The reviewed replica lying on a brochure of the park.
Ah, a classic, monochrome tail dragging sauropod figure! Ah, a replica of a classic behemoth, exclusively released in one theme park in a single region! Ah, a legacy from those times when dinosaurs were regarded at as strange, clumsy foreign bodies. Ah, a figure as an ambassador of contemporary history!
Ah – good old Kleinwelka Diplodocus!
This collectible was released in the eighties, when the people of German Democratic Republic gazed at life-sized dinosaurs placed in a themepark in Kleinwelka and asked for souvenirs.
These figures had been sculpted out of wire, this wire framework then being covered with concrete and finery. Originally, a mason named Franz Gruß, who was something close to what we would call a dinosaur-maniac today, had bought a property close to his home in 1968 and built his house there in 1976. In 1977 he began sculpting his first dinosaur – Tyrannosaurus. Radio and TV reported on this matter. A chain reaction started, basing on the interplay between what the public wanted to see next and what the mason had up his sleeve. More and more animals showed up, placed in the natural enviroment of a park.
Finally there was a themepark, attracting many visitors! And it still exists today: Saurierpark Kleinwelka
The replica is goodly 60 cm long and 10 cm tall. The imprint at the belly says it´s 1:50 in scale. It´s far from being detailed. One could call the sculpt sloppy, but one must keep in mind the instruments and the material they had available. The plastic used is lighter and more, well, airy than the material used for its “brother from the west”, Invicta Diplodocus. These two resemble each other strongly, due to the fact they both base on the same classic painting by Zdenek Burian. Not much attention had been paid to a detailed head or the feet.
The figure is very charming and it´s great to see it from different perspectives, as mentioned in my first chapter. Collectors with an interest in these different approaches should definitely be hunting it.
I like it! To me it´s one of my all time classics.
Three classic monochrome sauropod figures: Royal Ontario Museum (Canada), Invicta (GB) and Kleinwelka (GDR). Marx Diplodocus (USA) would fit in here quite well, too.