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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

EARLY style coin mechanism (1962)


There were two different coin mechanisms originally used with the Mold-A-Rama machines:  one for the EARLY style Model 688 machine manufactured in 1962; and a different one for the LATE style Model 688-A machine made in preparation for the 1964 New York World's Fair.

 

D-A-RAMA company in 1963, painstakingly preserved and restored in its original form, inside and out, is about to come online by MOLDVILLE.

 

This 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 figures.

 

The EARLY style coin mechanism has a very simplistic coin switch for each denomination.  It is rather large and bulky, but because of its simplicity it runs well.  There is a mechanical stepper acting as an accumulator hanging on the right side of the mech.  When a nickel is dropped through a simple nickel coin switch - the accumulator stepper advances one notch.  When a dime goes through the dime switch - the accumulator stepper advances two notches.  And the quarter coin switch starts a motor that turns a wheel that has five bumps on it to activate and advance the accumulator stepper five notches.  Coins are gathered in a holding tray until either: (1) the coin return knob is pulled down to return all of the actual coins entered thus far; or (2) enough coins are inserted to pay the set price.  In the case of (1) the holding tray of coins is dumped to the left toward the coin return chute in the front door, or in the case of (2) the holding tray of coins is dumped to the right toward the cash box below.  Pretty cool and capable.  The price setting for the EARLIER mech is adjustable in 5c increments up to a maximum of 27 nickels with the set screw removed, or:   $1.35


 

 

 

 

 

This is a closeup of the pricing wheel of the EARLY style coin mechanism.  Note that the large set screw is in the next-to-last hole on the pricing wheel, thus setting the price to $1.25


 


LATE style coin mechanism (1964)


The LATE style mechanism is sleeker looking.  It replaces the large stepper-based accumulator on the right side of the EARLY style mechanism with an integrated mechanical accumulator inline of the coin drop. 

If a coin gets rejected by the coin rejector (on the top part of the coin mech), it passes down the left-side channel into the coin return cup in the front door.  If on the other hand the coin is a real coin and passes properly through the coin rejector, it runs down the right side of the coin mech, into the rectangular shiny mechanical accumulator with the fancy label in the central area of the coin mechanism.

The mechanical accumulator has a single switch that is pulsed once for a nickel, twice for a dime, or five times for a quarter.  The problem with this mechanical accumulator, I think, is that it depends upon the weight and momentum of the inserted coin itself to advance the internal wheels and operate a switch.  (In contrast, advancement of the wheel of the EARLY style accumulator above is operated by way of an electric solenoid.)  But either the dimes and nickels in current circulation do not match well with the mechanical accumulator, or it never really worked well.  Invariably a dime or nickel will get stuck going through the mechanical accumulator, thereafter holding up passage of any more coins of any denomination.  Because of this, operators even at least as far back as the early 70s modified the coin rejectors of just about all machines to accept only quarters (which run pretty well through the mechanical accumulator).

In contrast to the EARLY style coin mechanism, once a coin passes through the accumulator in the LATE style coin mechanism it merely drops irretrievably into the cash box.  Should the customer pull the coin return knob before putting in enough cash to vend, only a coin stuck in the coin rejector would be returned - not necessarily the entire amount that they've inserted into the machine.  Presumably a customer would have gone to an attendant to get any due money back.  Adjustable in nickel increments starting at 5c, the maximum price setting of the LATE style coin mechanism is only 18 nickels:   $0.90


Operators of Mold-A-Rama machines long-ago changed all currently operating mold machines to more modern coin mechanisms, including dollar bill acceptors.


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