We're still waiting for warmer weather to want to work on our own Mold-A-Rama machine (which has a leak we need to fix, and there is still the problem of the coin return that shoots money back inside the machine), but in the meantime we got an unexpected addition to our collection!
Last year I was contacted by someone in Tennessee who came across my blog and said she collected Mold-A-Ramas, and would we be willing to trade? I told her we liked the fun of going to the places and getting them ourselves, but that if she paid us back we'd be happy to pick things up in our area of the country and send them to her. We ended up getting her figures from our zoo here in Milwaukee, along with things from Toledo, Detroit, and Chicago. (Someday we will get to the Como Park Zoo and we'll be sure to pick her up some more there.)
She was pleased with the box of Mold-A-Ramas we sent her, and the other day (right around my birthday no less) we got a surprise package from her! Four retired figures from the Knoxville Zoo that we wouldn't be able to get anyway, even if we visited, including a chimp we've never seen before:
How fun is that? That brings our collection on our overstuffed mantle to 139.5. (Quinn insists on the .5 for the small scrap marked "ZOO" from Miami from the one machine that wasn't working when we went.)
On a sad note in Mold-A-Rama land, the Seaquarium down in Florida removed all their machines. I'm glad we went when we did, because those molds are among our favorites and several were unique (including the seahorse which I think is the best one). Apparently the Seaquarium doesn't know the difference between "dated" and "nostalgia" and decided to ditch all their machines after half a century when they recently updated their park. They were the longest running vendor of such machines in the country, and now the Mold-A-Rama/Mold-A-Matics are gone. Sad.
The machines we were also hoping to visit in Seattle are gone as well, so we will have to content ourselves with aiming for St Paul and San Antonio someday to fill out our collection. And one day, of course, in my copious amounts of free time (HA), I will make a violin mold for the machine at the store. (But not this weekend. This weened there are real violins to make.)