News Release

Contact: Sondra Katzen, Public Relations, 708.688.8351,
July 11, 2016

Photos may be downloaded below:
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Brookfield Zoo Celebrates 50 Years with Mold-A-Rama®
Limited-Edition Plastic Figures Offered at Zoo Throughout the Summer for 50th Anniversary

      Brookfield, Ill. — Those who have visited Brookfield Zoo over the past 50 years are probably familiar with the incomparable smell of melting plastic and the warm, slightly squishy feeling of a statuette cooling in eager hands after it has been created in one of the iconic Mold-A-Rama® machines. This year marks the 50th year the machines have been at Brookfield Zoo, and the milestone anniversary is being celebrated with the availability of limited-edition figures. In addition to a special 50th anniversary bison (located at the Memory Lane Tent), Mold-A-Rama® Inc. is offering the following statuettes only for a short time throughout the summer:
     ·  1966 walrus will be sold in July only (located at The Carousel)
     ·  1973 lion will be sold in July only (located on the North Mall)
     ·  2005 camel will be sold in August only (located at The Carousel)
     ·  1980s rhino will be sold in August only (located on the North Mall)

Zoo guests have enjoyed millions of collectible plastic figures since the first Mold-A-Rama® machine first made its appearance at Brookfield Zoo in 1966. Currently throughout the year, the 13 machines located around park offer a variety of fun, collectible animal and seasonal figures, including a dolphin, giraffe, and polar bear. Each mold costs $2.

To also commemorate the anniversary, staff from Mold-A-Rama® Inc. will be at Brookfield Zoo’s Memory Lane Tent on Saturday, July 16, from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. to meet guests and to answer any questions about the nostalgic machines.

In addition, for a limited time only, Mold-A-Rama® Inc. apparel is being sold in the Memory Lane Tent. Items include hats and t-shirts that are available in a variety of colors and sizes. There is also a Mold-a-Rama® Hall of Fame display featuring figures from past years.

The souvenir plastic figures were first invented by Tike Miller, who in the late 1950s sold the rights to his idea of a souvenir-making machine to Automatic Retailers of America Inc. He worked with ARA for several years in the development of such a vending machine. This resulted in a new division of ARA, and the term Mold-A-Rama® was sprung on the American consumer.
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About the Chicago Zoological Society
The mission of the Chicago Zoological Society is to inspire conservation leadership by connecting people with wildlife and nature. The Chicago Zoological Society is a private nonprofit organization that operates Brookfield Zoo on land owned by the Forest Preserves of Cook County. The Society is known throughout the world for its international role in animal population management and wildlife conservation. Its Center for the Science of Animal Care and Welfare is at the forefront of animal care that strives to discover and implement innovative approaches to zoo animal management. Brookfield Zoo is the first zoo in the world to receive certification from American Humane Association. Open every day of the year, the zoo is located off First Avenue between the Stevenson (I-55) and Eisenhower (I-290) expressways and is also accessible via the Tri-State Tollway (I-294), Metra commuter line, CTA, and PACE bus service. For further information, visit


Sondra Katzen
Director of Public Relations
Office: 708-688-8351
Cell Phone: 708-903-2071


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