Author Archives: Suspsy

Pteranodon (Wild Safari by Safari Ltd.)

It was once thought that there were two distinct species of the famous Pteranodon. P. longiceps is the “standard” one with a knife-shaped crest, while P. sternbergi was larger and had a more ornate, upright crest. However, a 2010 study concluded that P. sternbergi was distinct enough to be a distinct genus, Geosternbergia sternbergi.

This figure, released by Safari in 1999, is clearly a Geosternbergia, but I’ll refer to it as a Pteranodon, as that’s what it was intended to be at the time (Safari’s Tapejara figure has the same issue). At 8 cm in length and a maximum wingspan of 18 cm, it’s small compared to more recent pterosaur figures. The main colour is brownish-orange with light orange for the brachiopatagium, a greenish-yellow bill, and bright yellow eyes ringed in black.

This Pteranodon features the most important details of any pterosaur figure: wrinkled, leathery wings and a body covered in pycnofibres. The crest has the correct shape, but the bill could certainly stand to be longer. The feet and the first three fingers on each arm are little more than notches, and the extended fourth digits are ridiculously thick. On top of that, the head on mine is permanently warped to the right, and treating it to boiling water has not proved successful. If that were all there was to this toy, it’d be easy to write off.

But as you can see from the photos, this Pteranodon figure has poseable wings! Bendable rods inside the arms allow you to raise, lower, fold, expand, and tilt the wings to your content. Needless to say, this is quite a fun gimmick, one that I would have dearly loved fiddling with as a youngster. And I love fiddling with it now. Indeed, I think it would be great if Safari or CollectA or some other company revisited this gimmick.

And so, while the Safari Pteranodon (or Geosternbergia, if you prefer) isn’t going to win any awards for meticulous sculpting detail, it’s definitely one of the most fun pterosaur figures I’ve come across in my collecting. Recommended.

Ampelosaurus (Age of the Dinosaurs by PNSO)

Ampelosaurus was a relatively small sauropod that lived in Europe during the Late Cretaceous. To protect itself against predators, this titanosaur’s back was covered in an impressive array of armoured osteoderms.

Meet Lans, the little Ampelosaurus from PNSO. He measures about 9.5 cm long, although he’d be longer if his tail were held out straight behind him instead of curling fluidly to the left. His head is held high and his left front leg is in mid-step. Like so many other PNSO miniatures, he looks like he’s out taking a casual walk without any fear or concern, which is probably what a lot of herbivorous dinosaurs really did spend most of their lives doing.

The upper half of Lans’ body is coloured dark green while the lower half is light brown. Dark brown is used for the horizontal stripes on his sides and to accentuate the many wrinkles on his body. Finally, his tiny eyes are black. For a sauropod figure, this is reasonably colourful.

The most distinctive feature about Lans is, of course, his armour. A tapering row of triangular osteoderms runs from the base of his neck to above his hips and his entire back is covered in round plates. The rest of his body features thick wrinkles. His small head has a typical titanosaur shape and his feet are correctly shaped. My only criticisms are that his neck looks a little too short and his body is too wide and flattened.

Overall, Lans the Ampelosaurus is yet another pleasing and unique little figure from PNSO. Indeed, to my knowledge, the only other existing toy of this genus is the one from CollectA, which is also quite good. It’ll certainly be interesting to see what PNSO has in store for us dinosaur collectors in the future. Thanks go out once again to them for this and many other miniatures. 🙂

Kentrosaurus (Age of the Dinosaurs by PNSO)

As a hungry allosaur appears from the brush, Sethi abandons his breakfast and adopts a fighting stance. The predator moves in quickly, but Sethi responds by swinging his great tail in a full arc. The swooshing sound and flashing spikes give the allosaur pause, but then it resumes its advance. Sethi swings his tail again and this time, one of his spikes narrowly misses the theropod’s eye. Dissuaded, the allosaur slinks off in search of easier prey and Sethi quietly resumes grazing.

Kentrosaurus needs little introduction, as it is probably the second most popular stegosaur after mighty Stegosaurus itself. PNSO’s miniature rendition of this prickly customer, affectionately named Sethi, measures about 7.5 cm long. He is sculpted in an alert stance with his head turned sharply to the left, his left front leg raised, and his tail pulled back to the right, cocked and ready to deal a swift and painful blow.

The colour on Sethi’s body goes from olive green to sandy yellow, with grey spots. A white stripe runs horizontally from his neck to about halfway down his tail on both his sides. His eyes are orange and black. Finally, the plates on his back are purple while the spikes on his tail go from olive green to pale orange at the tips. Purple is a colour that’s seldom employed on “serious” dinosaur figures, so I think it’s very welcome here.

Sethi’s skin is covered in folds and wrinkles as well as small, oval-shaped osteoderms. Many creases are to be found on his plates and spikes. But while he is instantly recognizable as a Kentrosaurus, litte Sethi does have a number of anatomical errors. His front feet appear to have only three toes each. The spikes jutting out from his shoulders should be as long as the ones on his tail. The pair of spikes at the end of his tail should be angled further down, almost parallel to the tail tip. And finally, while this isn’t an inaccuracy per se, I would have liked it more if both the plates and the spikes were the same colour.

Overall, Sethi the Kentrosaurus is yet another impressive and endearing PNSO miniature, albeit with some minor scientific flaws. Thanks go out to PNSO for this figure!