Mold-A-Rama, instantaneous, on-demand, plastic souvenirs, have been a vending machine staple in Chicago for over 50 years. I remember being a kid at Brookfield Zoo and watching a black gorilla being made right in front of me. Warm to the touch, and smelling like melted crayons, these retro relics remind me of being in the city. The man in charge: second generation owner Paul Jones. His company Mold-A-Ram, Inc. boasts the largest number of operating machines in the Midwest. We discuss the history, nostalgia, and impact these have had on the city of Chicago, and the generations of children who have enjoyed this unique and affordable take-home toy.
*BONUS* – The Many Molds of Mold-A-Rama
Besides being an amateur historian, Paul is also a collector. He has hundreds of molds from historic cars, to busts of presidents. We discuss his collection, as well as the process of commissioning new molds for a demanding public.