Here I am, Emperor Dinobot, offering thee another Mattel pterosaur review, this time of Tupandactylus.
Tupandactylus, formerly known as Tapejara, hails from the Cretaceous fossil rich Brazil. It was reclassified into Tupandactylus imperator and T. navigans in 2007 as it was found to warrant its own genus. Furthermore, the two species which consist of Tupandactylus imperator and Tupandactylus navigans may represent male and female specimens (T. navigans from the same area has a smaller crest). I believe this figure is meant to represent T. imperator, known for its impressive crest. I remember first hearing of Tapejara in BBC’s Walking with Dinosaurs, and finding it to be more interesting than Ornithocheirus, which will have its own figure appear on shelves later this year. The Tapejara I think were meant to depict T. wellnhofferi and Tupandactylus imperator. Either way, it is nice to own so many interesting pterosaurs whose figures I did not have as a kid.
Mattel continues to introduce tons of new species into their bestiary, for good or for worse. They could have retooled the Dino Rivals Tapejara from two years ago and given it a bigger crest, but they gave us a brand new mold instead.
You will notice that I did not have any pictures of the figure in the box, and this is because I had to get it loose from a good friend of mine who lives further north. This was about a month and a half ago, and I have yet to see it over where I live, which is funny because I have been able to find just about everything else. I believe this figure was supposed to come out along with Xuanhanosaurus and Piatnitzkysaurus, which I found about a week or two after receiving this.
This small winged reptile measures around 7 inches in wingspan (4 meters in real life). Its parts are cast is a copper brown that almost blends in with my desk. As always, the underside of the wings is unpainted. The top of the wing membranes are painted with two tones of cool gray, the darker one being the striping along the center of the wings. Claws are unpainted as usual. The beak and bony part of the crest are also painted in the darker gray color, with the crest’s membrane being carmine red. The large (should be way bigger) antorbital fenestrae are colored in a darker brown wash, and the eyes are yellow.
The mold is nice, has some interesting details, okay proportions, but it has these garish spines sticking out of the DNA cover. No pycnofibers are present on this very skinny looking animal.
Articulation is standard, consisting of swivel legs, ball jointed neck, ball jointed shoulders, and jaw. This is a fairly standard, okay pterosaur. It definitely looks like a Jurassic World monstruosity. Only one thing could make this figure better than the Tapejara…
Nope, guess not. I do not understand why it has to have teeth, and why do they look so…human? I don’t know if it’s just me, but this…thing looks…bad. And the teeth just make it look…it’s the teeth. The teeth make it look awful. I can forgive everything else. Close the jaws and you won’t have to see them. We get that option at least.
I understand why the Pteranodon have teeth. They had teeth in the movie, but Tupandactylus and Tapejara were not in the movies. Why did they have to have teeth too! Mattel, if you’re reading this, please stop giving toothless pterosaur teeth. It makes them look bad, and trust me, kids know. Both the Tapejara and Tupandactylus look AWFUL because of this.
Also, as I said before, Mattel may be releasing an Ornithocheirus figure soon, which had teeth, and even though we only have one picture of it, it looks like it may not have teeth. Why give toothless animals teeth, and animals with teeth no teeth? At this point it’s not even a “oh, teeth will make it look scarier” thing. It’s a bit insulting to our intelligence.
I have to rate this figure very low because I’ve had it with the teeth on toothless beaks. They look good without them. They do not need them. They did not have them, and they know it. Stop it. Stop it now. Reviewing these pterosaurs these last few months has been aggravating because I have had to look at toothless pterosaurs with teeth too many times, but someone has to do it, and like I said earlier, at least you don’t have to see the teeth when the jaws are closed.
I would have liked doing some comparison shots with the Tapejara, but by the time this came out, my Tapejara was already in the air, and it is highly unlikely that it will land any time soon..
Even the “facts” app render has the teeth. It has this “feed me, I’m begging you, I grew teeth just so you could feed me” look. If the claws had been painted, then I might have had something else to say, but nope. Out of all of the new offerings this one has been the worst, so it might be a good thing that it remains rare. But I am not going to let that discourage me. The new Dino Trackers line has plenty of interesting things that I’ll make sure to cover once the sour taste has left my mouth. Perhaps it is a good thing we got the bad out of the way first.