(credit: TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)

For an authoritative voice on the activities, events and news influencing our popular culture, we went to the top twin attractions on Fisherman’s Wharf: Madame Tussauds and The San Francisco Dungeon. To craft the best-loved (and most reviled!) visions from the worlds of reality and fantasy, they keep their fingers on the pulse every day, talking to vast numbers of fans every season. When flash-in-the-pan trendiness turns into here-to-stay sensations, Madame Tussauds makes the call, as they’ve done for over 200 years.

(Courtesy of Kari Martin)


Kari Martin, Marketing Manager
Madame Tussauds San Francisco and The San Francisco Dungeon
145 Jefferson St. at Fisherman’s Wharf
San Francisco, CA 94133

It’s Kari Martin’s job to be on top of who and what visitors want to see when they come to these two “must-do” attractions on iconic Fisherman’s Wharf. As one of the six American cities that’s home to Madame Tussauds, San Francisco is on the leading edge for tech and innovation. Couple that with the latest at the underground world of The San Francisco Dungeon and you’ve got a Halloween formula for success. Martin shares these insights on trendsettters for Halloween 2015.

Laverne Cox (credit: Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images)


Transgender Trailblazers

The word took notice of the first-ever transgender figure in the museum’s history in Laverne Cox. The real Laverne Cox personally unveiled herself in wax at Madame Tussauds in San Francisco during Pride Month in June. Due to her starring role on Netflix’s hit “Orange Is the New Black,” Cox has emerged as a well-known face in mainstream media, gracing the cover of Time in another first. “Her amazing performances and upbeat personality have done wonders in moving the mainstream toward a transgender tipping point, as Time magazine calls it,” says Martin.

Miley Cyrus (credit: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)


Attention-Getting Pop Stars

Where Madonna once trod and Lady Gaga followed, Katy Perry went and Miley Cyrus goes. The over-the-top stage costumes, crazy antics, semi-nudity and showy neon-colored hairdos of these superstar gals are meant to shock and impress. At Madame Tussauds, Martin says Miley is “here to stay,” and she’s already twerked her way into several Madame Tussauds collections from Las Vegas to London. Grab your wrecking ball or pile on your sequins, feathers, rainbow tutu and bright blue wig. We know Katy Perry dressed up as a giant orange Cheeto for Halloween last year, now you can dress up as her.

Jackie Chan Wax Figure at Madame Toussauds (credit: Laurie Jo Miller Farr


YouTube Stars

Are Ian Hecox and Anthony Padilla household names in your household? Smosh certainly is…especially if your household contains tweens and teens. With 21 million subscribers and counting, the first YouTube stars to receive the waordix treatment are on display at Madame Tussauds San Francisco through November, before traveling to New York, Hollywood, Orlando, Las Vegas and Washington D.C. According to Martin, fans were super excited in advance of the August unveiling for the pair who met in sixth grade science class. “With their first feature film, Smosh is changing the way celebrities are born,” says Martin. Start styling your hair now.

Chris Evans as “Captain America” & Chris Hemsworth as “Thor” in “Avengers: Age of Ultron” (credit: Disney/Marvel Studios)



From “Game of Thrones” characters to old-timer classics like Captain America, Batman, Catwoman, Superman, Wonder Woman and Iron Man, the connection between Halloween and superheroes is lock tight, as always. “The superhuman character appeal remains just as strong for grownups as it is for kids,” says Martin about this comic-led, video game-fueled and TV-driven trend that just “keeps coming and coming.” Madame Tussauds says Superheroes are one of the five top trends for Halloween 2015.

The Walking Dead (credit: AMC)


The Walking Dead

Witches and ghosts just aren’t scary enough anymore. With the sixth season of this zombie apocalypse horror series on air starting this October, TV’s widest and biggest-ever viewing audience of 18- to 49-year-olds ever is tuning in. Halloween has long been the realm of creatures of the night, so gruesome-looking “The Walking Dead” cast of characters complement a generation-proof succession of Dracula, Frankenstein, Bride of Frankenstein, vampires and werewolves. Everything old is new again in this ageless iteration of Halloween horror.

Laurie Jo Miller Farr loves walkable cities. A tourism industry professional and transplanted New Yorker by way of half-a-lifetime in London, she’s writing about the best of the bay and beyond for Bay City Guide, AXS, Examiner and more. Examiner.com.