Saturday, December 30, 2006

Miami Wax Museum- Battle of New Orleans

(January 8 1815)

This tableau from the defunct Miami Wax Museum (Also known as Miami's Wax Museum) recreates a scene from the Battle of New Orleans. The battle was not so much a symbol of the skills of the American Army as it was an example of British incompetence. This set shows General Andrew Jackson (1767-1845) leading his men to victory as British forces attacked. The battle was famous for having involved the infamous pirate Jean Lafitte, who helped the Americans by using pirate trickery. Could that possibly be him with his red sash, pointing out to Jackson the destruction and chaos.

Jackson standing with his folding spyglass, apparently enjoying the final major battle of the war.

For fun, here is the pile of round shot Cannonballs. I wonder how many it took to fend off the British?

View more information on the Battle of New Orleans here.


Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Movieland Wax Museum- The Perfect Day

This Movieland Wax Museum scene is from the Stan Laurel (1890-1965) and Oliver Hardy (1892-1957) film The Perfect Day. Next to them is Edgar Kennedy (1890-1948). The picture is a typical Laurel and Hardy film. They try to have a relaxing outing, but nothing goes according to plan and hilarity ensues. I've scene the picture, and I don't remember it having the car crash into a theatre. Although it has been years since I've watched it. With good lighting the figures look incredibly lifelike.

A close up of Laurel and Hardy. When the auction was held, two different figures were sold off in place of these two "original" figures. They took in $10,000! Not bad for replacement figures.

They Keystone cop that somehow does not pay attention to the car accident next to him. I do not know if he had always been part of the set. An old postcard I have does not show him in the scene. This figure sold for $1,500.

A close up of the figure shows his badge as Movieland Security Walter 2. He may be a tribute to the live Keystone cops the museum once had. They would pretend to be wax figures, then move and startle visitors. They also would perform magic tricks for guests.

The clapboard which shows information on the film. Laurel and Hardy are a popular choice for wax museum characters. The Edgar Kennedy figure sold at auction for $550. The Model Tee sold for $3,750. While the set sold for $1,500.

Visit the official Laurel and Hardy website here.


Sunday, December 24, 2006

Knott's Berry Farm- Timber Mountain Christmas

Disneyland is not the only amusement park in Southern California that overlays existing attractions for Christmas. Knott's "Merry" Farm has a Christmas version of their critically acclaimed Timber Mountain Log Ride. The attraction already has many figures throughout, and they add even more for Christmas. Elfs have overrun the mountain, and are spreading Christmas cheer. This shot shows three existing figures and the road sign to Mrs. Claus' kitchen.

This figure is a young logger. He is strong and able, and has no problem swinging along this log.

Not as young and vibrant, this guy prefers to stand and hold a rope. He looks like he has already paid his dues.

Houses of Wax would like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas!

Visit Knott's Berry Farm's website here.


Thursday, December 21, 2006

National Wax Museum of Lancaster County Heritage- Amish Barn Raising

As promised, here is another shot from the National Wax Museum of Lancaster County Heritage. This scene, the Amish barn raising, is considered the highlight of the museum. Barn raising has been a tradition in the United States since the 18th Century. Nowadays, it is primarily used by the Amish community (Hence the inclusion in the Lancaster County museum). This scene displays so much of the action one would see in a traditional barn raising.

This gentleman is probably the crew chief. He most likely has the most experience at raising barns.

This man is log carrying guy. Someday, if he raises enough barns, he'll be able to be the big fat man on the box.

Reminder: There are only a few days left to visit the Discover Lancaster County History Museum before it closes for good. They are trying to find a new home for the collection, but nothing solid has surfaced yet. Keep your fingers crossed.

View their official website while you still can here.


Sunday, December 17, 2006

Tussaud's London Wax Museum- Exterior

This is an interesting shot from the Louis Tussaud's London Wax Museum. I love it when wax museums have a regal and distinguished feel to them. It portrays the museum as serious and deserving of people's attention (which most are). I suppose this museum was attempting to establish itself as very British. I mean, it is a Tussaud's after all. The collection of figures was fairly diverse; from world leaders, to American history, to religion. That ship outside of the building is the worlds largest replica of the Queen Mary. From this far away it looks like a boat from Disneyland's Jungle Cruise.

Here is the sign outside of the building. The Big Ben design also reflects the English style of the museum. When the place was under the name of Josephine Tussaud's, the sign was similar yet slightly different.

The Louis Tussaud's London Wax Museum was located on Gulf Boulevard in St. Petersburg Florida. The museum operated from 1963 until 1989 under various names. I have no information on what happened to the collection of figures (Maybe they became part of other museums, or were sold, possibly destroyed). There are still wax museums under the Louis Tussaud's name, most notably in Texas and Niagara Falls.


Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Guinness World Records Museum- The Most Tattooed Lady

This is a shot of Kystyne Kolorful, the world record holder for most tattooed woman. It is estimated that she has over 95% of her body covered. Some of the exhibits here at the museum are not quite up to date, and I do not know if the record still stands. It is reported that she shares the record with Julia Gnuse, and that they are tied in the percentage of coverage.

Kind of a strange figure. Not exactly wax, but still fits the category. Her hair is sort of strange, but it goes well with the rest of her style.

The Guinness World Records Museum is located at 6764 Hollywood Boulevard, Hollywood, CA.

Visit the Guinness World records website here.


Saturday, December 09, 2006

American Historical Wax Museum- John Brown


"Old John Brown's body lies a-mouldering in the grave. . . "

No, this picture is not from the John Brown wax museum in Harpers Ferry West Virginia. This shot, which shows the execution of John brown, comes from the the American Historical Wax Museum which once existed in Gatlinburg Tennessee. Perhaps the most famous abolitionist, he was executed on December 2nd for his raid on Harpers Ferry in October 1859.

"They hung him for a traitor, themselves a traitor crew. . . "

It was not as intimate as the picture suggests.

"His soul goes marching on. . . "

I love how wax museums put a curtain behind the figures, and consider that a set. Oh the joys of budget restraints.

View more information on John Brown here.

Visit the John Brown Wax Museum here.


Thursday, December 07, 2006

A Bugs Land- Manny

Here is a picture of the Preying Mantis Manny from the movie A Bugs Life. several statues were added to the Bountiful Valley Farm section of Disney's California Adventure when it was believed that the area lacked theming. These figures are kind of cool looking. They're well detailed and people seem to enjoy them. They caught my eye back in 2003 when this picture was taken.

Visit the official California Adventure website here.


Monday, December 04, 2006

News- Christina Aguilera Figure at Madame Tussaud's

Madame Tussaud's London unveiled a Christina Aguilera figure on November 30th. Included with the figure is a set that is supposed to resemble the 1920's dressing room from her music video for the song "Ain’t No Other Man". I do like the wallpaper. It reminds me of the background wallpaper for a certain Wax Museum Blog.

Here's a close up of the former Mouseketeer.

Wow! Is she checking herself out in the mirror? What a shock! I suppose we caught her mid glance.

I guess she wanted to see how that Tattoo on her lower back looks. When you start looking like your drag queen impersonators its time to go home.

Visit the Madame Tussaud's London website here.


Friday, December 01, 2006

Hollywood Wax Museum- Cast Away

Here is are some cool shots of the wax figure of Tom Hanks from the motion picture Cast Away. This is the first scene you encounter once you enter the museum (there are a few different movies represented outside the museum). A pretty small set, it consists of the wax figure and sand. However, it is still pretty neat.

Tom Hanks plays Chuck Noland, a Federal Express employee stranded on a tropical island. Unfortunately, there is no secret hatch on this island, or any smoke monsters, not even the DHARMA Initiative. But there is a volleyball named Wilson, and Chuck is so enthralled with it that he never moves his eyes off of it.

Tom Hanks, Born 1956, acting more like the title of his first movie He Knows You're Alone.

Never has an inanimate object gained so much stardom as Wilson did in this movie.

View Tom Hanks's filmography here.


Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Movieland Wax Museum- The Awful Tooth

Our Gang is one of the most popular short film series of all time, and its characters are all just as famous. The scene here at the Movieland Wax Museum is from the 1938 film "The Awful Tooth". In this picture we see Alfalfa, Painless Parker, Darla, and Spanky. Some trouble appears to be brewing.

Another view shows Buckwheat, Pete the Dog, Alfalfa, and Painless Parker. This was a fairly large set with six figures. It had terrific lighting and great atmosphere.

This clapboard sign shows the movie as being from 1937, but all the resources I've used says that it is from 1938. I would say that they are correct and this sign is not accurate. Antique props from the set sold for $3200, and the set itself sold for $1200 at the infamous Movieland auction.

Carl "Alfalfa" Switzer, his figure sold at auction as part of a lot of five for $5000.

George "Spanky" McFarland, one fifth of the $5000.

Darla Hood doing her thing.

Billie "Buckwheat" Thomas and Pete the pup.

This might be Jack Norton as Painless Parker, also credited as Dr. Schultz at His figure sold individually for $700.

View more information about Hal Roaches Rascals here.


