The Carnegie Collection Brachiosaurus (1988)

Original 1988 prototype.

The original Carnegie Collection Brachiosaurus sculpted by Forest Rogers was in production in one form or another from 1988 to 2012, at which point it was replaced with a new model. The original mold was the largest and heaviest model in the Carnegie range and among the largest figures ever produced by Safari, standing 15 inches tall, with some weighing nearly 3 lbs. (the weight varied based on the material - various different plastics were employed in production over the years). The figure was initially produced in true 1/40 scale. However, from the mid-1990s, the molds were downsized significantly, and the 2012 replacement model was even smaller.

During its lifetime, the model was produced using at least 3 distinct molds, and issued in 4 different basic color schemes (each with their own minor variations, broken down in detail below). The prototype, presumably designed by Rogers, featured a dark blue-gray body with silver and gold highlights (this color scheme made it to mass production, however briefly - see below). Production versions included a gray and gold variant similar to the prototype, a blue and gray variant, a blue and gray variant with distinct stripes and spots, and later a dark green variant.

Above: Basic colorways of the original Carnegie Brachiosaurus. From left to right - gold wash (1988-89), gray (1988-89), blue (1990-2007), and green (2007-15).

Like most 20th century depictions labelled "Brachiosaurus", this model is based on the species B. brancai, which has since been reclassified as Giraffatitan. Interestingly, despite being "remade" in 2012, the "updated" model actually represents the species B. altithorax, the original Brachiosaurus, and is therefore not really an update to this figure.

1st Mold

402-01 Brachiosaurus
Species: Giraffatitan brancai
First release: 1988
Retired: c. 1993
Model number: 402-01 / 4002-01
Schleich number: 15402
Size: 52cm
Advertised scale: 1:40
Actual scale: 1:40



Above right: this model featured in a 1989 catalog.
Mold: 1
Version: 1
Release: 1988
Status: Original
Variant type: Dull wash
Material: Soft dark gray rubber
Paint: Matte. 3 colors. Light yellow (underside, legs); orange (eyes); black (pupils).
Stamp text: Center-aligned. (C) 1988 THE CARNEGIE / SAFARI LTD, MIAMI FL / BRACHIOSAURUS / 25 METERS / MADE IN CHINA
CE mark: None.
Weight: 1219g
TDR rating: 9/10

This version has a simple color scheme involving a coat of light yellow/gold paint over the legs anf underside, with dark gray base plastic (unpainted). The first few so-called "dull wash" Brachiosaurus models from the Carnegie Collection had basically the exact same color schemes as their corresponding-wave apatosaurs. In this case, both had dark gray backs and yellow or beige undersides, though in the case of Brachiosaurus, the head was gray too. Like other first-wave Carnegie models, the material is very rubbery and flexible. The base rubber is a dark gray, which looks almost black depending on lighting conditions (photos will vary greatly, some making the gray appear much lighter than it really is). This gray and yellow version of the dull wash Brachiosaurus is very similar to the version pictured in the 1988 Carnegie brochure. Anecdotal reports from other collectors suggest this version was available for sale in the US as early as September 1988.


This set of dull wash figures was purchased at the St. Louis Science Center in September 1988 (photo by Robb Jacobson).


Above right: Photo featured in a 1989 Schleich catalog.
Mold: 1
Version: 2
Release: 1988
Status: Minor repaint
Variant type: Dull wash
Material: Medium weight dark gray rubber
Paint: 5 colors. Purple (base color?, wash); beige (belly, lower legs); orange (eyes); brown (claws); black (pupils).
Stamp text: Centered: (C) 1988 THE CARNEGIE / SAFARI LTD MIAMI FL / APATOSAURUS / 20 METERS / MADE IN CHINA
CE Mark: None.
TDR rating: 10/10

This is a very unusual variant of the Carnegie Brachiosaurus. It is an early variant, with a relatively clear-print, centered info stamp. It is made of the same rubbery gray plastic as the more yellow versions shown below. However, it has a much more muted overall color scheme. On close inspection, the paint operations are highly complex. In the case of this model, I am slightly baffled by the paint operations. There appear to be multiple layers of paint, perhaps even different colored base coats across the body, some of which are almost totally covered by other colors. I have tried my best to show where these layers are visible in scuffs in the photos here. I have given my best guess as to paint layers in the "paint" text above, but this is only my best guess. The more washed-out beige on the legs is much closer to the porotype paint masters than the dull wash standard yellow, and the barely visible lavender wash (which also seems to form part of the underlying base coat) creates a subtly blended appearance that may be an attempt to mimic the slightly metallic look of the prototype.

