Remember heading to Brookfield Zoo, or the Museum of Science and Industry and getting one of those miniature plastic figurines? It's something kids today can still do thanks to Mold-A-Rama, which repairs and maintains the vintage machines at nine different tourist attractions in Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan and Texas. Now the company is heading to court to protect their vintage name and technology.

The Chicago Tribune reports Mold-A-Rama filed a trademark infringement suit against an Atlanta based collector who has started selling "modernized" versions of the Mold-A- Rama machines under the Mold-A-Rama banner.

Mold-A-Rama owner Paul Jones told the Tribune the collector is using the Mold-A-Rama name on machines he's modified significantly and trading on the good will of the Mold-A-Rama company which prides itself on maintaining the vintage machines and utilizing the retro technology to delight generations of kids and adults. Jones told the paper:

“It kind of ticked me off that they would come into Chicago and try to sell them,” he said. “So I contacted them and said, ‘You’re going to be infringing on my mark.’ They just did it anyway, which is why we filed the suit.”

What makes the Mold-A-Rama experience special is that it is vintage technology. Once upon a time it was the coolest and neatest thing to see happen before your eyes. And ya know what... It may not be cutting edge these days. But it's still one of the coolest and neatest things to see happen before your eyes. And for those of us old enough to appreciate the fact efforts are made to restore and keep machines in good repair using original parts, that just adds to the wonder and timelessness of the experience.

I hope Mold-A-Rama wins their lawsuit, because their business is obviously a labor of love and a bit of nostalgia we get to pass from generation to generation. Modernizing the machines and ripping off the Mold-A-Rama name just seems wrong.

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