Oviraptor (Carnegie Collection by Safari Ltd.)

4.5 (18 votes)

Following on from the recent review of the Papo Oviraptor by a fellow blogger, let us look now at a radically different interpretation of the same dinosaur from the good folk at Safari. This is actually the second Oviraptor released as part of the Carnegie line; the original, released in 2005, featured less elaborate plumage with a simpler colour scheme and no tail fan. As such, many collectors like to envisage it as the female and this 2007 re-release as the male. It’s 1:10 scale, by the way, and about 15cm (6 inches) long.

This Oviraptor is certainly a handsome beast (whether it’s actually Citipati or not), sporting a bright blue and red head with a yellow crest and beak and small wattle. The plumage, with short display feathers on the arms and an impressive tail fan, seems to be based on the oviraptorosaur Caudipteryx (a Carnegie stablemate) while the colouration is reminiscent of the work of paleoartist Luis Rey. Overall, this brightly-coloured and very birdlike image of this animal couldn’t be more different from Papo’s retro-1990s lizardy egg-snatcher – this is pop-culture Oviraptor reborn for the 21st Century.

That’s not to say there isn’t room for improvement. Quite why the arm feathers aren’t attached to the second finger, as accurately portrayed in the Carnegie Caudipteryx, I don’t know; could be that Luis Rey influence again. In addition, the creature’s covering of basic, downy feathers does not extend to its underside, which is completely bald. That said, all matters pertaining to the feathers are a matter of personal opinion, as no skin impressions for this particular animal have ever been found. Besides, better this than an inappropriately scaley monster (possibly playing basketball with a giant egg).

Perhaps more troubling than any plumage issues is the fact that this is Yet Another Tripod from the Carnegie line, balancing as it does on two feet and the tip of that gorgeous tail fan. This puts the animal in a slightly-rearing pose that, although still making it quite clear that Oviraptor spent most of its time in a more horizontal position, will put some people off. It’s something I’ll jump to defend again, as it doesn’t terribly much detract from the attractiveness of the model (not as much as, say, giving it an enormous prop to lean on…or something).

If you wish to split hairs, or indeed feathers [You’re fired – Ed], the tiny teeth inside the mouth are neither sculpted nor painted on, although there is a small lump inside the otherwise finely-sculpted mouth – otherwise the tongue, nostrils, ears and other small details are all present and correct, and the paintjob is wonderful, with not the tiniest splash in the wrong place.

The Carnegie Oviraptor, then; a fine figure of a feathered flightless dinosaur, and one to brighten up anybody’s collection.

Available from Safari.com (here) and Amazon.com (here)

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