Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Disneyland- Trader Sam

Besides the obvious difference in material, what separates a traditional wax figure and an animatronic is the ability of motion. A figure like Trader Sam does have the same basic purpose as say a Charlie Chaplin wax figure. Each attempts to create a realistic representation of a human being. The static Chaplin figure brings the viewer into a frozen moment from one of his motion pictures. Trader Sam, through its ability to move, stretches that frozen moment into a prolonged, living experience. While a wax tableau may be a three dimensional painting, an attraction like the Jungle Cruise becomes a moving picture where time is both experienced and suspended. Neither is better than the other, in fact both create interest in the subject they represent, and each should be appreciated for the art form it is.

A closer view of Sam with the mask he wore for years. And for years he has been giving Jungle Cruise passengers the same great deal. Two of his heads for one of yours!

I often looked to see if the figure actually had a face behind the mask, but the speed of the boat, along with the seating configuration, made that difficult.

Tada! After the last major update to the attraction, which brought explosions and Piranhas, Sam decided to get a little more sun. Despite the upgrades, Sam kept the same great deal.

Visit the official Disneyland website here.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Paris Spectacular Wax Museum- Joan of Arc in Her Armor

"Jeanne d'Arc in the full armor of a French Knight. The figure is inspired by the statue at the Church of the Madeleine, in Paris. It tells the story of the inspired peasant girl who 'heard voices' bidding her help the Dauphin win his throne. It stands as a symbol of the glorious and tragic events which marked the beginning of the national esprit of France. Here, see Jeanne d'Arc, one of the central figures of French history, dying in a burst of flames, the victim of a great injustice."

A close up of the woman warrior. They did a great job with her expression, and with her hair.

View more information on Joan of Arc here.

View more information about the Seattle World's Fair here.


Thursday, February 22, 2007

News- Rachael Ray Figure at Madame Tussaud's

In their continuing flurry of new figure releases, Madame Tussaud's in New York unveiled a Rachael Ray figure on February 21st. I really did not know that she was popular enough to warrant her own figure. Though not as lifelike as the Kate Moss figure recently released in London, they did do a good job. Here, Rachael was able to attend the unveiling.

She is apparently hiding behind herself.

It looks like they made the figure a tad bit taller than her real life counterpart.

She is really getting a kick out of this whole experience.

I've never seen someone get so active during one of these press photo ops. When Brandon Routh unveiled his Superman display he was about as dynamic as his wax figure. On a side note, I wonder how long it will be until they release a bald Britney figure.

Visit the Rachael Ray Show website here.

Visit the Madame Tussaud's New York website here.


Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Guinness World Records Museum- World's Highest Shallow Dive

This figure may be of an older record holder, but I do not know who it is. I often spend too much times admiring the figures and not reading descriptions. This shot is for the Guinness world record for the highest dive into shallow water. The record is currently held by Danny Taylor, Who past Danny Higginbottom's previous mark. However, this figure does do a good job at displaying the essence of the record. This guy looks to be from a completely different era.

Splash! I do not understand how anyone could stand trying this stunt, but I suppose making it into the record book is so desirable that the pain is worth it for him.

This shot gives a better idea of how the display is lighted. The old man is about to pull off one amazing belly flop. The record for this stunt is diving over 29.5 feet into about 12 inches of water.

Visit the Guinness World records website here.


Sunday, February 18, 2007

Knott's Berry Farm- Fortune Teller

Here is a shot of a fortune teller machine located in the Ghost Town section of Knott's Berry Farm. I was surprised to see such a detailed piece of artwork at knott's. Like Disneyland's fortune tellers, this machine uses elaborate figures to entice guests to spend some change at the park. This one shows an old woman who uses her "wisdom" to tell your future. However, I ended up not spending the change.

A close up of the woman shows the terrific detail of the figure. She almost looks real. She doesn't look like a fortune teller, but she does fit in with the ghost town theme of the park.

Another angle of the machine. Too bad there was so much glare on the window. It is still worth checking out if you're ever at Knott's.

Visit the Knott's Berry Farm Website here.


