Category Archives: pterosaur

Pteranodon (Deluxe by CollectA)

Review and photographs by Cloud the Dinosaur King, edited by Suspsy

For my first review on the Dinosaur Toy Blog, I will be covering a somewhat underrated figure: the CollectA Deluxe Pteranodon.

Facts about this creature: Pteranodon, which means “toothless wing” is a genus of pteradactyloid pterosaur that lived in what is now the central United States during the Late Cretaceous period about 86 to 84.5 million years ago. It had a wingspan of 20 feet and weighed about 25 pounds. Pteranodon is probably one of the most iconic pterosaurs, the “Pterodactyl” of our childhood. Males had a huge crest behind their heads, while females had a crest about 1/3 of that size. They flew above the Western Interior Sea over giant mosasaurs and plesiosaurs. And now, without further ado, let’s get into the review.

At first glance: In my opinion, this is a pretty good figure at first glance and I think it’s superior to the older CollectA Pteranodon. I think the crest is a lot better, more flattened as opposed to carrot-shaped. But let’s take a closer look at this figure. First of all, this is not in 1:40 scale as it is advertised. If you get the box with it, the little information card says Pteranodon had a wingspan of 40 feet, but it really had a wingspan of only 20 feet, which puts this figure at about 1:20 scale. The wingspan is about 30 cm.

Scientific accuracy: This figure isn’t the most accurate Pteranodon figure. For one thing, it only has pycnofibers on its chest and throat. A real Pteranodon probably had them elsewhere on its body, not just in one confined area. The wings are the correct length, but they should not be as pointy as they are; they should be much more rounded. Also, there should be a steep drop in the wing membrane about 3/4 of the way towards the main body. As well, there are three joints to the wing finger instead of four. I also don’t like how transparent the wings are. The legs are folded up under the body and are too large. It also has five toes on each foot as opposed to four, and they are also longer than they are supposed to be. The tail appears to be too thick, but it is the correct length. Finally, the beak is curved, but the lower jaw on mine (and of a lot of other people’s) is warped upwards.

Overall: I think this is a pretty cool figure. If you like big, fairly accurate pterosaurs, than this figure is for you. It’s not the most accurate Pteranodon figure out there, but it’s pretty good.

This has been my first review on the Dinosaur Toy Blog. I hope you all enjoy it and other reviews to come.

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.

Mighty Dinosaurs (Creator by Lego)

“Season’s Greetings, fellow dinosaur lovers! Yes, it is I, Dr. Bella Bricking, enjoying another holiday season! And where would I be without my trusty and beloved companion, Beth Buildit?”

“I can’t believe I let you talk me into wearing this hat, Doc.”

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“Now, now, no humbugs, Beth! We’ve got a big job ahead of us! Today we’ll be reviewing Lego Creator set 31058, Mighty Dinosaurs! New for 2017, this 174 piece set is quite similar to Prehistoric Hunters in that it contains instructions for three different builds! Ready, Beth?”

“Sure. Let’s jingle bell rock, Doc.”

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“As you can see, this set contains pieces in medium green, dark green, beige, light grey, dark grey, black, and white. There are also some translucent orange pieces used as eyes, a couple of red Technic pins, and three dark red pieces. Ready for the next one, Beth!”

“Coming, coming.”

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“And here’s our first build! Lego refers to it as a “Pterodactyl,” but you and I both know full well that that’s an all too common misnomer, Beth! No, my paleontological training tells me that this is that most famous of pterosaurs, Pteranodon!”

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“And not just any old Pteranodon, Doc! Check out how small that head crest is! I don’t know if Lego intended this or not, but I think we have the first ever female Pteranodon toy! Sweet!”

“Indeed, Beth, how delightful! Now, from the tip of its bill to the end of its tail, this Pteranodon measures 18.5 cm long and its wingspan is 26 cm. Now, being a relatively simple Lego build, it would be wrong to say that this is a scientifically accurate animal. The wings are too short and the blocky legs end in enormous talons. As well, the Pteranodon‘s hands have claws sticking out at both ends!”

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“That’s due to the nature of Creator sets, Doc. Lots of pieces end up doing double or triple duty. Just look at how poseable our girl is! Her neck, legs, and tail are ball-jointed and each of her wings has two ball joints and a hinge joint. She can be put in a wide variety of walking or flying poses. Definitely a fun toy!”

