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ATTRACTIONS Star Wars strikes back at Tussauds

Han Solo, Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader, among others, have come to Madame Tussauds in London as part of a new multi-million pound Star Wars experience. Having opened to the

public on Saturday 16 May, the new attraction – which has been created in close collaboration with both Disney and Lucasfilm – represents a significant expansion of Madame Tussauds London. The immer si v e

Fans are able to recreate classic scenes from the Star Wars series

experience features 16 wax recreations of classic Star Wars characters, plus a number of walk-in sets to authentically portray some of the franchise’s most memorable moments. “Te Star Wars films are so loved, and fans

so passionate, it was a huge responsibility to get this right. It has taken over 180 sculp- tors, hair artists, colourists, set designers and prop makers more than a year to create the experience - everyone wanted to make it as authentic as possible,” said Madame Tussauds London’s general manager, Ben Sweet.

“We were given rare access to the Star Wars

archives at Skywalker Ranch in California, which was invaluable. The artistic team poured over stills and footage day and night to ensure the likenesses of our wax stars are spot on and the sets as reminiscent of the actual film scenes as possible. We hope peo- ple will become immersed in the Star Wars story and interact with their favourite char- acters in a totally new and exciting way.” Te 16 figures cost a total of £2.5m to make. Details:

Thomas the Tank Engine ‘worth £1bn’

The Thomas the Tank Engine IP has been valued at £1bn, 70 years on from the publication of the first book by Reverend W Awdry. Since its creation

in 1945, Tomas the Tank Engine has gone from a series of children’s books, to a

televis ion

series, to a movie, to a number of attractions world- wide – with the brand now visible in more than 120 countries around the world. In the attractions realm, Drayton Manor

Tomas Te Tank Engine has been a huge success since its creation in 1945 “No fortune teller could ever have pre-

recently spent £2.5m expanding its Tomas Land attraction, which has gone from strength to strength since its launch in 2008. Plans are also in the works for a Tomas theme park in Massachusetts, US, while the IP has fre- quently been touted as “key” to the survival of heritage railways worldwide.

6 Read Leisure Opportunities online:

dicted how Tomas would come to be loved by so many all around the world,” said Britt Allcroft, the producer who brought Tomas to television. “Tomas is a magi- cal world and my one wish is to meet every child for whom the stories have meant so much. He’s grown into a phenomenon.” Details:

Twitter: @leisureopps © CYBERTREK 2015

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