The fish is small, but still big enough to be worth the effort for Camber, who begins swooping down toward the ocean surface. As he nears his target, his bill opens ever so slightly, ready for a precision strike. But then he is abruptly thrown off course by a larger male streaking past him. Flapping furiously to regain control, Camber can only watch as his rival plunges into the water and successfully snaps up the fish. But his resentment abruptly turns to shock and fear as a large shark explodes from the murky green depths and drags the rival male under the waves without time even for a peep of protest!
As Camber flies off in search of safer hunting grounds, he experiences yet another emotion: relief . . .
Since 2015, CollectA’s colossal pterosaur figures have been pleasing fans the world over with their exceptional sculpting detail, hinged jaws, and sheer size. You’ve got the Guidraco with its frightful fangs, the Dimorphodon with its hefty head, the bold Caiuajara, and the decidedly dragon-like Caviramus. And for their fifth such figure, CollectA has chosen the most famous flying reptile of them all: Pteranodon longiceps. This is their third crack at the genus, the first being their 2006 Standard class figure and the second their 2008 Deluxe.
Naturally, this latest version is much bigger. Sculpted in a standing pose with its wings folded up and its head cocked to the right and tilted upwards, it measures slightly under 24 cm tall, 11 cm wide, and 29 cm long thanks to its immense head. This makes it the largest figure in CollectA’s 2021 prehistoric assortment (although the Mamenchisaurus is both longer and heavier). Like all other known Pteranodon toys, this one is immediately recognizable as a mature male thanks to its prominent crest. A female, of course, would have to be about 50% smaller than this figure, with a tiny triangular crest and wide hips for laying eggs. I’ve dubbed this individual Camber, which strikes me as fitting a name for a pterosaur as any.
Camber’s body is coloured a greyish beige with white wash to accent his filaments. The dorsal sides of his wings are coloured a darker shade of brown while his forearms, hands, and lower legs are a bright shade of yellow with very dark brown claws. His neck is white and medium brown with a prominent reddish-pink throat pouch, his bill is mostly beige with a faint yellowish tinge, his mouth a flat shade of pink, and his crest is decked out in bright orange and yellow. Finally, his glossy black eyes are surrounded by yellow and white and his ears are denoted by splashes of airbrushed black. While it may have been better to have the limbs coloured the same as the wings, I think this is a pretty nice colour scheme overall. I especially like the appearance of the crest and throat pouch, as such coloration would have come in handy for attracting females.
Like his four predecessors, Camber features a hinged lower jaw that allows you to close his mouth shut or open it to about a 20 degree angle. Wide enough to stick in small fish figures, or possibly even the 2021 Xiphactinus (just pretend it’s a juvenile). Also like his predecessors, Camber is very lightweight in spite of his great size. His long, thin wingtips are rather flexible too, so you needn’t ever worry about breakage should he fall to the floor. Paint scrapes are always a potential hazard, though.
Camber’s huge bill and crest are covered in a network of nicks and grooves, which makes him look like a grizzled and experienced veteran of the air and sea. His signature crest is the right size and shape for an adult male Pteranodon, somewhat reminiscent of a kukri knife. His long, narrow bill has a noticeable upward curvature and a lower jaw shorter than the upper one, both features that have been observed in numerous fossil specimens. The mouth is, of course, devoid of dentition, but the sheer size and shape of the bill make Camber look like an intimidating and lethal predator. His throat pouch, which would have been essential for an animal that swallows its fish prey whole, is covered in wrinkles, similar to what you’d see on a pelican.
Camber’s wings are also covered in wrinkles for a leathery, bat-like appearance. While they are folded up rather tightly, you can tell that they would span quite a good length when outstretched. The propatagium and the pteroid bones can clearly be discerned on the upper arms and the uropatagium is also visible on the back of the hind limbs. Overall, the wings looks pretty impressive, although I feel like the arms and the fourth digits on the hands could have used a bit more meat on them. The feet are partially webbed, which makes sense for an oceanic reptile like Pteranodon. Indeed, while everyone is well aware that pterosaurs were masters of the air, not as many people are aware that they were adept at swimming as well, although they appear to have been incapable of floating on the surface of the water like gannets or seagulls or ducks.
Like any up-to-date pterosaur figure, Camber’s body is covered in a nicely sculpted coat of fuzzy pycnofibres. More interestingly, he boasts a brush-like tuft at the end of his tail. While such speculative integument has been depicted in paleoart before, I believe this is the very first Pteranodon toy to possess it. Very nifty. I especially like how it’s a relatively subtle feature that not everyone will notice right away. Not every creative liberty on prehistoric toys always has to be right in your face.
Between his size, sculpting, and overall appearance, this Pteranodon is truly a worthy successor to CollectA’s previous prodigious pterosaur figures. Really, the only note of caution I can offer you is that the sheer size of Camber here means he takes up a considerable amount of display space. But he is most assuredly worth it. Indeed, I’d go so far as to say I believe he’s the best Pteranodon figure made yet. I sure don’t plan on buying another one in the future, unless CollectA actually follows up with a female version!
My most sincere gratitude goes out to them for this review sample. It will become available for sale this July.