The Carnegie Carnotaurus for 2011 sets a new standard for Dinosaur Toys
The Carnegie Carnotaurus for 2011.
Every now and then a company (in this case Safari Ltd (opens new window)) comes out with a new Dinosaur figure that is head, hips and teeth above the rest. This Carnegie Collection Dinosaur sets just such a standard.
The first notable Carnotaurus Dinosaur Toy to be found was discovered in the early 1990s and was produced by Kenner (the same people who brought us Rexford) as part of the merchandising for the Jurassic Park movie tie-ins.
Called "The Demon" it stood about six inches at the hip, was soft rubber and has become one of the most collectible of Dinosaur figures. This was followed in ~1994 by Battat (left) and their relatively short-lived Boston Museum series by Dan LoRusso of The Dinosaur Studio (opens new window). These two have taken on the character of iconic collectibles....
Picture to the right is of another color variation of the Battat figure, picture courtesy of "The Realm of Rubber Dinosaurs." Then, in the year 2000 Disney produced its own Dinosaur movie, aptly named Dinosaur that had as its villain (why does this poor carnivore get such bad publicity? First "Demon", then Disney....) a Carnotaur and produced their own not too shabby and rather hefty version of the crafty carnivore.
Meanwhile, heading backward to 1996, Carnegie came out with what is a fairly forgettable (yet surprisingly popular) little Carnotaurus that has effectively ruled the Carnotaurian roost for the past fourteen years. Standing 3.25" (8.25cm) tall and ~7.5" (19cm) from nose to tail this fella was first produced in gray, then repainted in green for 2007 and was still gracing the Carnegie (opens new window) catalog in 2011.
However. 2011 saw the introduction of what is, to date, the finest Carnotaurus and finest Carnegie Dinosaur figure yet produced. Traditionally Carnegie Dinosaurs have come in 1/40 scale which is pretty much industry standard. Whoever's figure you have it will match up pretty well with anyone else's. But for this new Carnotaur Carnegie has pulled out all the stops and created a figure much closer to 1.30 scale. In real life the Carnotaurus was about 26 feet (8 meters) long. This figure is just about one foot, 12" (30.25cm) in length which makes it right at 1/26 scale. Compared to the older figure it is a giant.
Weightwise the original, more lively version of the Carnotaurus, the one that ranged South America as a contemporary (NOT a relative) of the North American Tyrannosaurus Rex, weighed in at 3200-5800!! pounds or 1500 to 2600 kg. The Carnegie version, the one that wants to live in your kitchen, weighs a lot less (and will be consequently much more economical to feed) at 7.25 ounces (204 gms).
Your new Carnegie Carnotaurus comes with a plastic brace so its legs don't get compressed (and lose their excellent balance for bipedal uprightness).
As can be seen above and on the left this clear plastic mold holds the legs in place and is easily removed by simply lifting the figure up and out of it. Your Carnotaurus also comes with a little information card. You will find that your new Carnotaur gets along well with all the other Dinosaurs you may have hanging around the house.
The head of this figure is beautifully crafted both in its sculpt and in its broken pattern camouflage coloration.
The Carnotaurus was quite the interesting Theropod predator. It is named after the two "horns" on its head, making it look a bit like an (angry) Red(-faced) Bull, hence its name which means "meat eating bull." Its arms were tiny (a la the T-Rex, perhaps a late Cretaceous carnivore innovation) and it didn't even have claws. The head, the skull, was quite narrow and its vision was most assuredly binocular and three dimensional.
As you examine this beautifully crafted head you see the beady golden eyes, the teeth, not the standard gleaming white but a rusty blood covered red and the distinctive tongue lashing about (okay, "lashing about" may be a bit over the top) inside the hungry mouth. This figure demands superlatives.
The 1996 Carnegie Carnotaurus has remained a popular figure, first appearing in gray format, and then in 2007 repainted in green:
These little guys found survival to be quite difficult when faced with lunch on the hoof such as the 2006 Carnegie Diplodocus.
What're we gonna do. This guy is huge!
We need some help.
In fact these little 1996 figures can serve as "baby" Carnotaurs with the new 2011 figures as the adults.
Come on kids, grab a bite!
I'm outta here now.
The new sculpt for the head, in addition to being larger, is just so, so much nicer.
Below we see the family standing around in the dining room, waiting for dinner to drop by. The size differential is pronounced.
