The original prototype figures, photographed for a 1988 catalog spread.


The Carnegie Collection was a series of "museum grade" model replicas based on dinosaurs and other prehistoric animals, produced by Florida-based company Safari Ltd. in a licencing agreement with the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh. The agreement between The Carnegie and Safari Ltd. was signed on October 1st, 1986, and ended in February 2015. The partnership with the Carnegie Museum was Safari's first foray into making their own animal models. Previously, Safari, which had been founded by Bernard and Rosemarie Rubel in the early 1980s, had marketed and distributed animal models made by overseas manufacturers, like Invicta, Schleich, and AAA. What they produced themselves was mainly other kinds of educational toys.

The 1990 Safari Ltd. catalog sold
Invicta models to the US market. Scan by Susanne

By the mid-1980s, several museums had developed their own "in house" lines of dinosaur figurines. Some, like the British Museum's line produced by Invicta Plastics, had gained widespread success and were sold outside just the museum gift shop, including in educational stores and Safari's own catalogs. Meanwhile, companies like Bullyland and Schleich had begun producing the first real higher-quality, realistic animal figurines in the early 1980s, including a set of small hand-painted dinosaurs by Bullyland:

These Bullyland dinosaurs were not only my first dinosaur toys, but my introduction to the concept of dinosaurs. I was very upset when I lost the Triceratops and Pteranodon somewhere at my preschool. Both photos are from the 1989 Bullyland catalog.

These companies were gradually changing what dinosaur toys were. The first mass-produced dinosaur toys were small metal and ceramic figurines. These were followed by endless production runs of small, cheap, monochrome plastic dinosaurs by companies like Marx - essentially, the dinosaur equivalent of green army men. Invicta was arguably the first company to put scientific accuracy at the forefront with their British Museum line, but as these were still monochrome hard-plastic replicas, it's easy to view them more as the apex of the Marx style. When Safari entered the model animal business in the late 1980s, rather than copy Invicta (aside from that poster), they improved upon the model set by Bullyland and Schleich, aiming to produce affordable but more versatile and fully hand-painted dinosaur replicas.

The early Carnegie Collection often is compared to the Invicta line, which produced its last models around the time Safari was ramping up. However, they really exist in two different genres - Carnegie operated in the field pioneered by Schleich, while Invicta finally delivered on the promise of the Marx and even earlier Sinclair dinosaur series.

1986 - Beginnings
Forest Rogers

According to Randy Knoll on his now-defunct Dinosaur Collectors Site B, the idea for the line came about thanks to Carrol Carmen, director of the Carnegie Museum Shop, who wanted a line of museum-quality models to sell. Bernard Rubel was a personal contact of hers, and he accepted the proposal to produce and distribute the line that would become The Carnegie Collection. The Rubels saw an opportunity to do in the US what Schleich was doing with fully hand painted animal figurines in their native Germany.

All of the Carnegie models were sculpted by artist Forest Rogers. Rogers' involvement with the Carnegie line began in 1987, when she was working with a liturgical arts company in Pittsburgh towards her MFA degree at Carnegie-Melon. According to Rogers, her involvement with the Carnegie Museum's dinosaur model project was "an odd fluke, really. I'd done some sculpting, but had not really focused on it till then. Thereafter, I did a lot, really a lot, of commercial prototypes, from fruit-scented squid-shaped erasers to silver toad music boxes and a whole lot more dinosaurs." (Rogers' Facebook post, 26 Dec. 2017). 

Mary Dawson

Rogers heard about the project from a coworker at her company who worked on making molds for the museum and who was initially hired to be the Carnegie line's sculptor. Rogers was initially subcontracted to do the sculpting while her associate designed the shipping boxes for the wax models they would create. Rogers did apparently sculpt the first set of models using wax but, unfortunately, at some point these melted. Rogers wound up taking over the job completely when it became apparent the models could be re-made with polymer rather than wax, so the elaborate shipping boxes were not needed. Rogers remained Carnegie's sculptor until the end of the line in 2015, and also worked with Safari sculpting the Monterey Bay Aquarium sea life series and many of the Vanishing Wild models.

