I had never really given much consideration to the Ankylosaurus for most of my life. It wasn't until I began this site that I even learned to properly spell its name. I had referred to it as AnkLyosaurus for years. I just didn't care.
Up until doing research for this website I hadn't given the Ankylosaurus a whole lot of thought. It was just a clumsy, rather clunky looking, giant M&M (or some other hard-candy type of creature) that wandered around the late Cretaceous period, waiting to be eaten by a hungry Tyrannosaurus Rex. The 1/40 scale Carnegie Ankylosaurus, at 4.25 ounces (120 gms) and 8.5 inches (21.8 cms) proved to be a major departure from my Ankylosaurus prejudices.
Safari'sCarnegie Collection Ankylosaurus appeared in 2004 and created a new reality in the world of Dinosaur toys for the Ankylosaurus.
Way back in 1974 Invicta came out with a relatively long-legged and active looking Scelidosaurus, an early Jurassic relative of the Ankylosaurus but the Dinosaur toys standard remained the Louis Marx model. As you can see the earliest Ankylosaurus Dinosaur toys weren't terribly dynamic in their pose or posture. In fact their "build" wasn't conducive to much more than a slow slog on stumpy little legs. Yet the Marx Ankylosaur was the standard of Dinosaur toys for many years.
Taking a look at the sculpt of the Carnegie Ankylosaurus (above) we see a rather sleek looking individual with a long and unburdened stride (not having hips, for instance, slows one down) and an interested (and interesting) expression on its face. These are individually hand painted so each will have its own, unique look. The eyes are quite small but meticulously done, giving the face significant expressiveness. Great job there!
With its mouth slightly agape and head twisted to the right he looks as if he were about to take a nip out of a low-standing bush or order a chardonnay. Its armor is similar to that of the Scutosaurus in that it is made up of "scutes", or plates of bone, embedded in the skin, with smaller nodules in between. The head of the Carnegie Ankylosaurus is slightly long in comparison to its width but I don't care because this is a very good looking Dinosaur toy. The reality is that we (meaning contemporary science) don't even have a complete skeleton so we really don't know what this creature looked like, front to back and top to bottom.
On the other hand we do know that the Carnegie Ankylosaurus looks as if it really could be the way the Ankylosaurus it is based on did look. My one question is that the Cretaceous Ankylosaurus is estimated to have weighed over six tons, as much as a full grown T-Rex (which was 50% longer). This would result, I should think, in a somewhat portlier looking fellow than this re-creation. What we have here is a "racehorse' and active looking Ankylosaur. Just watch out for that wagging tail.
The head of the Carnegie Ankylosaurus is slightly wider than it is long (the largest known skull is 25 inches long and 29 inches wide). The Carnegie version, is 2cm long and barely that wide, perhaps 2.3cm at the widest point from horn tip to horn tip.
Herbivores, as a general rule, are quite forgiving of other species sharing the larder when the larder is full. Here we've got four different species of Carnegie Dinosaur toys (Ankylosaurus, Iguanodon, Parasaurolophus and Triceratops) all living together and enjoying the bounty of the (play-) Cretaceous period.
Below- we see a 1999 Carnegie 10th Anniversary Commemorative Tyrannosaurus Rex challenging a triumvirate of Carnegie Ankylosaurus for their lunch (money?). You can also see the relative difference in mass between the two figures. The T-Rex figure weighs more than twice as much as the Carnegie Ankylosaurus even though they are in the same scale.
"Calling for your friend doesn't worry us."
Of note here is that T-Rex was sculpted in a tripod position and I actually cut what I considered as excessive tail off and hot-water treated its ankles and, as you can see, it readily balances on its own two feet. Balancing even on the irregularities of a desert floor (carpet).
Below- We see a pair of those "commemorative-Rexes" and you can better judge relative size and stability issues for yourself.
"Let's see. You can't bite us and we can break your legs. Bye bye..."
