The Oviraptor Will Keep Your Dinosaur toys Population Under Control (or not)
The Safari & Carnegie Oviraptor - Bringing Unplanned Parenthood to the Dino-Toy Box
The Oviraptor was a relatively small member of the Velociraptor family. Its name means "egg-thief" and it is strongly believed to have dined on small(er) Dinosaurs, insects and (you guessed it!) other Dinosaur toys' eggs. To do so it came equipped with a powerful beak and two small "egg-teeth." It was also covered with feathers for insulation. It roved the late Cretaceous Period on long, thin legs and could (most likely) run quite quickly carrying a stolen egg or two in its clawed "hands." Which was a good thing, especially if that egg happened to belong to an expecting Tyrannosaurus.
Carnegie (Above Left) and SafariDino-Discoveries (Above Right) have presented three exciting new Oviraptor Dinosaur toys in various states of playability.The 2007 Safari offering is of a female(?) seated on her nest with ten eggs, several of which are hatching. It is part of their larger scaled Dino-Discoveries series and is highly detailed and really quite nice.
Despite the great detail and natural 'egg-action' this is really much more of a sculpture or statuette (height= 4" and "arm-span" of 6") as it is sitting on the nest with nowhere to go. Interestingly enough it has a bare, rat-like tail
(Above). I have decided that this nesting Oviraptor is a female. (Because I can.) Now, paleontologists have determined that (at least some) Oviraptor fossils show evidence that their tails had broad, fan-like feathering. I have decided (because I can, that's why) that the males had the fanned tail for sexual display, while the female had the thinner and less colorful tail. (Such sexual dimorphism can be seen in today's pea-cock and pea-hen.)
Luckily The Carnegie Collection (opens new window!) has come out with two "dimorphic" Oviraptor figures. In 2004 a "female" with the narrow tail and in 2006 the broad-tailed male. The female weighs exactly one ounce (1 oz, 28 gms) while the male is an eighth of an ounce heavier (1.125 oz, 32 gms). The male measures seven inches (7", 17.8 cms) and the female is seven & one-half inches (7.5", 19.1 cms) in length. These are 1/10 scale. The Safari is ~ten inches and closer to 1/7 scale. Therefore, for purposes of this page, I have decided that the Safari Dino-Discoveries is the mother and the Carnegie figures are adolescents.
This is a good point to thank Safari Ltd. (opens new widow!) for their generosity in supplying the Dino-Discovery and male Oviraptor figures for the creation of this page.
Our story begins with the Carnegie Oviraptor adolescents out searching for food for their "mom" and her newest brood....
(Left) "Hey. Somebody's been here already!!"
2004 saw the introduction of the Carnegie female Oviraptor in her blue, feathered coat and narrow, Whippet-tail. She was a beautiful figure ("was" because these are now out-of-production. If you find one, get it!) with her excellently detailed head (Below) and relatively delicate limbs.
"Somebody has already emptied these. We have to find "fresh!"
(Below) "I was hoping for egg-salad."
With our female Oviraptor already out there Carnegie (probably due to more recent discoveries/determinations about the Oviraptor's fossils) decided in 2006 to introduce a new figure with a lot more feathering
and thereupon we have our male figure. Garnished with bright red feathering on its arms and across the now broad, show-off tail this figure has a black back (with white spots) and a variegated gray underbelly. The underside of the arm and tail feathers is cream colored.
The head of the male figure is highly detailed (Below) and very similar
to that of the female. (Below- Female left, Male right)
(Right) "Wow! This is the mother-lode of eggs. That's for sure."
"But how do we get them back home?"
"Very carefully, very carefully."
Getting the egg down to the floor was quite a challenge but our mixed trio was up to the task (Left) and now all that is left is the long march back home.
"That should have been our toughest challenge."
"But we've still got a long way to go."
"So let's get this egg on the road!"
The male (Below left) is more robust than the female (Below right) being
thicker throughout the limbs, claws and body.
