In the comments to the Burgie Beer UFO story, drkptt wrote: "I remember the Mold-A-Rama machines at the service plazas on the Florida Turnpike as a kid in the '70s. Here's a great story about their history and the last Mold-A-Rama service/sales man keeping his grandfather's business alive in Florida."
How can you resist?! You slip in your money -- $3 at Busch Gardens, $2 at Lowry Park and MOSI -- and watch the gee-whizzery thunk into place. That "H" stands for hydraulics. First, camshafts lock together two sides of an aluminum "mold": a cockatoo, T-rex, a girl on water skis, U-505 submarine; there are hundreds of molds available.
Polyethylene pellets, melted at 225 degrees, are injected into the mold. Air is blown into the sculpture (sounds like you're inside a bathroom hand-dryer now), making the once-solid toy hollow; if you look at the bottom of your sea lion, fighter jet, Harry S Truman, there are two holes, one for drainage, the other for a hold.
Coolant is then pumped into the mold, before that big dramatic scraper chisels free your prize, which kerplunks! into a sliding-glass chamber. The 3-inch toy is now hot and threatening -- but fun hot, fun threatening! After all, you made it!
And now for the best part, the part you'll remember years later, when you're grown up and your kids are no longer kids and you have the gray hair to ponder things like this: that Mold-A-Rama smell. That clean, chemical whiff of your new souvenir.
It smells like July, like freedom, like Mom and Dad and summer and youth.
When our family would go to the Denver Zoo, the Mold-A-Rama was the most-anticipated attraction for me and my sister.
Waxing nostalgic: In 30 seconds, Mold-A-Rama makes memories, toys to last a lifetime
Dan Kopf’s Who Americans spend their time with is a chart—six of them—that show the number of hours a day people spend with n over the course of their lives. Together they tell a story. The sixth is a gut-punch. But not, perhaps, if you’re introverted.
The Apprehension Engine is a custom-made musical instrument designed to produce the scary, tension-building noises associated with horror movies, but without the all-too-obvious digital chopping and synthesizing invariably involved. The result is something organic and seamlessly natural—something that goes beyond fear and fright to nail you to some deep Jungian place so completely you become […]
Methinks the fidget spinner craze is jumping the shark. How do I know? Because Гараж 54 (“Garage 54”), a group of Russian car enthusiasts on YouTube, have welded three beater cars together to make one giant gas-spewing “fidget spinner.” (CNET) Previously: A working six-foot fidget spinner costume
Although flagship smartphones are unlikely to adopt heavy-duty outer casing anytime soon, you can always prepare your device for the outdoors with a beefy case and and an external battery like this Nomad Tile Trackable PowerPack, available in the Boing Boing Store for $119.95.The Nomad Tile can fully recharge an iPhone 7 over three times […]
Even though credit cards now feature an EMV chip for securing transactions, they still have to include the magnetic strip for compatibility with older point of sale systems. Because of this, there’s no way for the chip’s new security capabilities to protect against card skimmers in the wild.How do you protect yourself from legacy-technology-induced fraud? […]
As the old saying goes, “You should sit in meditation for 30 minutes every day. Unless you are too busy, in which case you should meditate for an hour.” Since most of us have an endless list of things to do and people to see, carving out quiet time can feel impossible, especially when most […]