Sunday, August 13, 2006


It was a gloomy and rainy Sunday afternoon here in Minneapolis. So what better way to pass time then to melt down chunks of wax and make some good old fashioned army guys? That's just what my son Dominick and I did today - all courtesy of the 1964 Emenee Formex 7 Military Casting Set.


I bought this military casting set on eBay a while back not because of any true affection for army guys but because the set also included three additional molds that were not military related. These three molds were that of Frankenstein, Dracula, and Wolf Man. How they ended up in the military set was beyond me. Most likely, the child who originally owned the set had ordered additional casting molds that were advertised on the back page of the Emenee instruction booklet. I wish I could find that boy today and thank him.


For those who may not already be familiar with this vintage casting concept toy, allow me to quote the Emenee booklet itself - "the Emenee Formex Casting Set is a fascinating, instructive and completely self-contained kit which enables you to make your own military toys and then deploy them for maneuvers, training or mock battles. It is completely safe in operation.

The toys are cast by softening Formex 7 casting compound on the Dyna-Cast Thermal unit and then pouring the melt into any of the different re-usable casting molds supplied. The molds are cooled and the cast toys are removed for play."

Well, there you have it. I especially like the intimidating and serious title of the cheap blue plastic melting pot included within this set - officially known as the "Dyna-Cast Thermal Unit"!

Okay, it was time to get down to business and receive the necessary instruction from the Emenee Formex 7 owner's manual.


For some reason or another, a 6 yr old in the year 2006 doesn't find much excitement in sitting around and watching wax melt! Blame it on PlayStation2 I guess.


Here is a picture of the Dyna-Cast Thermal Unit at work heating up toxic hazardous material officially known as Formex 7 - or better known as "wax". I don't want to burst anyone's bubble here, but the Dyna-Cast Thermal Unit's internal components are made up of nothing more than 40 watt light bulb.

melting pot

20 minutes later, while still waiting to have fun, the Dyna-Cast Thermal Unit continues to try and melt wax.


Finally! The Dyna-Cast Thermal Unit is able to melt wax! Dominick and I now have something of which we can cast army men with. We carefully pour our first mold with hot molten wax.


And wha-la! A green army guy made of wax is born on this day! The Emenee Formex 7 Casting Set has done it's job! Even in the year 2006 (some 42 yrs later) the Emenee company is still putting smiles on children's faces.


BUT WAIT, not so fast! Emenee had promised hours of fun and enjoyment with our finished casting. I'm sorry to say that our green army guy didn't even make it to the 15 minute mark before both his legs were snapped off like brittle twigs. After all, it's hard to get some good durable play time from figurines made of wax.


And so it is that the Emenee Formex 7 Casting Set belongs to the year 1964. With all the bells and whistles of today's toys, making your own toys from chunks of wax seems a bit primitive if not altogether tedious. But you know what? My son and I did have fun! So maybe there's still hope for this generation and it's over exposure to media related entertainment and fancy-schmancy action figures. Maybe.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

A wonderful post, Terry.

Show us pics of gren wax monsters in a follow-up sometime, please.

At the end, did Dominick break the mask you wear and see your horrible visage as it truly is?

Max the drunken severed head

6:45 AM  
Blogger Don said...

A great post, Terry. Where are the little green monsters?

So now we're gonna be treated to Dominick's House of Wax up north?

I remember this set, but never had one. I did however go through two Mattel Vacu-Form sets as well as a Creepy Crawler set. The Formex set would have been a blast though...doesn't take as much to keep us "older" monster lovers happy when it comes to toys.

Don Hatfield

7:07 AM  
Blogger Allen said...

I'm with Max, I'd like to see the green wax monsters. Since they're with the army men, perhaps these are predecessors to the Universal Monster Army?

11:47 AM  
Blogger Erick Monsterama2000 said...

Thanks for sharing this, Terry. It's great to see the young'uns enjoying 'old school' toys.


8:59 PM  
Blogger Famous Monster of Mpls said...

Max - I'm afraid there isn't much of a mask that can hide my horrible visage; not even from a 6 yr old.

Don and Allen - thanks for visiting Castle Famous! I will be sure to follow up soon with a pic of the little green monsters!

Erick - yes, isn't it nice to see the new play with the old? We need to see a lot more of that!

6:09 AM  
Blogger IL said...

Wow, I remember this set like it was yesterday. I coerced my Uncle to buy it for me as a birthday present. The two of us created monsters that afternoon and painted them.

This and the Famous Monsters Photo making set out of the magazine are my two favorite toys from that time long ago.

8:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

soldiers stand, crouch, kneel, jeeps and cannons all look real use formex 7 again and again
da da da da da da dada da da formex 7 makes armies for you

4:21 AM  
Blogger Tim Mayer said...

Oh this is awsome!
I'll send a link to it from my web log.

8:50 AM  
Blogger Tim Mayer said...

My blog is

8:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, nice post. I hope you will be doing more on green house design . Please come and check out my blog at Greenhouse Resource .
Keep up the good work!

12:58 AM  
Anonymous Janna said...

Hi! Nice post. I was searching for horror movie of house of wax then I found your site. I thought your post is about the horror movie. But anyway the pic are cute.

5:16 AM  
Blogger ConnieD said...

interesting to see that there is somebody who can appreciate little wax figurines. I received the formex 7 kit as a little girl for x-mas one year. I still have many of the pieces. I got the family version and my brother received the army man version of the set. I don't have the original box just pieces though. ConnieD

7:52 PM  
Anonymous Tony said...

Thank You! Thank You! Thank You!

I have been trying for years to find ANYTHING on the wax monster figure kit my brother & I had when we were kids! I scoured the Internet over & over...

Jumpin' Jiminy! It's by EMENEE!

2:53 PM  
Anonymous ant-toys said...

Just wanted to let you know Terry. I decided to sell my Formex 7 Casting set from the 1965 Universal Monster set and it contains all 6 monsters. I like your site and wanted to offer that you are welcome to use the image of my item that are on ebay for your site in the hopes more people can enjoy this rare toy.


7:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just wanted to let you know Terry. I decided to sell my Formex 7 Casting set from the 1965 Universal Monster set and it contains all 6 monsters. I like your site and wanted to offer that you are welcome to use the image of my item that are on ebay for your site in the hopes more people can enjoy this rare toy.


7:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why are you using clips on the mold instead of the mold sleeve? I thought I saw one in the first pic.

11:48 AM  
Blogger Dave said...

Sounds neat, but as much as these sell for these days (usually with no wax left in the box), I think I'll stick to the plastic Army men that I can buy 59 of in a bag for $8.00 or less. I'm glad you and your son had some bonding time though.

9:35 PM  

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