I was torn. My parents told me that I could pick one dinosaur to bring home, but there were two equally-awesome Dilophosaurus to choose from. The two miniature dinosaurs stood snarling at each other, and one seemed incomplete without the other. Still, I didn’t think my salesmanship skills were going to work this time, so I picked the one that was rearing back to intimidate its rival.
That Dilophosaurus was one of the first Safari Carnegie Collection dinosaurs I brought home. Even if you don’t recognize the name, you’ve probably seen these dinosaurs. They’ve been museum gift shop staples for almost three decades, and, despite many competitors, they’ve been the must-have dinosaur models for fossil fans. I’ve collected a few, given them as gifts to paleo friends, and even used them in one of my science fair projects long, long ago, and that’s why I’m sad to hear that Safari is ending their Carnegie line.
At least the series is going out on a high note. A fully-feathered Velociraptor is the last of the Carnegie dinosaurs. And Safari may very well keep creating interesting dinosaur sculptures. Part of the switch seems to come from the company’s desire to work with institutions other than the Carnegie Museum of Natural History and branch out with their paleontological partnerships.
But I’m still sad to see the end of the Carnegie dinosaurs. There won’t be any new models in the line, and the old classics will slowly slip out of museum shops. I can only hope that they’ll be replaced be a new, vibrant, and accurate array of prehistoric creatures. Such small-scale representations of ancient life help invigorate the imagination, and I’d hate for that source of inspiration to go extinct.