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:  06-14-2017

That great 1960's SMELL!


This is the story of MOLDVILLE.com's attempt to recreate the legendary smell of 1960s Mold-A-Rama machines and toys.

 

iginal vintage "Disneyland Toy Factory" made by the MOLD-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.

I myself am not lucky enough to have a memory of ever having seen a Mold-A-Rama machine back in the day, but some people do.  And those that do invariably speak about the wonderful SMELL of the experience.  People similarly speak of the wonderful smell of the earliest JH MILLER plastic toys made in the late 1950s that were made from an earlier, manufacturing version of the Mold-A-Rama machine.  But nobody knows the source of the scent.  Was it created by the hot raw plastic?  Or from the colorant?  Or from an additive?

I have spent the past year researching this.  I have been lucky enough to have gathered some information about the original Sinclair wax from confidential sources - but none of the information tells us what the composition of the wax plastic was.  We DO know that the wax plastic was (and is still) a polyethylene, as was the plastic used in the late 1950s by JH MILLER, but that's really about all we know for sure.

I started my research by gathering what may (or may not be) 1960s era wax stuck in the nooks and crannies of the supply hoppers in back of old old Mold-A-Rama machines, particularly machines that were sold by the original Mold-A-Rama company to operators as parts machines in the very late 1960s.  We found three separate samples this way.  I figured that most likely these samples of plastic in its supply form would be from the early 1970s - but with a decent chance that maybe at least one of them is in fact Sinclair wax from the 1960s. 

Below a bit of the first sample of raw supply wax is pictured - let's call it OLD WAX #1:


This is a bit of a second sample that we'll call OLD WAX #2:


And this sample is OLD WAX #3:


[By the way, as a side note and a bit of trivia, the plastic supply back in 1965 cost a mere 30c per lb.  Of course it is much, MUCH more costly today (mostly because it is a petroleum product and we know how the price of gasoline has changed since 1965!)]

You'll note from the three samples above that the plastic supply appears colored.  In fact, the raw wax plastic itself was colorless, but it appears colored because back in the 60s and into the mid-70s colorant was added as a very fine POWDER and mixed in with the plastic supply when fed into the supply hopper in the back of the Mold-A-Rama machine.  The powder was a bit messy, and actually caused the inside of the metal hopper to take on the color as well (see below).  (The 'colored' condition of the inside of the hopper is a good indicator as to whether we likely have a sample of old wax or newer wax.)



In 1965, powder colorant was available from Mold-A-Rama in seven colors:

BLUE, RED, YELLOW, GREEN, COPPER, WHITE, or BLACK

Starting around the mid-1970s, the operators decided that the POWDER form of colorant was too messy, and instead impregnated the colorant into small pellets of the wax plastic, and used it that way.  So when the small pellets of colorant are then mixed in with the colorless wax plastic supply no powder remnants dirty the hopper.


The big question is, of course: do these samples of old wax plastic supply smell?  ... Yes!  And it's a VERY fun, pleasant smell.  But is it THE smell that is legendary among those that remember the 1960s?  I didn't know because I didn't see my first Mold-A-Rama machine until just two years ago when MOLDVILLE was delivered to my garage.


So what did the 1960s operating machines and souvenirs smell like, and was it the same smell that I now have sampled in three baggies?  And how was the smell achieved?  Was the smell from an ingredient within the wax plastic, or something mixed in with the powder colorant? 


To further our research, in addition to the three samples of old wax plastic, we set about seeing if we could find samples of old colorant - particularly colorant with the same great smell.  Unfortunately no vintage POWDER colorant in supply form is known to survive (other than that which is already mixed in with old wax.) 


Below is an old colorant POWDER mixed in with wax plastic.  We've picked it because it has a bit of the pleasant smell to it.  Not AS pleasant to my nose, but definitely in the ballpark of the pleasant smell of WAX samples #1, #2 and #3.  Let's call this COLORANT #1


Here's another old colorant that definitely has the pleasant smell to it - this time impregnated into plastic pellets.  Let's call this COLORANT #2.


And we were able to move things in the barn and get to one last sample of vintage colorant that has the pleasant smell:  a vintage supply of COPPER pelletized colorant that hasn't been used in decades (mostly because it doesn't seem to mix well with the plastic used today.)  Again this is colorant impregnated into plastic pellets.  We'll call this COLORANT #3:


Next up is to melt down some vintage toys from the 1960s to get a sense of what the smell was of an operating machine with a hot vat of vintage colored wax plastic.  While it does pain me, these Sinclair dinosaurs are perfect for my purposes as they are engraved from the Sinclair Dinoland tour from 1966-68, placing their date of creation to the time when the machines smelled their best!


To melt the dinos, I placed a soup can into my vat of hot wax plastic already set to 185°F.  I started with just one dino to see if he would melt at 185°F, and he did, so this is definitely Sinclair wax.



Then it was time for the rest of the fellows to jump into the 185°F pot!


So does it smell?.......YES!  It does!  It is definitly just like our three samples of vintage colored wax and samples of vintage colorant, though if I were describing it like a wine I would describe the smell as deeper, more distant than the samples, with a bit more burnt flavor than my samples.


So what IS the smell like you might ask?  What does it smell like?...

I've heard this from at least four people who remember the 1960s.  When I heard it in an email for the first time, I literally went to the local store and bought a box and couldn't wait to get it home.  Sure, I remember it smelled great, but I couldn't really remember if it is this same smell that I've been smelling in my vintage wax samples and colorants.  I opened the box and opened a baggie of a vintage wax and literally said: "Oh my Gosh!"

It smells just like a new box of CRAYOLA CRAYONS!



I have heard that Crayola has trademarked the great smell of their crayons (and thus the great smell of vintage Mold-A-Rama machines!)  It's probably true - it is quite distinctive.  And nobody on the outside knows how the scent is accomplished.  Is it in the calcium carbonate, wax, colorant?  The same sort of questions I have for the source of the smell with vintage Mold-A-Rama toys.  Was Binney and Smith (makers of Crayola Crayons) a supplier of colorant to Mold-A-Rama?  Who knows.

But since the vintage 1960s mold souvenirs smell just like CRAYOLA CRAYONS, it became quite obvious to me how I needed to color Moldville RetroWax™:  using CRAYOLA CRAYONS themselves!  So I did - and it works GREAT!  Look at how well just a small piece of one Crayola Crayon dispurses into melted Moldville RetroWax™:


From the melted dino experiment I can see that a rich amount of pigment was used by Mold-A-Rama in the 1960s.  As such, I'm finding that a vat of Moldville RetroWax™ requires a good number of Crayola Crayons for the molded souvenirs to take on a good rich Crayola Crayon/Moldville RetroWax™ smell.


Toys COLORED and SCENTED with Crayola Crayons, made in Moldville RetroWax™

(Note that our figures are engraved "MOLDVILLE.com est. 2011" on the underside.)


Want to see something interesting?  Not only do the samples of colorant that are impregnated into small pellets of wax plastic smell like a new box of Crayola Crayons - they WRITE like them too!


Please visit the facebook page, and 'LIKE' it to keep up to date:  http://www.facebook.com/pages/MOLDVILLE/156515454416041

email MoldvilleMachine@gmail.com TODAY to join the weekly subscription to make it happen, and receive a DIFFERENT MAR figure every week!

 


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