Madame Tussauds targets Hollywood Boulevard rival in wax museum war

A wax figure of actor Colin Farrell is seen greeting visitors at Madame Tussauds Hollywood.
A wax figure of actor Colin Farrell is seen greeting visitors at Madame Tussauds Hollywood. David Livingston/Getty Images North Americ

It's the battle of the Angies as Hollywood tourist staples Madame Tussauds and the Hollywood Wax Museum go head to head in a "wax-off." Tussauds, whose tickets are almost $10 more than its competitor, is attempting to prove its figures offer more bang for your buck by placing a new figure every week next to life-size photographs of the cheaper, hometown rival's figures. First up: Angelina Jolie.

The wax museum franchise is also planning to frame and hang negative reviews of the Hollywood Wax Museum around its lobby.

"I personally think we are better than the Hollywood Wax Museum," Colin Thomas, general manager of Madame Tussauds, told the L.A. Times.

The $60 million attraction opened next to Grauman's Chinese Theatre in 2009, and its Hollywood location is just one of 13 scattered around the world. It's owned by Merlin Entertainments Group, which also owns Legoland and Sea Park.

The Hollywood Wax Museum, on the other hand, opened its doors in 1965. Its founder, Spoony Singh, was a former saw mill operator and amusement park creator from Canada. And its current owner, Singh's grandson, runs the place with help from his three uncles.

So it's no real surprise when Tej Sundher says the battle of the Hollywood Boulevard museums is just an example of a "current-day David and Goliath story."

"We are more kitschy but we embrace that," Sundher told the Times.

Kitschy is one word for it. But some Yelp reviewers have used ... different terms.

"Paula Abdul looked like a man," accused one reviewer. "Jim Carrey (I think) looked like a clown."

Other reviewers moaned at the Lucille Ball ("she looks like a meth addict"), the Twilight stars ("I shed a tear"), and Humphrey Bogart ("YOU look more like Humphrey Bogart"). Strangely enough, only Samuel L. Jackson was spared.

Madame Tussauds has four stars on Yelp while the Hollywood Wax Museum has only two and a half.

Thomas of Madame Tussauds told the Times that their figures, created by a team of professionals in London, are clearly superior.

"This is about our brand," he said. "We don't want people being confused."

Tussauds plans to rotate its wax figure comparisons every few days.

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