Tag Archives: Pteranodon

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!”

Pteranodon (CollectA)

Pteranodon is not only the most famous pterosaur, but also the best known. More than 1,000 fossil specimens have been uncovered, including both male and female individuals. Males were larger and possessed the familiar blade-shaped crests while females were smaller, had short, rounded crests, and wider hips for laying eggs. This means, sadly, that every single Pteranodon toy ever made is a male. Someone needs to give us a female!

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Anyway, here is CollectA’s Standard class Pteranodon figure, released all the way back in 2006 when the company was called Procon. It’s a small figure at only 9 cm long with a wingspan of 15.5 cm. It’s sculpted in what I like to call the “M-bird” pose, with its wings open and gently curving downwards. Personally, I much prefer my pterosaurs in a standing pose with the wings folded, but I know others will enjoy swooshing this little fellow through the air.

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The main colours on this toy are light orange and medium brown with dark brown patches on the wingtips and upper bill, black for the eyes and claws, and a red mouth. The wings have a wrinkled leathery texture while the main body features minimal but visible pycnofibers. The upper bill is slightly curved downwards, but that’s probably due to warping. The crest is too chunky and covered with wrinkles, which was unlikely to be the case in real life. It kind of looks like a carrot! The wing elements are fairly accurate though, and the hind limbs are attached.

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Despite the fact that this Pteranodon hails from CollectA’s earliest year, when their prehistoric toys were more lamentable than laudable, it’s actually decent. It’s not going to make anyone’s mouth water, but it’s reasonably well-sculpted and accurate. Recommended for those looking to bolster their pterosaur ranks.

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Pteranodon (Tyco)

A couple days ago I received a package in the mail. I could start off a lot of reviews this way but inside this package was something special, an old friend I hadn’t seen in over 20 years. This package might as well have been a time capsule. I couldn’t unwrap the layers of news paper and plastic fast enough and once I had it my hands I was instantly transported back to my childhood. Nostalgia is a powerful thing.

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This simple toy that I was so excited to receive was the Tyco Pteranodon from 1987. This was my absolute favorite toy pterosaur when I was growing up. This toy used to soar with beauty and grace above my bedroom, down the stairs, through the living room and everywhere in-between. Now I’m in my 30’s and it’s great to see it flying around my house again.

Alright, so clearly this is a toy that I have nostalgia for. But how does it stack up against the plethora of other Pteranodon toys put out in plastic? Given its age I would say surprisingly well. And I’m trying not to be biased here.

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Unlike my previously reviewed Kenner Pteranodon this toy is not only a fun action figure but a beautiful rendition of the flying reptile. Much like the Kenner Pteranodon this toy has a flapping action that works when the button on its back is pressed. The beak also opens, and the head swivels. The wings are only hinged where they meet the body but that’s alright, this is a toy that isn’t meant to flap…it soars!

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This toy is made out of a very hard and seemingly brittle plastic. I’m sure a lot of these snapped apart when dropped but my original held up for the duration of its stay with me and this one is mostly intact save for a crack along the tail. Because of that this toy might not be as child friendly as the action figures by the likes of Kenner. But for us collectors, this is a beautifully rendered toy that was ahead of its time.

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When I say ahead of its time I don’t necessarily refer to the level of accuracy. What I mean is that this toy looks like a proper animal. Not a shrieking menace from the sky but a believable creature. There is nothing menacing about it and in this it’s quite modern in its depiction.

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There are flaws in terms of accuracy, namely the attachment site for the wings. Modern science tells us that the wings attached at the legs but this and other restorations of the time often showed the wings attaching at the hips. So although this is an inaccurate model by today’s standards, it is in keeping with what some scientists of the day thought. The pteroid bone on the wrist is also absent, and a toe is missing on each foot. The hands are correctly sculpted with three digits, the fourth being elongated in order to support the wing membrane. Shockingly it does appear that a fuzzy covering of pycnofibres has been sculpted on the toy. This is shocking because even today pterosaurs are often depicted as scaly or naked, for 1987 this is way ahead of its time.

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The color choices on this toy are quite mellow and subdued. The underside is pale green and the body a darker green and brown which blend into each other nicely. The wings are mostly green with a brown patch along the edges. The head and crest are brown and a brown streak runs down the green back. The eyes are those beautiful shiny beads that Tyco is renowned for and bring a great deal of life to the toy. There are some things that detract from its realism however. The mechanisms that allow the beak to open and head to swivel are quite noticeable and on the underside there are three visible screw holes. At least the screw holes are on the underside though.

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This is a toy that I highly recommend to Pterosaur collectors, and those with an appreciation for older vintage toys. It may not measure up to more recently produced action figures in terms of fun but in beauty and simplicity it cannot be beat. The Tyco Pteranodon is still fairly easy to find and quite affordable on eBay.