The Carnegie Collection Maiasaura (1989)


Prototype version from a 1988 brochure. Note that the stripes were originally intended to be lobe-shaped gradients, but this did not translate very well in the production model. Otherwise, the light wash of white paint on the throat, overall yellow/gold tone, and lightly detailed base did translate to early samples.

411-01 Maiasaura
Species: Maiasaura peeblesorum
First release: 1989
Retired: c. 1995
Model number: 411-01
Schleich number: 15411 (retired 1993)
Size: 25 cm long
Advertised scale: 1:40
Actual scale: 1:40
Sculptor: Forest Rogers

Comparing the original Carnegie Maiasaura with the all-new 1995 version illustrates a subtle shift in the philosophy behind the line between its launch and the mid-1990s. The second Maiasaura is very much an educational toy - scientifically accurate, in a walking pose, with a separately sculpted nest kids could imagine it interacting with. Looking at the 1989 version, it would be very hard to characterize this as a toy at all. It's basically a gorgeously painted but static plastic statue. Aesthetically, the original is far superior, but it's clear Safari originally conceived this line almost as affordable versions of museum display models rather than "toys". These 1980s models are in the same category as those little porcelain animals you can find in gift shops - a truly museum-quality display piece, but lacking much play value.

1996 saw a refresh of the entire Carnegie line, featuring the more toyetic version of Maiasaura and much more colorful, in some cases garish, paint schemes for several of the older models. Luckily, even the new Maiasaura retained the same basic color scheme, which is based on what has become a common coloration for this species in art thanks to Doug Henderson's influential illustrations of the 1980s and 1990s.


Version: 1
Release: c. 1988
Status: Original
Variant type: Dull wash
Material: Soft black vinyl
Paint: 6 colors. Matte pale orange (base coat, eyes); matte gray (nest); matte brown (wash); matte dark brown (stripes); light gray (throat, claws, eggs); black (pupils).
Stamp text: Left-aligned. MAIASAURA / 29 FEET (9 METERS) / (C) 1988 THE CARNEGIE / SAFARI LTD MIAMI, FL / MADE IN CHINA
CE mark: None.
TDR rating: 8/10

This unusual variant seems to belong to the dull wash class of 1988 Carnegie Collection variants. Like the more definitive dull wash variants, it uses few colors, and the paint is matte. The plastic it is made of is also quite rubbery, a key feature of the dull wash series and quite unlike the much harder vinyl characteristic of later Maiasaura variants. However, unlike the classic dull wash variants, the plastic is black or dark gray and the model is fully painted. This is therefore likely a "second wave" figure transitional between the gloss wash and catalog versions (see also equivalent variants known for Allosaurus and Apatosaurus Baby with dull paint and soft black vinyl). This model therefore probably dates to late 1988 or early 1989. Note that the base uses the same flat gray paint as the bases of the dull wash Australopithecus, with no dark wash. Also note that the imprint stamp is complete and appears more crisp than other early variants, supporting it's status as the earliest one. Other features of the mold appear slightly more crisp, and the seam better aligned, than the gloss wash version (below).




Dull wash (left) vs. gloss wash (right) variants.



Version: 1
Release: 1989
Status: Minor repaint
Variant type: Gloss wash
Material: Hard black vinyl
Paint: 9 colors. Glossy yellow (base coat, eyes); glossy beige (nest); glossy burnt orange (wash); glossy brown (stripes); glossy light gray (claws); glossy white (eggs); white airbrushing (throat); glossy brown (nest wash); glossy black (pupils).
Stamp text: Left-aligned. MAIASAURA / 29 FEET (9 METERS) / (C) 1988 THE CARNEGIE / SAFARI LTD MIAMI, FL / MADE IN CHINA
CE mark: None.
TDR rating: 5/10

This gloss wash variant of Maiasaura has a much more yellow/gold color scheme than the other early variants. It is closest in overall hue and paint application style to the prototype. Like other early variants of Carnegie's models with bases, the early Maiasaura models generally had bases with more complex and realistic looking paint jobs, including a dark wash that mimicked the appearance of sculptured dirt. The body in this version is a much darker and more complex blend of light and burnt orange with a dark orange wash and what seems to be an additional brown wash that brought out subtle details like the minute scale texture. The nest was very carefully painted up to and in between the eggs and toes. The eyes are smaller with more carefully applied yellow paint than in other versions, which tend to have big round yellow splotches for eyes.

