Australopithecus male and female (Carnegie Collection by Safari Ltd.)

3.9 (9 votes)

Review and photographs by Indohyus, edited by Dinotoyblog

1974 was an important year in the understanding of human evolution. In the Awash Valley in Ethiopia, a set of bones were found that displayed ape and human characteristics, including bipedalism. This ‘missing link’ in human evolution was named Australopithecus afarensis, although the specimen itself was named Lucy, after the Beatles song “Lucy in the sky with diamonds”. Since then, more examples of these early hominids have been found, and subsequently turned into toys and figurines. This review will cover the efforts of the Carnegie Collection, for which was produced a male and female of the species.

Onto the figures. The male measures 4.4” high (4.1” if you discount the rock) and 1.8” wide, with the female measuring 4.1” high (3.9” if you discount the rock) and 1.5” wide. This means they only really scale well with each other, as any other animals from the same era would need to be huge to be to scale. The paint scheme is simple, but works well, a dark brown for the fur and a lighter brown to represent where skin would be exposed. Each has a good pose, with the male striding forth, grasping a stone, likely a nod to early tool use, which modern research has proven Australopithecus was capable of. The female, although more subdued, does give us something different, as it is cradling a child, turning this duo into a trio. Nice touch.

Now for accuracy. This is an older set of figures but capture a lot of characteristics despite not being the most detailed. The head does feature slight protrusion in the jaw, which could be greater but it works well enough. The body isn’t too bulky, and both feature the long arms and human-like digits found in the fossils. Although the mouth has no teeth, and there is a lack of details that would make these figures look better, the accuracy isn’t far off. The only major problem is size, as Australopithecus displays a sexual dimorphism, with males being significantly larger than the females (some arguing up to 50%). But there isn’t much difference between these figures, so the relative scale is off.

Overall, these aren’t too bad, but they do show their age rather badly. They’re not the best in terms of detail and therefore come off a bit flat. There are certainly better Australopithecus figures out there, such as another of Safari Ltd’s efforts, the evolution of man set. but they are mostly male, so for that reason the female is worth getting. You are best off hunting eBay if you want these figures, as they have been retired for a long time now.

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Comments 3

  • Nice review…. I just added the female figure few weeks ago after I read about them on the forum for the first time. Despite the somewhat crude sculpting, I have a heart for the old Carnegies and these go so well together. Such details as the cradled child make figures special and outstanding for me.

  • Congrats on being the one to finally complete the Carnegie Collection page! It sure would be nice if Safari and other companies started releasing more hominin figures. They may not be as exciting as mammoths or giant sloths or sabretooths, but they’re just as vital in helping to understand the past. And the present!

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