33 Comments

  1. The liink leads to a download page for a “castbox player”. Is there a way to see the video without downloading the app?

  2. The link did not work right on my tablet (it went to a download page for the castbox player), but it did work in a desktop browser. That said, I can’t recommend it: the “content” (such as it is) doesn’t start until 90 seconds in, and is extremely dull.

  3. @ Bill – Sorry about the triple post. The first two disappeared without a trace.
    I rechecked the link, the behavior is the same: desktop browser plays the video, but in iOS it takes me to the App Store.

  4. Don’t worry about the triple post: you had no way of knowing WordPress had thrown the first two into the Spam folder.

    Apple machines might treat the page differently from PC machines.

  5. They had a gorilla Mold-O-Rama just outside Samson the (enormously popular despite rarely moving) gorilla’s cage at the Milwaukee Zoo. I swear that thing made Samson a millionaire.

  6. This was probably one of the inspirations for the Mattel creepy crawler Thing Maker toys that came out a few years later.

  7. The podcast didn’t work in internet explorer, but fine in firefox. So maybe try a different browser if it didn’t work for you.

  8. @ John K. – I remember a toy that was basically a heated press, which could squeeze a small thermoplastic figure into a cube. You could then warm the cube, which would restore the figure to its original form. Unfortunately, I don’t remember what it was called, and an Internet search hasn’t turned it up, either.

  9. Podcasts can be iffy. (I’m listening to the one linked above at the moment and i find it OK.)

    There are videos on YouTube.

    Interestingly, this Mold a Rama (or Mold A Matic) thread knocked loose a memory of such a machine at the Brookfield Zoo in Illinois. I still have the steam locomotive I got back circa 1980 or so.

    Here’s a list of several machines in use, many at zoos. http://www.waymarking.com/cat/details.aspx?f=1&guid=6de6e6c2-89b3-4ed2-8884-85003af637e9

  10. @ Shrug – That’s exactly the toy I was thinking of. I just saw the ads: I never had a chance to play with one.

  11. The cool toy I remember (a friend had it) was Vac-u-form. It would heat up a square plastic panel; then you’d flip a lever to put it over a mold and hand-pump the air out. To my mind it was infinitely superior to Thingmaker. It didn’t last too long; probably something to do with the high temperatures.

    As for coin machines, I remember …
    — Make Your Own Record booths, which were already on the way out but to me were way cooler than the little reel-to-reel tape recorders we had In Those Days.
    — Penny Presses, still big at Disney parks (Read somewhere that they don’t actually press pennies, but dispense pre-pressed pennies).
    — Machines that stamped letters onto a circular keychain thingamabob. Disneyland once had one that let you stamp your name on the back of a properly antique-looking Piece of Eight.
    — The old four-pose photo booth. At the county fair they had wooden cartoon things with the heads cut off; you could take them into the booth for a Funny Photo.
    — Displays with live animals inside. Deposit a coin and a chicken would pull a lever, a duck would peck at a piano, or a rabbit would appear to kiss a toy rabbit peaking over a fence. Each would then dash back to a “dressing room” for a handful of feed.

    I never saw a coin-operated Handwriting Analysis machine. That was always a booth with an operator and a wondrous huge fake computer facade.

  12. “(Read somewhere that they don’t actually press pennies, but dispense pre-pressed pennies)”

    Why in the world would they do that? What’s the benefit? And besides, you can see the penny get pressed as you turn the crank.

  13. @ M.A. & Powers – Those coin presses are fairly popular at various tourist locations in Germany. The “blank” is normally a 5¢ (€0.05) coin. I’ve never been able to see the actual pressing, both because of the machinery in the way, and because I’m usually helping my kids turn the crank, but you can tell that the product is the same coin, because the original marking are still slightly visible in the “empty” portions of the newly stamped design.

  14. P.S. @ Andréa – It is illegal to deface coins or notes if you try to put them back into circulation by spending them.

  15. Did anyone follow the ‘Where’s George?’ website? I don’t know if it even exists, but I did manage to follow one bill for a while. I always wondered about writing on the bill, tho . . .

  16. I entered quite a lot of bills on the Where’s George website, got one hit, not far from me. Overall, not worth the trouble.

  17. @ “George” – I used to save one-dollar bills with unusual collections of digits in the serial number for my dad. On an annual golf trip, he and his friends would play a form of “liar’s poker”, with the bets being on the total number of a certain digit among all the dollars at the table. Placing a large number of a specific digit made it easier to win. When he returned, my dad would split the winnings with me. The best bill I ever found had six 2’s in the serial number. It looked fairly impressive; I sort of wish that I could have retrieved it.

  18. To add to Minor Annoyance’s list I recall (from various museums years ago) coin-op mutoscopes, in which you could view a short silent motion-picture.

  19. Personal Synchronicity: I’m reading the book, “”Don’t Make Me Pull Over!”‘, about the author’s family’s road trips during the late 60’s and early 70’s. He is currently discussing his collection of Mold-A-Rama figures, of which he has quite a few. Hubby was quite startled when I shouted, ‘MOLD-A-RAMA!’.

  20. Ha! On a road trip hubby and I took to Mammoth Cave, one day I drove and HE read the map. We realized that he’d taken us 50+ miles in the wrong direction (Was he holding the map upside down, or what? I was driving, so I wasn’t watching what HE was doing), which meant we had to drive BACK that 50+ miles, and then the 50 miles in the correct direction. He never read maps again; GPS came out several years later.

    His SmartPhone, his car GPS, and my Garmin usually disagree. When his SmartPHone told us we were still a half mile from Applebee’s, WHILST we were sitting in the parking lot (!!), I figured his SmartPhone had the same ‘map-reading gene’ as he had.

  21. Much as I like GPS and wouldn’t do without it, I miss map reading; you got a sense of where you were in relation to other places, which you don’t get with GPS.

Add a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.