Quetzalcoatlus (Papo)

4.1 (19 votes)

Review and photos by Bokisaurus

In what will one day be known as the Southern United States, vast herds of dinosaurs once roamed this desolate and hauntingly beautiful landscape.Large and small dinosaurs dotted the landscape, some moving in large herd while others like the huge sauropod Alamosaurus tower over them as they slowly make their way across the plains. Predators ambush and chase their prey creating streaks of dust clouds around them and are visible even from high above.

A large creature flies effortlessly, soaring for miles as it dominates the sky with its outstretched wings in search of these telltale signs of a hunt and possibly a meal. As it passes above, it cast a huge shadow below, panicking the herd and sending animals in different direction.Its keen eyesight spots something below and it circles back for a closer look.The huge creature slowly makes its descent and as it lands, one can really appreciate just how stunningly huge and impressive this animal really is.

Its has been suggested that Quetzalcoatlus may have been an active scavenger. He is seen here investigating a carcass (CollectA dead Triceratops)

This is Quetzalcoatlus northropi, the largest flying creature known to-date. It is a pterosaur from the family Azhdarchidae and is known from the late Cretaceous of North America. Quetzalcoatlus and its kin were one of the last pterosaurs to soar and dominate the skies before the mass extinction.The family is known for their large size with some like Quetzalcoatlus reaching a height that rivals that of today’s modern giraffe.  This advance toothless pterosaur has unusually long, stiff neck and bill, that exaggerates its size even more.

When standing upright, it rivals the extant Giraffe in height!

Quetzalcoatlus is one of the most famous of the pterosaur, perhaps only surpassed by pteranodon in popularity.It is now well represented in the toy figure world, with almost all the major brands having made a figure of it at one point, although still not as ubiquitous as pteranodon.One of the newest versions and, in my opinion, most impressive figure to come along is from Papo’s 2018 release.Although Papo has been consistent in releasing pterosaurs, this is by far the most impressive of them all.

An impressive and large figure.

The figure is large measuring in at three inches tall (around nine inches tall if the head was held up in a vertical pose) and almost nine inches long from the tip of the beak to the tip of its short tail. What is truly striking about this figure is its very unusual pose, at least for a pterosaur figure. While the majority of pterosaur figures are typically sculpted flying with their wings stretched out, more companies are now being more creative in how they design pterosaur figures.

Following in CollectA’s steps but with a crawling stance instead.

Following on CollectA’s previous azhdarchids pose but with a twist, Papo’s version is posed in what seems to be a crouching and moving pose.This unique pose really gives the figure a lot of flexibility and engages you to be creative and find your own way of interpreting what exactly is it doing.This is what I really love about Papo’s figures. Although there are many who are critical of the poses, sometimes extreme, that Papo often gives their figures, to me this is exactly what gives these figures a lot of character and make them come alive.

The flying pose is so overused in pterosaurs that its refreshing to see something different.

While the majority of other brand go with the safe and conventional poses, they often come off as too contrived and boring, and not engaging, at least for me.While not the most extreme of Papo’s poses, I find the figure’s post engaging, fluid, and visually appealing.

The neck is posed low to the ground. This u unusual pose gives the figure lots of possibilities and its action open to many ways of interpreting.

With its neck lowered down instead of held up high, and its head thrust forward, the figure can look inquisitive, stalking, submissive, or even caring. The big toothless bill also comes articulated and adds to the story depending on how you choose to keep it positioned. The bill’s articulation is nicely done but has limitation as far as how far you can open it. When open, you can see its tongue as well.

The head is beautifully sculpted. The articulation, like many Papo figures, is very well done and hardy noticeable.

The head is nicely sculpted with lots of details in the form of skin fold, wrinkles, and some short fur-like covering. The crest has the correct shape and is painted orange with some square patterns that are bright yellow in color as well as some bluesish highlights creating a beautiful and showy headgear. The head is also very slightly turned sideways as if the animal is looking up.

The colorful head crest. There are lots of delicate details all around and the colors a richly layered yet subtle.

