Ornithocheirus (Jurassic World Dino Trackers Danger Pack by Mattel)

3.6 (19 votes)

Well, for my next magic tr…I mean 50th review, I will address Mattel’s strange choices when it comes to making figures based on my new favorite group of ancient reptiles: pterosauria. Ornithocheirus is a name that has been in paleo literature since the 1870’s, though the genus had become kind of a wastebasket taxon through the early 1900’s and onward. We have, however, always known that the animal had teeth, as it is known mostly from fragmentary jaw remains that included tooth sockets, as well as associated teeth. So my question to Mattel is this: Are you trolling us? Why do y’all give teeth to animals whose fossils clearly indicate they were tooth-less, and when a pterosaur with teeth comes along in The Big Book of Dinosaurs (and other prehistoric animals), you make the animal toothless? Why? Just why? Why are we being tortured like this?

Not gonna lie, the figure is visually impressive despite its small size. Once you see it, it’s very hard to miss even if it’s in the middle of a ton of other Jurassic World figures. It is more visually distinct than Tupandactylus, probably because that one one is brown.

The torturous toothless jaws are softened by a beautiful coloration that is also a wonderful homage to the original giant pterosaur toy, the Jurassic Park Series 2 Quetzalcoatlus, which to my dismay has not been reviewed as of this writing. This complimentary fire beak has a light warm grey body sculpt, darker warm grey paint over the wing membranes (the bottom of the wings remain unpainted), a splash of goldenrod on the tips of the wings, and a dark cool grey beak that is accentuated by the red paint on the jaws. The eye socket is red, and the eyes are yellow, leading me to believe this animal is also a Sith Lord along with the Beasts of the Mesozoic Utahceratops and Pentaceratops. I also appreciate the sculpted pycnofibers, but do not appreciate the wrong number of digits on all four limbs, the long tail, and of course, the LACK OF TEETH.

I continue to appreciate the wings being independent from the typical arm flapping mechanism most pterosaur toys have had through history. They are on a ball-joint, giving them a wide range of motion. The neck is also ball jointed. The legs are articulated but cannot move independently from one another, which seems to be a running thread for modern pterosaur figures. Reminds me of the leaping motion theory regarding pterosaur locomotion. I think it has been debunked, correct me if I am wrong. The tail is on a swivel joint which will allow it to rotate 360 degrees, but I do not know why anyone would want to do that.

The flap on the back reveals the code for the facts app, just like Tupandactylus, and later Dilophosaurus releases.

It died right out of the box, as it could not feed properly. This picture is meant to be a homage to Walking with Dinosaurs. Let us just pretend the raptor is a generic theropod.

Like I said, it is a nice sculpt, all of Mattel’s pterosaurs are, but giving teeth to pterosaurs that did not have them, and omitting them from pterosaurs that did is very grating because it spreads misinformation. I get that this is a toy line for kids, and that these were genetically engineered by InGen/Biosyn, but kids know that Ornithocheirus had teeth, and they know Tupandactylus/Tapejara did not. I get why Pteranodon has teeth as they are based on a movie monster’s design, but not giving Ornithocheirus teeth is very annoying. Luckily the figure is hard to find. And I hope they don’t make any pterosaurs for the time being unless they take the time to do them right. I say this not just for the sake of the paleo enthusiast, or for the sake of the children, but for the sake of doing it correctly. They are pumping out numerous obscure animals every year, some which are pretty well done, so why not give that kind of attention to accuracy?

Even the cgi model has no teeth. Good grief.

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