Review and photographs by Stolpergeist, edited by Suspsy
UKRD is a rather mysterious company that produced mostly John Sibbick inspired dinosaur figures from 1987 to 1993. In fact a lot of the inspirations for UKRD’s toy figures can be found in one single book, “The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs” (1985), written by Dr. David Norman and illustrated by Sibbick. Up until the early 2000s UKRD dinosaurs were present in toy stores and super markets all over. Most of the UKRD figures look quite decent in terms of sculpting work while being soft and blunt making them safe for children which is a good combination for toys. They certainly aren’t for every collector but their resemblance to Sibbick’s paleoart makes them interesting to some. In the end some of the UKRD sculpts have even been turned into proper collectibles by Tsukuda Hobby in the early 90s. Today we will look at a UKRD figure which sculpt has also been used by Tsukuda Hobby, the large Tyrannosaurus from 1991 with the serial number 2022247.
As part of UKRD’s Museum Line it is a tall figure, standing at a height of 16.5 cm, it is thus of similar size as the original Carnegie Collection sculpt. The model is shown in a slow walking position while the tail curls at the end. The arms are held up with supinated hands. The skin is wrinkly, elephantine throughout the body, safe for the spot where the stamp is located. The toes are sprawling wide with blunt claws while the hallux, the dewclaw, is opposing the others which is more like what one would see in a bird than a tyrannosaur. The head is looking slightly to the right with partly forwards facing eyes. The mouth is opened a bit, thin teeth sculpted in between the jaws. Considering the blunt style of this figure the head shape seems decently accurate for the most part, the ears are however placed where the temporal fenestrae would be, skull windows behind the eyes, which is certainly the wrong spot but a common mistake in paleoart of that time and was copied from a Sibbick illustration in this case.
Colouration among UKRD figures varies, each sculpt has been seen in different paint versions, there is even a UKRD Museum Line Tyrannosaurus in Carnegie green, the one I am presenting here seems to be one of the more common variants. The material itself is yellow, on the top of the head, back and tail the figure has been painted black and in between dark green. The eyes are bright yellow and the teeth are in a simple white while the claws and nostrils have been painted grey.
Overall it is a decent dinosaur toy, the sculptor has paid attention to the animal’s skeletal anatomy which is especially reflected in the shape of the head, the supination of the hands holds up by today’s standards and the sculpting work is overall a joy to look at. The overall chunkiness makes the UKRD Museum Line Tyrannosaurus appear like a massive animal with legs like pillars supporting a robust frame. While the pose is nicely dynamic the way the toy leans to one side in combination with the soft material may cause it to not always stand too well and it easily falls over so that is certainly an unfortunate defect that may occur but at least a child won’t get hurt when this toy that is made of rubber-like material gets knocked down. For collectors I would advice to have it customized when it is the UKRD version and not the Tsukuda Hobby one as the colouration, while fun to look at for a child due to the striking contrast, is quite sloppily applied, however the model is still worth consideration as it perfectly replicates the anatomy of Sibbick’s Tyrannosaurus on page 69 in Dr. Norman’s book which is seen rearing up as it rips flesh from its meal between its thin teeth, standing on pillar-like legs while the tail curls at the end, much like the UKRD figure.