Dinosaur toys are one of the most popular items with any toy company and as most people know, where there are dinosaurs being represented, there are always pterosaurs right along with them. Rhamphorhynchus is one pterosaur that I specifically remember growing up with as a kid along with Pteranodon, Dimorphodon and Quetzalcoatlus. Unlike, its two larger relatives, however, poor little Rhamphorhynchus hasn’t been seriously represented in toy form. Well all that changed this past year when Wild Safari decided to pump out a beautiful representation of this well studied and interesting looking pterosaur. Rhamphorhynchus grew to about the size of a modern day eagle and lived during the late Jurassic alongside some of the biggest and most well known Sauropods. It also would have crossed paths with its distant pterodactyloid relative, Pterodactylus.
This is a very accurate model. Its tail is long and complete with a small, flat, leaf-shaped fin structure at the tip which would have aided the animal’s steering while in flight like a rudder on a plane or boat. This is something that Rhamphorhynchus and its relatives had in common but pterodactyloid pterosaurs like Pterodactylus, Pteranodon and Quetzalcoatlus lacked. Another defining feature of this little guy is the teeth. They are long and interlocking. Many scientists assume that Rhamphorhynchus was a fish eater because of this dentition, skimming the water with its jaws to scoop up tiny fish from the surface. The wings are long and pointed somewhat similar to the shape of a sea-bird’s wings and the membrane forming these wings stretches from the fourth elongated finger (like in all pterosaurs) to the base of the tail. There is a lot of variance in reconstructions of the exact formation of the wings of pterosaurs. Many times I also see membranes that end at the ankle instead (similar to bats). The legs on this model are completely free and bent underneath the body in flight. All in all this is an extremely scientific model but after seeing actual fossil remains of Rhamphorhynchus, I can’t help but notice that the head on this figure seems to be too small in proportion to the body. The elongated wing finger could also afford to be a little thicker in my opinion.
The detail on this model, as with all of Safari’s more recent releases, is superb. The wings are full of creases and folds and the body has plenty of smaller wrinkles. I would have liked to have seen some kind of light fur sculpted on the body though. Many pterosaurs are known to have had a layer of reptilian fuzz possibly as an insulation adaptation. I would expect a high-energy, sea-going kind like Rhamphorhyncus to be no exception (Ever go on a salt water boat trip? It gets cold out there!).
The colors are quite original. Its body is a very dark brown and the wings are a nice rusty red color. The same red is also used for the tail rudder and the markings going down the snout and around the eyes. The underbelly is a light tan color, the teeth are white and the eyes are yellow. The paint application isn’t completely perfect but it’s still plenty neat compared to some other older models I have seen.
I highly recommend this model to anybody interested in prehistoric based models. It’s a wonderful, well overdue representation of a classic pterosaur. Just to make it known this model is not in 1:40 scale. It is much too large. Honestly if it were to be made in 1:40 scale it would be so tiny I doubt it would even really be worth having it would be so dinky so from the standpoint of someone who normally prefers his dinosaur(and pterosaur) models to be in the same scale, I’m fine with it. It was just released in 2010 so it could be available at anyplace that sells Safari models.