Dr. Mary Dawson, former curator of the Vertebrate Paleontology department at the Carnegie Museum, initially approved all of the final sculpts, and remained involved even after her retirement. Dr. Dawson, who passed away in 2020, was a paleomammologist, which might explain some of the... quirkier clauses that were apparently included in the contract between Safari and the Carnegie (see below). In later years at least, the primary approval process went through the new paleontologist in charge of the dinosaur collections at the Carnegie Museum, Dr. Matthew Lamanna, who was also was responsible for selecting which species would be created for the Carnegie line during his tenure.

It is unclear how many sculpts and prototypes Rogers created for the initial set of dinosaurs. All 17 figures with 1988 date stamps are pictured in painted prototype from in a 1988 brochure, so these were probably all sculpted by Rogers at the same time.

1988 - Production and Early Releases
The Bullyland factory in Spreitbach, West Germany c. 1989, where the Carnegie Collection was born.

Bernard Rubels had agreed that his company, Miami-based Safari Ltd., would produce and distribute the line. However, prior to the inception of the Carnegie Collection, Safari was primarily an import and distribution business, selling various educational toys from overseas companies like AAA, Bullyland, and Schleich to US customers. Therefore, they did not have the resources in the early days to actually produce their own dinosaur figurines. According to Randy Knoll, the German toy-maker Bullyland (which manufactured their products in West Germany at the time) was contracted by Safari to make the molds and tooling for the first 17 models, based on Rogers' sculpts. 

The set of "dull wash" Carnegie models - these were among the first to be sold in the US.

The very first release of the Carnegie Collection, at least in the US, came in drabber colors than what would now be considered their "classic" versions. Many were only two-tone, in dull yellows, browns, greens, and grays, and mostly cast in very rubbery material. This could be down to the involvement of Bullyland in the early days of their production - indeed, some collectors have recalled finding the earliest Carnegie variants with Bullyland tags. The rubbery material and matte, wash-based paint are both extremely similar in feel and style to early Bullyland dinosaurs. Notably, most of these differed substantially, or were at the very least very simplified, from the glamor shots pictured in 1988/89 Carnegie brochures and catalogs. It seems that wherever the dull wash variants were produced, they either failed to replicate the prototype colors or, more likely, had not yet actually seen them, having been sent the resin blanks for tooling but no paint masters yet, basing their paint only on vague descriptions of the color schemes. This could indicate that Bullyland was sent only resin blanks with which to create the molds, and that the color masters that eventually became standard were sent directly to Schleich or were even created by Schleich artists (see below).

A Schleich-branded Carnegie catalog from Germany, featuring the "gold wash" model set.

With the first molds having been made by Bullyland (and possibly used for an initial, rushed production run to get the models in stores and meet contractual obligations), production could begin in earnest. Safari partnered with Schleich, which already had at least one factory in China producing figures. Schleich presumably received the molds from Bullyland as well as the paint masters from the Carnegie, and began producing the first "real" production run of more polished and detailed models. This set stuck much more closely to the prototype colors - these were fully painted, with a glossy finish and a much more premium feel closer to what was likely intended than the rather crude dull wash figures. According to Seijun, some of the early variants may only have been released in Germany, while other variants debuted in the US and UK, possibly all around the same time. This set of "gold wash" figures is similar in quality, paint, and material to Schleich's animal models of the time. Early photography of these finished "gold wash" models appeared mainly in Schleich branded promotional materials, and it is likely this was the first set produced at Schleich's Chinese factory. As part of this deal, Schleich retained the right to distribute the Carnegie models in Germany under their own brand (indeed, many of Schleich's promotional materials don't mention Safari by name as all).

Both Safari and Schleich models would be manufactured in the same factory for many years, alternating production between Schleich and Safari figures each day. Schleich distributed the Carnegie models in Germany under its own brand, giving them unique Schleich product numbers, through 1993, and Bullyland may have done so initially as well - the families who owned Bullyland, Schleich, and Safari were friendly with each other.

1989 - Wide Release
The entire first 16 Carnegie Collection models carried the date stamp of 1988, the year they were produced. However, it seems that most did not actually make it out to retailers until sometime during 1989, and Safari itself considers 1989 as the year the Carnegie Collection debuted, despite the fact that the dull wash versions were being sold as early as September 1988. This first set included 17 models: AllosaurusApatosaurus (adult and juvenile, sold separately), Australopithecus (a male and a female with infant), BrachiosaurusDimetrodonDiplodocusEuoplocephalusMaiasauraParasaurolophusProtoceratopsPteranodonSmilodonStegosaurusTriceratops, and Tyrannosaurus. Each model initially came with a parchment paper info tag attached via gold elastic band.

