From the collection of: Nessa
Located in : Crafts
, Gadgets, Games, Toys


Mold-a-Rama Machines are pretty much the coolest thing ever invented. Insert a few coins, and a magic machine makes you a toy out of hot plastic. Then it spits it out, still hot, for you to behold. It does this all right before your eyes. The smell of the freshly-squeezed plastic is quite heavenly. Not to mention the truck-like “hurkity-hurkity” sound it makes while it molds, attracting the attention of everyone around it. Chicago is lucky to have a load of these machines still in working order, mostly at the zoos and museums. I tried to hit them all, but I missed a few. Others are scattered around the country, where I will seek them out, one day. My love of these machines can really not be overstated. I might be a little too old to squee and jump up and down over a plastic toy, but I do it anyway. This one is the camel-making machine at the Chicago Zoo.

Everything, from dinosaurs to space ships, to busts of Abraham Lincoln.. can be yours.. the best and most affordable souvenir anywhere, even better than the flatten-a-penny machine.

What Allee has to say about this:
I never had the patience to wait around for these things to do their thing though had I been more aware of the hyper percussive sound they make I probably would’ve been trying to sample them to use on my records. I did love what the finished product felt like though and, of course, would kill to have one of these machines out in front of my house!

Thanks so much for your excellent documentation of the Mold-A-Rama.

Here’s some more pictures for your viewing pleasure:

This space-shuttle making one lives in a dark corner of the Museum of Science & Industry in Chicago.

This one at the Field Museum makes a spiffy dinosaur! (It still says “Brontosaurus” though he’s been renamed, if I recall correctly.) The girl using the penny-smash machine is clearly missing out on the really good souvenir.

A multi-Mold-a-Rama kiosk at the zoo. Fun for all ages!

Here is an example of the finished product. Science!

Mold-a-Rama TRex attacks an elephant at the Field Museum.