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:  06-14-2017

Club-A-Rama Week 24:


 

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

LINCOLN BUST

1963


In honor of the 203rd anniversary of our 16th and greatest President's birth on February 12, 1809, MOLDVILLE.com is honored this week to present an amazingly detailed bust of ABRAHAM LINCOLN made in 1963.


The original use of the LINCOLN bust has been rumored that the LINCOLN bust with no base (this week's figure) was vended at the ILLINOIS PAVILION of the 1964-65 New York World's Fair (shown above courtesy Bill Cotter.)  In my research for this week I attempt to confirm or refute whether or not the LINCOLN bust was at the 1964-65 NY World's Fair.  

It should be noted that the STANDING LINCOLN figure, which is known to have been vended at the New York World's Fair, was vended only in the SECOND year of the fair (1965), based on the serial numbering of the original moldset.



Walt Disney himself was a HUGE part of the 1964-65 New York World's Fair, and likely was instrumental in bringing Mold-A-Rama into that fair in a big way.  Numerous venues at the NYWF included Mold-A-Rama's machines, and as we all know there were dozens of machines branded as a DISNEYLAND TOY FACTORY.

Walt Disney designed many of the venues, including General Electric's PROGRESSLAND (which is now the Carousel of Progress at the Magic Kingdom in Disneyworld); IT'S A SMALL WORLD (which moved to Disneyland immediately after the NYWF); Ford's MAGIC SKYWAY featuring life-sized audio-animatronic dinosaurs (which are now along the Disneyland Railroad Primeval World diorama); and



of course, the "GREAT MOMENTS WITH MR. LINCOLN" animatronics show at the ILLINOIS PAVILION.


Interestingly, while many exhibits at the 1964-65 NYWF were moved after the fair ended to Disney properties, the "GREAT MOMENTS WITH MR. LINCOLN" show was demolished and discarded, save for some valuable artifacts, collections, and exhibits that made their way back to the State of Illinois or elsewhere.  A second version of the show and attraction opened in 1966 at Disneyland, but the exterior and interiors were new in both construction and theme because it was no longer sponsored by the state of Illinois, but rather by Lincoln Savings.  (It also was a 'free' attraction not requiring an "A" or "E" type ticket as was the system until 1980 - remember those!)



So anyway, back to the story of the LINCOLN bust (no base) moldset.  I haven't seen first-hand confirmation that the LINCOLN bust was for sure vended at the NYWF and/or the ILLINOIS PAVILION, but I can tell you based on its creation date it is certainly possible, perhaps even quite likely.


The numbering of the LINCOLN bust moldset places it's creation before the first wave of eight standard size DISNEY figures (MICKEY MOUSE, DONALD DUCK, PLUTO, PINOCCHIO, JIMINY CRICKET, GOOFY, PETER PAN and BRER RABBIT) that we know were vended at the fair (by DISNEYLAND TOY FACTORY machines!)


By contrast, the standing Lincoln moldset, which IS known to have been vended at the Illinois Pavilion of the NYWF, is numbered much higher, along with the SECOND wave of DISNEY figures (LARGE Mickey Mouse, LARGE Donald Duck, and LARGE Pluto), which my dating system places JUST IN TIME for the SECOND year of the NYWF - 1965.  For the FIRST year of the NYWF, 1964, it is entirely reasonable to assume that Mold-A-Rama machines were ready in April 1964 with an already-existing moldset (i.e., the LINCOLN bust.)


The lateness of the standing Lincoln's addition to Mold-A-Rama's offerings at the Fair may be due to the uncertainty of the content of the show that would be given at the Illinois Pavilion.  It was not at all certain that the Lincoln animatronics show would be completed in time for inclusion in the Illinois Pavilion.  A little history on that:

As early as 1956, Walt Disney had begun toying with the idea of creating an American history show for Disneyland.  Called "ONE NATION UNDER GOD," this show would have featured a 5-screen wrap around presentation with artwork and narration, culminating in a Hall of Presidents in which all of America's presidents would be featured in some way, but the highlight of which would be Abraham Lincoln.