Black and white leaflets like this 1990 edition advertised the first 20 Carnegie models, even before some of them were released.

As might be expected, the Carnegie Collection was available in a wide variety of museum gift shops, and until the 2010s, it was the only dinosaur replica line available in the gift shop of the Carnegie museum itself. Like many dinosaur toy lines today, the Carnegie Collection debuted not just at museum gift shops, but at small specialty retailers as well. This was probably responsible for its success. While the earlier line of Invicta plastic dinosaur models, produced for the British Museum of Natural History, set the template Carnegie would follow, they were almost exclusively available at museums. The wider release of Safari's Carnegie line to toy stores and educational retailers ensured much higher sales.

 Safari's own internal catalog of the original Carnegie lineup. Note that most of these are the original pain masters, not production models. Image from Safari's Facebook page.

My earliest memory of the Carnegie Collection is seeing a small corner display (but not the famous Dinosaur Mountain) with the first 17 models at a small, independently owned hobby shop (I think it was actually set up in somebody's detached garage) in 1989. We had gone in to look for Lionel train sets, but I was instantly enthralled by these dinosaur models that looked much higher quality and "authentic" than any of the ones I already owned. Their glossy, fully hand-painted aesthetic instantly set them apart  from the cheap plastic dinosaur toys I was used to in the 1980s, and I hadn't yet encountered Invicta. In fact, a year or two earlier, I recall the only dinosaur toys available in the gift shop at the American Museum of Natural History were bags of incredibly cheap-looking Marx knockoffs, the ones that included weird Dungeons & Dragons monsters alongside those loosely based on real prehistoric animals. I was particularly struck by the massive Brachiosaurus, though it was too expensive for my parents to let me impulse buy. I wound up getting the cheapest model they had, pulled from the narrow top-tier of the display stand - a $2 Carnegie Pteranodon. That was another great feature of Carnegie, though one they borrowed from Invicta. By offering models in a single, consistent scale (1:40 in both lines, with the exception of Carnegie's prehistoric mammals and some later, smaller dinosaurs), they could offer a huge variety of different sized toys, from tiny ($2-$3) Dimetrodon and Pteranodon up to massive ($30-$40) Brachiosaurus and Diplodocus. This offered kids like me an affordable "in" to the collection, and the bigger models could be held off for birthday wish lists. From 1990 onward, almost all of my Carnegie dinosaurs were purchased from a local independent toy store focused on premium and educational brands, as well as now-extinct chain stores that had an educational bent, like World of Science and Noodle Kidoodle. Before the internet, I remember discovering new models had been released just by browsing these stores, or perusing Safari's yearly catalogs for new product. Of course, zoo and museum gift shops remained strongholds for the line up until its cancellation.

In 1989, Safari took more photos of the first 16 Carnegie models for their debut in their own 1990 product catalog. Rather infamously, many of the versions shown in this catalog differ both from the original, drab-color versions, the Schleich-associated "gold wash" versions, and the classic post-1990 versions. Many of the models have extremely dark, almost monochrome looking paint schemes of black, gray, and beige. A few have light brown or white eyes lacking pupils. These colors may have been chosen to suit the atmosphere of the catalog photo shoot, with its twilight blue backdrop and contrasting white sand base. These "catalog versions" seem to have been released for sale only in limited quantities before being replaced with the classic color variants.

Various "catalog version" models from c. 1990, with monochrome, high-contrast color schemes:

1990 - Classic colors
In the first years of the 1990s, many of the larger Carnegie dinosaurs were being re-released in more vibrant color schemes and in a slightly different plastic. The repainted original models were the TyrannosaurusAllosaurusApatosaurusApatosaurus Baby, BrachiosaurusStegosaurusTriceratops, and Parasaurolophus. Though these received the most drastic change to their overall color schemes (e.g. dark gray and beige on the 1989 Apatosaurus to counter-shaded dark and light green on the 1991 version), it should be noted that during the first few years of the Carnegie line, all models (which were produced in plain gray plastic) were fully hand-painted. This means that no two of these models are exactly alike, and the exact color scheme could vary slightly from one model to the next. I remember digging through bins of little Dimetrodon models at the World of Science store looking for the most interesting color schemes, some of which were a lot sharper and more detailed than others (a range of variation that was probably accentuated because of some pre-1990 models in the mix).

