Related Lines

The Carnegie Collection of 1988 was the first series of animal models produced by Safari Ltd.. Once their production system was up and running, Safari produced their first non-Carnegie dinosaur toys along with other hand-painted miniature animal figurines as part of the Authentics Habitats Collection. These were first released in 1990, along with a line of larger animal replicas, the endangered species series Vanishing Wild. A line of farm animals similar to those produced by Schleich and Bullyland followed in 1991, and that year Safari also partnered with the Monterey Bay Aquarium to produce a line of sea life replicas.

Safari produced its first large non-Carnegie dinosaur toys in 1993, in the form of both a one-off large scale Velociraptor model and The Dinosaurs of China series sculpted by paleoartist Ely Kish. These sometimes get lumped in together with the Carnegie Collection. Though not technically part of the Carnegie line, these model series were made in the same spirit - fully hand-painted, sculpted by with excellent attention to detail and scientific accuracy, and approved by scientists. 

The success of the Carnegie prehistoric animals line and the Monterey Bay Aquarium line led to a partnership with the Smithsonian in 1994, in the form of Hidden Kingdom, a line of 2:1 scale insect models.

Though these were only limited series, Safari was indeed testing the waters for its own independent dinosaur series. This would became part of their blanket Wild Safari series of animal models, which debuted in 1997 and included basically all non-partner branded large animal models.

Authentics Habitat Collections - a.k.a. Carnegie Mini Dinos

Authentics featured in the 1990 Safari Ltd. Catalog

Beginning in 1990, Safari produced a line of miniature animal figurines called the Authentics Habitat Collections, based around different animal habitats (rainforest, sealife, etc.) as well as dinosaurs. All of the original 1990 sets were sculpted by Forest Rogers. All in all, three dinosaur sets were released in this line throughout the 1990s. The first set contained models of Apatosaurus, Brachiosaurus, Tyrannosaurus, Parasaurolophus, Triceratops, and Stegosaurus. These were essentially "mini Carnegies" and were even released under the name "Mini Carnegie Dinosaurs" briefly in 2006 (each set was re-released several times with different packaging and in some cases, variant colors and paint schemes).

Carnegie Mini Dinos, from the 2006 Safari Ltd. catalog.

The second set was sculpted by Greg Wenzel. It included Velociraptor (basically a scaled-down version of his large Velociraptor figure), Styracosaurus, Dimetrodon, Protoceratops, Dilophosaurus, and Euoplocephalus.

The third set was sculpted by Dan LoRusso, and included Spinosaurus, Iguanodon, Diplodocus, Allosaurus, Elasmosaurus, and Pteranodon.

Like Safari's other pre-1996 offerings, the Authentics models were all fully hand painted. Also like the early Carnegie collection, lots of paint variations both large and small can be found, as illustrated by these two Velociraptor models I bought just a year or so apart. You can see one has a more layered and complex paint scheme compared to the other, even though the color pattern is essentially the same.

It's noteworthy that following their work for Safari in the early 1990s, Wenzel and LoRusso would go on to sculpt the Boston Museum of Science dinosaur collection for Battat in 1994. That line deserves a web site all its own so I won't go into much history and detail here, but it released two sets of models between 1994 and 1998 that were arguably poised to become the successor to Invicta and Carnegie for setting the standard for a top-notch museum-quality dinosaur line and, arguably, trounced both of them in scientific accuracy and aesthetics. LoRusso and Wenzel each sculpted a few models for both series, but the line was cancelled before a third series could be produced. LoRusso returned as sculptor when the line returned as part of Battat's Terra brand in the mid 2010s, but his death in 2015 effectively ended the line again, and several of his finished models remain unreleased.

Eraser sets using the Authentics molds, featured in the 1990 Safari Ltd. catalog
Authentics were released in a variety of differently branded packaging style through the years. Even as early as 1993, the dinosaurs and other Authentics figurines were released in 4-packs labelled "Exploring ________" (Exploring Dinosaurs, Exploring Sealife, etc.), packed with one of Safari's signature animal rummy card games. Eraser sets using the Authentics molds were also available for a number of years - in fact, Forest Rogers has joked that her most unusual piece of art is a pink giant squid eraser. The Authentics line was replaced with the Mini Carnegie line for just one year in 1996, and then with the intriduction of Safari's popular "Toob" line of miniature animal replicas in 2007, all of the old Authentics sculpts became part of various Toob sets, where some remain in production today.

Safari Velociraptor

Though originally released in its own unique packaging in 1993, this model is sometimes included with the Dinosaurs of China series and occasionally even advertised on the secondary market as a Carnegie model! Hot on the heels of Jurassic Park, someone at Safari realized they needed to market an authentic Velociraptor model, and fast. Safari contracted with paleoartist Greg Wenzel to create a larger-scale Velociratptor in a dynamic running posture. Click here for more info on this unique replica.

The Dinosaurs of China

The first full series of dinosaurs produced by Safari after the Carnegie Collection, Dinosaurs of China unfortunately consists of only three models, initially released in 1993. Each was hand painted in a more matte paint than the glossier Carnegies of the early 1990s, but the color palette and method of paint application lets these fit right in with their Carnegie siblings. The three models, Yangchuanosaurus, Therizinosaurus, and Mamenchisaurus, were produced in 1:40 scale and sculpted by renowned paleoartist Ely Kish. They are definitely reminiscent of her style, and the Therizinosaurus in particular is a direct three-dimensional rendering of her 2D art.

Each DoC model came not only with an info tag, but also its own small display stand featuring a reconstructed skeleton on a rock wall type background. They came packaged in cardboard boxes, a trend that extended to some of the main-line Carnegie models beginning that same year.
1993 Safari Ltd. Catalog page featuring Dinosaurs of China and Velociraptor. Scan by Safari Ltd.


  1. Even some the regular Safari tube figures have a lot of variants, in different paint jobs, finish & even size.

    1. Right, it should be noted that the kinds of variants listed on this site are a common side-effect of the figure production process used by Safari, Schleich, and similar companies. Most of this stuff isn't intentional, it's a consequence of production cost cutting, replacing aging molds, etc. I focus on Carnegie because it's my "focus collection", but every Safari line (and most lines from similar brands) could have an entire web site like this dedicated to them!

  2. I've also found some very good counterfeit toob prehistorics- the marine reptile series- more on that soon


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