I recently rediscovered Mold-A-Ramas. I haven’t thought about them since the age of 9. They’re plastic figurines molded right before your eyes by a vending machine that looks like it could be right of a 1950’s sci-fi movie. Mold-A-Rama machines were usually located in zoos, museums, and theme parks. They produced all types of figurines, most were animals and dinosaurs but there were various mechanical themes as well, which included a steam locomotive, a submarine, a battleship and the space shuttle. These injection molding machines were developed in the mid 1950’s. Some Mold-A-Rama’s are still in use today, kept alive by inventive technicians creating parts by hand and hardware store acquisitions.
Here's a video of a Mold-A-Rama in action:
For more photos of Mold-A-Rama figurines check out this flicker group: