Have you heard of a Mold-A-Rama before?? We are not talking about what you would find in a cheap hotel, we are talking about the super cool Model-A-Rama vending machine that makes injection molded plastic figurines!!!
This machine would make a plastic souvenir right before your eyes for only 25 cents! Of course that was back in 1962 when it first came out. These machines were the first 3-d printers of its kind, when you walk up to the machine you would see what figure that machine was going to make. You would drop in your money and watch it work its magic, the machine would put two metal molds together then pump in hot melted plastic to fill the mold and once the plastic would dry/ harden it would open up to reveal your custom souvenir.
Disneyland toy factory Mold-A-Rama Machine
These souvenirs would run a wide range of things from dinosaurs to busts of famous people and really anything in between. Amusment parks would have them so people can take home mini versions of their parks mascots.
Lets take a look on how this machine looks while in action
The one event that really made the Mold-A-Rama Machines popular was the 1964 Worlds Fair. The fair had many different machines going with different molds, all related to ideas and images from the Worlds Fair but the most popular machine was the one that made a mini unisphere.
Unisphere Mold from 1964
Here is a small collection of some of the great items you can get from the machines
Even though the machines were very popular and hundreds of different molds were made, they were prone to breaking down and the maintenance was a lot to keep up with, so most of the machines disappeared from the public eye in the late 1980s. Guess what??? Thanks to two companies the William A. Jones Company in Illinois and Replication Devices in Florida, there are now 124 machines in a total of eight different states that work and still make some great molds!!!
for more info about this machine check out these great sites: