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 29:


 

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

UNISPHERE

1964-65 New York World's Fair


This week MOLDVILLE.com travels back 48 years to visit Flushing Meadows, in Queens, NY, site of the 1939 New York World's Fair, to go to the 1964-65 NEW YORK WORLD'S FAIR to pick up an ultra rare MOLD-A-RAMA UNISPHERE!



The iconic UNISPHERE was conceived as the symbol of the 1964-65 NY World's Fair.  Built on the same foundation as the PERISPHERE for the 1939 New York World's Fair (Perisphere shown at right, with Trylon in background and Helicline in foreground), the UNISPHERE is a 140 foot high, stainless steel representation of the Earth.  It was designed by landscape architect Gilmore D. Clarke, donated by United States Steel Corporation, and constructed by the American Bridge Co.  The sphere is 120 feet in diameter, and constructed of Type 304L stainless steel.  Each of the three orbit rings are believed to represent the orbital tracks of: (1) Yuri Gagarin; (2) John Glenn; and (3) the first active communications satellite Telstar.  (An early design of the UNISPHERE had TWELVE rings - one for each of a dozen satellites in place at the time, but that proved impractical for several reasons including the fact that geostationary satellites don't have orbital paths as they are stationary.)


This photo from the 1964-65 New York World's Fair is the ONLY known photo to show a UNISPHERE-vending MOLD-A-RAMA machine - or at least I think that's what it's vending.  Can you see the machine?  It's over by the JAYCOPTER ride.  OK, I'll give you a closeup to help . . .:


It's difficult to see clearly, but the plexiglass of the Mold-A-Rama machine appears to show a similar depiction of the familiar blue/orange background color (albeit reversed from its standard arrangement) with a white stenciled UNISPHERE, to the right side of the plexiglass on the machine.  OK, you might need to use some imagination, but believe it or not this is the BEST (and only) known photo.  If you know of ANY photos from the NYWF showing a Mold-A-Rama machine, please, please email me at MoldvilleMachine@gmail.com!!



A SILVER and BLUE color was created in a 1980s era wax formula, to make this week's UNISPHERE.  One reason that current operators have moved on from the 1980s formula was that it had a tendency to 'glob', as you can see in the photo above.


 

When operated at the 1964-65 New York World's Fair, the Mold-A-Rama machine had a custom reverse-stamped vat plate cover mounted so that the bottom of the molded UNISPHERE would be engraved with information relating to its sponsor - United States Steel (USS).  This stamping has been seen on other figures made at the 1964 NY World's Fair, e.g., on at least two LINCOLN BUSTs (see WEEK 24 of MOLDVILLE.com's Club-A-Rama).  A closeup of the reverse stamping is shown below - but mirrored so that you can read what it would have engraved on the bottom of a UNISPHERE vended at the NYWF.  This original vat cover was not used in making this week's UNISPHERE (the photo at right was posed for demonstration purposes.)  Instead, MOLDVILLE.com's usual vat cover with the reverse stamping "MOLDVILLE.com est. 2011" was used.





 


The UNISPHERE still stands today, perhaps most visibly seen during the US OPEN tennis tournament each year at Flushing Meadows-Corona Park.



The UNISPHERE moldset from 1964 is a little challenging to operate with today's higher temperature wax.  I found that the product tended to vend with hot wax still trapped inside the globe, and some seconds after it vended the hot wax would melt through a sidewall or the support for the globe.  After I ran the Club's figures I later tried the UNISPHERE with lower temperature 'retro wax' that I am experimenting with, and it vended beautifully. 

This particular moldset exhibits some interesting operator adjustments (right) made to the top of the sphere presumably to help relieve pressure at the top of the globe.


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!