Mid-Century Mold-A-Rama Machines


When I was a kid, every time we went to the Brookfield Zoo, we got a Mold-A-Rama figure. The evidence of that lives in our travel-theme nursery. I also had a spaceship from the Museum of Science and Industry, but I lost that a long time ago.

Needless to say, Mold-A-Rama machines hold happy memories for me. And as an adult, I love the mid-century look of them.


So much so that at one point I was seriously looking into buying a Mold-A-Rama machine. But, when I realized it would have to live in the garage, I decided it wasn't worth the expense.


I assumed they weren't out in the wild anymore, but we stopped by the San Antonio Zoo recently and they had a collection of Mold-A-Rama machines there.

They had an orange giraffe Mold-A-Rama


A blue koala


And a gray elephant (among other).



All the details are as I remember them, especially the warning where you picked up your final mold.


All the space-age dials are there.


And the (now quaint) coins only detail.


Because the price is definitely more modern.



In the end, the kid wanted a giraffe (even though they don't have giraffes at the San Antonio Zoo).


So we put this miniature plastic factory to work.


And the kid got a giraffe.



Here's what he looks like now that it's in our home.


And here's what it looks like among my childhood collection of Mold-A-Rama molds. 


All of mine say Brookfield Zoo on the base, while the kid's says San Antonio Zoo.


I'll have to make sure that every time we go to the zoo, another San Antonio base gets added to the collection.

10 comments:

  1. They still have these at the Milwaukee, WI zoo too! Same models plus a few more. I had a whole collection, but they were broken accidentally when I moved last time. The polar bear is especially filled with nostalgia for me, since when I visited the zoo as a child, I got one without a head and it caused quite a scene. Now every time I go back, I try to get a polar bear to see if I can get a headless one. No luck yet. ;)

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    1. Sounds like I need to make a trip to the Milwaukee zoo too. How many perfectly fine polar bears do you have now? Good luck on your hunt for a headless one.

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  2. We have a couple in our kitchen from the Henry Ford Museum - a Model A coupe and a Weinermobile ;-)

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    1. Oh man, I would love a Weinermobile one. That is definitely another happy memory for my childhood.

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  3. Right on brother. I wish that I still had my dinosaurs from the 60's. I have a pretty big collection now from all around the country.

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    1. I didn't know they made dinosaurs! Excuse me while I go Google search... and now I'm off to ebay because those are amazing.

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    2. Not sure if that last comment made it through, but I just found your blog post. If you're still looking for dinosaurs, we have 4 at the Field Museum in Chicago, and I'd love to trade for any of the animals from San Antonio!

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    3. Hi, Peter. Thanks for the offer but we don't get to San Antonio all that often, once every couple of years or so (we're Austin based). But when we do go back I'll be in touch to see if you're still up for a trade. Thanks.

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  4. We started collecting them from our zoo here in Milwaukee, then did a Google search and got inspired! We hope to get them all one day. We've been most of the places in the Midwest and are planning to hit Florida soon where there is a glut of Mold-A-Rama machines. San Antonio is on our list, but not for a while, probably. Loved your post!

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  5. If you REALLY want some history about the MOLD-A-RAMA machines, please visit MOLDVILLE.com

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