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“I concur, Beth! Very well, let’s dismantle this Pteranodon and begin our next build!”

*sigh* “We’re gonna need a good long rest after this review!”

“Careful where you step, Beth!”

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“And there it is, Doc. Our second build is a Triceratops!”

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“Unmistakably so, Beth. This blocky representation of the iconic three-horned lizard measures 19 cm long with its tail fully extended. Like the Pteranodon, it boasts impressive articulation, with ball joints at the head, shoulders, hips, and two sections of the tail. The horns are large and intimidating. And how nice that the frill features epoccipitals!”

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“Brow horns aren’t quite right though, Doc. In real life, they’d be curving in the other direction. You can rotate these horn pieces around, but it doesn’t look very good.”

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“That’s true, Beth, but as an alternative solution, you could conceive of this as a juvenile specimen, still in the process of growing its horns. Now then, take one last look at the Triceratops before we move on to our third build.”

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“Hey Doc, have you noticed how I seem to be doing all the heavy lifting during these builds?”

“And you do it wonderfully, my dear Beth. Now, if you’re finished with that tail, please fetch me another one of these tooth pieces.”

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“Check out this Tyrannosaurus rex, folks! This bad boy has the most steps and uses all 175 pieces in the set. From nose to tail tip, it measures 27 cm long and stands around 10 cm tall at the hips. And it comes with part of a large rib cage. Must’ve been a good meal.”

“What a ferocious-looking theropod, Beth! It features a mouth full of sharp teeth, curved claws on its hands and feet, and is relatively streamlined for a brick-built Lego dinosaur. Granted, its arms are too large and the hind claws ought to be smaller and less blade-like, but everyone from the youngest enthusiast to the most esteemed paleontologists like myself can immediately recognize this as the tyrant lizard. Oh, and it features forward-facing eyes and non-pronated wrists!”

“And again, Doc, the articulation on this toy rocks. The head, shoulders, hips, feet, and first two sections of tail are ball-jointed and the lower jaw, neck, wrists, tail tip, and middle toes are hinged. The mouth can open extremely wide and the stiff hinged toes give good stability to action poses. Oh, and check this out! If you’ve got some extra slope pieces, you can give this T. rex some feathers!”

My, my, how very creative, Beth! But I’m afraid it’s time once again to dismantle this build and start anew!”

“Come again, Doc? You said at the start that this set only comes with instructions for three builds!”

“Ah, but Lego has graciously provided the instructions for a fourth build on their website! Come, come, let’s see what it is!”

“Huh, how about that? Looks like a Brachiosaurus to me, Doc. Well okay, it’s generic to the point where it could pass for a lot of long necks, but Brachiosaurus is still the big star in the public’s mind, so I’m gonna stick with that.”

“I agree with your hypothesis, Beth. Like the Triceratops, this sauropod is possibly just a youngster, as it’s relatively small. Still, it can raise its head to a height of slightly more than 14 cm or stretch itself out to a length of 26 cm.”

“Sure is well articulated, Doc! The head and neck have two ball joints and a hinge joint, the tail has two ball joints, and there are ball joints at the shoulders and hips. And granted, the eyes stick out on either side and the feet are blocky, but overall, this little fellow still looks pretty organic and fluid for a Legosaur.”

“Fine observations, Beth. Now tell me, how do you think Mighty Dinosaurs compares to Prehistoric Hunters?”

“Well, Lego’s constantly churning out new pieces and coming up with new building techniques, so Mighty Dinosaurs definitely beats out its 2012 predecessor. All four builds look smoother and less blocky. And while the Triceratops is kinda limited in terms of poses, the Pteranodon, the T. rex, and the Brachiosaurus have awesome articulation that makes them a ton of fun to play with. Bottom line, they’re both great kits that many dinosaur fans and any Lego fan would love. Prehistoric Hunters has long been retired, but Mighty Dinosaurs is brand spanking new, retails for only $17.99 Canadian, and available in toy stores everywhere. And don’t forget that you can always ditch the instructions and come up with your own creations! A great Christmas gift, folks!”

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“And on that note, fellow dinosaur lovers, Beth and I wish you the happiest of holidays and all the best for 2017. Be brave, be strong, be active, be true, and above all else, be kind. Thank you.”

“Here’s to that, Doc. Be awesome to each other and party on!”