in production and therefore easy to get your hands on. It is available, for example, from here.

Dilophosaurus pair (Carnegie Collection by Safari Ltd)

Review and photos by Emperor Dinobot, edited by Plesiosauria

The legendary Dilophosaurus pair by the Carnegie Collection (Safari Ltd), was first released in 1995 with follow-up variations in 1997 and post 2000s. Luckily, I have all three variations which are differentiated by coloration and mold. Newer versions seem to be more refined, but this review will talk about that later.

Dilophosaurus pair Carnegie Collection

The main difference between these figures and others in the Carnegie Collection is that these were often sold in pairs held together by a piece of cardboard. Normally, Carnegie Collection dinosaurs were (and still are) sold as a single figure, so the pair represents an oddity in the collection. Some of the Dilophosaurus figures also had the original tag (in addition to the cardboard backing), but the tag was later scrapped as they became more widely available.

Dilophosaurus pair Carnegie Collection

Dilophosaurus pair Carnegie Collection

A diversity of Dilophosaurus! Top left is the newest version; center is 1997-ish release; top right is the original release.

The models make nice companion pieces. One of the Dilophosaurus is crouching and the other is standing, so they can be posed as if they are fighting, arguing or talking. This makes this an awesome pair for diorama building.

Dilophosaurus pair Carnegie Collection

They have one of the fanciest color schemes of any Carnegie Collection figure up until that point. Original molds were made in grey plastic and were covered with a white belly undercoat and glazed with a nice shiny brown overcoat. Finally, heart shaped red spots were painted on them. Later versions had a more detailed color scheme and became somewhat darker and less shiny. Their eyes are always done in apple green and their claws are interesting because they sport both a grey and a black tip on both hands and feet. Later versions seem to be slightly more refined and symmetrical despite the pose. The original version has that primitive Carnegie look we all know and love.

Dilophosaurus pair Carnegie Collection

Done in a 1:40 scale and at around only 4 inches in length, the level of detail is pretty nice and standard for such a small Carnegie Collection dinosaur. I highly recommend this pair to dinosaur enthusiasts everywhere, although I may have a slight fascination with them as they represent my favourite dinosaur. The Carnegie Collection Dilophosaurus pair is a timeless classic. Unfortunately, the figures were retired in 2009, so they are now out of production, so the best place to find them today is on Ebay.

Sometimes available on Ebay here.

Upcoming releases from Safari Ltd (New for 2015)

This news comes a little earlier in the year than usual, but maybe that’s because these figures will all be released late in 2014, just in time for Christmas. These early images come from a PDF version of a “2015 New Product Guide” by Safari Ltd, which was posted as low resolution images on Facebook by a dealer based in Sweden. The catalogue reveals one new addition to the Carnegie Collection, and four new additions to the Wild Safari Prehistoric Life line, as follows:

The upcoming newbie to the Carnegie Collection will be a modern version of the infamous Velociraptor, confirming previous rumours that circulated around the web. Velociraptor has been represented in the Carnegie Collection before in retro scaly form (a figure mysteriously unreviewed on the dinotoyblog to date), but it is nice to see a new feathered version – it was only a matter of time. This new figure might prompt a review of the old one.

Velociraptor Carnegie Collection 2015

Feathered dinosaurs also abound in the lineup of four new Wild Safari figures, half of which are feathered.

Yutyrannus, a recently discovered feathered tyrannosauroid from China.

Yutyrannus Wild Safari 2015

Archaeopteryx (strictly speaking the ‘first bird’), a famous feathered taxon from Germany.

Archaeopteryx Wild Safari 2015

There are also two new Wild Safari herbivores:

Sauropelta, a nodosaurid (armoured dinosaur) from the USA – a personal favourite of mine.

Sauropelta Wild Safari 2015

Nasutoceratops, a newly described (in 2013) ceratopsid (horned dinosaur) from the USA.

Archaeopteryx Wild Safari 2015

Some interesting and inspired choices. We will, of course, review them all in detail here on the blog when they are released. I’ll also update this post with better quality pictures as and when they become available. In the meantime, the best place to discuss these new figures is the ‘Safari Ltd – New for 2015′ thread on the Dinosaur Toy Forum.

Safari Ltd figures are available from here