Thursday, February 15, 2007

News- Kate Moss Figure at Madame Tussaud's

Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum in London announced another new figure Tuesday. This time it's fashion model Kate Moss who has been immortalized in wax. Her figure, which truly looks amazing, is sitting on a Barcelona bed as if in a photo shoot. As more Madame Tussaud's are scheduled to open around the world, it is good to know that quality is still top priority.

Another view of the figure shows just how much attention went into the figure. How did they get that black dress on her?

A closer look at miss Moss.

Closer. . .

Closest. This close up shows the detail in the figure's face. I did not realize that she was still a big celebrity. I would have figured that she would have already had a figure come and go, but I suppose the museum only has so much space.

Visit the Madame Tussaud's London website here.

View more information about miss Moss here.


Tuesday, February 13, 2007

National Historical Wax Museum- John Marshall


The now defunct National Historical Wax Museum was located in Washington D.C. on 26th street. Here we see the figure of Chief Justice of the Supreme Court John Marshall. Marshall was credited for establishing the Supreme Court as a truly equal branch of the government. The court's decisions during his reign as Chief Justice solidified the idea of the constitution being the supreme law of the country, and that all cases should be weighed against the original intent of the constitution.

A close up of the figure. Marshall's figure is incredibly lifelike. Many of the other figures at the museum did not have such detail.

Read some of John Marshall's works here.

View more information on John Marshall here.


Thursday, February 08, 2007

News- Ghost Rider Rides into Madame Tussaud's

Madame Tussaud's Las Vegas announced yesterday a new exhibit based on the upcoming Ghost Rider film. The new interactive experience features a Nicolas Cage figure as Johnny Blaze. With him is the hell Cycle. This exhibit will allow guests to get their pictures taken with the figure and motorcycle. This new scene is just one of many new figures that have added to the various Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum's this year.

Visit Nicolas Cage's filmography here.

Visit the Madame Tussaud's Las Vegas website here.


Monday, February 05, 2007

Movieland Wax Museum- Daydreams

This scene from the 1922 Buster Keaton (1895-1966) film Daydreams, is one of the smaller sets in the museum (actually just the other side of another set). The tableau shows Keaton daydreaming, but the scene once looked very different. Originally it had Keaton, in a similar pose, covered by motion picture film. His character apparently had been too busy dreaming to notice that the projector he was manning had malfunctioned. I assume the figure was moved from another section of the museum to this set to make room for another movie scene. Keaton shares this set with the figure of Charlie Chase. I guess that they are waiting for Painless Parker to finish up with the Little Rascals. It even looks like they made Keaton have a sore tooth.

A close up of Keaton's figure. They moved his arm a little to make it look like his jaw hurts. When Keaton visited the museum on January 4th 1964, they declared it Buster Keaton Day. He then donated his hat to the museum.

Some more wax Facts. Each gives more information about the famous actor. The Buster Keaton figure sold at auction for $3000, and the various props sold for $800.

Visit the Buster Keaton Society here.


Friday, February 02, 2007

Hollywood Wax Museum- Wizard of Oz

The first scene beyond the entrance of the Hollywood Wax Museum is a nice depiction of the Wizard of Oz. Although visible from the street, and easy to take a look at without paying, the scene is viewed best after one enters the gate. Here we see Dorothy gale with the Tin Man, Cowardly Lion, and the Scarecrow. Toto stands at her feet waiting to attack any wicked witches who may try and steal her ruby slippers. Where is that witch? Maybe she is plotting to have her winged monkeys fly in and kill them all.

This close up shows the Scarecrow, played by Ray Bolger (1904-1987), and Dorothy, played by Judy Garland (1922-1969). her figure looks lifelike, just not like her.

The Cowardly Lion, played by Bert Lahr (1895-1967).

Here is the sensitive Tin Man, played by Jack Haley (1898-1979). Hey look, it's 10:10.

There she is! The wicked Witch of the West is hiding behind a tree. She'll get you, you pretty. The witch was played by Margaret Hamilton (1902-1985).

This is an apple tree that guides guests to the entrance of the wax museum. The sign points to the witches castle, but I never found it. I guess there's more than one witch who lives there.

Visit the Hollywood Wax Museum's website here.

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