You can see this clearly in this close-up comparison (Right). While both of these are manufactured in a triad stance (two feet and tail) they are well balanced enough to be made (using hot-water orthopedics) to stand alone on their own two feet. In that and other ways they are very much alike. (Below)
"That's an awfully long, dark valley we have to traverse."
"Nothing will deter us from bringing home the bacon!"
"BACON!!? We have bacon too? Where?"
"Shut up and roll...."
This tale of two tails can be clearly seen (Left) with the broad and colorful male-tail on the left and the narrow and more whip-like female's on the right.
The detail of the feathering on the male's arms and tail is excellent, each feather individually (hand)painted and in both cases texture of the figures connotes feathering rather than scales.
Whether looking down at these (Above) or looking up (Below) the detailing
and dimorphic character of these Oviraptor figures really comes across. They make a great pair. Endeavor to get one of each if you can.
"Almost home. This will make momma so proud."
(Left) The manufacturer's imprint appears on the belly of the female (top) and the broad tail tip of the male (bottom). (I note that this is very hard to read in the picture, especially on the female.) Interestingly "Carnegie" is embossed on the female but is missing from the male figure. Both have "Safari Ltd" & "Miami, Fl" as well as "Made in China" on them.
(Below (The hunt over and the egg successfully brought to the nest momma expresses her gratitude.)
"Oh my! You're the best children any mother ever had!"
Other hunts haven't always turned out to be as successful as this one....
"Ha ha ha. Easy pickings!" (Above)
(Below) "Get out of here you nasty little juvenile delinquents!!"
(One mother's joy is another's sorrow, I guess- Pointy-head Ed.)
And of course some hunts can end up with the tables turned....
As soon as I get out of this thing you're all toast!"
These Safari and Carnegie Oviraptors are terrific little Dinosaur toys, clearly fitting in with both larger and smaller scaled figures. While the originals provided population control for the late Cretaceous via the expedient stealing of other Dinosaurs eggs today's Oviraptor has a more varied and less dangerous menu, as long as it has access to a refrigerator or can opener. Being done in 1/10 scale these will play, in scale, with the Carnegie Velociraptors,Dilong, Beipiaosaurus and Tanytropheus, as well as the Safari, Bullyland and PAPO Velociraptors. And of course their larger scale-size makes them that much more formidable when dealing with 1/30 & 1/40 scale Dinosaur toys.
It is, of course, impossible to predict whether a toy will become a collectible but being a part of a large collection (such as The Carnegie Collection) helps and having a particularly short production run (like the 2004 Carnegie Oviraptor) certainly improves its chances. When something is both comparatively rare (as the female is) and definitely desirable (even necessary) the Oviraptress is the Scarlett O'Hara of the series. But your guess is as good as mine. The females are still out there on store shelves, if not for long (written in early 2010). The male is the new breed and is available everywhere Safari/Carnegie Dinosaur toys are found. Online and off. I have found the female selling for between $5.95 and $12.99, the male for $6.95 to $9.95. It must be kept in mind that shipping adds to these prices and just because a seller is using the picture of the female doesn't mean that he has any in-stock and may be selling the male version. Sellers aren't as "up" on the Dinosaur toys as we are.
The Safari Oviraptor on the Nest statuette is really a static, bookshelf figure, and if it were bronze or plaster (which it could easily be) would not be considered as a toy at all. It is an educational figure and useful only as a toy in playing character parts, as in the "mother" in today's adventure. These are found selling for from $10.49 to $17.95 (plus shipping) on the web and in toy stores.
In all three cases these have the Euro-safety "CE" seal of approval and have met and surpassed all United States trace element testing requirements. They are certified (by Safari Ltd, the European Union and the United States Consumer safety bureaucrats) as being lead, pthalate and everything else 'free' (I'm surprised they exist at all.) and are probably safer for consumption than 90% of the foods we stick in our mouths. If only they had some nutritional value.
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