Made of equal parts melted plastic and childhood memories, genuine Mold-A-Rama figurines—the locally conceived tchotchkes molded, on the spot, to simple perfection in machines reminiscent of the space age at various museums and attractions around town—stand alone as the most collectible way to wax nostalgic.
Reasons there are no better souvenirs on the planet:
1. They smell like two of your favorite family celebrations: Hanukkah and Bubbie’s birthday.
2. Your new 3D printer will be obsolete within the hour, but this technology has remained unchanged for 50 years.
3. At $2, they cost one-sixtieth of an American Girl doll.
4. Even faster than Amazon Prime Now, and drones don’t make drops inside Willis Tower. (Yet.)
5. At least as thrilling a birth to witness as the baby chicks hatching at the Museum of Science and Industry, but without the worry over the well-being of the little creatures.
6. You literally catch them all as they pop out of the machine.
7. A great option for paranoid folks who are pretty confident that squashing pennies is a federal offense.
8. Fewer calories and fresher than a vending machine cupcake.
9. The still half-molten mementos keep your hands warm on chilly days, even though you sacrifice your fingerprints.
10. All you have to do is insert two dollar bills. Just two. You got this.