Shrieking out of the sky and swooping in from of 1993 comes the “Jurassic Park” series 1 Pteranodon. Although Cearadactylus was featured in the book “Jurassic Park” the original movie didn’t feature pterosaurs at all. Four years after “Jurassic Park” the genus Pteranodon would only have a brief cameo in “The Lost World” but would land big roles in the following two movies. Despite its absence from the movie, due to budget or technological constraints perhaps, Pteranodon did feature prominently in the movie’s tie-in merchandise. I remember battling these winged beasts frequently in the Sega Genesis game, and then of course there is this toy we’re looking at today.
Measuring in at about 9” from wing-tip to wing-tip this Pteranodon does the genus no favors in terms of accuracy. While “Jurassic Park” may have given dinosaurs an image boost the pterosaurs have notoriously lagged behind the science in their renditions. This scaly, leathery winged interpretation could have just as easily been featured in 1933’s “King Kong.” Although the presence of hair-like pycnofibers has been known to coat pterosaurs since 1831 this toy and most other interpretations depict this as a scaly animal. There is little that the toy gets right anatomically but the pterosaur is depicted as toothless, with a short tail, and with three fingers, the fourth elongated finger used as support for the wing membrane. The fact that it’s toothless is nice; as many Pteranodon toys are sculpted with them (I’m looking at you Papo). Unlike with actual pterosaurs this toy’s wings attach at the hips, and not the legs where they should.
All of that said, this is an action figure first and foremost and there are a few action features on this toy. The feet are articulated with grasping claws that I presume should be able to hold other toys. The mouth opens when you pull back on the crest and snaps back when you let go, and the neck swivels about as well. The wings are hinged in two different places and a button on the back creates a flapping motion when pressed.
As inaccurate as it is the detail work is decent, lots of veins are sculpted on the wings and scales cover the body and head, even the beak. With piercing red eyes this is certainly a sinister looking toy. Not at all an elegant and graceful creature of the skies as most of us would prefer, but it’s fun for the children I suppose. The toy is painted light gray on the underside and a darker blue-gray on top. The head and fingers are blue. This seems to be in keeping with other Pteranodon depictions accompanying the first JP movie and it matches the colors as described for the Cearadactylus in the novel.
Ultimately this is one of the lesser toys in the original JP toyline. It is grotesque, with its ugly and outdated appearance. Although the action features are fun I really don’t like the double hinged wings which are really off-putting visually, and the toy certainly doesn’t display well on a shelf. Unlike most of the original Kenner line this toy is a bit of a dud and really only worth seeking out if you’re a JP completest or nostalgic for the toy itself.
Next up for review will be a much better and slightly older action figure of the same genus. A toy that despite its age; is decidedly more modern looking than the Kenner Pteranodon.