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:  04-18-2016

Club-A-Rama Week 15:


 

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

KEWPIE DOLL

1963



The tradition of St. Nicholas Day, usually on December 6th (or Dec. 19 in most Orthodox countries), is a festival for children in many countries in Europe related to surviving legends of the saint Nicholas, and particularly his reputation as a bringer of gifts. The American Santa Claus, as well as the Anglo-Canadian and British Father Christmas, derive from these legends. "Santa Claus" is itself derived from the Dutch "Sinterklaas."

In honor of St. Nicholas Day this past week, MOLDVILLE has reissued . . . the KEWPIE DOLL!  Why the KEWPIE DOLL for St. Nicholas Day you might ask?  Well, because it was on St. Nicholas Day in 1942 that Anne Frank received a Kewpie Doll from Miep Gies and Bep Voskuijl.  Being Jewish, it wat the first St. Nicholas Day that Anne Frank had ever celebrated and did so because it was only a day later than Hanukkah that year.  Miep and Bep were the two heroic secretaries working in the building who protected Anne and her family while they were hiding in the secret attic annex above Anne’s father’s place of business.


 

MONDAY, December 7, 1942

Dearest Kitty (Anne's name for her Diary),

            Hanukkah and St. Nicholas Day nearly coincided this year; they were only one day apart.  We didn’t make much of a fuss with Hanukkah, merely exchanging a few small gifts and lighting the candles.  Since candles are in short supply, we lit them for only ten minutes, but as long as we sing the song, that doesn’t matter.  Mr. van Daan made a menorah out of wood, so that was taken care of too.


            St. Nicholas Day on Saturday was much more fun.  During dinner Bep and Miep were so busy whispering to Father that our curiosity was aroused and we suspected they were up to something.  Sure enough, at eight o’clock we all trooped downstairs through the hall in pitch darkness (it gave me the shivers, and I wished I was safely back upstairs!)  to the alcove.  We could switch on the light, since this room doesn’t have any windows.  When that was done, Father opened the big cabinet.

            “Oh, how wonderful!” we all cried.

            In the corner was a large basket decorated with colorful paper and a mask of Black Peter.

            We quickly took the basket upstairs with us.  Inside was a little gift for everyone, including an appropriate verse.  Since you’re familiar with the kinds of poems people write each other on St. Nicholas Day, I won’t copy them down for you.

            I received a KEWPIE DOLL, Father got bookends, and so on.  Well anyway, it was a nice idea, and since the eight of us had never celebrated St. Nicholas Day before, this was a good time to begin.

Yours, Anne

            P.S.  We also had presents for everyone downstairs, a few things left over from the Good Old Days; plus Miep and Bep are always grateful for money.

            Today we heard that Mr. van Daan’s ashtray, Mr. Dussel’s picture frame and Father’s bookends were made by none other than Mr. Voskuijl.  How anyone can be so clever with his hands is a mystery to me!


For an awesome short video with quite a few real images of Anne Frank, check out:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xVkc-0cI91o



KEWPIE DOLLs (occasionally spelled cupie) and figurines are based on comical strip-like illustrations by Rose O'Neill that appeared in Ladies' Home Journal in 1909. The small dolls were extremely popular in the early 1900s, and even today many are very collectible (go ahead and do an ebay search!)  They were first produced in Ohrdruf, a small town in Germany, then famous for its toy-manufacturers. They were made out of bisque and then celluloid. In 1949, Effanbee created the first hard plastic versions.

Their name, often shortened to "Kewpies", is derived from "cupid", the Roman god of beauty and non-platonic love. The early dolls, especially signed or bisque, are highly collectible and worth thousands of dollars. The time capsule at the 1939 New York World's Fair contained a Kewpie doll. The term "Kewpie doll" is sometimes mistakenly applied to the troll doll.

Many other articles were made using their images, for example, coloring and poem books,  cups, plates, curios, etc. The incredible success of these characters made their creator rich and famous. It's a rare example of a woman becoming successful in the media business at such an early date. Kewpies should not be confused with the baby-like Billiken figures that debuted in 1908.


This color was SO perfect for the KEWPIE DOLL!



Uses of the KEWPIE DOLL have proliferated over the years, including as the mascot of Kewpee Hamburgers, founded in 1923 in Flint, Michigan (left), and since 1914 as the mascot of Hickman High School in Columbia, Missouri (right).


 


The numbering of the KEWPIE DOLL moldset puts it squarely in 1963.


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!