MOLD-A-RAMA machine made in 1964 by Mold-A-Rama, Inc. for New York World's Fair, and Seattle World's Fair in 1962, is restored to its original glory to reissue souvenirs last seen half a century ago.

MOLDVILLE.com

Experience the souvenir fun of the 60s & 70s again, for the first time...

(MOLDVILLE is not affiliated with Mold-A-Rama, Inc. of Chicago, IL nor with the 1960s company Mold-A-Rama, Inc. of Los Angeles,  original operator of the "Disneyland Toy Factory.")

Website last updated:  10-20-2014

Club-A-Rama Week 6:

LION

1962


 

T

his machine is a beauty. It has the original red/yellow deck with original Disney posed wire figures in various positions about deck, e.g., pushing the mold halves closed, riding the dispensing shovel, pointing to the finished figure, etc. The original RED Disney delivery door is beautifully intact over the delivery box.

 

This particular machine was built just before the '64 NY World's Fair, and was last used in 1976. When retired it was producing Pluto Disney figures, the Pluto mold being on the machine and some original old-wax Pluto figures being found strewn about inside the machine.

 

The MOLDVILLE Mold-A-Rama machine has many, many, many original molds with it. (Not the wax figures;  I'm talking about the aluminum mold halves themselves that push together to make the MAR figures.)

 

For those inquiring minds, the best information is that the Disneyland Toy Factory Mold-A-Rama machines were NOT ever at Disneyland. But they most certainly WERE at the 1964 New York World's Fair, used to mold various Disney characters, and of course the '64 NY World's Fair symbol- the UNISPHERE!

 

Question is: What to do with this vintage, beautiful, all-original, operating machine?

 

While this thought can change depending upon interest, the initial idea is to make figures for those interested, change the mold each week, and offer a 'subscription' for a years' worth of figures. That would be 52 figures, perhaps shipped monthly, including some otherwise commonly seen figures, some not-so-commonly seen figures, and most importantly some EXTREMELY RARELY SEEN figures. While the exact figures to be molded will not be disclosed ahead of time, the rarest molds to be used include molds used at:

     '62 World's Fair in SEATTLE

     '64 World's Fair in NEW YORK

     '67 EXPO in MONTREAL

     Mann's Chinese Theatre in HOLLYWOOD at movie premiers

 

Each week, on Moldville Mondays, I hope to post a VIDEO clip of the Moldville Mold-A-Rama making that week's featured figure. All those who are subscribed will receive that figure (and subsequent figures). To provide incentive to subscribe beforehand and not wait until a desirable ultra-rare figure is announced, each new figure will be molded only for those who are already subscribed-and only one per subscription. I hope to provide the look and feel-and excitement-of discovering a Mold-A-Rama machine and the magical figure it brings to life.

 

If/when I get REALLY up to speed (and gain sufficient interest), I may provide some original AUDIO tracks from the Mold-A-Rama machines circa 1960s. This audio was output from a tape player either as an 'attract' mode to randomly attract a passerby, or continuously.

 

The Moldville Mold-A-Rama is based in Washington, DC, in a location probably 500+ miles from the closest operating Mold-A-Rama machine.

 

Please, PASS THE WORD! Let me have your thoughts at MoldvilleMoldarama@gmail.com. The more interest there is, the more likely this is to happen! And soon!

 

The subscription price is looking like it will be set at a mere $5 per week (plus nominal monthly shipping.) Remember, you'll want to subscribe quickly and not miss out on any Moldville Mondays. I plan to start with a bang! If you miss any given week because you haven't yet subscribed, you will have missed your opportunity to own that week’s figure, which very well may have been one of the many extremely rare figure


 


The video entertainment this week is a mashup between the 2004 pilot episode of WONDERFALLS entitled Wax Lion, and the more time-approriate (for my purposes) 1966 academy award winning movie BORN FREE.  WONDERFALLS was a short-lived comedy-drama TV series that was broadcast on the Fox television network in 2004.  It was filmed in Niagara Falls, Ontario, and enjoyed positive reviews from critics, but suffered from little advertising and an unannounced time-slot change.  It was unfortunately canceled after just four episodes, though all 13 episodes that were made are available on DVD.  BORN FREE was a 1966 film based on the true story of Elsa the lion, written by Joy Adamson.



c1970s Lion Country Safari, CA


The machine on the right is vending the large lion (the one on the left is vending the large elephant.)  The Lion Country Safari wasn't founded until 1967, so it's not the original use of the small lion moldset.  While over the years there were a number of locations for Lion Country Safaris, only one Lion Country Safari remains in operation, in Loxahatchee, Florida. Unfortunately for current collectors, that one Lion Country Safari no longer has a Mold-A-Rama machine (but they should!!) 


1974 Lion Country Safari, Laguna Hills, CA


The large lion moldset (NOT this week's figure) is late-style unnumbered design, placing its origins post-1967, the apparent year that the owner of Mold-A-Rama at the time (ARA Services) sold Mold-A-Rama.  (No moldset originally made after 1967 uses the original design numbering system.)  On the other hand, the small lion moldset (which IS this week's figure) is among the very few early-style unnumbered designs, placing its origins squarely in 1962, most likely just after the end of the 1962 Seattle World's Fair.  Both the small lion and the large lion have been vended at Lion Country Safari, but the large lion much more so.


The small lion moldset is shown on the left; the large lion moldset on the right.  The large lion is much more prolific and commonly available (and in fact is the figure in the Wonderfalls pilot).  The small lion's use quickly faded into the background after the large lion moldset was made, causing the small lion to be fairly hard to find.  But it's not the size that matters.  MOLDVILLE's focus is on what I refer to as the '25c era', and as such I generally prefer the earlier moldset designs to the later (though there are exceptions.)


The original use of the small lion is unknown, though a strong influence from the 1950s original by the inventor of the Mold-A-Rama machine, J.H. Miller himself, appears clear.  Above is a comparison between MOLDVILLE's reissued 1962 lion standing next to a 1950s original by J.H. Miller.



This is MOLDVILLE, 'dressed' with an original early 1970s plexi backglass from LION COUNTRY SAFARI, just for this week's production of lions!


 


A nice yellowish/orange lion color was created for the MOLDVILLE machine to accomplish this week's production.  It actually took 2 full days to arrive at this color. (Can you see the remains of a recycled, mostly melted lion figure?)


Disclaimers:  The color and/or exact condition of the MOLD you get in the CLUB-A-RAMA may or may not be as shown.  Not for children under 3.



 


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If YOU would like to own this very moldset (and perhaps even include a fully operating MOLDVILLE machine to go with it) so you can reissue your own souvenirs from 50 years ago, please email MoldvilleMachine@gmail.com TODAY - before someone else beats you to it!