No doubt: Invicta Brachiosaurus is a monument, an all-time classic, a monochrome statement, based on the first version of the mounted Brachiosaurus skeleton of the Natural History Museum of Berlin. No Giraffatitan discussion here. Up for review, however, is Kleinwelka Brachiosaurus, a figure from the former German Democratic Republic. It is based upon the life size concrete figure in the Dinosaur Park of Kleinwelka. It is obvious that this figure is based on the skeleton from Berlin, too. We all know that its posture is obsolete.
We see a tail – dragging behemoth with an erected neck and a rather sadly looking face with folds swinging under the muzzle. Trying to give the figure teeth, the sculptor made it look as if it had lost its false teeth.
Kleinwelka Brachiosaurus comes straight out of a period in which dinosaurs were seen as static, clumsy monsters, not in any interaction with the environment, strolling through the Mesozoic swamps.
Due to the production process and the choice of material that had to be as simple and cheap as possible in a communistic country, the sculpt of the figure looks rather blurred. We see that the sculptors were really trying, with folds and all, but in direct comparison to its British cousin, Kleinwelkas sculpt looks much clumsier.
The material is much lighter. While Invicta Brachiosaurus weighs 693 g, Kleinwelka´s version only weighs 443 g – that´s 250 g easier with exactly the same volume!
Admittedly, it´s exactly this feeble, imperfect charm I like very much.
Getting this grey Brachiosaurus (I know there is a light brown version and a smaller, blue version out there, too.) strongly reminded me at getting one of my very first serious dinosaur figures, Invicta Diplodocus. While other boys grew out of their dinosaur period, needing no transitional objects anymore, I did not get rid of this childhood’s disease. I thus decided to accept it and Invicta Diplodocus helped me with that decision for it looked much more serious than all the rubber stuff I owned. Just when I doubted if collecting dinosaurs would still pay, that means, give me any satisfaction, I found Kleinwelka Brachiosaurus, again a grey, monochrome monster! It is experiences like that which make a collector´s life worthwhile. Just for completeness: The signature at the belly says:
Brachiosaurus M 150
I know it is quite hard to get one at a reasonable price. Some collectors are said to have paid three-digit sums for it.
I got a dark green Brachiosaurus at the Natural History Museum of Berlin in the late 80s or very early 90s. Unfortunately it is long gone, but if I remember right, it might be possible that it came from the same mold as your Kleinwelka Brachiosaurus.
Many thanks for your great blog, it brings back a lot of childhood memories.
Please excuse the heresy but indeed, the Invicta being based on the Berlin first ever reconstruction is quite arguable. Tail is obviously straight, not drag, animal has cheecks and defensive nail on each “hand”, and is in a sort of active walking pose, oppossed to the Berlin design.
No need to feed my already godzilla-sized Ego when I tell you the Invicta model was actually based off MY designs rather than Berlin’s. I tell you this cause it’s truth. Believe it, or fade away.
(Hits the floor with an oak cane and dissapears in a smoke explosion).
I have never seen a blue kleinwelka, but the large brachi is usually pink. The smaller version I have seen in light grey and dark grey, and two different shades of brown.