Carnotaurus (Walt Disney’s Dinosaur by Mattel)

2.7 (15 votes)

The 2000 Disney film simply titled Dinosaur was a technological achievement but ultimately a mediocre movie. The history of the film itself is an interesting one and a prime example of how Hollywood meddling can take a great concept and run it to the ground. Originally, the film was to be darker, without any talking animals. The Land before Time and Walking with Dinosaurs were also supposed to be mostly silent films that the studios ultimately panicked on for fear of low returns or terrifying the children. We’re all still waiting for a documentary style dinosaur movie to hit the big screens but alas, history has not been kind to the concept.

But this isn’t a movie review site, we review toys here, and today we’re looking at a toy in the truest sense of the term, Mattel’s electronic Carnotaurus. Yes, long before they got the license to Jurassic Park Mattel was already making dinosaur toys. These toys seem to have been lost under the radar, probably due to the film’s mediocrity and poor character designs. The exception to that is the Carnotaurus, which while grossly inaccurate, still had a cool design and helped launch the genus into popularity.

This Carnotaurus is an average sized toy, measuring about 9” from snout to tail. Smaller and larger toys of the character also exist, including a monstrous 22” toy currently commanding a high price on eBay. The larger toy is honestly the one I really wanted but this smaller version is a decent compromise.

Like its movie counterpart this Carnotaurus is a beefed up, ultra-menacing version of the actual animal. If ever the term awesome-bro applied to a dinosaur design it’s the Disney Carnotaurus. The skull is too wide, forelimbs too large and pronated, and body too bulky. While the figure does have the correct number of 4 digits, the actual Carnotaurus, simply put, had forelimbs that were virtually non-existent. Unlike Tyrannosaurus, Carnotaurus truly had vestigial forelimbs.

Accuracy aside this is a decent toy. It balances exceptionally well on two well proportioned limbs. It can be pivoted up and down either as a tail-dragger or horizontally without loosing much stability.  The arms move too but their range is more limited. The tail is made of soft, pliable plastic. A button is present on the back that when pushed opens the mouth and lets out a roar. The eyes light up red too, which is admittedly silly. As if the toy wasn’t threatening enough!

 

The Disney Carnotaurus was a gnarly looking animal, with bumps and bony bits poking out every which way. This is an exaggerated version of the real animal which also had a bumpy hide as evidenced by skin impressions. The toy is faithful to the movie version; five rows of scutes run down the thick armored neck and down to the tail. Small pebbly scales and wrinkles otherwise cover the majority of the toy.

The toy is painted dark red along the top of the head, neck, back, thighs, and tail. The underside is gray and the claws are all left unpainted. The prominent scutes and brow horns along the back are also gray but those on the tail are red. It also has some sort of odd metallic sheen which is off-putting on an otherwise attractively colored toy.

If you’re a fan of Dinosaur, or the ghoulish design of the film’s antagonist then this is a fun toy, worth seeking out. And it’s easier to find and display, and more affordable than its larger counterpart. That said, better Carnotaurus toys certainly exist, even Mattel produced a far superior one just this year for Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. For that reason my personal copy has found a new home in my daughter’s toy box but it’s still a well made toy, accurate to the animal depicted in the film.

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Comments 7

  • This is my favorite toy of Disney’s Dinosaur because of its size, electronic features, and carnivorous nature.

  • my brother had earl the ankylosaur, i had the carnotaur, but my (younger) bro had a friend who had a carno, kron and aladar altogether. i had so much fun all of us playing with those dinos together, and if it wasn’t that, it was with our hasbro tpm figures! i was 8 in 2001 when all this roughly happened, my bro and his friend were 5.
    and that’s when i decided i wanted to be a collector.

  • I have this guy! He and the Velociraptor from the same series have received much love over the years. It really is a nicely made toy; I hadn’t realized Mattel was responsible, though!

  • I always wanted one of these (or was it the much larger one?) when I was a kid. I did have the Aladar and Kron figures back then though. In any case Mattel’s more recent take on Carnotaurus for the Jurassic World line kind of replaces my desire for this one (who would have all these years later they’d be making another one, for my favorite film franchise), aside from the nostalgia of it (since that film was my first introduction to Carnotaurus, even if it was more of a movie monster, or a tyrannosaur, and less like the real thing). Anyways great review and I’m glad to see this one added to the blog.

  • I have also reviewed the Iguanodon ‘Aladar’ figure recently. Nice to see some of the characters’ figures of the movie being reviewed recently. It is also interesting to know that Mattel made these toys.

  • Nice to see the Carnotaurus being reviewed after Aladar recently!

  • I Agree with you, it is a good toy but it has been eclipsed by newer models. Nice review!

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