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 28:


 

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

BOWLING PIN & SCORECARD

1962

Willow Grove Lanes, at Willow Grove Amusement Park, Pennsylvania (presumably)


Last week MOLDVILLE.com was at the Hollywood Bowl - and this week we go back half a century to go BOWLING!  This week's BOWLING PIN & SCORECARD moldset is believed to have been made for Willow Grove Lanes - the world's largest bowling alley when it was built in 1961.


The BOWLING PIN & SCORECARD moldset was made at the same time as THE CHAMP BOWLING PIN moldset (left) and the IN MEMORY OF A ONCE FINE BOWLER moldset (right).  All three of these sequentially-numbered bowling moldsets were made in late 1962.


And just a couple months later, the WILLOW GROVE LANES bank moldset (right) was made.  The rearside of the WILLOW GROVE LANES bank moldset is engraved "WILLOW GROVE LANES, WORLDS LARGEST, EASTON RD. AT MORELAND RD., WILLOW GROVE PARK, PENNSYLVANIA."


The WILLOW GROVE LANES bank (upper right) was included in Mold-A-Rama's bank promotion program, as seen in the above vintage promotional brochure that Mold-A-Rama put out in the 1960s entitled "MOLD-A-RAMA - BANK PROMOTION PROGRAM."


Willow Grove Lanes was a massive bowling alley built in 1961 at the century-old Willow Grove Amusement Park in Pennsylvania, about 15 miles north of Philadelphia. Built by architects Powers, Daly and DeRosa, masters of the 'California-style' bowling center), it was an 800' long "V"-shaped building that took 15 months to build.  The main entrance was highlighted by a solid parabola that swung skyward 116 feet and hovered over a multicolored water fountain situated in a miniature lake.  When you entered the building your eye was drawn to a rotating turntable display of bowling paraphernalia.  (Credit to the book "Diners, Bowling Alleys and Trailer Parks" by Andrew Hurley (2001), and to the Tikiroom.)


To get a better sense of the size of Willow Grove Lanes, it is circled at the top of this photo (Willow Grove Amusement Park is in the lower half of the photo.)  It included a variety of ancillary social spaces, including a nursery which boasted of a life-sized rocking horse.  Teenagers fraternized at a soda bar called 'The Hutch.'  The place was so big that there were THREE restaurants inside  - a German beer-themed 'Hofbrau,' the 'Waterfall Room,' and the 'Tiki Room' (right).



Willow Grove Lanes had 116 lanes which, according to the engraving on the back of the WILLOW GROVE LANES moldset, was the world's largest!  Willow Grove Park (and presumably Willow Grove Lanes) closed for good in 1976.  Though Willow Grove Lanes stood for only 15 years or so (1961-1976), the Willow Grove Amusement Park traced its beginnings back to 1896 (for the last few years under the name of 'Six Gun Territory'.)  By 1982 Willow Grove Lanes (and Willow Grove Park) were demolished and replaced by the Willow Grove Park Mall (more commonly called 'Willow Grove Mall.') 

[At this point the Joni Mitchell (and later Counting Crows) song with the lyrics "They paved paradise and put up a parking lot" comes to mind . . ..]




 



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!