The goal of these early repaints seems to have been not only to make the models more colorful, but to simplify the painting process. Paint schemes on the 1990 figures look like more simplified versions of their predecessors, with hard lines where there used to be gradients between colors. Some samples of the smaller models like Smilodon and Pteranodon, which probably represent earlier, pre-1990 samples, have much more complex, subtle, detailed, and variable paint applications than their successors, which have less detail and are more standardized. This may represent a cost-saving effort to reduce painting time where painters spend less time on each model, also resulting in less opportunity for individualization.

The re-issues appeared in 1990 alongside a few new models: first Deinonychus and Pachycephalosaurus, then Elasmosaurus and Mosasaurus later that year. Safari would continue to release two or three new models each year for the duration of the line.

An early 1990s Schleich-branded
Carnegie Collection brochure.

Early 1990s - Alternate molds and refreshed sculpts
Between 1991 and 1993, most of the original 1980s replicas had begun to suffer mold fatigue. This degradation of the molds caused details of the original sculpts to be muddied. In an attempt to combat this, (and possibly also to increase production capacity), a second group of molds were created, either via modification of existing sculpts or, more likely, using a pantograph machine to copy the existing figures into a new mold. Unfortunately, much of the subtlety and fine detail of the original sculpts was lost during this process. Replicas made from the second mold group look noticeably blockier, with deeper and more simplified texture details, than their predecessors.

Here's a fun vintage ad showing off the 1993 Carnegie Collection by Safari, intended to sell product to retailers.

Ahead of a full refresh of the Carnegie line in 1996 came the first of what would eventually turn out to be many remakes, re-sculpts, and re-tools of the old models molds. According to Forest Rogers, she was not involved in the creation of these "refreshed" figures, and Randy Knol corroborates that Rogers only produced the prototypes, and later mold iterations were done at the Chinese factory. The first of these seems to have been a brand new, more scientifically accurate sculpt for the Tyrannosaurus, which was released in 1993. While the pose seems to have been largely the same, and the model was still fully painted over gray plastic, the head and skin texture were completely re-done, giving it more detail and making it a closer 3D match to a real Tyrannosaurus skull, wider in the back and narrower but broad and rounded in the snout, unlike the simple rectangle with painted-on teeth of the original. 

The Carnegie lineup in 1994, featuring the updated T. rex sculpt.

The other new remade models of the mid-90s were not simply re-tooled molds, but completely new models meant to replace their outdated 1980s counterparts. Both of these first two full remakes, Allosaurus and Maiasaura, retained simplified versions of their 1990 color schemes. Allosaurus was given a much more action-oriented pose and a slimmed-down appearance, with a skull that seems to have been based on completely different specimens than the boxy original. I remember being excited to find what seemed to be a new theropod model in my local Noodle Kidoodle (Afrovenator was my first thought), before being surprised that Safari had begun remaking existing dinosaurs.

The Maiasaura, too, kept the same color scheme, but was now basically a 2-pack. The old Maiasaura was a statuesque block, depicting a mother crouching over her nest. This one was standing on all fours and separated from the nest, which came as an independent piece complete with sculpted and painted baby Maiasaura and plant material. This was a huge improvement in accuracy and play-ability, if not necessarily aesthetics.

More remakes would follow in subsequent years. 1999 saw the release of the "10th Anniversary" Tyrannosaurus, followed in 2000 by a new Triceratops and in 2001 with a new, much larger scale Dimetrodon

Carnegie Collection diorama created for a catalog photoshoot c. 1995

1996 - Dawn of the Color Vinyl Era

Between 1992 and 1995, five all-new models were added to the Carnegie Collection: Iguanodon and Spinosaurus in 1992, Corythosaurus in 1993, a pair of Dilophosaurus in 1994, and a Plateosaurus in 1995, along with the remakes discussed above. As with the previous models, all of these were cast in plain gray or white plastic, then fully painted. All of the colors of these models were painted on, which contributed to their premium appearance (though opinions on this vary, and some accounts relate how the move away from this was due in part to the early models looking too glossy).

Above: Safari Ltd.'s 1996 Carnegie lineup, from their official Facebook page. Note that some models still depict the early 90s versions.

