Forget "The Graduate." I bet a lot more people in the plastics industry were introduced to processing by Mold-A-Rama machines than by Dustin Hoffman. Remember the Mold-A-Rama? Those were the small, coin-operated presses you saw at museums and zoos, where you could make your own colorful plastic souvenir. Guess what? Mold-A-Rama machines are still around! Chicago is a mecca for Mold-A-Rama presses, but you can also find them in Florida and Oklahoma City. Time Out Chicago's web site today has a feature on where you can find still-operating machines at various cultural sites in the Windy City. There are eight Mold-A-Rama presses at the Brookfield Zoo, two at the Field Museum, two at the Lincoln Park Zoo, four at the Museum of Science and Industry, and one coming soon at Rotofugi. Today most of the polyethylene toys cost $2 -- but if you saved a classic old toy from your youth, it could be worth a lot more -- some go for hundreds of dollars on eBay. The Time Out Chicago story also includes a short Q-and-A interview with Paul Jones, business manager at Lyons, Ill.-based William A. Jones Co., which makes Mold-A-Rama products. According to the interview, Jones, his brother and their father maintain all the old machines. They haven't made a new Mold-A-Rama since 1964. For more information on Mold-A-Rama, check out this recent feature from the St. Petersburg Times. Or just watch the video.
Cool childhood memory: Mold-A-Rama
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