Brachiosaurus (2012) (Carnegie Collection by Safari Ltd.)

4.3 (19 votes)

The new Carnegie Brachiosaurus makes for quite a contrast with the original, and there’s a very good reason for that – it’s quite literally a different animal entirely!

The original model actually represented the animal now known as Giraffatitan brancai, which was rather different in its proportions to the ‘original’ Brachiosaurus – the type species, Brachiosaurus altithorax from North America. B. altithorax was overall more heavily built, with a proportionately longer torso. Of course, it’s also worth considering that the two sculpts are separated by 23 years, and both palaeontology and the Carnegie line have moved on a lot in that time.

In terms of anatomical accuracy this is definitely one of the best Carnegie sauropods yet. The hands show the correct ‘collonade’ arrangement of the digits – concave and with a single thumb claw. The head, with its nasal crest lower than that of G. brancai, features  a fleshy nose and nostrils that are close to the end of the snout, in line with modern thinking. It’s quite a gracile restoration of this sauropod – perhaps a little too much so – and there is evidence of the giant animal’s powerful musculature, in its neck and forelimbs in particular.

The detailing is very nice and crisp and I really like the colour scheme, even if these types of mottled greens are becoming a little familiar in the Carnegie line. The red back has come in for criticism from some quarters, but it adds a much-needed splash of vibrant colour, in contrast to the great many rather drab sauropod toys out there. The sculpt is very sleek, and while this gives it a certain elegance I can’t help but feel that it would have benefited from a bit of extra scaly eye candy – that is to say, a few spines or a little variation in the scales wouldn’t have gone amiss. Of course, this kind of slick, smooth execution is the Carnegie style, and while it remains very attractive I’m hoping the sculptor, Forrest Rogers, will experiment a little more with some speculative superficial details in the future (if they’ll let her!).

There are two factors that have already proven highly divisive about this figure. The first is the size. Although slightly larger than the Wild Safari Brachiosaurus, this figure is considerably smaller than the Carnegie Diplodocus and absolutely dwarfed by the rolly-polly 1989 Carnegie model, which is one seriously massive hunk of plastic. Some people have already expressed disappointment at this, and admittedly truly gigantic sauropod toys (like the old Carnegie and the old Schleich Replica-Saurus) are all the more impressive for their sheer size and the way they tower over models of other, lesser animals in the same scale. It’s not the size that matters, though – it’s how you use it. More problematic is the pose, with the neck jutting at a low angle from the shoulders and curving strongly to the left – not because it’s anatomically implausible, but just because it looks rather stiff and awkward and does little to highlight this animal’s greatest attributes (and that’s probably enough innuendo for one review). One can’t help but look at this sculpt, which is certainly impressive enough already, and imagine how much better it would look if the neck was in a more conventionally upright position. Sauropod toys shouldn’t be bending down to be part of the crowd – they should be resplendent, magnificent, standing tall and erect and proud (sorry, sorry…).

With the old Carnegie and Wild Safari.

Ultimately, this is definitely still a dinosaur model that’s worth your money. It’s a good figure that shows off the huge improvements that have been made in the Carnegie line, and it’s also one of the few B. altithorax figures out there. However, the strange choice of pose definitely diminishes its impact somewhat, and unfortunately I can’t help but view it as something of a missed opportunity.

With many thanks to Dan of Dan’s Dinosaurs!

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Comments 32

  • Still not much of a fan of this figure to this day. Just not worth the 600$ when a company may eventually make a better version.

    • I have a bunch of dinosaurs displayed in my classroom, including the 2012 Carnegie Brachiosaurus, the Crylophosaurus, and many others. I’m somewhat staggered to learn how expense they are going for on eBay!

  • Seven years now since its release and still the very best Brachiosaurus toy to date! Probably my favourite sauropod toy.

  • mine has a very curved neck how do i fix it?

  • mine has a really curved neck how do i fix it?

  • I like this figure but Collecta seem to do sauropods better. (not the collecta Braci though)

  • I like the relative smoothness of this figure, and that it’s actually Brachiosaurus as opposed to Giraffatitan! I don’t like that it’s 1:50 scale instead of 1:40 like most of the other Carnegie Collection figures.

    I feel the Carnegie Collection has become disappointing. They are no longer trying to keep their figures to scale with each other and their most recent figures, Miragaia, Carnotaurus and Brachiosaurus don’t look great, as they should! I find the Miragaia doesn’t look nice, the Carnotaurus is in an AWFUL pose and the Brachiosaurus is too small. I think the Miragaia and Carnotaurus would’ve looked nicer if they were in 1:40 scale, although my previous comment on them would still apply.

    The Carnegie Collection is producing very few figures each year now. If they don’t produce any others this year that will be another disappointment.

    • Really ? I love the Carno and Miragaia even if they are out of scale. The paint could be better sure but that’s always been the case with just about every ” toy ” made. The Brachiosaurus this year certainly feels like a 4 star figure. I love the overall sculpt except for how thin it is and the size.