Between 1996 and 1997, Safari began to completely re-vamp the line. No more would the models be fully hand painted. Instead, they would be cast in plastic dyed to the dominant color, after which any remaining colors would be painted on. This eliminated the previously layered, sculpture-like look of the models, and brought them more in line with typical dinosaur toys.

As part of this remaking of the Carnegie line, Safari re-tooled or re-sculpted most of the original molds. Some models in this third mold group retained their old color schemes but were otherwise entirely new, with new poses, like the juvenile Apatosaurus and the Allosaurus. Some retained both the original pose and color scheme, but were also entirely redone - the 1997 version of the adult Apatosaurus retains the same pose and color scheme, but is noticeably smaller than the early '90s version. The 1997 Triceratops appears to be the same figure with the same pose as the original, but close inspection shows it is also entirely re-created using a different mold.

Presumably, these changes were made in order to cut down on cost via reducing the amount of paint and the time it took to apply, while also allowing the sculpt details to show through better due to fewer layers of paint. Some of the subtler re-sculpting, like the Stegosaurus and Triceratops, was probably done out of necessity - the old method of using multiple layers of thick, glossy paint hid the texture of the sculpt, so it had been made deeper and more obvious in the early 1990s in part to compensate and show through the paint. This "over sculpting" was no longer necessary without multiple layers of paint filling in finer sculpted details.

It should also be noted that many of the smaller models, like the Deinonychus, Dimetrodon, and Euoplocephalus, as well as the three prehistoric mammals, did not receive any repaints or resculpts - they were simply retired, never to be re-released.

1999 - More Scales (and a few feathers)

The Carnegie Collection, at its launch, included two scales - 1:40 for most of the models, and 1:15 for the prehistoric mammals, which would have been very tiny and lacked detail in 1:40. But for a decade after launch, the line never introduced any more 1:15 scale models. That changed in 1999, when Carnegie released it's first 1:10 scale dinosaur, Psittacosaurus. After that, most years during the 2000s and 2010s included new releases in multiple scales. 2003 was the first year when no 1:40 scale models were released, and it also introduced a fourth scale, 1:30, for the new Woolly Mammoth. 2006 introduced yet another scale, 1:4, for some of the feathered dinosaurs released that year. Carnegie could easily have released the smaller feathered dinosaurs in a smaller size compared to the larger ones, especially considering that the featured species were all contemporaries in the same habitat; however, for whatever reason, they chose to standardize the sizes of these models instead of the models' scales.

The overall trend during this decade seems to have been homogenization of model sizes. While the early Carnegie Collection included both very large and very tiny models at a variety of price points, the Carnegie Collection of the 2000s and 2010s was all about standardizing the overall size of each individual model, eliminating very large and very small pieces, and creating new scales as needed so that models released together would be roughly similar in size, with an occasional medium-large sized piece sprinkled in. While Carnegie still put out models of large theropods and large sauropods, and smaller to mid-sized theropods and ornithischians, they never again released anything as big as those original three sauropods, or as small as Protoceratops.

2007 - More Repaints

The hoary old models from the beginning of the series were given a third chance at life in 2007, when Carnegie released its second set of repaints. Though they were still only partially painted, the overall aesthetics of some of the repainted dinosaurs was vastly improved, with a good degree of paint layering, more subtle dark washes, and more naturalistic looking, less colorful patterns. Still, by the mid-2000s, these sculpts were showing their age. The 2007 Stegosaurus was a gorgeous model, but it looked straight out of a hundred year old Charles Knight painting (right down to the "classic" red and green color scheme). By this time, other dinosaur toymakers, including Safari's own in-house Wild Safari lines, were producing more up-to-date models in more dynamic poses that held greater appeal for both children and collectors compared to re-releases of decades-old models. 

2010s - End of the Line

Carnegie diorama as part of Safari's booth at the 2012 NY Toy Fair. Image from Safari's Facebook page.

Only five more models in 1:40 scale would be released between the second line refresh and its 2015 cancellation. Three of those five were remakes or updates of previously released species. The majority of new species were in a variety of other scales, and the internal coherence of the Carnegie Collection as a single unified line with a well-defined scale or set of scales, following in the footsteps of Invicta, was essentially broken. Many of the new models were absolutely beautiful, among Forest Rogers' best sculpting work, with equally gorgeous paint jobs despite being only partially painted - the Carnotaurus, Miragaia, Ichthyosaurus, and Tylosaurus, all released during the line's final five years, are still some of the best prehistoric animal models ever made. But while individually great pieces, they don't quite fit in with the rest of the line, each of them coming in their own scales, and all being about the same size.

