Tag Archives: Utahraptor

Utahraptor (Conquering the Earth by Schleich)

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.

Utahraptor (Wild Safari, by Safari Ltd.)

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The first specimen of  Utahraptor ostrommaysorum  was found in 1975.  In 1991 further remains were found, and like its fellow dromaeosaurids, it also sported a large, nightmare inducing, “killing” curved claw on its toe.  Thanks to its size being comparable to the over sized Velociraptors in Jurassic Park, and starring in a popular book written by paleontologist Robert T. Bakker, it became a popular dinosaur in the mid 90’s.  Safari Ltd. introduced their first Utahraptor toy with the inaugural dinosaurs for the brand new Wild Safari line in 1996.  The book Raptor Red came out it 1995 and I can’t help but wonder if Safari painted the red stripe on the head of this toy in honor of the way the Utahraptors are described with a red snout in the book.

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About the Toy:  It is on the smaller side at 13.5 cm long, with the tail taking up over half its length at 8 cm.  It is 6 cm high at its highest point, which would be around the mid point of the tail.  It is posed for stability by using the hidden one arm down tripod pose, comparable to the large Safari Velociraptor and the Schleich WOH Velociraptor.  At least its wrist isn’t broken like its fellow original line Wild Safari pal, Carcharodontosaurus.  Since it is leaning on its right front hand, the shoulders are low, and the hind quarters and tail are high.  Either it is about to pounce on its prey, or it tripped on a rock while chasing its intended victim, and is trying to stay upright.

The head is up with its mouth open wide and inducing fear to its adversary.  The teeth are relatively the same size and painted sloppily in white.  Also inside its open jaws is a sculpted tongue which is painted in a dull pink.  The rest of the mouth is painted in the same dull pink.  Starting under its eyes and extending forward is a strip of red the ends before it gets all the way to the nostrils.  Also present are small ear holes at the back of the skull.

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The hands are facing inward and end with three claws.  The claws on the right foot are ok, with the large claw raised but not entirely painted so it looks smaller than it was sculpted.  On the left foot, the large claw is too small and almost uniform with the rest of the claws on its left foot.  The dew claws are present as well.  All the claws are rounded and blunted for safety.

This toy is also devoid of feathers, but this was the norm at the time and should not be held against this toy.  Instead it is covered in the typical wrinkles and skin folds that Safari put on its models during the 90’s.  Its tail is also semi straight with some small bends in it.  Its base color is light brown with a tan underneath.  Starting at the base of its skull and ending almost all the way to the tip of its tail are dark charcoal brown stripes.  The stripes do not extend far down its flanks, stopping at the hips and shoulders.

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Safari Utahraptor and CollectA Gastonia squaring off.

Play ability:  It is a really nice and playable toy.  It has a vicious look to it, with its mouth open, body low, and big claws.  It is a look that many kids like for their predatory animals.  Kids usually have this toy jump onto their intended prey, which incidentally is probably how this animal hunted if it was going to take down larger prey.  It is also really stable, so it easy for kids to set it up on sofas and carpeted floors, which is a bonus.  The toys edges are not sharp and it is tough enough to take on some hard playtime adventures.  The paint holds up very well.

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Overall:  For collectors, this is an outdated, featherless, Utahraptor from the early days of the Wild Safari line.  The line originally was designed to cater to kids for the quick spur of the moment purchase.  It is in this capacity were this toy really shines.  For kids, it is still a fun toy to play with.  If you like featherless 90’s style dromaeosaurids, or you know a younger dinosaur fan, then this is a good toy to pick up.  It can be usually be found on Ebay for a reasonable price.

 

 

Utahraptor (Jurassic Hunters by Geoworld)

Review and photos by Takama, edited by Suspsy

Last time I did a review of a Geoworld product, I said that the company likes to put feathers only on species that are known to have feathers in the fossils. Well, unfortunately I should’ve done more research (and a little more glancing at my collection) because that was not the case. Today’s model is a feathered dinosaur by Geoworld, and it’s actually one of a few models that have sculpted plumage despite being currently absent in the fossils. The model in question is Utahraptor, and for once in the line, the colours look very believable. The model is sculpted with a feathery texture and is given a realistic spot-like pattern that remind me of the patterns found on big cats such as leopards. Unfortunately, I don’t think this color scheme is well-suited for anything that’s not a grassland, and we all know that grass was not very abundant in the Mesozoic.

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Despite this, the patterns and texture are pleasing to look at. The only downside is that the model is made in a ridiculous pose. The torso is arched upwards at an angle and one of its hands is raised higher than the other. The mouth is also wide open (since kids think theropods look cooler with their mouths open), but on this model, it looks ridiculous. What it is intended to be doing is beyond me, but the way I interpret it is that the raptor is about put his hand over his heart while he sings a ballad or two for his sweetheart.

In terms of accuracy, this model is pretty decent. The arms lack primary feathers, but in my opinion, this is best for Geoworld because whenever they do try such feathers, they always get them wrong (case in point: the Velociraptor) and the way the feathers are sculpted on this figure makes the model look more convincing as a living creature (if only the pose were different). Yes, I know that it’s inaccurate without primaries, but in this instance, I’m willing to let it slide. The head is your generic dromaeosaur skull that looks reasonable for a species like Utahraptor. The feet are the right shape and the hands have the correct number of digits.

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The colours on this model are the most strikingly realistic ones I have ever seen on any Geoworld figure. The main color is orange while the patterns are brown with black outlines. The feet are a bright blue which contrasts to the duller, more subtle colours on the rest of the body. The teeth are white (as usual), the claws are black (also as usual), and the tongue is pink.

Overall, I would say this is one of Geoworld’s more decent efforts were it not for the pose. If you can get over it (or find a diorama that requires a singing dromaeosaur), then go ahead and buy one from your preferred Geoworld retailer (mine just so happens to be Dejankins, who’s got the entire Jurassic Hunters line in stock for a fair price).

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