Dsungaripterus is a genus of pterosaur that lived during the early Cretaceous in China. With its upturned beak and crest it has a distinctive appearance. The body was robustly built, and it is thought that this pterosaur spent most of its time on the ground, using its uniquely adapted beak to pry prey from rocky crevasses or sandy mudflats. It lacked teeth at the tip of the beak and those teeth that it did have, further back, were flattened, indicating that they were likely used to crush mollusk shells.
Like any pterosaur that isn’t Pteranodon, Dimorphodon, or Quetzalcoatlus, it has been largely ignored by toy manufacturers. Only a few small figures by Kaiyodo, Colorata, and COG Ltd. exist and while they’re all beautiful figures none of them are particularly easy to acquire. Now Mattel has produced their own take on this obscure pterosaur. But with an iffy track record with pterosaur figures, what can we expect from Mattel’s offering?
The Mattel Dsungaripterus is part of their smaller scale line, this time rebranded as the Ferocious Pack. It’s articulated but lacks action features or sound gimmicks. From beak to tail it measures 4.5” and it has an 8” wingspan. The actual animal had a 9.8’ wingspan which puts this toy at about 1/15 in scale.
Despite having some toy-like proportions this toy scores a lot of points in the accuracy department. The head sculpt is faithful to the remains we have for Dsungaripterus with a small, pointed crest at the base of the skull and rounded, laterally compressed crest running about halfway down the beak. The beak itself is slightly upturned and even lacks teeth in its tip. Those teeth that are present are very small, avoiding the goofy appearance that plagues figures like the Mattel Rhamphorhynchus.
The rest of the body is pretty good too. The entirety of the figure is covered in nicely detailed pycnofibers, aside from the scaly fingers and toes. Four fingers are present on each wing with the fourth elongated to support the wing membrane. The pteroid bone, absent in the Mattel Quetzalcoatlus, is present here on the wrist. Four toes are present on the feet and the tail is appropriately short with a membrane attaching it to the legs, although the legs are articulated so it’s not really attached but it gives the illusion that it is. I’m no pterosaur expert but I really see nothing worth complaining about here, this might be Mattel’s most accurate pterosaur.
The mouth can open and close and the head and neck can swivel up and down and rotate completely around. A hatch along the back hides the DNA scan code but is well integrated into the toy. The wings are turned upwards at their tips, and I imagine this is to make it so that the figure takes up less space within its packaging on the store shelf. The wings can flap up and down and rotate around, and the legs can swivel forward and back.
The paintjob might be the worst aspect of this toy. It is mostly an off-putting mustard yellow color although the secondary colors and patterns work alright. The cranium and dorsal surface of the neck and back are chocolate brown. The crest on the base of the skull is red and there is a splash of sparkling blue paint over the eyes and running down the crest.
The eyes are yellow with round, black pupils, and the lower jaw is a creamy white color. The teeth are white, and the tongue is pink. Overall, you’re getting 7 colors on this little toy which is pretty generous. I just don’t like the mustard yellow and would have liked to have seen more color elsewhere, like on the wings. I’ll be keeping an eye out for better repaints of this toy in the future.
Overall, I think this is an exceptional little pterosaur from Mattel and easily their best pterosaur in this size range. For me, it was the only Ferocious Pack figure from this wave even worth getting. It’s well executed, sufficiently accurate, and aesthetically pleasing enough that I think anyone with a particular love for pterosaurs will appreciate it. The Mattel Dsungaripterus is currently available in stores and retails for $7.99. Online it’s selling for about three times that price.