The Carnegie lineup in 2013, shortly before the cancellation of the line.  Image from Safari's Facebook page.

This loss of scale consistency, combined with a reduction in the number of models released (from 2-3 per year down to 1 per year), signaled the end of the Carnegie Collection. After one last remake of the evergreen Tyrannosaurus to commemorate the line's 25th anniversary in 2014, Carnegie put out one more model - a 1:10 scale remake of Velociraptor, which came a year later than previously expected, presumably to fill the hole in the 2015 release schedule created by an impending cancellation of the line. In March of 2015, Safari published a press release announcing that it had decided to end its 28 year partnership with the Carnegie Museum of Natural History.

The reasons for the line's cancellation are not completely known, but it seems that Safari Ltd. had become discontented with the rather strict contract with the Carnegie. Sources close to the issue have reported that the Carnegie had included a clause in the contract barring Safari from producing any of its own prehistoric mammal models (presumably added around the time Safari began making its own line of dinosaur models, Wild Safari, in the mid-1990s). Carnegie exercised their rights under this clause when Safari released a wave of prehistoric mammals in 2004, ending that sub-line. This seems particularly strange considering that the Carnegie included very few prehistoric mammals in its own line, and none were released after the issue came up. The only explanation I can think of is the issue of brand confusion - Carnegie and Wild Safari toys are similar and are sold together under the same brand, even using the same tag style in later years. It could be that the people at the museum were concerned about quality control and having the museum name attached to models they did not have an opportunity to scrutinize, especially considering the primary scientific consultant at that time was an expert in prehistoric mammals. Sources also claim that during renegotiation of the contract between Carnegie and Safari, the former wanted the latter to end the Wild Safari dinosaur line entirely. It was at this point that Safari terminated the contract rather than renegotiate.

“We have thoroughly enjoyed working with Carnegie, so this was a difficult decision,” said Alexandre Pariente, CEO, Safari, Ltd. “We are proud of the value created through this cooperative effort over the years for our Carnegie Dinosaurs line. We took our time and carefully analyzed Safari’s direction and ultimately concluded that Carnegie and Safari have divergent interests and it made sense for us to part ways.” --Playthings

Rumors circulated that the Carnegie Museum would partner with a different company and continue the Carnegie Collection; alternately, some speculated that Safari was looking to partner with a different museum. None of that ever materialized. Forest Rogers expressed interest in continuing to sculpt dinosaur models, but has yet to release any for commercial production as of this writing. Safari continued to produce dinosaur models for its own Wild Safari line, and after the end of the Carnegie Collection, they and their primary dinosaur sculptor Doug Watson doubled down on both species selection (including a full stable of prehistoric mammals) and scientific accuracy, making Wild Safari a line to rival the Carnegie collection of old, even re-making many of the species that had previously appeared in the Carnegie line, though the homogeneous sizes with a wide variety of scales has continued. (Smaller models are now generally only released as part of Safari's "Toob" series). Watson has said he tries to keep scale consistent at around 1:30 for as many models as possible, but Safari also seems to consciously choose species that would all be similar in size at that scale. Ditto for the short-lived return of the Boston Museum models from Battat, which returned under the Terra brand, excluding all of the very small and very large species. 

The 2020s and Beyond

So far, no toy company has truly stepped up to claim the mantle passed down from Invicta to Carnegie (and briefly Battat), of a museum-quality dinosaur model line aimed at both kids and collectors, with a consistent scale aimed at educating kids about the vast diversity, not just in form but also size, found in the Age of the Dinosaurs. A few companies seem to be trying, in fits and starts - CollectA creates models very much in the Wild Safari mold, with a good species diversity but lack of any consistent scale. Same for PNSO, which has sculpting to rival any of the better established companies, but almost no concern for scale at all. Vitae has created Carnegie- or Battat-like models with great detail at a variety of sizes, in a more consistent (though not completely consistent) scale, but after a solid first set of figures in 2018, their future releases seem to be in limbo. Hopefully they will not go the way of Battat's Boston Museum Collection, which put out two sets of absolutely stellar dinosaur models in the mid-1990s before being cancelled, only to be revived and cancelled again 20 years later.

