Quetzalcoatlus (Carnegie Collection by Safari Ltd)

Last time I had a stab at reviewing a Carnegie Collection pterosaur (the Pteranodon), I didn’t have much nice to say about its aesthetic appearance. One might say I was downright rude. Bearing in mind that the Pteranodon was an early release, it would be fair for us to expect some significant improvements by the mid-nineties when the next Carnegie pterosaur was released. So, here is the Quetzalcoatlus, the most recently released pterosaur in the line (1998) – but has the quality progressed? Well, it has I suppose, but when it comes to pterosaurs, Safari Ltd can’t seem to help flailing around that ugly stick.

Quetzalcoatlus carnegie collection safaril ltd

The most obvious difference between this figure and the Pteranodon is the striking wingspan. The animal is posed in a flying position so the arms and main wing membranes are spread out: they are  gently arched and sweep backwards. The membranes join at the knee and are rather narrow, and as no pteroid bone has been sculpted in the wing, the propatagium is also narrow. The fingers and toes are crudely sculpted and barely discernible.

Quetzalcoatlus carnegie collection safaril ltd

The body and neck have a textured surface indicative of fur or fuzz, whereas the wing membranes are smooth. The head is a bit of an eyesore but this is mainly due to the bulbous tongue that protrudes from the wide open beak, like a fat slug trying to escape. This is far too large and adds an uncomfortable goofy look to an otherwise quite gracile figure. For such a delicate animal, a closed beak would probably have worked better. There is a short triangular crest at the back of the head, which doesn’t seem to match the more rectangular-shaped crest I’ve seen depicted in recent restorations of Quetzalcoatlus.

Quetzalcoatlus carnegie collection safaril ltd

There are two paint versions of this toy. The one I’m reviewing here is sort of caramel brown or burnt umber, with hues of roasted pumpkin and hot paprika on the wings and subtle shades of waterlily and fuchsia on the head and mouth. The other version is grey.

Quetzalcoatlus carnegie collection safaril ltd

It has been 15 years since Safari Ltd last produced a new pterosaur figure for their Carnegie Collection, so I think we are just about due another one. Of the two existing pterosaurs in the line, this one is certainly the best. The Quetzalcoatlus is still in production and therefore widely available. You can get it from Safari Ltd, Amazon.com here, or eBay here

12 Responses to Quetzalcoatlus (Carnegie Collection by Safari Ltd)

  1. Hi there! I am a mom of two prehistoric-life obsessed six-year-old twin boys. They are amassing a rather large collection of Safari Ltd. animal models. Safari has frustratingly labeled one of the pterosaurs merely as “Pterosaur” (it is copyright 2006, if that helps). The boys are hounding me to help them find out exactly which pterosaur this one is supposed to be. I’m hoping that you may be able to help me answer them? My google searches have been fruitless.

    Many thanks!!

  2. having aquired this figure-it isnt impressive compared to the other schleich quetzalcoatlus -even at the time the schleich quetzalcoatlus felt bigger and better and the new and old version are far more bigger as well for scale -the 1 thing carnegie does interestingly is 2 versions of the same figure which is interesting and companies should try doing this for collectors maybe-
    the wild safari pterosaurs are better-

  3. I have an older one also. The tongue doesnt look any different on mine, but I do like the way the older one’s wings were painted.

  4. The proportions of this toy are extremely different from the modern image of Quetzalcoatlus, as reconstructed by paleoartists such as Mark Witton. You wouldn’t even guess they were supposed to be the same animal, really.

  5. It hasn’t been 15 years since SAFARI produced a pterosaur figure, even it if has been that long since the last Carnegie one…

    And people call me a pedant…

  6. I have the original gray colored one and the sculpt is also better than this. For one thing the tongue is much smaller. The paint application is also much more intricate. I can email you a photo to include if you’d like.

  7. Honestly though it is a definite improvement around the Pteranodon Carnegie is a nice figure but very small and I’m going to fool surfers I’ll take the Tapejara Rhamphorhynchus and Safari for me the best to date pterosaurs

  8. I’m rather surprised by this one. It seems quite unlike anything else sculpted by Forest Rogers, though I suppose there is its age to take into account.

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