Rhamphorhynchus (Starlux)

Review and photographs by Indohyus, edited by Suspsy

Once again I find myself in the origins of mass-produced dinosaur toys as I review another Starlux figure. Today I look at the pterodactyloid Rhamphorhynchus. Hailing from the Jurassic limestone of Solnhofen, Germany, it is among the oldest species to have been identified as an ancient reptile (though it was thought to have been a bird until teeth were found). First discovered in 1825, it has become well known across the world, and has a few toy variations. So naturally, this iconic creature was considered for the first toy line.

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On to the figure itself! At 2.9” high (3.2” if you include the base) and 2.4” wide, it is close to being in scale with more modern lines, if just a little big. As scientists had yet to discover that pterosaurs could walk in a quadrupedal manner, Rhamphorhynchus is naturally in a flight position, supported by its base. It would have been better to have a stylized tree or rock in my opinion, but this is a 30-year old figure, so this may have been the only option. It’s mostly painted in a vibrant red with lighter shades for the lower wings. I quite like it.

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On to accuracy. In spite of it being an older figure, this should be good, as complete specimens have been found in Solnhofen, including the original specimen in 1825. It does fairly well, as it is an appropriately slim animal, with the bone structure of the wings correctly mapped out and the wing membranes correctly placed. There are a few inaccuracies though, such as the head being quite generic and lacking the bizarre teeth that make this species stand out. The joints on the wing finger are too obvious and not straight enough in comparison to the fossils, and it doesn’t appear to have quite enough skin on the wing membrane. The distinctive diamond tail vane is present, but is unnaturally bent backwards in order to attach to the base, which is a shame as it should be more prevalent.

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Overall, it isn’t a bad little figure, but with time has come better models, leaving this one a little overshadowed. However, I don’t regret owning it in the least, and would recommend it for collectors of retro dinos, pterosaurs, or just those who like the look. It pops up on eBay frequently, so is fairly easy to find. Just be careful with it, as age and weaker plastics may lead to breakages.

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