While most of the Carnegie models were readily available during and after the time of the line's cancellation, they have become increasingly hard to get. The extremely mass-produced models of the early and mid 1990s are common, but the later models command a high premium on eBay, and many of the original 1980s era models are simply unavailable except to those patient enough to check the auction site regularly or buy and trade in collector groups. Demand for these classic models continues to increase, while supply dwindles.

--By TerribleDactyl

The Carnegie Collection Timeline

Note: This timeline is based on my own research, talking to other collectors, and interviews with people involved in the creation of the Carnegie Collection line. It is still mostly conjectural so take it with a grain of salt!

pre-1986 - Carrol Carmen, director of the Carnegie Museum of Natural History (CMNH) gift shop, organizes the effort to create a line of scientifically accurate dinosaur figurines for the museum to sell. After presumably a planning stage involving other museum staff, she contacts Bernie Rubel, president of Safari Ltd., about producing the line.
1986 - Contract signed between The Carnegie and Safari Ltd. on October 1, 1986. The CMNH hires a sculptor to create the first set of dinosaur figures. CMNH paleontologist Mary Dawson serves as science consultant and works with Safari Ltd. and the sculptor to choose which species will be included in the line, and to vet the sculpts for accuracy.
1987 - Forest Rogers is hired by the first sculptor to create sculpts for the figures, while the primary sculptor would design the shipping boxes (apparently the complexity of creating and shipping wax for production required two artists). The first set of wax sculpts melts, and Rogers switches to polymer clay and re-sculpts all models, at which point she becomes the sole sculptor. Polylcay sculpts are sent to a casting company for replication in resin (see details on the Production page). Resin blanks are sent to the Bully factory in West Germany for tooling / mold creation.
1988 - Bullyland produces a run of 10-12 figures as a test for their new molds - these are the "dull wash" rubbery figures. The molds are then sent to the Schleich/Safari factory in China for full production. Rogers' painted prototypes are sent to Schleich for photography and as reference for creating the first full production run. The dull wash figures are shipped to at least the US where they are sold at various museum/science expo gift shops (e.g. the St. Louis Science Expo). The earliest report of dull wash figures for sale in the US - September 1988.
1989 - The first Schleich/Safari models are released in colors closer to Rogers' prototypes. Safari Ltd. seems to consider 1989 the true year of release for the Carnegie Collection. Later, a set of more monochrome, high-contrast models in matte paint is produced and featured in 1990 catalogs. Some of these "catalog versions" are literally black and white versions of the prototype colors, though most are simply matte repaints with simplified or less blended colors.
1990 - Safari begins to stand on their own as an animal replica manufacturer, introducing several more lines which are likewise still distributed by Schleich in Europe. 
1991 - Safari modifies the paint schemes of several Carnegie dinosaurs to feature brighter primary colors, less paint blending, and an overall more child-friendly tone. This represents a move away from the more earth-tones and painterly colors inspired by mid-20th century paleoart. A second set of molds ("mold group 2") is made for the more popular models to double production and help meet additional demand. This second mold group has the phrase "made in China" removed from their info stamps, suggesting Safari is now using a factory elsewhere to produce them.
1993 - Safari ends their partnership with Schleich. Schleich ceases to distribute the Carnegie Collection under its own brand, and begins development of their own line of dinosaur models - Replica-Saurus.
1996 - The Carnegie line undergoes a full refresh. All pre-1991 molds are retired. New molds are made for select pre-1991 models, but several are retired permanently. All models from this point forward are cast in color vinyl instead of being fully painted over gray plastic - only secondary colors are now painted, with the base color being bare plastic.
1999 - A 10th Anniversary Edition of Tyrannosaurus is created to celebrate the anniversary of the line, corresponding with the actual wide release of the originals. The new T. rex is more scientifically up to date than the original, but retailers insist that Safari keep both in production as the original is an extremely good seller.
2007 - A second line refresh. This one is not as extensive as the 1997 refresh, as only a few old models receive new molds, and new molds would be released on a staggered basis for some through 2012. However, most older models receive new paint schemes that return to the kinds of blended earth tones and extensive washes that characterized the 1980s era figures, moving them away from the gaudy colors of the 1990s.
2015 - The contract between The Carnegie and Safari is terminated. No new model is created for this year - instead, the only model released is a new Velociraptor that had originally been slated for release in 2014, but was pushed back at the last minute.