It should also be noted that out of all recognized paint variants, this one most closely matches the more common dark gray and beige Apatosaurus Baby variants, as well as the unusual primary version of Apatosaurus which has a nearly identical paint operation.



 

Mold: 1
Version: 3
Release: 1988
Status: Minor repaint
Variant type: Dull wash
Material: ?
Paint: 2 colors: Dark gray (body); white (eyes)
Stamp text: Centered.
TDR rating: 10/10

This version of the dull wash Brachiosaurus is nearly monochrome. It has the same dark gray body as the original release, but lacks all gold wash paint o the legs and belly. Like the later gloss wash version, it has blank white eyes. However, it must be an early, 1988 release because the centered info text is not present in any 1989 variants. It is possible this is a factory error, but the white eye paint is enough for me to consider this a distinct variant.




Mold: 1
Version: 4
Release: 1989
Status: Minor repaint, minor retool
Variant type: Twilight sands version
Material: Gray vinyl
Paint: Matte. 3 colors. Dark gray (base color); yellow (eyes, lower legs, underside), gray (claws).
Stamp text: Left aligned, on side. (C) 1988 THE CARNEGIE / SAFARI LTD MIAMI, FL / BRACHIOSAURUS / 25 METERS / CHINA
CE mark: None.
TDR rating: 9/10

Though very similar in appearance to earlier gold wash brachiosaurs, this model has some subtle differences.  You can see that a previous text stamp on the belly has been covered up and replaced with a new one thanks to a smooth raised area beneath the current text. The original stamp text was centered like some other pre-1990 models. This version also has painted claws. It has a medium gray underlying plastic substrate, unlike the so-called "catalogue versions" with very hard, black PVC.




Above right: This model featured in a 1988 catalog.

Mold: 1
Version: 5
Release: 1989
Status: Repaint
Variant type: Primary
Material: Hard black PVC plastic
Paint: 7 colors. Gray (base coat); dark blue-gray (back); pale yellow (flanks, legs); silver (underside of feet, underside of neck, belly); black (eye outline), white (eyes, teeth); red (mouth).
Stamp text: Left aligned, on side. (C) 1988 THE CARNEGIE / SAFARI LTD MIAMI, FL / BRACHIOSAURUS / 25 METERS / CHINA
CE mark: None.
TDR rating: 9/10

This version of the Carnegie Brachiosaurus is lighter in color, with a lighter yellow paint on the limbs and belly. The teeth are now painted white, and the inside of the mouth is red. I have seen some samples that are basically identical to this but seem to lack the white eyes (eyes are all black). This could be a slightly later variant or just factory error. 

This version is very similar to the original paint masters, with dark blue-gray paint covering most of the body, pale yellow legs, and silvery gray highlights. This is the same basic color palette used in the classic 1990s color variants, but with blended colors. The 1990s versions have the dark blue separated into spots rather than blended evenly with the gray areas.

Note that in the sample pictured above, prominent injection point marks are visible on the torso. This feature does not appear to be visible in other photos of the same general variant, and so may just be an occasional factory issue that varied within production runs. Alternately, the injection mold problem could count as a "variant"

Note: Anecdotal reports suggest this variant was available in US stores around 1990, and the imprint stamp (left aligned with "China") matches the revised stamps found on twilight and gloss wash editions of Apatosaurus.



Above: This variant is extremely similar and has the same color scheme as the one pictured in 1988-89 era catalogs. Photo from Joe DeMarco's book "Dinosauriana".


 
Above right: Prototype model featured in the 1990 Safari Ltd. catalog.

