Friday, December 30, 2011

Mold-A-Rama—a plea for respect


We are misunderstood.

Wikipedia's entry on us is a measly 130 words. It begins like this:

"Mold-A-Rama is a brand name for a type of vending machine that makes blow-molded plastic figurines."

And the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD) defines us this way:

Mold-A-Rama beings are created when colorful polyethylene pellets are heated to over 200 degrees and injected into a mold. Air is then blown in, which forces plastic into every crevice of the mold, as well as hollowing out the figure. A coolant hardens the individual and then it is released from the mold.

Hardened and released? Sounds like we're criminals!

Even the Urban League—the Urban League!—refers to us (in their 2010 report on underserved populations) as "plastic injected souvenirs".


We are a great nation, one of Buddhas and butterflies, bats and bears. We are light bulbs and fairy castles. We are Kennedy busts, large and small. We are lions in ten different colors for Gods' sakes! And all of us—from wombats to Weinermobiles—are deserving of respect. In fact, many believe we are the indigenous population of zoos, museums, and theme parks! And if that's true, it means that we are the real Native Americans!

Acceptance of this fact will take time. But consider this: we don't refer to ourselves as Mold-A-Rama figures. We call ourselves, "Those who are Forged by Heat." That tells you something, doesn't it?

We may look like simple Stegasauri and Space Robots but we are more, much more. So next time you're at some cultural institution, pass on the expensive souvenir shop schlock. Find the Mold-A-Rama. Stick a couple bucks in and watch a miracle (or at least some really cool hydraulics).

Then, as you pull out your new treasure (don't burn yourself!), think of a good name. That's all we ask for, a really good name. Well, that and that you pick the waste bumps off our bottoms. Undying love is good too. Or at least the sense (if you ever grow tired of us) to sell us on ebay. Thanks.

Pinky and friends
Pinky (and friends)

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