Tag Archives: Carnotaurus

Carnotaurus with Ichthyosaurus (Jurassic World Hero Mashers by Hasbro)

Time for a second helping of Hero Mashers! This time we’ll be looking at Carnotaurus, the mighty “meat-eating bull” of South America, and Ichthyosaurus, the English “fish lizard” that helped make Mary Anning a legend among paleontologists.

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The Carnotaurus is made up of ten parts. Once assembled, it ends up being articulated at the neck, shoulders, hips, knees, and two sections of the tail. Although the lower jaw is hinged, it only moves a couple of millimetres, sadly. The limbs, body, and tail feature sockets for adding on parts.

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From snout to tail tip, the Carnotaurus measures 21 cm long. It is coloured dark red with orange horns, swirly stripes, and JW logo, black claws, turquoise eyes, a pink mouth, and white teeth. There are wrinkles on sides of the head and osteoderms on the neck and running down the tail, but for the most part, the skin is nice and smooth, very kid-friendly.

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While the boxy head and pointy horns make this toy recognizable as a Carnotaurus, the rest of the body is pretty generic. The arms and feet are far too large, although that’s clearly to ensure play value and stability. The parts hold together very firmly and the joints are stiff—but not too stiff!

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Here are the parts for the Ichthyosaurus: a head, four flippers, a dorsal fin, and a tail. Bright yellow is the main colour with dark blue markings. The eyes are red, the tongue is pink, and the teeth are white.

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Instead of enjoying its own body, our fishy friend must share. As you can see, this causes quite the colour clash. Still, it makes for a fairly fun, ferocious-looking beast with a length of 23 cm. Unlike the Carnotaurus, the Ichthyosaurus‘ mouth open can extremely wide. The tail and the dorsal fin have serrated edges and the jaws bears little resemblance to that of the real animal. The upper half is toothless and resembles a pelican’s bill, while the lower half has short teeth at the back and two large teeth at the front, like a modern beaked whale. It would be neat if there really was an ichthyosaur with such odd dentition.

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As with all Hero Mashers, the main fun with this toy is the potential for switching and swapping body parts to create weird, potentially nightmare-inducing chimeras.

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I limited my designs to the pieces that make up the set, but toss more sets into the mix, and the possibilities grow and grow.

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As with the previous Hero Mashers set I reviewed, this one is aimed at children first and foremost. And in that regard, I think it succeeds very well. Both the Carnotaurus and the Ichthyosaurus look appropriately scary, and the articulation is great. My fellow adult collectors may not be won over as easily. Hopefully this review helps you decide one way or the other.

Available from Amazon.com here.

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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.

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 use 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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