Mold: 1
Version: 6
Release: 1990
Status: Minor repaint
Variant type: Classic color
Material: Hard black vinyl
Paint: 9 colors. Gray (base coat); Navy blue (markings); light gray (underside); light blue (underside); dark gray (claws); pink (mouth); orange (eyes); black (pupils); white (teeth).
Stamp text: Left aligned, on side. (C) 1988 THE CARNEGIE / SAFARI LTD MIAMI, FL / BRACHIOSAURUS / 25 METERS / CHINA
CE mark: None.
Weight: 1323g
TDR rating: 6/10

This was the first model with the "standard" Brachiosaurus paint scheme - A dark navy blue back delineated by a wavy edge, blue spots along the sides, and light gray limbs and underside. As you can see in the close-up images, the mold had not yet lost its sharpness or suffered much fatigue (as a large and relatively expensive model, it may have been produced in lower numbers). The prominent rectangular scale pattern of the original sculpt can still clearly be seen on the belly, and the stamp text is unchanged from the original version - this is a straight repaint with no signs of retooling. This version is pictured in 1990 promotional materials and was probably released that year.




Mold: 1
Version: 7
Release: 1990
Status: Repaint
Variant type: Classic color
Material: Hard black vinyl
Paint: 7 colors. Gray (base coat); Navy blue (markings, claws); light gray (underside); pink (mouth); orange (eyes); black (pupils); white (teeth).
Stamp text: Left aligned, on side. (C) 1988 THE CARNEGIE / SAFARI LTD MIAMI, FL / BRACHIOSAURUS / 25 METERS / CHINA
CE mark: None.
Weight: 1323g
TDR rating: 6/10

This version is very similar to the initial classic color Brachiosaurus figures, but with reduced paint applications. The light blue color underside has been dropped, and the medium gray color previously used for the claws has been replaced with the same navy blue paint used for the back markings.


Note the prominent cylindrical injection marks persisted in this version, but only in some samples. As of now I am not treating mold defects like this as unique variants, since they seem to crop up randomly in different variants.



Mold: 1
Version: 8
Release: 1992
Status: Minor retool
Variant type: Classic color
Material: ?
Paint: 7 colors. Gray-green (base color); Navy blue (markings, claws); light gray (underside); pink (mouth); orange (eyes); black (pupils); white (teeth).
Stamp text: Left aligned, on side. (C) 1988 THE CARNEGIE / SAFARI LTD / BRACHIOSAURUS / 25 METERS / CE
CE mark: Small.
TDR rating: 4/10

This was the second retooling of the Brachiosaurus mold. The mold was suffering fatigue, and looks blockier and rougher than previous versions, with softer details. This is especially noticeable around the feet, and the disappearance of the rectangular scale pattern on the belly. The smooth area around the imprint stamp has been expanded, obliterating most of the remaining scale pattern. A few crude, squiggly lines have been added to substitute for sculpted texture in this area. "China" has been removed and replaced with a small "CE" mark. "Miami" has been removed, pegging this as a 1992 model.

Some samples using this same mold and same imprint stamp have the neck noticeably warped to the left. I originally thought some people's models had just become bent over the years, but I've seen too many different figures with the exact same neck warping for that to be true. I think this must have been due to a change in the cooling process and /or the type of plastic used in a certain production run.

(Above right: bent-neck sample, photo by Willk10795)

Mold: 1
Version: 9
Release: c. 1994
Status: Minor repaint
Variant type: Classic color
Material: Medium weight gray vinyl
Paint: 8 colors. Gray (base color); Navy blue (markings); light blue (wash); gray (claws); pink (mouth); orange (eyes); black (pupils); white (teeth).
Stamp text: ?
CE mark: ?
TDR rating: 8/10

This version of the classic Brachiosaurus has a very prominent sky blue wash over the basic gray undercoat of paint. As you can see in the photos here, the wash could be very uneven, with one side of the body being almost completely blue while the other side is mostly gray. I could not get a close-up view of the imprint stamp on this example, but it appears very mold fatigued, and given the similarity of this figure to the similarly blue version of Triceratops, I'm guessing it was a late release of mold 1, sometime around 1994/95.






2nd Mold

First release: 1993
Retired: 1996
Model number: 402-01 / 4002-01
Schleich number: 15402
Size: 
Advertised scale: 1:40
Actual scale: 

In 1992-93, copies were made of several of the original molds, basically a factory-level copying of the original mold, likely utilizing a pantograph machine to "trace" the old model while carving a new mold, resulting in the same pose but with cruder details. The most noticeable difference here is the very different looking nasal crest. The crest in this model is much lower and rounder, and does not rise as sharply above the skull. Other changes involve the deepening of all the skin textures and wrinkles, resulting in a ribbed appearance on the neck and limbs. What was once a two-piece mold with the imprint stamp on the side is now a three piece mold with the imprint stamp on the belly piece (see comparison pictures below). These remolds may have been in use during the same time as the original molds (made quickly at factory level to help meet demand?).

