Mattel’s 1960s Vac-U-Form Playset – Damn You Modern Safety Standards!

Mattel’s 1960s Vac-U-Form Playset – Damn You Modern Safety Standards!

Mattel Vac-U-Form (Images courtesy Sam's Toybox)
By Andrew Liszewski

Here’s another example where the previous generation occasionally had better toys than we did. Back in the 60s Mattel sold this Vac-U-Form playset allowing kids to reproduce pretty much any small object they could fit into its mold. Using the Vac-U-Form was as easy as clamping a piece of plastic into a hinged frame and then heating it over a metal plate. When the plastic was soft enough to be molded the frame was swung over to the other side and pressed over the object you wanted to duplicate. As you pressed down a vacuum was formed, sucking the plastic into shape. Pretty much the same way vacuum forming is done today.

Of course if such a toy existed today, not only would it be missing that exposed metal heating plate, but it would probably come with a warning that the Vac-U-Form should only be used for making backup copies of your existing toys, and not for making copies of toys to be distributed to friends.

[ Sam’s Toybox – Vac-U-Form ] VIA [ Architectradure ]

15 thoughts on “Mattel’s 1960s Vac-U-Form Playset – Damn You Modern Safety Standards!”

  1. I had a vac-u-form; played with it a looong time. The pieces of plastic were perforated along the edges, like dot-matrix printer paper (remember that?), in order that they were held in the correct position over the mold. I remember the smell to this day: I daresay that it was slightly toxic. These days they warn you about the volatiles in your car''s dashboard, but here I was heating thin sheets of plastic to melting-point.

  2. Vac-U-Form was one of my favorite toys. I remember buying additional plastic sheet bundles many times over some of which included metallic gold and silver pieces. We even made moldings of Hot Wheels cars! It was an awesome toy! I would still have mine if my dad had not recently thrown it out after cleaning out the attic when he sold his house..!

  3. My brother and I had one. It was great! Kids today don't know what they're missing. They're such little wimps, made that way by their craven parents afraid to let natural selection do its work.

  4. My brother and I had one. It was great! Kids today don't know what they're missing. They're such little wimps, made that way by their craven parents afraid to let natural selection do its work.

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