What exactly makes a specialty mannequin? There are so many different models available, you might think of them all as special-use... but really, only a select few are. For the most part, display mannequins are basically alike... "A life-size or partial representation of the human body, used for the fitting or displaying of clothes." These may be realistic, abstract, or variations in between. True specialty mannequins are built specifically to display particular items. Of course, the reduced necessity for these display manikins makes them harder to find, but also makes them more valuable when you find them.
One type is the military uniform display mannequin. Often, uniforms are smaller, or at least shorter, than today's six-foot plus male manikins. Museums are faced with the task of finding male mannequins that are shorter and more slight, but that still look like adults. Females, too, have changed over the years. Just try to put a vintage corset on a modern display manikin!
Other specialties include displays for mastectomy bras, which have only one breast, allowing the breast prosthetic to be displayed realistically. Dress dummies or tailor's dummies are of softer, adjustable materials that allow designers to fit clothing properly onto three-dimensional forms. Inflatable mannequins fill a niche for tradeshow and other traveling displays.