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 22


 

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

LOBSTER

Hackney's Restaurant

1963 Atlantic City, NJ


The LOBSTER!  Lore had it that the LOBSTER was first vended at a restaurant in New Jersey.  And based on our own analysis of the serial numbering of the original moldsets, the LOBSTER moldset was custom made by Mold-A-Rama at almost the same time as another moldset known to have been made for a New Jersey location:  CAPT. STARN'S RESTAURANT in Atlantic City, NJ.  Capt. Starn's pier was known both for its pleasure activities as well as its seafood restaurant.  We already know for certain that there was at least one Mold-A-Rama machine at CAPT. STARN'S (See the SAILBOAT reissued in week 16 of v1.0 of the Club-A-Rama).


 

 

Looking at some of the advertising for Capt. Starn's, it seemed only logical to me to assume that the LOBSTER was very likely first used at CAPT. STARN'S SEAFOOD RESTAURANT.  But alas - it wasn't!  As one of our most seasoned collectors told me since I first posted this week's writeup, it was vended at a COMPETITOR's restaurant of Capt. Starn's just 3 blocks down the boardwalk:  HACKNEY'S RESTAURANT!


While Captain Starn's Restaurant (est. 1940) had the capacity to serve an impressive 750 people at a time, Hackney's could seat 3,200!





The LOBSTER is a bank, as you can see from the suggested SLOT area to be cut out on the backside.  To get your money back out of the LOBSTER bank I guess you have to crack him open!


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Not related at all to the LOBSTER, but I thought I'd throw in a vintage machine photo.  This photo is from ALLIGATORLAND during the $1 era (late 80s - early 90s).


As Rob points out:  The original version of the mold had "Hackney's" engraved at a 45-degree angle.  Sometime later, the name of the restaurant was ground off, presumably for use in Florida.  Even so, the retooling wasn't clean, and you could still pretty clearly read "Hackney's", although the lower line of horizontal text was now made indecipherable.  When the mold was used at Lowry Park Zoo, "Hackney's" was still visible if you were looking for it.  Then, more recently, the moldset (the only one we think) was retooled again, which completely cleaned off all the original engravings and added the seaweed.  Looking at your photo of the moldset, you can still see fairly well where the original lines of text had been.

The LOBSTER moldset is numbered 1071, which places it squarely in 1963, during the time after MOLD-A-RAMA's introduction at the 1962 Seattle World's Fair, but before the moldsets to be used at the 1964 New York World's Fair were produced.  And as mentioned above, the LOBSTER moldset was made at almost the same time as the CAPT. STARN'S SAILBOAT (numbered 1067) reissued in week 16 of the first year of the MOLDVILLE Club-A-Rama.  Perhaps close enough in time that once Mr. Hackney saw the MOLD-A-RAMA machine vending SAILBOATS at his competitor's restaurant 3 blocks away, he had a MOLD-A-RAMA machine installed as soon as he could?!  Who knows, but the close timing is quite curious indeed!


Hackney's Restaurant burt to the ground in September 1963 - the same year I date the LOBSTER moldset to have been made.  Who knows - maybe the LOBSTER moldset that MOLDVILLE.com used this week was somewhere inside this burned restaurant? (Hackney's Restaurant was rebuilt by the following year 1964.)



Week after week MOLDVILLE.com reissues a souvenir from a location that has since been lost to time, and this week is no exception.  Though they rebuilt after the September 1963 fire, Hackney's Restaurant (as well as Capt. Starn's Seafood Restaurant) are both now but a memory from years past on the Boardwalk in Atlantic City.


 

 

 

This is how close Capt. Starn's Restaurant was to Hackney's Restaurant:  the bulldozed area at the top of this photo (right) is the former location of Capt. Starn's, while the bulldozed area in the center of the photo is the former location of Hackney's.


 

 

 

 

 

Oh, and by the way - the LOBSTER bank souvenir reissued by MOLDVILLE.com this week GLOWS in the dark!


The LOBSTER has also been run at the FLORIDA AQUARIUM and at LOWRY PARK ZOO (both in Tampa, FL).  Do you have an originally engraved LOBSTER from HACKNEY'S?  If so, please send a photo of it to MoldvilleMachine@gmail.com!


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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