Battle of the Wax Museums: L.A. Attractions Tussle Over Figure Quality

Dec 23, 2011 7:30am

A curious contest is being waged in Los Angeles. It recalls the battle of the brand titans, such as Coke vs. Pepsi, or McDonald’s vs. Burger King. But this time, it’s wax museum vs. wax museum.

That’s right. It’s a battle over whose wax figures are better.

In one corner, the famous Madame Tussauds – the international franchise that’s considered the gold standard in the world of wax. And in the other corner, the scrappy, family-run Hollywood Wax Museum that’s located just a few blocks away.

Madame Tussauds thinks the competition doesn’t measure up, and it’s launched an all-out marketing blitz to let everyone know it.

“I think some of their figures need work,” Valerie Wang, of Madame Tussauds, told “Good Morning America.”

In a new advertising campaign, Madame Tussauds shows their version of famous figures such as Jim Carrey, Angelina Jolie, Jackie Chan and Lucille Ball, and places them next to the Hollywood Wax Museum’s wax versions of those same stars.

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David Livingston/Getty Images

Their campaign also prominently features a few online critiques of the rival museum’s figures, among them the opinion from one poster that the Hollywood Wax Museum’s figure of Lucille Ball “looks like a meth addict.”

The Hollywood Wax Museum’s operators are not amused, to say the least.

“It’s the case of the big bully, you know, trying to push the little guy around,” Aileen Stein of the Hollywood Wax Museum told “GMA.”

Wang dispute that assertion, explaining: “We’re really not trying to bully them.  We’re just trying to show the difference between us and them.”

Madame Tussauds, which charges a higher admission, is certainly the slicker of the two. So why pick on the little guy?

“It is a threat when we’re losing … when people are going to their attraction thinking that they’re us,” Wang said.

 

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