      I’m not sure why the decision this year to only make one smaller scale figure…I can only hope next year will be super impressive.

    • I cannot speak for the Carnotaurus but I love the Miragaia. I’m excited about this Brachiosaurus too but it is a bit on the small size, I’m saving my money for the Papo and will likely get this one on a later date. Great review though Marc, as always. I look forward to reviews from you.

  • It’s something i noticed in Forest Rogers’ dino sculpts… Their stiff, almost taxidermy-like pose.

    No offense to the artist (i wish i had half of her talent, love how she fills her dinos with lot of details, especially in the skin department), but i’d like if she’d employ more dinamic poses… Either way, it’s a great figure, glad to see the american brachio is beginning to surface in the market after the VERY long reign of his african cousin 🙂

  • It’s a shame about the size, but I love the pose and the colors. Looking at my Carnegie dinosaurs from the last ten years though, they really need to get away from that light green…

    IIRC, there is no cranial material associated with B. altithorax, so the lower nasal bump you point out is speculation, yes?

    • There is some skull material referred to Brachiosaurus sp.

    • A skull from Felch Quarry, now catalogued as USNM 5730, was initially interpreted as belonging to “Brontosaurus” back when that was thought to have a Camarasaurus-like skull. It was used in Marsh’s early skeletal reconstructions of “Brontosaurus“. But, as documented by Carpenter and Tidwell (1998), John McIntosh referred it to Brachiosaurus sp. on the basis of similarities to the skull of Giraffatitan (Brachiosaurus brancai of their usage, of course).

      Although there is no very compelling reason to think this is the skull of Brachiosaurus altithorax, it’s a reasonable guess; and I tenatatively used it as the basis of the skeletal reconstruction that is Figure 7 of my 2009 paper on these animals.

      Forrest used that same skull as the basis for the head of her model — which I think was the most reasonable thing to do in a Brachiosaurus sculpt. On that basis, the lower internarial bar is correct.


      Carpenter, Kenneth, and Virginia Tidwell. 1998. Preliminary description of a Brachiosaurus skull from Felch Quarry 1, Garden Park, Colorado. Modern Geology 23:69-84.

      Taylor, Michael P. 2009a. A re-evaluation of Brachiosaurus altithorax Riggs 1903 (Dinosauria, Sauropoda) and its generic separation from Giraffatitan brancai (Janensch 1914). Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 29(3):787-806.

  • I like it, it’s very elegant and graceful looking. I don’t mind the size either, it fits in well with my other sauropod models, plus I don’t like overly huge toys 🙂

    The colour isn’t really my thing, but that can easily be rectified.

    Definitely picking this guy up when I get the chance.

  • It’s really beautiful. Slender and elegant.

  • I still think the Carnegie Diplodocus is their best Sauropod!

  • I’m afraid I disagree. I think the Diplodocus is their best Carnegie sauropod.

    • I’m still rather fond of their Camarasaurus, that’s my favourite Carnegie sauropod 🙂

    • I’m very fond of the Carnegie Diplodocus. 🙂 But its hands aren’t quite right and its back slopes with a rather awkward angularity. Its neck is also on the thin side. Perhaps my fondness for the animal itself makes me expect much, but upon the whole, I think this Brachiosaurus is a superior sauropod model. 🙂

  • I’m pretty excited that this is out, as I was one of two consultants for the sculpt. (Matt Lamanna of the Carnegie Museum was the other.) I’ve not seen it myself yet, and I’m impatient to!

    Where are the other reviews that you allude to? Google doesn’t seem to know of them.

  • Actually, I happen to like this figure’s pose better than an upright pose. It’s actually more realistic, like he’s bending down to eat a fern or looking at a camptosaurus.

  • I am not an expert but I wonder if the tail is too long (and narrow).
    Please answer.


    • It’s probably not too long, but it definitely is too narrow, at the base anyway. Just ask Heinrich…

      • I’ve been looking at this figure a lot…and I think the chest and belly are too narrow as well as the tail. Any clue what skeletal diagrams it was based on ? Almost everything I’ve looked at has shown sauropods with deeper chests and stomach areas.

  • El Brachiosaurus es un auténtico lujo, está todo dicho, ¡suerte el que tenga entre sus manos esta auténtica obra de arte dentro del coleccionismo de juguetes de dinosaurios!

  • The Brachiosaurus is a luxury, it’s all said, you have luck in his hands this work of art within the dinosaur toy collectibles!

  • and another anorexic tail…. SIGH! Will they ever learn?

    • I never really expect anyone to get that right…I struggle to think of a single figure that does, especially in the toy market.

  • I agree about the very sleek appearance and ‘scaly eye candy’. But it’s definitely the best Carnegie sauropod (consequently and arguably the best sauropod on the market?). Looking forward to getting mine.

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