The long bill and most of the face have a light tan/brown colors that are mixed in with various hues of orange, dark brown, black, white, yellow, all creating a pleasing and intricate tapestry of colors. On the bill, a darker shade of brown drips down from the top and creates beautiful stripes and splotches on the bill. Even the nostrils are delicately sculpted and painted.The eyes, painted light yellow, are small and surrounded by plenty of delicate little wrinkles.

Details of the wing membrane showing veins and other details. The folds are so fluid that you can almost feel movement and feel the leathery texture.

The wings are folded low and close to its body. This low wing orientation is due to how the figure is posed which is actively walking or crawling instead of just sitting. The leathery looking wings have a nice movement to them that really shows the movement of the animal with lots of folded skin as well as stretched ones in areas where you would expect the membrane to be. There is a nice curl as it sweeps up towards the tip.

The back is well defines and you can see the vertebrae sticking out. Despite their size, the animal is surprisingly lightweight allowing it to fly.

There are lots of nice details on the wing membrane such as wrinkles and skin fold, as well as some bulging vain all over that are colored purple, and some micro-feathers around the long fingers.The three fingers are scaly and painted almost black. Like the rest of the body, the wing is also colored a tan/light brown tone that are populated by other shades of earth tones that creates an amazing yet subtle layers of colors. 

The neck is thick and strong enough to carry the huge head.Viewed in this angle, the head is slightly tilted as if looking up to open side.

The long muscular neck dips down in a nice curve then raises up as it attaches to the large head.On the back of the skull where it attaches to the neck, you can see some skin folds which reflects the slight upward tilt of the head. Micro-feathers or pycnofibres can be seen covering the entire length of the neck. Paleontologist now know that many pterosaurs were covered in some type of hair-like filaments so it’s really nice to see this reflected on the model.  They are sculpted nicely and carefully follow the curves of the neck.

The greenish-blue splash of colors on the neck is the only other area in the body that has bright colors in an otherwise earth-tone dominated palette .

Next to the head crest, the top of the neck is the only other part that sports a bright color. Here we see a greenish-blue splash of color beginning from the base of the skull all the way down to the shoulders. It’s a nice addition to an otherwise earth tone color. 

The figure, to me, captures that creepy look that I would expect from seeing one in the flesh. The colors perfectly matches t he various earth tones one would find in an arid environment.

This figure to me is a definite show-stopper. Its large size and unique eerie pose truly capture what I imagine the animal may have looked like in person: cool yet terrifying, massive yet light enough to take to the skies.On a shelf, it commands attention from dinosaur enthusiast and non-enthusiast alike.Of all the toy figures of the species currently out there, this is my personal favorite and highly recommend it to anyone looking for something unique and a sure attention grabber. 

The level of exceptional details and high quality production, as well as immaculate execution of paint application really sets Papo figures apart.

While Papo is not my favorite brand, there is no denying that when it comes to spectacular drama in poses, immaculate paint applications and transitions, and the ultra-details, very few toy companies come close to the levels seen in their models. And that is what makes thier figures awesome!

With their passing, no other animal as large as them would ever conquer the skies, a true testament to ultimate pterosaur evolution.

Quetzalcoatlus and other Azhdarchids will dominate the skies for millions of years until the end of the age of dinosaurs, casting shadows far below as they soar the skies.They, along with non-avian dinosaurs and marine reptiles went extinct at the end of the Cretaceous. With their passing, no other animal as large as them would ever conquer the skies, a true testament to ultimate pterosaur evolution.

Parting shot: “sure this is not a trap?”

Well, we have come to the end of this review. I hope that you enjoyed it and thanks for reading. Until the next one, stay safe and healthy everyone, cheers!

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Comments 4

  • Without a doubt, Papo’s quetzalcoatlus is one of my favorite pterosaurs on the toy market along with the pterosaurs from Collecta. Its details and hyperrealism of Papo have captivated me.

  • With no question this is great figure! Sculpted by the legendary Seo, who always now how to represent these animals meybe not in the most accurate way, but yes reflecting what they were. And i still dont getting how people dislike the pose.

    • Interesting how our perceptions and attitudes change. At first I was kind of put off by the pose, but now I value it because of its distinctiveness.

  • Nice work @Bokisaurus. Have you ever been way overdue on a review, because since you are experienced, and im a beginner, can you help me on how to be on time for reviews

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