We’re about to step back in time again kids, and no, not to the Mesozoic but to the 1964 World’s Fair. Although this figure was “made” quite recently it has its roots as a souvenir produced by the once popular Mold-A-Rama machines that used to be present at various tourist destinations and at least in this case are still available at Chicago’s Field Museum. For more on the history of Mold-A-Rama, and the World’s Fair check out the write-up that accompanies the review of the original World’s Fair Tyrannosaurus.
It is important to note that the Mold-A-Rama figures now available at the Field Museum are not identical to those produced at Dinoland all those years ago. These modern figures are smaller, less detailed, and more fragile than their decades old counterparts although I have none with which to compare. We’re still thankful to have them however, especially those of us interested in the “dino-mania” that was prevalent in this era in American history. Originals can be quite expensive to locate and although we can’t all visit the Field Museum the versions produced there are more readily available online.
The modern lineup of Mold-A-Rama figures only includes the Tyrannosaurus, Apatosaurus, Triceratops, and Stegosaurus but in 1964 you could also get an Ankylosaurus, Corythosaurus, and Edmontosaurus. It’s a shame that those three are no-longer available. Today we’re looking at the Triceratops; a short and stocky fellow with a few odd quirks but a lot of character.
Discussing accuracy would be redundant here, so I won’t. This is a simplified, stylized, somewhat cartoony depiction in keeping with popular depictions of the 1950’s. This Triceratops is a sturdy looking animal on squat muscular legs. The head is proportionately large and the dragging tail short with an upward curve. The skin has a pebbly texture with raised bumps along the hide.
The head on this Triceratops is quite curious when viewed head on. It’s very asymmetrical with one brow horn placed in the middle of the head and the other placed lower above the right eye. I’m sure this odd feature exists as a way to display all three horns while also working within the means of the Mold-A-Rama machine but it’s best to look at this guy from the sides. The model is a very loud blue color which makes it look very odd on a shelf of more naturalistically colored dinosaurs. I guess it won’t go unnoticed. Triceratops is printed on one side of the base and Field Museum is printed on the other. Like the other Mold-A-Rama figures this one is hollow and fairly brittle so handle carefully.
If you’re into vintage oddball stuff and the history of dinosaur reconstructions than this and the other Mold-A-Rama figures are must haves. They’re charming, interesting, and good conversation starters about the bygone days of Americana. Whole sets are often listed on eBay but if you need an excuse to visit the Field Museum it would probably be more rewarding to get them there.