March 23, 2013

Toys in the Attic - Mattel Vac-U-Form

Without a doubt one of the coolest toys of the 60s was the Vac-u-form. I don't how many hours were spent making absolutely useless crap on this thing. The Vac-u-form, was a toy made by Mattel. Based on the industrial process of vacuum forming, a rectangular piece of plastic was clamped in a holder and heated over a metal plate. When the plastic was soft, the holder was swung to the other side, over a mold of the object to be formed. Then pressing a handle on the side of the unit created a vacuum, sucking the plastic down over the mold and shaping it to it. When the plastic cooled it solidified, making an impression of the item. Various molds came with the kit, but almost any small object could be used as a mold. Because very hot surfaces were easily accessible to a child (or adult) playing with the toy, it probably could not be sold today due to safety restrictions.

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