Review and photos by Takama, edited by Suspsy
Utahraptor is one of those dinosaurs that I see as being overrated because the media seems to love it due to the fact that it was a larger dromaeosaur then the Velociraptors from Jurassic Park. The reason I feel it did not deserve all the attention is due to the fact that it was known only from fragmentary remains and most reconstructions are very speculative. Many of them often make it look like an oversized Deinonychus when it turns out that’s not really the case. Just recently, new material has been described from the jaw, thanks to the discovery of a huge block of rock that contains multiple individuals of this species as well as a Hippodraco). There is currently a crowdfunding campaign on GoFundMe called the Utahraptor Project, to help uncover more of these animal’s secrets. Sadly, the people at Schleich did not care enough to wait until the species had more remains associated with it, and instead they have given us a generic 9 inch long dromaeosaur with a halfhearted attempt at making it scientifically accurate.
So with the new remains not taken into account, how well does this model stack up in terms of accuracy? Well, unlike the Velociraptors Schleich released in previous years, this Utahraptor has feathers on not just its arms, but on its back as well. Yes, it would seem that they are catching on to the fact that these animals had feathers on more than just their arms, but they were too reluctant to make a full covering on the largest dromaeosaur ever discovered, while giving their newest Velociraptor (which is exclusive to this three pack) the proper covering it needs to be accurate.
To be fair, they did give this figure larger arm feathers then the original Velociraptor, but the arms lack primaries just like a lot of feathered dinosaur toys. The model can stand on its own two feet, but they are much too big, and the inner toes are splayed to the side when it is impossible for the real creature to do this. The head on this figure is indeed made to resemble your average Deinonychus head, but the teeth are very blunt. The sculpted feathers look very ragged (almost like those of a ratite) while the naked parts of the body are mostly sculpted with large, irregular scales, which look nothing like those of any real reptile. About the only bird-like thing about this figure (other than the arm feathers) are the large scales on the feet. The model also has a tail fan, but it’s been suggested that the whole length of the tail should be one big tail fan (for an example of a figure that got it right, see the new Wild Safari Velociraptor)
In terms of colours, the model’s base is a basic light tan, while the main colour is dark brown. The feathers have a red tint to them and the wings and tail fan are tipped with orange. On the face, there is a splash of sky blue inside the fenestrae (which are not showing as much as they could have been), and the eyes are orange with only a bird-like dot for a pupil instead of a lizard-like slit.
Overall, this is just another lackluster raptor figure that floods the market. It really has no way of standing up against the likes of the feathered raptors made by Papo, Safari, or even Rebor. That being said, if you wish to buy one in spite of my negative review, then have a blast. It has an articulated jaw and rotating arms, so it might make a great toy for kids. But if you’re hoping for a truly up-to-date figure of the species, then you may want to consider donating to the Utahraptor Project to help uncover the animal’s secrets. Perhaps it will allow other companies to have a better picture to go by when sculpting a potential new model of this species.