This version of Brachiosaurus is seen in the 1993 Carnegie Safari video presentation, and it was the only remolded mold figure to NOT feature in the 1992 ELC brochure, so it likely debuted in 1993 or late 1992.

Mold: 2
Version: 1
Release: 1993
Status: Retool
Variant type: Classic color
Material: Hard gray vinyl
Paint: 8 colors. Blue-gray (base color); Navy blue (markings); light gray (underside); gray (claws); pink (mouth); orange (eyes); black (pupils); white (teeth).
Stamp text: On belly. (C) 1988 THE CARNEGIE / SAFARI LTD / BRACHIOSAURUS / 25 METERS / CE
CE mark: Small.
Weight: 1320g
TDR rating: 3/10

This Brachiosaurus has the distinctive remolded skin texture and smaller crest of the early 90s remolds, in a blue-gray base color, but lacking a separate blue wash, similar to 1993-produced versions of the original mold. They may have been produced and painted concurrently.


Above: Photo from a 1993 catalog.



Original sculpt (top) vs. refresh (bottom)


Original sculpt (left) vs. refresh (right)

Original sculpt (left) vs. refresh (right)

Original sculpt (left) vs. refresh (right)

Original sculpt (left) vs. refresh (right). Note the different mold lines and much deeper/more simplified texturing.



Mold: 2
Version: 2
Release: c. 1995
Status: Minor repaint, material variant
Variant type: Classic color
Material: Soft gray rubber
Paint: 8 colors. Gray-green (base color); Navy blue (markings); light gray (underside); gray (claws); pink (mouth); orange (eyes); black (pupils); white (teeth).
Stamp text: On belly. (C) 1988 THE CARNEGIE / SAFARI LTD / BRACHIOSAURUS / 25 METERS / CE
CE mark: Small.
TDR rating: 3/10

This version of Brachiosaurus uses the early 90s era second mold with a similar color scheme to later versions of the original mold (i.e. more greenish base paint). The biggest difference here is the material. Like some mid-90s versions of the original molds, this one used extremely rubbery plastic, apparently to the point that you can physically bend the head around and make it look backwards. Because other Carnegies with similarly soft plastic but in classic colors seem to date from just before the 1996 line refresh, I have tentatively dated this model around 1995.




This version (left) compared to an earlier(?) blue-gray version. All photos by indy1936.

3rd Mold

4002-01 Brachiosaurus
Species: Giraffatitan brancai
First release: 1996
Retired: 2015
Model number: 4002-01
Size: 50 cm long
Advertised scale: 1:40
Actual scale: 1:45

This mold returned to the larger crest and smoother legs of the original editions. The entire model is smaller and lighter than previous versions. These changes probably indicate that the new mold was made using a pantograph machine to copy and shrink the original model, with tweaks to the sculpt made in the process. The much better details suggest that pantograph technology had improved by the mid-90s compared to the very crude early 1990s mold, and it seems like the factory artists once again used the first generation model as a basis. Additionally, the tail now curved downward at the tip rather than upward as in all previous editions of this model. 


Curiously, in most versions of this mold, on the imprint stamp (above), there is a raised mark under the letters "BRACHIO" in the name Brachiosaurus. It's possible that whoever was responsible for stamping the new text misspelled something and had to drill the first half of the word out. It's tempting to think they incorrectly used the name "Brontosaurus" here. I would be interested to find out if there are any samples with the original word still in place, or if whatever error existed was caught at the manufacturing level before any models were produced.



Mold: 3
Version: 1
Release: 1996
Status: Retool
Variant type: Classic color
Material: Gray vinyl
Paint: 8 colors. Gray (base color); Navy blue (markings); light gray (underside); gray (claws); pink (mouth); orange (eyes); black (pupils); white (teeth).
Stamp text: (C) 1988 THE CARNEGIE / SAFARI LTD / BRACHIOSAURUS / 25 METERS / MADE IN CHINA / CE / 2
CE mark: Small
TDR: 7/10

This is the first version of mold 3. It is fully painted and carries over similar paint operations to later versions of mold 2.

Mold: 3
Version: 2
Release: 1997
Status: Minor repaint/material change
Variant type: Color vinyl
Material: Pale gray vinyl
Paint: 6 colors. Navy blue (markings, claws); pale blue (underside); pink (mouth); orange (eyes); black (pupils); white (teeth).
Stamp text: (C) 1988 THE CARNEGIE / SAFARI LTD / BRACHIOSAURUS / 25 METERS / MADE IN CHINA / CE / 2
CE mark: Small
Weight: 1047g
TDR: 1/10

This first color vinyl version model has a pale gray (slightly green tinted) base vinyl with less complex paint applications, leaving much of the body as unpainted plastic and using the same blue from the back for the claws. 


Figure using the original mold (left) vs. 3rd generation retool (right). Note the difference in size.



Mold: 3
Version: 3
Release: 1998
Status: Minor retool
Variant type: Color vinyl
Material: Pale green vinyl
Paint: 6 colors. Navy blue (markings, claws); pale blue (underside); pink (mouth); orange (eyes); black (pupils); white (teeth).
Stamp text: (C) 1988 THE CARNEGIE / SAFARI LTD / BRACHIOSAURUS / 25 METERS / MADE IN CHINA / CE / 2
CE mark: Large.
TDR: 2/10

This version appears to be the same mold as the original 3rd Gen Brachiosaurus, with essentially the same belly stamp, except that the CE mark is larger in this version. The vinyl color also looks more green than flat gray, and the larger CE mark suggests this dates from the late 1990s at the earliest.


Mold: 3
Version: 4
Release: 2007
Status: Repaint
Variant type: 2007 repaint
Retired: 2015
Material: Green vinyl
Paint: Dark green back, white teeth, pink mouth, black claws, gray wash.
Stamp text: (C) 1988 THE CARNEGIE / SAFARI LTD / BRACHIOSAURUS / 25 METERS / MADE IN CHINA / CE / 2
CE mark: Large.
Weight: 1053g
TDR: 3/10

The final version of the original Carnegie Brachiosaurus came in the 2007 second complete line refresh. It had a totally new paint scheme, primarily consisting of shades of dark green. This was a straight repaint of the previous version though, as the molds are identical, from the downward pointing tail to the weird raised "BRACHIO" on the belly stamp.




Comments

  1. A close look at versions 1-3 of the Brachiosaurus today stopped me from buying an obviously painted over fake on eBay this morning. Again, this is a great resource.

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    Replies
    1. Glad I could help! What specifically tipped you off that it was a repaint and not a "new" variant?

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  2. My older version seems to be a v.6, with a grey vinyl under the paint, rather than the sky blue of v. 7

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  3. My version 8 is noticeably shorter, slimmer and lighter than the v.6.

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  4. Hello, currently there is a solid green Brach on eBay - all olive green w no markings at all. Considering the remark above, could this be a custom (ie home) repaint & not an actual Safari variant? Check it out.

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  5. I think that they started using mold 3 before they made the switch to colored vinyl. I have what appears to be a mold 3 Brachiosaurus, but it is clearly done in non-colored vinyl. It has all of the telltale features of mold 3: the shorter height (it's 13.75 inches tall), the "Brachio" being raised up a bit compared to the other letters in the info stamp, and the downward-pointing tail tip. However, it's definitely made with dark gray vinyl with the base color painted over it, since the paint has become chipped in several places over the years, revealing the dark gray vinyl beneath. If I recall correctly, I got it when I was in second grade, which would have been the second half of 1996 or the first half of 1997. It's possible that it was during first grade, but I think that it was second. I would be happy to send you photos of it if you'd like.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for the tip! I have been finding more and more examples lately where the new molds predated the color vinyl switch so this lines up. Way back when I first began getting into Carnegie collecting, I relied on the Wikipedia page which stated the color vinyl switch happened in 1996. It now seems that's wrong, at least for many models, and the switch to color vinyl was gradual over several years (Stegosaurus was likely earlier than 96). Photos would be very helpful!

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