Released in 1978 the Invicta Pteranodon has a very vintage look to it, almost like something out of a Ray Harryhausen picture. Unlike Harryhausen’s stop motion marvels this Pteranodon doesn’t have bat wings, which is a relief. But much like bats, we know that pterosaurs adopted a similar posture when on all fours, with the wings folded and tucked back. This model is sprawled out awkwardly on all fours, similar to the scene in “The Valley of Gwangi” where the cowboys wrestle a grounded Pteranodon (speaking of Harryhausen). It’s also a bit similar to the Carnegie model which has a similar posture. My guess is that any actual pterosaur in this posture would be having a bad day but it does allow the model to be played with as if it were in flight. You know, for those of us who actually treat these things like toys.
Aside from the posture, and a lack of pycnofibers the model is reasonably accurate for the time. Where the propatagium stretches from the shoulder to the fingers the little pteroid bone appears absent. The main wing membrane (brachiopatagium) stretches off from an elongate fourth digit and meets the ankles. From the inside of the ankle to the tail stretches the uropatagium. This wing configuration is in keeping with our modern understanding of pterosaur anatomy, even though at the time of production the exact placement of the wing membranes was as far as I know, still under debate. The bill appears a bit too straight and dagger-like where it should have a slight upward curve.
The model overall has a very delicate quality. The model is as lightweight and thin as you would expect a pterosaur model should be, with the wing membranes so thin you can actually bend them and shine a light through them. The wings still look strong though, not like the easily torn wings of so many B-movie pterosaurs. They’re sculpted with numerous folds and furrows that give them the stiff, fibrous appearance they would have had in life. The monochrome version of the figure is orange in color, which I actually like. I actually don’t know what color the painted version is and a Google search only yields one crude image, it appears to be white with a black head. If this is the color of the painted version, it’s a bit unconventional for a pterosaur model but a nice choice.
This Pteranodon in particular has to be one of my favorite Invicta models, and pterosaur models in general. It’s a small and modest model but very well made and elegant. It truly is a testament to the company that they were able to make such a stellar model, all while using a minimum amount of material in order to properly convey just how built for the skies these animals were. I can think of few other models that succeed in this regard. If you’re a pterosaur collector this model is a must have and luckily, still quite affordable. On eBay this fellow can be found anywhere on the range of $15-30 U.S. dollars.
Before I sign off I would like to add a quick note regarding my next review, it will be my 50th! I’ve been reviewing now on this blog for four years and I didn’t think I could get away with reviewing just any old model (if there is such a thing) so stay tuned for something special.