LAUREL & HARDY
...Now at Planet Wallywood!
At the Son of Monsterpalooza convention in
October 2012, Wally met up with a guy named Evil
Wilhelm, of Midi-Evil Studios. Awhile back, Evil
purchased 60 molds of celebrity likenesses from the
Movieland Wax Museum in Niagara Falls! From those
molds, Evil creates latex "pulls" for customers.
Each head is filled with foam rubber so they're
The first purchase Wally made was a
Sean Connery head. You can read all about the
creation of his Sean Connery/James Bond figure here
in "Forging A Bond." As preparations began for the
Connery figure, Wally kept remembering back to
Evil's table, and the two Laurel and Hardy heads he
had there. Once Wally figured out where he would put
two new figures in his rapidly diminishing floorspace, he called Evil and had him deliver two
fresh Laurel and Hardy heads to NBC.
Wally's Special Effects guy Jim Ojala worked
feverishly on the Connery figure, Wally set about
designing the L&H figures. He combed through
hundreds of photos, and the greatest resource book
of all, "The Films of Laurel and Hardy." He chose
photos that exhibited the physicalities he was
trying to capture in the figures. It was decided
that Stan would strike his famous pose...his arms
out in front with his dim-witted smile. Then it was
settled that Ollie would have his fists on his hips
while shooting Stan an angry look. These were
typical Laurel and Hardy poses from their films
which would resonate with fans.
mannequin for Stan was easy. This particular model
has poseable arms with jointed elbows. Wally also
used this model of mannequin for his Barnabas
Collins, Elvis Presley and Tony Clifton figures and
was quite happy with it.
The Ollie mannequin
was a bit more difficult. One mannequin had the
perfect leg pose, but the top half wasn't exactly
what he wanted. While the mannequin had his hands on
his hips, it didn't convey the anger that was
necessary for the Ollie figure. Wally found the top
half of a different mannequin that featured closed
fists on the hips. Since the Ollie figure would need
to be padded out considerably, the seam between the
top and bottom half of the mannequin could be
mismatched. So he purchased two separate mannequins
and would let Jim sort out the details of the
mannequin has the right leg position for Ollie, but
the wrong hands.
mannequin with the correct torso, arms and hands is
found, and a photo mock-up is made to see how
they'll look together.
photo will be used as reference for the head
a rough mock-up of how the two figures will look
is placed in the vintage gray tweed suit, and Stan's
unpainted head is added digitally to get an idea of
how everything will look together.
Wally ordered a pair of blue
and brown glass eyes from another guy he met at Son
of Monsterpalooza. Daniel from Eyes-Only dropped
both pair off at Wally's house, and got a quick tour
of Planet Wallywood while he was there. All the
materials were picked up my Jim and the work began
as soon as he was finished with the Connery
Next came the search for costumes.
Stan would need a gray tweed suit jacket and pants,
but nothing Wally found on eBay seemed to fit the
bill. A search through his costume closet yielded
gold! Back when he was 16, he "borrowed" a suit from
his dad to use in his Andy Kaufman act in high
school. It was a vintage-looking gray tween suit. He
also used the suit in the play "Charlie's Aunt" in
high school, and years later in the E! True
Hollywood Story as Andy Kaufman. It had been sitting
in his closet since then. It had the perfect look
for Stan! But Stan normally wore a vest (when he
wasn't wearing a double breasted suit) so the search
continued for an appropriate vest. It would be
absolutely impossible to find a vest in the same
fabric as the gray tweed suit (considering the suit
is most likely about 55 years old!), so a slightly
darker wool, vintage-looking British waistcoat
(vest) was purchased on eBay. It complimented the
gray tween suit nicely. Wally already had an
off-white dress shirt with wing-tip collar in his
collection. The blue polka-dotted bowtie would have
to be purchased on eBay. The cufflinks were Wally's
old Phantom of the Opera cufflinks, which were
basically two silver buttons sewn together with
elastic (a trick he learned from the L.A. "Phantom"
company back in 1990!). For the shoes, the "Stan-nequin"
inherited the beat-up black shoes Wally used to wear
when he wore his Lon Chaney "Man In the Beaver Hat"
costume. The shoes were old fashioned in style, and
fit Stan perfectly! A suitable derby was purchased
on eBay from someone who was selling it for a former
Stan Laurel impersonator. Hat, shirt, vest, tie,
cufflinks, jacket, pants and shoes were all taken
Ollie's costume was a little more
difficult. A woman who worked at a vintage clothing
store told Wally that an actual suit from the 30's
in the size necessary for Ollie would be almost
impossible to find. She said in that era most men
were small. She suggested finding a more modern suit
that looked vintage. One thing about Ollie's
costumes, which differed from Stan's, was that it
wasn't uncommon for Ollie to wear a different
colored pair of pants with a different style of
jacket. Stan's suits almost always matched. Ebay
struck again! A black wool tweed suit jacket (size
50R!) was purchased, and a pair of black 54 inch
waist pants were bought at It's A Wrap in Burbank. A
pair of black vintage-looking shoes (size 14) were
purchased there as well! Across the street from IAW
is a great store called Junk For Joy. If you can't
find it there, it most likely doesn't exist. A size
2XL dress shirt with wing tip collar and a vintage
yellow tie with white polka dots were purchased
there. A size 7 3/8 derby was bought on eBay, and
the costume was complete! Again, Wally had a pair of
cufflinks in his collection that will be used for
It was important for Jim to get
the size ratios between the two of them correct, so
he took the derbies with him to see how tall they
were with their hats on. He actually had to shorten
the Stan-nequin a few inches to be in proportion. He
placed the Stan Laurel head on the mannequin, and
tilted it forward slightly. The Oliver Hardy head
was placed on the mannequin carefully, with the head
tilted left, but looking right toward Stan. These
poses would add that little extra touch to the
figures to make them even more lifelike.
head position is secured
and Stan's eyes are added in.
Jim begins padding the Ollie mannequin
The height ratio between the two figures
Jim brought over the newly padded Ollie mannequin to
see if the chosen costume would fit. It fits like a
Jim has been busy painting Stan and Ollie and
getting them ready for their eyebrows (and Ollie's
mustache)! They're looking awesome! When Sergio
finishes their hair, they'll be ready to go!
Just before the Christmas break, Jim finalizes the
paintjob and eyebrow work on Stan and Ollie. They're
perfect, and they'll be coming to Planet Wallywood
soon to get dressed and haired!
is dressed and readied for his hair application.
Then he's joined by Ollie, who could also use
some time with Sergio. But the figures have really
come together. Jim Ojala's
artistry is unsurpassed!
Ollie is finished by Sergio's talented brush, comb
and scissors, and his hat is placed askew on his
head (just like the REAL Ollie used to wear it!).
Then he's buttoned up and placed on the base in his
Stan's hair is almost completed, as Sergio used one
of Wally's old Austin Powers wigs for Laurel's
locks! The color was perfect, as many reports stated
that Stan had reddish brown hair. Next, Sergio will
add a few more rows of hair to Stan's hairline, and
cut, frizz and style to the appropriate degree.
The styling of Stan's hair is completed and the figures are ready for display! Thanks to Evil Wilhelm, Jim Ojala, and Sergio Lopez for helping to put together these amazing works of art!