Calling All Mold-A-Rama Fans

brookfield zoo mold-a-rama

Those who have visited Brookfield Zoo over the past 50 years are probably familiar with the incomparable smell of melting plastic and the warm, slightly squishy feeling of a statuette cooling in eager hands after it has been created in one of the iconic Mold-A-Rama® machines. This year marks the 50th year the machines have been at Brookfield Zoo, and the milestone anniversary is being celebrated with the availability of limited-edition figures. In addition to a special 50th anniversary bison (located at the Memory Lane Tent), Mold-A-Rama® Inc. is offering the following statuettes only for a short time throughout the summer:

  • 1966 walrus will be sold in July only (located at The Carousel)
  • 1973 lion will be sold in July only (located on the North Mall)
  • 2005 camel will be sold in August only (located at The Carousel)
  • 1980s rhino will be sold in August only (located on the North Mall)

Zoo guests have enjoyed millions of collectible plastic figures since the first Mold-A-Rama® machine first made its appearance at Brookfield Zoo in 1966. Currently throughout the year, the 13 machines located around park offer a variety of fun, collectible animal and seasonal figures, including a dolphin, giraffe, and polar bear. Each mold costs $2.

To also commemorate the anniversary, staff from Mold-A-Rama® Inc. will be at Brookfield Zoo’s Memory Lane Tent on Saturday, July 16, from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. to meet guests and to answer any questions about the nostalgic machines. There is also a Mold-a-Rama® Hall of Fame display featuring figures from past years.

In addition, for a limited time only, Mold-A-Rama® Inc. apparel is being sold in the Memory Lane Tent. Items include hats and t-shirts that are available in a variety of colors and sizes.

The souvenir plastic figures were first invented by Tike Miller, who in the late 1950s sold the rights to his idea of a souvenir-making machine to Automatic Retailers of America Inc. He worked with ARA for several years in the development of such a vending machine. This resulted in a new division of ARA, and the term Mold-A-Rama® was sprung on the American consumer.

About the Author

Annie Tandy
Annie loves making great memories with her kids and started Kidlist in 2011 so she can help others do the same! Besides finding fun and exciting things to do, Annie and her kids enjoy caring for their chickens and hanging out with them in the backyard. Click here to read about Annie's chickens and see pictures! She also finds joy in gardening, home improvement projects, knitting, soap making, and painting along with being active in her community, church, and as a board member of the Western Springs Business Association. Click here to follow Annie on Instagram.

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