Dinosaurs Playmobil Set
Item No.: No. 4173
Includes: 2 Pteranodon, snake, fish, trees
Action Feature: n/a
Availability: Spring 2007 (USA)
Other: "River" piece not included
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You may not know this, but I have hundreds of photos for unpublished toy reviews for 16bit.com in my archives-- so these Pteranodon photos were actually shot in 2007 and meant to be put up then. Life gets in the way, so they didn't, but as of when I'm writing this I hurt my knee after moving some furniture and I figured it'd be better to do something that's already about 70% finished. And then I realized they're all horizontal photos, which kinda screws things up a bit. But I'll make it work, this is a good set after all.
This is a really weird piece, in terms of construction and everything. Normally a toy doesn't seamlessly (or virtually seamlessly) meld hard and soft plastic together well, but it's something Playmobil excels at-- the dark blue part of the wings are soft and flexible, while the orange and grey parts are harder. Amazing! So the 10-inch-wide wings have a quasi-leathery feel while the rest feels like a normal toy, a rare feat in American toys but something the Germans more or less get. I think it's some sort of dual injection molding process, it also allows figues to have decoration without using paint-- so it's not like you're going to rub off a color here or anything. It's a well-crafted piece.
Due to its design, it has few points of movement-- the neck moves, the legs are jointed, and the jaw opens. That's about it. He can grasp things in his feet, and can't stand well on his own as part of the design-- so it's nice they included a tree on which to perch. You can put food in his mouth, like the fish or snake accessories, if you like and the jaw does close nicely around his victims. That's pretty much about the extent of what he does, he's a solid, well-engineered toy dinosaur that's anything but cheap. He's not quite as sharp and pointy (and fragile) as other dinosaur toys, plus he's not quite as bright and colorful as the recently released Imaginext ptersosaur.
As part of the second batch of Playmobil Dinosaurs, this jungle-themed set lacked the ice vehicles or frozen vestiges of the collection from 2004. It also lacked a human figure, as a few of these sets did, which is probably for the best. The stars here are the dinosaurs, and at $15 it's tough to say if it was a good deal-- you could get an Orca, a boat, and a human for $10 in 2011, so $15 for a dinosaur and an island in 2007 seemed a bit high. The dinosaur sets were a little more expensive feeling overall, no doubt due to the popularity and pent-up demand for this kind of toy, but they didn't receive many line expansions and basically vanished after what I would have assumed to be a decent debut.
I originally had wanted to get this set before the line hit the US as it was the cheapest of the sets to actually include a dinosaur, but waited because shipping from Germany ain't free.
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