Many kids that grew up in Illinois got a Mold-A-Rama souvenir while visiting famous attractions in Chicago.

Mold-A-Rama Gorilla
Mold-A-Rama Gorilla

Illinois' Favorite Souvenir

If you were a kid growing up in Illinois, you probably had at least one of these iconic souvenirs. It was a Mold-A-Rama. Most of the big museums and zoos in and around Chicago had them in their facilities.

Children loved the plastic figures. They were cheap so parents wouldn't mind buying them one for a souvenir. Plus, it was really cool to watch them being made.

You know what's funny, I still get one if I go to an attraction that has them. In fact, last summer my family and I went to see the Marvel Exhibit at the Museum of Science and Industry and we got a bunch of them.

What Is Mold-A-Rama?

According to, 

The space-age-looking machine injects melted plastic into a mold created by two aluminum plates.


A blast of air removes excess plastic, hollowing out the model.


It’s cooled and hardened before the part of the plate, revealing a unique plastic souvenir after less than one minute.


2022 Is A Big Anniversary For Mold-A-Rama

This year is a big one in the history of Mold-A-Rama. It's the 60th anniversary of their debut at the World's Fair in Seattle in 1962.

Illinois Is The Home Of Mold-A-Rama

The Mold-A-Rama machines were invented in Quincy, Illinois during the 1950s. After being featured at different World's Fairs, a Chicago company purchased the technology and placed them in popular attractions around town.

You can now find them in 5 different states. There are 63 active machines including 26 in Illinois, 15 in Wisconsin, 10 in Michigan, 8 in Texas, and 4 in Minnesota. Pretty impressive for this old-school technology.

Of course, nowadays you can buy them directly on the internet from the Mold-A-Rama company but I think that takes away part of the fun. There's even merchandise.

For more info, HERE.

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