Our understanding of pterosaur terrestrial locomotion has come quite a long way over the decades. Paleontologists in the mid-20th century argued that pterosaurs were almost helpless on the ground, dragging themselves slowly and vulnerably on their bellies. In the 1980s’, it was surmised that they were capable of running swiftly on their hind legs. And in 1990, it was even suggested that they walked upright like penguins. It wasn’t until paleontologists finally took a careful look at fossil trackways (some of which had been available for several decades!) that they realized that pterosaurs were in fact quadrupedal walkers, and superb ones at that. We also know now that even giraffe-sized giants like Quetzalcoatlus were capable of rapidly taking off from the ground by vaulting with their forelimbs.
The 2015 Quetzalcoatlus figure from Recur beautifully reflects this current knowledge. It is sculpted in a walking stance with its wings folded up and its head held high and turned to the left. As I’ve noted in the past, I much prefer my pterosaur figures this way as opposed to a flying pose which, while dramatic, takes up valuable display space on your shelf. The upper half of the Quetzalcoatlus‘ body is a combination of dark and medium grey while the bottom half is white. The claws are greenish yellow, the bill and the stripes on the crest are yellow, and the eyes, mouth, and fenestrae are red. Makes me think of a seabird.
Don’t let this toy’s long neck and spindly appearance fool you. Being made entirely of PVC, it’s built to stand the roughest of play. It also boasts some pretty impressive detail. The body is covered in fine pycnofibres, the wings have a leathery texture, the hands and feet are wrinkled, and there are faint grooves running down the length of the bill. The posture, as I noted before, is up to date, the arms are jointed correctly, and the animal does look pretty realistic at first glance. And it’s quite large too, standing almost 17 cm tall and measuring 20 cm long.
However, there are a couple of glaring anatomical errors. First, take a look at the above comparison photo with the CollectA Quetzalcoatlus. Even though the Recur toy is much bigger, the heads are virtually the same size. Quetzalcoatlus had an enormous head in proportion to the rest of its body and the one on the Recur toy is distinctly undersized. And second, the hands have four fingers when there should only be three. As well, there’s a wide seam line that runs right through the wingtips and looks unsightly.
In spite of those flaws, I find that the Recur Quetzalcoatlus is still a visually impressive and very durable toy, one that should please pterosaur fans of all ages. Recommended.
Thank you to Recur for this toy!
Available from Recur’s AliExpress store