Below- the latest iteration of the Carnegie "commemorative T-Rex" is slightly smaller, lighter in weight, has a longer tail and can and will stand bipedally without too much fuss. He also looks a bit wary about facing an angry mob armed with clubs.
The detail on these figures is quite nice. The armored plates, the scutes if you will, are clearly sculpted in a symmetrical pattern from just behind the head, down the back and two-thirds of the tail, with very small plates on the rib cage and hips. Apart from its soft underbelly the skin is covered with what would be hard little nodules, all designed to ward off the predacious pretensions of plastic predatoys.
Below- The Carnegie Ankylosaurus stands out in some environments.
But will blend-in quite well in others....
As they traverse the "great outdoors."
The Carnegie Ankylosaurus, like its namesake, is a vegetarian, with a broad appetite... Mostly, because of their short stature, they had to settle for low hanging fruit.
"We're not sure we can get to those."
"I claim this fallen fruit for all Ankylosauria, but mostly for me."
"Salad with sides. Good choice!"
....and finally, as we conclude our repast review....
"In addition to armor and a big club our breath will be a weapon of last resort."
The tail of the Carnegie Ankylosaurus is fully 3.75 inches long making it 44% of the total body-length of the figure. This would make the tail a scale twelve and a half feet long, including the three-quarter inch, scale two and a half foot club on the end. I'm not so sure that that much of this creature was accounted for by tail. Just my own belief. Especially when one considers the gross weight of the animal, the rest of the body must have been truly massive. Moreso than this fellow. But I don't know, I just collect Dinosaur toys.
The head-on view provides a good look into the Carnegie Ankylosaurus mouth. Painted primarily in monochromatic pink it does show a line of red outlining the forward and lateral edges of the specifically sculpted tongue. Otherwise there is no further detail, no teeth and the transition from the outside to the inside of the mouth is quite abrupt, like in a modern-day turtle. This is not particularly noticeable unless you are specifically looking for things, and perhaps, get a magnifying glass to take a closer a look. Or you're just some kind of a nut. (Don't ever look too closely at anything. A rule to live by.)
"You may be wondering why we brought you all here today...."
"Let's Rumble, in the Jungle..."
"Well it's all right, with me...."
The only place the Carnegie Ankylosaurus isn't armored is the underbelly
where I was (for some reason) particularly impressed with the detail and structuring of the throat and the bottom of the the jaw and head. It's like you just happen to look at something and you say to yourself, "they didn't have to do that", but they did do it and so it just adds one more little 'extra' to the whole.
On the belly of this beast is its identifying imprint, containing its name, provenance, year of manufacture & manufacturer, place o0f said creation and last and least (or maybe not), the Euro-Union ubiquitous "CE" indicating that this figure has met the bio-chemical safety standards of said union. They have also met (and surpassed) the American CPSC gauntlet. Therefore these are safe as menu items for both predatoys and those who play with them. Not tasty. Just safe.
"Perhaps you taste like lobster."
These have been out since 2004 and remain available from retail outlets both brick & mortar and online. The price is $9.99 (although I have seen that marked down to as little as $8.50 and up to as much as $12.95) and will likely remain at that level for years to come. This is an excellent Dinosaur toy and should remain in production, just as it is, for years. It is really extremely well done and, as so many of the Safari/Carnegie Dinosaur toys, has effectively set the standard of comparison.
I would like to thank Safari Ltd (link opens new window) for their generous support for this site and their provision of two of the Carnegie Ankylosaurus (and many of the supporting characters) who starred on this page. Thank you Safari Ltd!
I like this figure a lot. It meets all of my criteria for a great Dinosaur toy from ruggedness to realism. It looks good and not really toy-like. There is plenty of detail but not so much that it either detracts from the overall effect nor looks overdone and too busy. Whether you collect Carnegies in particular or Dinosaur toys in general this is a getter-keeper. My only qualification is that I think it is a bit thin. It could do with a big bowl of vegetable soup and a field of clover.
"You're welcome to join the club!"
"Just talk to the tail."
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