Thursday, January 6, 2011

Blow Molded Plastic Toys and Injection Molded Collectibles, Broken Down in Easy Language

Blow Mold Kewpies from HeyYoYo on Etsy
Introduction

Blow molding and injection molding is an altogether different monster than the molding that was used in making melamine dinnerware.  Most factories of yesteryear that molded plastics had to do several types of molding. The "Plastics Encyclopedias" were left behind to give us clues as to what these defunct companies did. In the back of each, it would list the molder and their machines, and what type of capacities they could handle.  Molding machines used to be huge, bulky, metal, and consist of cavities made of metal or steel wherein the plastics would be poured, injected, or blown in to form the item. Here we will talk about both Injection Molding and Blow Molding, and see videos from right inside the factory!


Blow Molds / Blow Molding

Halloween Blow Molds as offered by OnePreciousThing

Blow molds in the vintage life are most often remembered as the Halloween style lights, hollow kewpie dolls, and "big piggy banks."  United States Company AJ Renzi was still producing these big banks not too long ago.

A big AJ RENZI piggy bank I sold awhile back at RetroChalet.

According to Wikipedia, "Blow molding, also known as blow forming, is a manufacturing process by which hollow plastic parts are formed. In general, there are three main types of blow molding: extrusion blow molding, injection blow molding, and stretch blow molding."

Tour the Factory: Watch this cool video on Blow Molding!






Injection Molding & Injection Molded Plastic Toys

Photo: Fred Blood.  Adorable injection molded astronaut. See a ton of these way cool injection molded" MOLD-A-RAMA figures at Fred Blood's Moldaramaville Site

Adorable Cowboys and Indians offered by OopseeDaisie


I think my best memory of injection molded plastics was my cup of colored cowboys and indians, just like the ones above. (That's right, I was a tomboy.) If you must know, injection molding is a way of "squirting plastic into a cavity mold" and voila, oout comes cowboys and indians. Technically speaking, Wikipedia explains it as " Material is fed into a heated barrel, mixed, and forced into a mold cavity where it cools and hardens to the configuration of the mold cavity.1


Cake Decorations offered by RiverWest
Early on, this was a quick and easy way to mass produce items such as dimestore toys in bulk, kitchen measuring cups, travel cups and novelties, and even cake decorations.....  What I love most is thinking I've seen it all and something like this comes along. There's no doubt in my mind the black was injected into the bangle and thanks to the seller's clear photographs you can see where this happened. 
Never seen one of these as offered by FavoriteCollectibles indicates it's a rare injection molded dot Bakelite bangle.  How cool is this?  

Tour the Factory: Watch this cool video on Injection Molding!






Related Sites you Must Check out!

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