On a beautiful afternoon we find a mother Carnotaurus teaching her youngster to hunt. The adult's coloration tends to blend into the scenery.
Remember to bite first, then ask what's for dinner.
The magnificent detailing of this figure isn't limited to the head alone. In order to get around (and stand up) here are the beautifully crafted feet
which are the same size as those of the Carnegie Giganotosaurus, the largest land predator ever known.
The tiny little (clawless) arms are not only well done but have a certain pitiful quality rarely seen outside of art movies. Those are four fingered hands. Just like a Disney cartoon.
And speaking of Disney here is the 2011 Carnotaurus compared to the Disney model.
No wonder you're extinct (out of production). You must have eaten your entire environment.
The fine texture of the Carnegie figure's skin and the beautiful camouflage colors of dark-brown and orange/yellow are seen below in close ups of the back and hips. The spine shows a spiked ridge running from the back of the head to the end of the tail while the sides are ridged with what appear to be "scutes," or bony plates in the skin that serve as 'armor plating.' The skin itself shows folds and rolls throughout the entire body.
That camouflage pattern doesn't necessarily look that 'camouflaggy' until the Carnegie Carnotaurus gets itself outside and then, apart from its Rudolf the Red Nosed Carnotaur nose it really does blend into the scenery.
As the pack begins to assemble...
and move out the adults lead the hunt...
as the pack stalks through the high grass.
Here is a somewhat longer view of the two sides of this figure. The sleek, clean lines of the contemporary Carnegie Carnivores (the Giganotosaurus, Cryolophosaurus and Spinosaurus) can be clearly seen.
Another view of this sleek carnivore can be had from the Pterodactyl's eye view...
or the cockroach's (yeah, they were in the Cretaceous kitchen too) eye view
...which also shows the detail on the bottoms of the feet and belly.
And of additional note is that the date of production of each Carnegie (Safari Ltd) figure is now to be found somewhere on the bottom of the model. In this case at the base of the tail. (You'll note that one Carnotaurus is date-free. That was a sample generously supplied to this website by safari Ltd. Thank you.)
A closer peek at the belly of the beastie offers up all the information the proud owner really needs to know about these guys.
Safari Ltd also makes a series of Dinosaur skulls (eleven different ones) one of which is the Carnotaurus.
Alas, poor, huge Yorick, I knew him well.
Hey, no worries.
Once upon a time an overfed Sauropod found itself on the wrong end of a pack of hungry Carnotaurus.
So what is it about this figure that makes it so good? Do you mean apart from the detail of the sculpt, the uniqueness and excellence of the coloration or the superb balance of the overall figure? I have nothing but superlatives to say about this Carnotaurus. As a replica, pure and simple, it is beautiful. As a toy (after all, this is a Dinosaur Toys website) it is robust, standing up to the rigors of both indoor and outdoor play. I have pictures to prove it!
After all these superlatives you probably can't wait to get your hands on one of these. You can get them pretty much right from the source at Carnegie/Safari Ltd (opens new window) or nearly anywhere else on the internet. The price varies from as much as $29.99 (on eBay of all places) down to $17.06. None of theses prices necessarily includes shipping or a governmental cut in the form of sales tax. These are currently well into production and should also be available in local brick & mortar toy stores in case you get out of the house much.
Whether these will prove to end up as "collectibles" is always a matter of conjecture. Investing in some now, hoping your pack will accrue in value like gold doubloons is pretty much a vain hope as they should remain in production for years to come. Their little brothers, the 1996 model, have been in continuous production for fourteen and it isn't a tenth as good a model as these are. If you don't have one though it is a "must have" for any serious collector of Dinosaur Toys and anybody who just enjoys playing with Toy Dinosaurs.
For those of you interested in safety, moms and dads and uncles and aunts who contemplate one or more of these for the beloved children in the family.... 1) I don't suggest this as a toy for the under three crowd. Despite the assurances by Safari Ltd and the Euro-zone "CE" safety-standard criteria why might you want to have one of these comparatively expensive beauties tail chomped off by a teething two-year-old? 2) Should you go ahead and ignore (1) you needn't be concerned because it is a safer for the child in question to eat this than any actual food that may be imported from China or almost anywhere else, for that matter. The Carnotaurus's advice: Grow your own.
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Rising out of the mists....
Here's looking at you, food.