Thursday, January 14, 2010


Ah, there's nothing like the feel of a freshly made warm plastic toy in your hand. Put one up to your nostrils, and it even smells like summer vacation. And fighting with your sister in the back seat of the family car (no seat belts required) and drinking icy cold RC cola out of a glass bottle.

One of the best parts about writing my new book has been the research. If you're old enough to remember Mold-A-Rama machines, then you might get a kick out of knowing that one of these ancient puppies is featured in my new book, The Boyfriend of the Month Club, a romantic comedy due out December, 2010.

A lot of the action in the story takes place at Florida Charlies, an old fashioned Florida tourist trap. Although Florida Charlies is a figment of my imagination, it's modeled after the dozens of roadside stops and attractions that were so popular in Florida during the 1960's when I was but a wee thing. And the best part of a lot of these places were the Mold-A-Rama machines. For about a quarter, or maybe 50 cents, you could watch this strange space-age looking machine make a wax figurine just for you. My favorite was a bird figurine from Busch Gardens (Tampa) which I understand now has some of these almost antique machines still in production. MOSI (Museum of Space and Industry in Tampa), and the Tampa Lowry Park Zoo as well as the Miami zoo are also just a few of the other places that still have working Mold-A-Rama machines.

Once I get my book done and my website revamped I'm going to dedicate a section to some of the research I did. I know, nerdy, of me, isn't it? But I just can't help it. These things were just so much damn fun. Almost as much fun as writing about one of them.


Kristen Painter said...

I remember those! I always used to scratch my name in the bottom with my fingernail.

Gina Black said...

They had them at the zoo. Different animals were available in different areas from seals to gorillas if my memory serves me.

Maria Geraci said...

I used to scratch my initial in them too, K!
Gina, there are dozens and dozens of different molds. My favorite was the bird one, and also the dinosaurs;)


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