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.
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.
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.
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.
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