October 26, 2010
I have a soft-spot for outdated dinosaurs. The modern restorations of active, brightly-colored, feathered dinosaurs are fantastic, but I grew up with gray, tail-dragging tyrannosaurs and swamp-bound sauropods. The “Brontosaurus” of my childhood—with the wrong head and regularly depicted as under siege by Allosaurus—was a particular favorite, and there are a few places where you can still make your own “classic” (vintage?) sauropod dinosaur.
I have never run into one of these machines myself, but last week the Chicago Sun-Times ran a story about the beloved Mold-A-Rama machines still working in several Chicago zoos and museums. The machines have been operating since the 1950s, and while those operating in Chicago are among the last of their kind, they are kept running by Brookfield resident William Jones and his sons. Thanks to them, machines like the one in the museum continue to churn out green “Brontosaurus” and red Tyrannosaurus figures and—as the video above shows—one Mold-A-Rama enthusiast even took his little green dinosaur on a pilgrimage to the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History!
[Hat-tip to the Chicagoist]
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