Saturday, November 25, 2006

Madame Tussaud's- Agatha Christie


And then there were none. . . Agatha Christie is perhaps the most recognized mystery writer of all time. With over 80 novels to her credit, she has remained the gold standard of mystery writing. Here, she sits in the conservatory awaiting all onlookers. A very realistic figure, even her "old woman legs" seem accurate. Not many authors become household names, and far fewer can be recognized by sight, but Christie managed to achieve both honors.

A close up of Dame Agatha Christie shows her late in life.

View more information on Agatha Christie here.

Visit the Madame Tussaud's London website here.


Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Turn of the Century Wax Museum- The Gibson Girl

Located in the Old Towne Mall in Torrance California, the Turn of the century Wax Museum featured over 35 scenes and 70 figures. The museum opened Thanksgiving week 1973 and closed some time after. This picture shows the Gibson Girl sitting at her window. A creation of the illustrator Charles Dana Gibson, and Known for their hour glass shape and big hair, Gibson Girls idealized beauty during the turn of the century. Today, perhaps the most famous Gibson girl is the Ice Cream Parlor at Disneyland's Main Street USA (at least it is for me).

View more information on Charles Dana Gibson here.


Sunday, November 19, 2006

Knott's Ghost Town- Post Office

The shot here shows the hard working Postal worker from the Knott's Berry Farm Ghost Town Post Office. He has been sorting mail for the past umpteenth years, and the poor guy has lost one of his much needed fingers. This scene is actually really neat looking, as are all of the "Peek-in" town displays.

This is the Post Office building's exterior. Sometimes you do not know if you are walking into a store, or one of the themed scenes. Although many of them do not actually have a door you can enter through.

Our Postal worker stands behind the counter waiting for someone, anyone to stop by and say hello.

Visit the Knott's Berry Farm Website here.


Thursday, November 16, 2006

Hawaiian Wax Museum- Duke Kahanamoku


One of the great athletes in Hawaiian history, Duke Kahanamoku greats visitors in the old Hawaiian Wax Museum. Standing in the lobby with a Koa canoe paddle, this figure is an example of Hawaiian hospitality. Behind him is a traditional surf board weighing 114 pounds, and measuring 16 feet tall! Named after the Duke of Edinburgh, who visited the island in 1869, Duke was a Gold Medalist in swimming during the 1912 Olympics in Stockholm. After a brief film career, he became a sheriff, and an ambassador of good will for Hawaii.

The Hawaiian Wax Museum focused its collection on Hawaiian history from the early settlers (around 500 A.D) to annexation by the United States of America (1898).

View more information on Duke Kahanamoku here.


Monday, November 13, 2006

News- Discover Lancaster County History Museum To Close

Its always sad to hear of a wax museum's closing, and this is no exception. The Lancaster Online website is reporting that the owners of the Discover Lancaster County History Museum will close its doors on December 30th of this year to focus on their Amusement park division. This is such a sad turn of events seeing how nearly forty years of history will be soon be gone. Originally called the National Wax Museum of Lancaster County Heritage, the museum houses 34 scenes of local history from the 1600's through today.

The only bright side of this story is that the owners are seriously considering donating the scenes and wax figures to a nonprofit group, so we may soon see the museum reopened in a new location. Hopefully this is not the end the National Wax Museum of Lancaster County Heritage forever. I'll post some more vintage pictures of the museum soon.

View their official website while you still can here.


Friday, November 10, 2006

Guinness World Records Museum- Michael Jackson

Quite an unusual place, the Guinness World Records Museum in Hollywood houses several wax figures, and Michael Jackson just happens to be the very first one presented. Jackson holds quite a few world records in the music category. The museum shows many of his achievements; records sold, etc. Apparently, Michael Jackson was once very popular. Notice his strange outfit and its "Bad" belt buckle.

Another view shows Michael up close. This figure is not exactly the most recent "version" of Jackson, but represents perhaps the MJ that most people remember. He looks so confident and cool, not freaky and eccentric.

The Guinness World Records Museum is located at 6764 Hollywood Boulevard, Hollywood, CA.

Visit the Michael Jackson website here.


Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Disneyland- The Matterhorn's Abominable Snowman

This vintage ad from 1978 previews the addition of the now famous Abominable Snowman who resides inside Disneyland's Matterhorn Mountain. Although not made of wax, Harold, as he is often referred as, is a beautifully designed figure. For nearly three decades He has been scaring unsuspecting guests who pass by in their bobsleds.

Here is the Yeti himself. Not the most animated animatronic ever built, but the addition of a strobe light helps create perceived motion. Basically, the effect tricks you into thinking more is going on than really is. Actually there are several Abominable Snowmen in the attraction, each with its own degree of fluidity.

Though he rarely leaves the mountain, here is a cast of a footprint "found" at the base of the south slope of the mountain.

And yet another footprint, this time from the North slope.

View more information on the Matterhorn Bobsleds here.

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