Review and photos by Emperor Dinobot, edited by Suspsy
It can be hard being a Jurassic Park dinosaur collector. Sometimes it is because certain figures are rare and expensive. Or sometimes, it is because certain figures are rare, expensive, AND ugly. Some of the most infamous dinosaurs made by Kenner share these three things, and yet somehow, they are legendary among fans. Maybe ‘infamous’ is the word I am looking for. I never got the Series 2 Carnotaurus when I was a child. I was made aware of its existence in 1997 through an old Kenner catalog I got in a Batman set. I did not even know Series 2 existed back then. My history with this particular figure has been troubled and full of personal drama that I do not care to get into at the moment. I have had at least ten in my possession, one of them belonging to a former best friend. I finally found one free of emotional baggage and free from angst and drama. This is the figure you now see before your very eyes. I present the legendary “Demon”!
“Demon” (an appropriate name for obvious reasons!) comes with four capture gear parts and a collector card. Three of the parts are brand new: a tag, a muzzle, and some leg cuffs. Then it has the “Dino Damage” piece, which is detailed on both sides, and the collector card. This lovely, yet ugly specimen measures 15″ long and stands 8″ tall. Its body is made of “Real Feel” rubber, with the teeth, arms, and legs being made of harder plastic. Its insides are made of polyester fibers to keep the body filled. It is cast in black, with an easily rubbed off red paint for the markings on the back. The darker red and white paints used for the wound tissue and bones respectively can also be easily rubbed off, so be very careful with this figure. JP. 19 is stamped on the left leg. The claws are painted light gray.
This was a newly discovered genus back in 1994 and is one of the very first abelisaurid figures in existence, as far as I know. Kenner did push some interesting species into its second series, and Carnotaurus was a flawless addition to a flawed yet awesome group. This was the only line where one could get Tanystropheus, Lycaenops, and other interesting prehistoric species at the time. It was cutting edge, to say the least, and a lot of animals were accurate. Of course, ‘accurate’ is not the wording I would use for this Carnotaurus here, but it does feature a bumpy skin and scutes running along the back. But the longer arms and big teeth were added in in order to make this pug-nosed dinosaur look more appealing to its audience. I cannot fault them for this, as this is one scary-looking dinosaur.
The sculpt is very nice and consistent with Kenner’s efforts at the time. It has excellent playability. In addition to the capture gear and the Dino Damage, squeezing the neck makes it open its slashing jaws, just like with the young T. rex. The feature is a bit weak, but it was weak with the T. rex too.
Here is a shot with the Dino Damage piece on. The arms are articulated and can move 360 degrees on its shoulders.
I get a lot of Dr. Hannibal Lecter imagery out of this picture. Demon surely needs some control.
“Hellooo, Ellie. Tell me about the lambs . . . “
I have seen prototype images of this figure, which belong to a private collector, straight out of Kenner’s old stuff. The end result is more disappointing than the initial art, which feature an accurate Carnotaurus, but one could tell it was headed in this direction. This figure is rare in the condition mine is. I have been extremely lucky to curate so many of them, but now I have one I can call my own, and this is it. Is it worth it? Sure it is, if you can spare $150-$250 US dollars. I got this one for less than that amount in a very lucky slot, but I was destined to replace my former one, as that one had some massive emotional baggage on it. Carnotaurus is finally home.
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