Tag Archives: Utahraptor

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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Utahraptor (CollectA)

Review and photographs by Tallin, edited by Plesiosauria.

As one of the largest of the dromaeosaurids, Utahraptor ostrommaysorum perhaps first garnered significant public attention after starring in the 1999 animated documentary, Walking with Dinosaurs. Since this time, the scientifically accepted appearance of this 7m theropod has changed considerably, as more evidence has been unearthed supporting the idea that this creature was fully feathered – much like its far smaller kin. This predator has appeared in toy/model form several times, from the original WWD merchandise to the most recent rendition from Rebor [not yet reviewed on the dinotoyblog – any takers? – Ed.]. The subject of this review however, is the little 2011 Utahraptor from CollectA – a seemingly overlooked figure in my opinion.

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The very first Utahraptor specimens were unearthed in 1975, and were rather fragmentary. It was not until 1991, where a huge foot-claw was discovered along with some other remains, that the genus was more thoroughly examined and named in 1993. Comparable to a polar bear in size, this animal would have been one of the top predators of its day, living along side other North American dinosaurs such as Gastonia and Cedarosaurus.

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At about 13cm from the tip of the snout to the end of the tail, this model is rather diminutive at about 1:50 scale. It does, however, contain a lot of detail considering its size. Interestingly, the whole body (yes, even the head) is covered with a downy feather texture – no half-naked raptors here! The feathers form longer tufts at the top of the head, the end of the tail and the back of the thighs as well as the arms. The arm feathers look almost as if to resemble more developed flight feathers, however it is hard to be sure when these details are so tiny. The claws are all well defined, as is muscle tone and the details on the head. The mouth is filled with individual little teeth and a simple tongue. This model is all over a warm caramel colour, with darker tones along the top and at the end of the limbs. The head is a bright tangerine orange with bright white teeth and a pink mouth. The eyes are soulless black pin-pricks and the body appears to have been airbrushed with a pale grey. The model is posed in an alert walking stance, with the head turned attentively to the left.

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In terms of the hits and misses of this toy, I would happily conclude that there are far more hits. Firstly, the figure stands on its own two feet, neither of which seem to have been swollen up too much to help the figure stand. True, my model falls over a lot, but I think that is more to do with the legs seeming a little bent or warped due to storage or shipping. The tail is held proudly and stiffly behind the animal, as it should have been since dromaeosaurs had stiffened tails to help with balance and agility. The hands are also very pleasingly not pronated at all. For such a small and attractively priced model, the proportions seem to more or less be all in order. The fingers could perhaps be longer and the thumb claw larger, but these are very nit-picky comments. My main issue is with the head – it seems very wide and rather too short compared to reconstructions and fossil specimens. The neck also seems a little short. CollectA, whilst adorning the raptor with liberal amounts of downy feathers, have been rather conservative on the arms. Many palaeontologists now believe that the feather coverage of larger dromaeosaurids would have resembled that of their smaller relatives – so even huge animals like the Utahraptor could have had advanced primary feathers on the arms. Then again, there is still no solid fossil evidence for feathers on Utahraptor, so I won’t count it as a strike against this model.

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All in all, I think that this model is a very good offering from CollectA. They have crammed a huge amount of detail into a very small model, and the fact that it seems mostly accurate is also very commendable. Raptors are always popular with children so this model should go down will with a younger owner, and with a fairly interesting pose and an open mouth has plenty of playability. That said, I can imagine that this model might snap if subjected to too much stress, as it is made more a harder, less flexible plastic than many of CollectA’s dinosaurs to help it stand. In any case, this is a very small but very detailed and sprightly replica of Utahraptor, and I would advise any theropod lover to add one to their collection – especially as it can be found easily at a very tempting price at under £4 – that is, if you don’t mind the rather beefed up head.

Available from Amazon.com here (for some reason the price for this figure is astronomical at the moment – a mistake, surely) and Ebay.com here (much cheaper, but the cheapest one is misspelled ‘Utahtaptor’, so search for that if you can’t find what you are looking for!).