Utahraptor (Keychain by Schleich)

2.4 (13 votes)

As the largest dromaeosaur currently known, Utahraptor has received a fair number of toys, though certainly not as many as its smaller relatives Deinonychus and Velociraptor. The very first one (as far as I know of) was released by Kenner for the Jurassic Park line back in 1994. Battat and Safari Ltd. followed suit in 1996 and 1997 respectively, while CollectA released the first feathered version in 2011. And in 2017, Schleich released both a large figure and a miniature one. The latter was recently retooled and repainted into a keychain, one of several.

This Utahraptor is typical of Schleich’s decidedly half-hearted efforts to modernize their dromaeosaur figures in that it has feathering on its head, the top of its neck, and its back, a feathery tail terminating in a large, spade-shaped fan, and thin wings, but scales on the bottom of the neck, most of the torso, and the legs. No fossil evidence of feathers on Utahraptor currently exists, but considering what we know about other dromaeosaurs, it most likely possessed a full coat of feathers. The overall proportions are off too: the head is too boxy, the hands are far too large, and the legs and tail are too short. Scott Hartman produced an updated skeletal reconstruction in 2017, and I sincerely hope that the next company to make a Utahraptor figure follows his work carefully.

Whereas the original Schleich miniature was coloured dark blue and beige, this one is a dark brick red and grassy green with brown wash. The claws are dark grey, the mouth is light pink with white teeth, and the eyes are light orange with black pupils. There’s also a splash of light orange on each wing. It strongly resembles one of the Chap Mei Ornitholestes toys I reviewed a couple of years ago. The toy is sculpted in a walking pose with the left leg raised in mid-step, the tips of the wings touching the ground for balance, the head turned to the left, and the tail raised high. This gives it a height of slightly over 4 cm and a length of nearly 8 cm.

The sculpting detail is so-so at best. The scales are large and lizard-like, the feathers have a shaggy appearance, and the teeth are actually done reasonably well, but there’s nothing truly impressive here. On a positive note, the hands are correctly positioned facing inward, so give Schleich some credit for that.

The key ring attached to the Utahraptor’s back features a spring-loaded latch, making it fairly easy to attach and virtually impossible to come undone by accident. My own key ring is already big enough, but the toy also fits onto backpack zippers, as you can see. A potentially nice little back-to-school gift for your youngster. 

Less than two years till kindergarten!

Overall, I don’t find this Utahraptor keychain spectacular, but I can easily picture younger dinosaur fans enjoying it. It is available online at stores like MiniZoo and Amazon. Incidentally, one of the biggest and most exciting fossil finds of the century occurred in 2001 with the discovery of not one, but several Utahraptor specimens: an adult, four juveniles, and even a hatchling, along with the remains of at least one iguanodont. Palaeontologist Jim Kirkland, who first described Utahraptor, has suggested that these unfortunate predators attempted to either scavenge or attack the iguanodont while it was trapped in quicksand, and in turn became trapped themselves. Unfortunately, work on the specimens is proceeding slowly due to a lack of sufficient funding, so if you’re able to contribute to the crowdfunding effort, I strongly encourage you to do so!

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Comments 1

  • I enjoyed your review @suspsy – sorry to post a comment 2 years late!

    Just to note that Toyway also produced a Utahraptor for it’s Walking With Dinosaurs line in 1999 (I think).

    It was a good figure for the time, just before the Chinese feathered dinosaurs became more widely known, or discovered in some cases!

    It also came with the Leaellynasaura figure, which has stood the test of time better.

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