For over 200 years, Madame Tussauds has played host to the wax figures of political figures, famous murderers, sports stars, and celebrities. Want to smooch Jonny Depp? Selfie with Kylie Jenner? Fist bump the Hulk? Tussauds makes all that possible and more!
Tussauds Las Vegas is coming up on 20 years of operation. As the first of its kind in the United States, it has a lot to live up to and it takes on that challenge with gusto.
Here's why you need to take time out of your busy Vegas schedule to visit Madame Tussauds.
Get a 3D View of Las Vegas History
Madam Tussauds isn't just about rubbing shoulders with A-list celebrities, it's also a great way to learn some area-specific history.
For the Tussauds in Washington, that means an exhibit of all 44 US presidents. London, as the originator of the franchise, pays tribute to Madame Marie Tussaud herself alongside the British Royal family.
The Las Vegas chapter gets a far more eclectic ensemble: porn stars, playboys, Las Vegas Strip headline acts, and mobsters all take center stage at the Tussauds of Sin City.
The Rat Pack
The Rat Pack was the name used by the media to refer to an eclectic group of entertainers who dominated the Las Vegas Casino scene in the 1950s and 60s. Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., Peter Lawford, and Joey Bishop were regular faces associated with the moniker.
The Rat Pack will forever be associated with Las Vegas and Madame Tussauds pays homage to the group with wax figures of Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis, Jr., and Dean Martin.
On July 31, 1969, Elvis Presley played to a sold-out crowd of 2000 people at the International Hotel in Las Vegas. It was the first of 700 sold out performances that saw Elvis become a Las Vegas mainstay.
Nearly 50 years later -- 40 since the King's death -- Las Vegas is still keeping the rock n' roll spirit alive with dozens of headlining impersonator acts and, of course, Elvis Presley's very own wax figure at Tussauds.
Ben "Bugsy" Siegel was a mobster who rose to prominence in the 1920s and 30s. He's often credited with the invention of the Las Vegas Strip after he took over the stalled construction of a ritzy hotel and casino known as the Flamingo. In reality, there were already several hotels and casinos in operation on the Vegas strip by the time he arrived.
What he did do for the Vegas Strip was make it famous by association when he was murdered a few months after the Flamingo's business started picking up. His murder was never solved, but there was a lot of speculation about whether his business in Las Vegas had something to do with it.
The Flamingo remains a Las Vegas attraction to this day, as does Bugsy himself as a wax figure at Madame Tussauds.
Get up Close and Personal with Pop Culture Icons
Tussauds is famous for its depictions of real people, but they're just as adept at sculpting characters and ground-breaking modern CGI creations.
Ever wanted to high five the Hulk? You can at Tussauds Las Vegas.
Alongside their more human counterparts like Thor and Nick Fury, the Marvel Superheroes exhibit features larger than life sculptures of the Hulk and Tony Stark's Hulkbuster, proving that wax figure sculpting isn't limited to reality.
The Marvel Cinematic Universe is one of the most successful film franchises in history, with characters as iconic as they ever were in the comics. So throwing an arm around Captain America for a selfie is an unmissable experience.
The Hangover Experience
The Hangover was the second highest-grossing R-rated comedy ever in the United States and it's not difficult to see why. A clever script and outrageous onscreen chemistry between the cast members went a long way to solidifying The Hangover a place in the onscreen comedy hall of fame.
Tussauds Las Vegas pays homage to the movie set in its hometown with a faithful recreation of a number of sets, including the infamous hotel room, and characters. So if you've ever wanted to hang with the Wolf Pack now's your chance!
Get Your Lip Sync on with the Singers Themselves
At their heart, Madame Tussauds wax sculptures have always been a means of documenting popular culture. Whether it's spectacular red carpet looks or groundbreaking music videos, Tussauds' faithful recreations of some of popular culture's most iconic visuals go a long way to cementing those moments in history.
Miley Cyrus' Wrecking Ball
The music video for Miley Cyrus' Wrecking Ball was a sensation. It took home multiple best video awards, including World's Best Video at the 2014 World Music Awards in Monte Carlo, and catapulted Cyrus into her first number-one single in the United States.
Regrettable as the singer may find the video, there's no doubting its impact on mainstream popular culture. An impact that's now immortalized with a wax sculpture in Tussauds Las Vegas.
Nicki Minaj's Anaconda
Hot on the heels of Wrecking Ball came Nicki Minaj's iconic music video for her single Anaconda.
Anaconda was nominated for 2 categories at the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards, walking away with a win for Best Hip-Hop Video. Alongside its record-breaking 19.6 million views in its first day of release on Vevo, Anaconda's achievements were more than enough to earn Nicki Minaj a wax figure at Madame Tussauds.
Madame Tussauds Is a Las Vegas Icon Unto Itself
Madame Tussauds' success over the last 3 centuries is part of a long tradition of human curiosity and spectacle.
Madame Tussaud herself believed she provided "entertainment, artistic enlightenment, historical education, and a place of pilgrimage" according to Pamelia Pilbeam, author of Madame Tussaud and the History of Waxworks. With 24 location-specific exhibits worldwide, Tussauds does all that and more.
Tussauds in Las Vegas is a mainstay of popular culture and Vegas history.
So whether you want to look a gangster in the eye or rub shoulders with superheroes, Madame Tussauds is a destination rich in wonder and curiosity that shouldn't be passed up.
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