Has anyone bought the big, plastic mountain by itself? Without and figures attached or anything. I´d love to buy it and arrange a 1:40 collection on it.
I was able to purchase one alone (without the figures) through my local natural history museum for $100 without any sort of mark-up. I think it is actually the Safari Ltd. display and not the Carnegie Mt. It is made of much thinner vinyl than the original Carnegie mountain.
I simply got the contact information of the museum gift shop's manager. She in turn put me in contact with the Safari rep. that caters to the museum. Long story short, I made my wishes known, and ended up buying the Safari Mt. through the museum's gift shop - upon special request.
This is what I would suggest doing. Being polite and patient with all these folks - including the very gracious Safari Ltd. rep - helped a lot. I believe it also helped to mention that I was a member of the museum...
I have two - one is full with the first 10 years worth of dinos, the second is about half-full with the second decade's worth. One I bought from an online company called ABoyd. I tried to find their website but couldn't so it seems they're not in business anymore. Last time I did look at their site, I didn't see the mountain available anymore so it's possible that would have been a dead end anyway. I think it cost $120 with shipping, but that was 5 years ago so I can only guess. The second one I bought from the classifieds section of this board from another collector. I would suggest trying there or eBay. I can't imagine why the shipping is high on the above auction. The mountains do need a big box but they are light as a feather.
Incidentally, does anyone have a picture of the (purportedly short-lived) volcano display that is mentioned in the wikipedia article for the Carnegie Collection? I've never seen a reference to it anywhere but there, and I realize wikipedia is not the most reliable source. However, if it ever did exist I would like to see what it looked like.