MOLD-A-RAMA (moldarama) 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. 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:  04-18-2016

Club-A-Rama v2.0

WEEK 20


 

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

KING COBRA

1962 Miami Serpentarium (likely)


It is believed that the KING COBRA moldset, dated to 1962, likely was first used at Bill Haast's Miami Serpentarium. (MOLDVILLE.com is currently in search of confirmation of this, and would appreciate greatly if anyone who might recall a Mold-A-Rama machine vending the KING COBRA at the Miami Serpentarium in the early 1960s to please email us at MoldvilleMachine@gmail.com to let us know!)  While the frontside is now engraved "Monocled Cobra", it was originally engraved "KING COBRA" in an area just to the left of the smaller cobra.  Also, the current location engraving on the base of this reissued souvenir, as well as the descriptive engraving on the rearside, are not from its original use in the mid-1960s.



Bill Haast was born in 1910, bought his first poisonous snake from a catalog (a diamondhead rattler), and had his first serious snake bite (a timber rattlesnake) by the age of 12.  He dropped out of school at 16 and joined a roadside snake show in the late 1920s.  Later he found work as a flight engineer with Pan American World Airways, and used his toolbox to smuggle snakes (including his first cobra)!


 


Even my own Mom and Dad visited the Miami Serpentarium - this photo was taken by my Dad in July 1954!

Bill Haast opened the first-class snake farm called the Miami Serpentarium in 1947. Outside was a 35-foot-high concrete statue of a giant cobra - forked tongue flicking menacingly.  Inside the self-proclaimed "Snakeman" entertained visitors.  His near-fatal snakebites became legend, particularly after the total passed 100 in the mid-1960s.  Mr. Haast was bitten at least 173 times by poisonous snakes.


 


The secret to his success?  The immunity he had built up by injecting himself every day for more than 60 years with a mix of venoms from 32 snake species!



 

 

 

 

Mr. Haast, shown here with his wife Clarita Haast, used his hands to grab poisonous snakes below their heads and force their teeth into soft plastic.  Venom would then drain into a test tube fastened to the plastic.  He did this 100 or more times a day!



Bill Haast, (shown with his wife Clarita sporting a fantastic 1960s hairdo!) figured that he had handled more than 3,000,000 poisonous snakes over the years - and he had the hands to prove it.  An eastern diamondback rattlesnake left one hand looking like a claw; a Malayan pit viper mangled an index finger; and a cottonmouth bit a finger, which instantly turned black, prompting his wife to snip off the fingertip with garden clippers.




The Miami Serpentarium attracted 50,000 tourists a year for four decades.  Sadly, it was closed in 1984.  But in a rare ray of sunshine in this weekly exploration by MOLDVILLE.com of long-gone amusements - Bill Haast recrafted his talents into a venom-gathering operation which he opened in Punta Gorda, FL. The Miami Serpentarium Laboratories continues to this day as the premier source of venom to the scientific community.  The price of a gram of freeze-dried venom from exotic snakes, requiring 100 or more extractions to accumulate, could exceed $5,000.  The substance is an essential ingredient in making a serum to treat snakebite victims, and also has shown promise as a medicinal ingredient.


The KING COBRA moldset, numbered 1040, dates to the first year of Mold-A-Rama - 1962.  The original base engraving - whatever it was - was changed years later to "METRO ZOO" for a reuse of the KING COBRA moldset.  Also, you can see the area above where it now says "MONOCLED COBRA" where the original engraving of "KING COBRA" was ground out.


Mr. Haast indisputably saved lives.  He flew around the world to donate his antibody-rich blood to 21 different snakebite victims.  Venezuela made him an honorary citizen after he went deep into the jungle to give a boy a pint of blood.  The favor was returned in 1989 when the White House used secret connections to spirit a rare serum out of Iran to treat Mr. Haast as he fought to recover from a bite by a Pakistani pit viper.  (Different venoms require different antidotes.)


 

Does injecting snake venom make you live longer?  Bill Haast suspected that his daily injections of a snake venom cocktail might have explained his extraordinarily good health, but he was reluctant to make that claim, he said, until he reached 100.

In 2011, at the age of 100, Bill Haast passed away.  Even into his 90s Bill Haast said he injected himself weekly with a venom cocktail from five snakes: cobras, cottonmouths, kraits, mambas and rattlers. 

The FDA has never endorsed injection of snake venom.


Though it is believed that the Miami Serpentarium is the first use of the KING COBRA Mold-A-Rama moldset, there were other Serpentariums in 1962, including the NY Serpentarium, which may instead have been the original use of the KING COBRA moldset.  If you have any information about where the KING COBRA moldset was used in the early 1960s - PLEASE email MoldvilleMachine@gmail.com and tell us about it!


UPDATE:  MOLDVILLE has heard directly from Bill Haast's family that YES, there definitely was a MOLD-A-RAMA machine there in the 1960s!  We are still nailing down though whether or not this was the figure that it vended.  There is a feeling that the figure that was vended included an image of Bill Haast in that famous kneeling pose charming a Cobra.  Could that be part of what was rubbed out in the upper area of the COBRA moldset?  Don't know yet, but more is certain to follow!


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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