Keeping in mind the multiple layers of paint applied to this model - the yellow undercoat across the entire model, the orange and beige base colors, the dark orange wash on the body, the brown wash over the body and nest plus egg, claws, and eyes - it's no wonder the painting process was simplified so much for later releases. Each of these models must have taken hours to fully paint.

Note that several, fairly different looking variants exist of this version. Some have a heavier dark orange wash and/or more thickly applied, darker paint for the stripes. Some have a very light orange wash to the point the yellow undercoat shows through as the dominant color. Some have a more luminous orange "middle ground" wash with lightly applied stripes. These appear to all use the same basic color scheme and same paint colors, the variation is only about how thickly applied the various paint layers are. Therefore, I am assuming these are all "individual variation" stemming from differences in the hand painting process from a single production run.



Sample with a very lightly applied wash, giving a more yellow overall color.

Sample with a more heavily applied wash and stripes, burnt orange overall color.

Lighter vs. darker samples.


Version: 2
Release: c. 1990
Status: Minor repaint
Variant type: Catalog version
Material: Hard black vinyl
Paint: 9 colors. Yellow (base coat, eyes); beige (nest); burnt orange (wash); brown (stripes); light gray (claws); white (eggs); white airbrushing (throat); brown (nest wash); black (pupils).
Stamp text: Left-aligned. MAIASAURA / 29 FEET (9 METERS) / (C) 1988 THE CARNEGIE / SAFARI LTD MIAMI, FL / MADE IN CHINA
CE mark: None.
TDR rating: ?

Very similar to the original, but like other catalog version, has a more matte finish.





Version: 3
Release: c. 1991
Status: Minor repaint
Variant type: Classic color
Material: ?
Paint: 8 colors. Yellow (base coat, eyes); beige (nest); burnt orange (wash); brown (stripes); light gray (claws); white (eggs, throat); brown (nest wash); black (pupils).
Stamp text: ?
CE mark: ?
TDR rating: 8/10

This is the first version of Maiasaura to have a thick, white paint application on the throat instead of a lighter wash or airbrushing. The rest of the paint application is similar to the gloss wash version but darker burnt orange. This appears to be the last version to have a complex wash on the nest.


Version: 4
Release: c. 1991
Status: Minor repaint
Variant type: Classic color
Material: ?
Paint: 7 colors. Yellow (base coat); burnt orange (body); dark reddish brown (wash); yellow (eyes); light gray (claws); white (eggs, throat); black (pupils).
Stamp text: ?
CE mark: ?
TDR rating: 7/10

In this version, a uniform dark brown wash is used on the nest, which still has a beige rather than yellow base color.

Version: 5
Release: 1992
Status: Minor repaint, retool
Variant type: Classic color
Material: ?
Paint: 8 colors. Gold (base coat); burnt orange (body); pale yellow (nest); dark brown (stripes, wash); yellow (eyes); light gray (claws); white (eggs, throat); black (pupils).
Stamp text: Left-aligned. MAIASAURA / 29 FEET (9 METERS) / (C) 1988 THE CARNEGIE / SAFARI LTD / CE
CE mark: Small.
TDR rating: 5/10

This version had a simplified pattern with less shading gradients and thicker paint, especially for the much darker stripes and thick, flat white paint on the throat. It lacked the words "Miami, FL" on the date stamp. The nest is more of a flat yellow color as with the later versions of Pachycephalosaurus, and the demarcation between the nest and the hands/feet of the Maiasaura are sloppier, i.e. there is less painting of the nest color in between the individual fingers and toes. In some samples, even the scratch marks in front of the hands are painted orange - clearly, the production schedule at the factory made it necessary to cut corners with the paint application process. This version was featured in the 1992 Early Learning Centre brochure and probably was new at that time.





Version: 6
Release: c. 1993
Status: Minor repaint, retool
Variant type: Classic color
Material: ?
Paint: 7 colors. Yellow (base coat); burnt orange (body); dark brown (wash); yellow (eyes); light gray (claws); white (eggs, throat); black (pupils).
Stamp text: Left-aligned. MAIASAURA / 29 FEET (9 METERS) / (C) 1988 THE CARNEGIE / SAFARI LTD / CE
CE mark: Small.
TDR rating: 3/10

The stripes are less noticeable and more blended into the dark wash on the back. The claws are delineated with only a light grayish wash and occasionally fully unpainted. The body is more red than brown. Note that this figure shipped, at some point, with a beaded zip tie tag rather than a gold elastic band. This suggests it was one of the last variants sold, through c. 1995.









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