Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Guinness World Records Museum- Hungriest Sword Swallower

Here's a shot of Martin Henshaw swallowing swords at the Guinness World Records Museum. In April 2000, he swallowed 14 swords at on time. This is quite an accomplishment, as one sword is difficult enough.

A close up on the figure. Sword swallowing is very dangerous, but Martin here seems okay. Nice pose.

Visit the Guinness World records website here.


Saturday, May 26, 2007

News- Recycled Prince Charles at Madame Tussaud's

Using recycled figures, and environmentally friendly materials, Madame Tussaud's London unveiled their newest version of Prince Charles this week. The museum undertook many unusual steps to ensure that this figure used as little resources as possible to make. The artisans worked only in the daytime as to not use electricity, and rode bicycles to work instead of driving. They even planted trees to make up for the little amount of waste they did create. All this to honor Charles' stance on the environment. I did not know he had such a position, but I guess he's the British Al Gore.

Nice work on the face. They really seemed to get him just right.

Although this picture looks a tad creepy. Nevertheless, great job using organic bees wax and Charles' former figure.

Visit the Madame Tussaud's London website here.


Wednesday, May 23, 2007

National Historical Wax Museum- Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr


Oliver Wendell Holmes was an associate Supreme Court Justice who served from 1902-1932. He is often considered to have had the strongest influence on Constitutional law of any Justice since John Marshall. Apart from his strong opinions, and scholarly attitudes, he had a really cool Mustache.

This close up highlights the big mustache which is usually associated with Nineteenth Century culture. The museum did a wonderful job on the figure. Holmes actually has a style that looks good as a wax figure.

View more information on Oliver Wendell Holmes here.


Saturday, May 19, 2007

Lancaster County History Sold to Highest Bidder

Today marks the end of an era in Lancaster County as the contents of the Discover Lancaster County History Museum were auctioned off one at a time. The figures and sets did not demand the same lucrative prices as the stars from the Movieland Wax Museum auction did, but some memorabilia fetched significant numbers. Here are a couple examples...

This James Hamilton figure, which is animatronic, sold at the auction for $500. It was made by the Creegan Company.

This figure was also sold at the auction, and was created by Dorfman Museum Figures. The figure and set sold for $275. It appears to be part of an interactive scene, but I don't know what it actually did. The figure is not very detailed, and I wonder if that has anything to do with the trick. Maybe his name is Roger Workman.

This sign draws visitors to make some noise, and that should activate the scene.


Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Disneyland- Buzz Lightyear

In the Queue for the Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters attraction at Disneyland is an audio animatronic Buzz Lightyear figure. The very expressive figure explaind the mission of the ride. Shoot the targets and earn points to destroy the evil emperor Zurg.

Now buzz shoots his laser gun to show how it works. His face is animated using some sort of rear projection technology similar to Madame Leota in the Haunted Mansion.

From another angle we see Buzz and his Etch-A-Sketch that he uses for strategic planning.

Here is the evil Zurg, as drawn on the Etch-A-Sketch. His animatronic figure can be found near the end of the attraction.

Visit the official Disneyland website here.


Sunday, May 13, 2007

American Historical Wax Museum- Battle of the Alamo

This nice and violent tableau from the American Historical Wax Museum shows the battle of the Alamo. In this scene we see Mexican soldiers attacking what's left of the Texians hold up in the Alamo. The battle, which resulted in the Mexicans overtaking the mission and killing most of the Texians, ended on March 6th 1836.

This is probably William B. Travis, who commanded the Texian army during the battle. They did a good job with his expression in this very dynamic scene.

A Mexican soldier. Is he about to kill Travis, or is he the next victim of the desperate officer?

A dead Davy Crockett lies on the sand. In the old television series, he was the last survivor, and began to swing his rifle at the invaders after he ran out of ammunition. Here, he didn't quite make it that long.

View more information on the battle here.


Thursday, May 10, 2007

Hollywood Wax Museum- The Gold Rush

This nice wax figure of Charlie Chaplin in the Hollywood Wax Museum is from the motion picture The Gold Rush. I like the way the figure is balancing on one leg. The set was fairly small, but fit in nicely with the claustrophobic theme of some of the film.

Finally, a clapboard sign that was so prevalent at the Movieland Wax Museum is seen here at the Hollywood Wax Museum. This is the first sign like this since the Wizard of Oz set at the entrance of the museum. I'm glad they have at least a few of these in the building to give more information on the characters and movies.

View Charlie Chaplin's Filmography here.


Monday, May 07, 2007

Movieland Wax Museum- Dinner at Eight

This figure of Jean Harlow is from the 1933 motion picture Dinner at Eight. Considered Hollywood's first platinum blonde, Harlow quickly became a major star, but died tragically at the age of 26. This movie highlights Harlow's sex appeal, as she was one of the most popular leading ladies of the 1930's. Harlow died in 1937 of a kidney disease.

The tableau with flash on shows how the lighting really set the mood for the scene. The set is filled with light colored props and dressings, allowing the lighting to better recreate such an intimate setting.

Without the lighting, you'd think this was Harlow's preserved corpse. A little too much make-up was applied to the figure.

Some of the props from the set. For some reason they remind me of my grandmother's house. All the props and the set sold at the auction for a combined $2900. This includes the beaded curtain and chandelier(not shown), as well as the couch and end table.

The clapboard giving more information about Jean Harlow and Dinner at Eight. Jean Harlow's wax figure sold at auction for $7,250, a relatively large amount.

View more information on Jean Harlow here.


Friday, May 04, 2007

National Wax Museum of Lancaster County Heritage- Old Swimming Hole

This scene from the once glorious National Wax Museum of Lancaster County Heritage, shows how local kids survived the summer heat in Lancaster County. Whether it was fishing, swimming, or swinging from a rope, the kids here seem to really enjoy the satisfaction of cool water quenching the scorching heat. This first photograph shows the tableau in its heyday, with clean water and children that did not have broken hands and grime on them. The museum, which closed in December, was hopefully going to relocate its collection somewhere else in Lancaster County, but I suppose these effort failed. Now, almost all of the figures and sets will be auctioned of on May 19th. So any of you history fans out there can own your own wax figures (actually, vinyl).

This boy had been swinging into the water for nearly forty years.

This boy looks like it has been a rough forty years for him also.

He used to hold something in his hand, but his thumb broke off. Luckily, using the traditional Amish invention of electrical tape, he is as good as new.

Except for the bad peeling on her legs and feet, this young girl seems to have held up pretty well.

This kid, who was fishing in the first picture, lost his pole and gained some wear and tear.

One kid who made it into the water isn't looking too good now. I get raisin fingers after a half an hour. This kid was in there forty years.

Except for the first picture, all photos are from Jennings Auction Group.


Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Knott's Ghost Town- Toy Shop

Like many of the peek in scenes at Knott's Berry Farm, this toy shop is easily missed. Inside, you'll find several figures enjoying the shop and its toys. These figures are not exactly top notch wax figures. They seem to be typical mannequins dressed up in period clothes. The child's hair looks very fake. There is still a charm to this scene.

The outside of the toy shop shows just how small it is.

Another figure inside the shop. She looks more detailed than the child, but is clearly just a fiberglass type mannequin.

Visit the Knott's Berry Farm Website here.

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