As Bill Cotter explains at his fantastic website:  www.nywf64.com, by April, 1962, when New York World's Fair President Robert Moses visited the Disney studios for an update on the Ford and General Electric Disney presentations for the Fair, the development of the Lincoln figure for "ONE NATION UNDER GOD" had progressed to the point that an Audio-Animatronic Lincoln prototype could rise from his chair and shake Moses' hand. The World's Fair President was so impressed by this demonstration that he was adamant that "ONE NATION UNDER GOD" be presented at the Fair, despite Disney's misgivings that the technology wasn't completely developed enough to have the show completed in time for the Fair's opening in 1964.  Could it be that at this point, with the insistence by the Fair President Robert Moses that the "ONE NATION UNDER GOD" show about ALL Presidents be presented at the Fair, that a series of President busts was ordered from Mold-A-Rama?


For what has heretofore been an unknown reason, there are actually SEVEN (7) Mold-A-Rama made President busts ALL in a very tight sequence of serial numbering (with Washington and Lincoln being the first) strongly inferring they were all created for the same purpose.


While the original use of most of this series of seven President busts is not known, their dating is such that it places them in time with the planning for the anticipated "ONE NATION UNDER GOD" show that included ALL Presidents, including the then current President (JFK).  In fact, the timing of the creation of Mold-A-Rama's Presidents busts is so closely tied to the runup to the Fair that was to open in April 1964, that while the seven President busts are grouped in dating a bit before the eight Disney figures (MICKEY MOUSE, etc.) were made,

there is an eighth President bust made immediately after the Disney figures, but well in time for the Fair, as if added at the last minute for a use with all the other President busts.  Can you guess who it is?  Hint:  he acceded to the Presidency suddenly in late November 1963 - just 5 months before the NYWF opened...


With time running out and the Fair soon to open, at the last minute Disney and Moses agreed to scale back what was going to be the "ONE NATION UNDER GOD" exhibit of ALL Presidents to instead be a ONE-figure show - that of President LINCOLN only. Could it be that with the scaled back show only the LINCOLN bust made any sense to make use of?

The ILLINOIS PAVILION was a gracefully designed, one-story building of red brick.  Visitors entered through a sculpture garden with a prominent large photograph of Lincoln with two eloquent Lincoln quotes in metalic bas-relief.  In the sculpture garden were a large sculpture of Lincoln on horseback, "Abraham Lincoln: On the Prairie" by sculptress Anna Hyatt Huntington; and a bronze replica of a famous Lincoln bust made by Gutzon Borglum (sculptor of Mt. Rushmore fame) entitled "The Prairie Resident".



Was the LINCOLN bust vended at the 1964-65 New York World's Fair?  The bottom line:  It's possible.  Actually quite possible, particularly based on the circumstantial evidence of the dating of the LINCOLN bust moldset; based on it's creation at a time associated with the wave of figures for the 1964 NY World's Fair; based on its timing with the anticipated but later scaled back "ONE NATION UNDER GOD" show; and based on the general story line of the Illionois Pavilion and display of sculptures and a bust of Lincoln.  If anyone can confirm or refute the use of the LINCOLN bust figure at the NYWF, please email me at MoldvilleMachine@gmail.com!

Since this was originally written, it has been confirmed to MOLDVILLE.com by multiple sources that the LINCOLN bust was indeed vended at the NYWF!


 



As we all know well and acknowledge with great gratitude, Abraham Lincoln saved the Union and lived to see the end of the War Between the States - though just barely.  He would be shot 5 days later, and die the next morning.  In an interview, Mrs. Lincoln told her pastor that the "very last moments of Abraham Lincoln's conscious life, having saved the Union, were spent in conversation with her about his future plans, and what he wanted to do when his term of office expired.  He said he wanted to visit the Holy Land and see the places hallowed by the footprints of the Saviour.  He was saying there was no city he so much desired to see as Jerusalem; and with that word half spoken on his tongue, the bullet of the assassin entered his brain, and the soul of the great and good President was carried by angels to the New Jerusalem above."


UPDATE:  These photos of two LINCOLN BUSTS obtained first hand at the 1964-65 New York World's Fair were recently sent to MOLDVILLE.com, confirming that the LINCOLN BUST was indeed vended there!  (Side note:  neither of these have the Unisphere engraving on their underside.)


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.


Please visit the facebook page called 'Moldville', and 'LIKE' it, to keep up to date: http://www.facebook.com/pages/MOLDVILLE/156515454416041?success=1


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!



 


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