The 5 best Mold-A-Matic animal figurines at the OKC Zoo…

Back in the February, we broke the Internet when we revealed the Oklahoma City Zoo was bringing back those Mold-A-Matic machines that produced and spit out miniature plastic animal figurines before your very eyes. I’m pretty sure every human from Oklahoma City owned, or at least smelled, one during their childhood.

Because the OKC Zoo folks know TLO readers are suckers for nostalgia – and because I promised to plug this Saturday’s Monarch Madness 5K fun run – they invited me and my little nephew to look at the animals, collect our favorite Mold-A-Matic figurines, and monitor the progress of Alex Abrines’ knee injury.

Before we get to that, here are three important things:

1. Alex’s knee is fine.

2. Yes, the new Mold-A-Matics still have that mysterious, oddly enjoyable burned wax-plastic smell. I’m pretty sure it’s what inspired that one Lynyrd Skynyrd song. The OKC Zoo should seriously consider partnering with Yankee Candle to develop that fragrance.

3. Do you like butterflies? Do you find exercise enjoyable? Then bust out of the cocoon and flutter down to the OKC Zoo this Saturday for the Monarch Madness 5K! The full course takes place inside and outside the zoo and is designed to replicate the Monarch butterflies’ 3,000 mile migration from Canada to Mexico. Registration comes with a free t-shirt, zoo entry and even a finisher’s medal. That way slow, out-of-shape people like me can say we won something. Click here to enter.

With that blatant plug out-of-the-way, here are my five favorite Mold-A-Matics from the Oklahoma City Zoo.

5. Giraffes

What do you get when two giraffes collide? A giraffic jam! Hardy har! I’ll be here all week.

I nearly didn’t include this in our top five after April the giraffe trolled the world last year with her three-month long Facebook webcam delivery. Giraffes got way too much publicity out of that thing. But after I learned Toy R Us was on the verge of filing bankruptcy, I figured we should give Geoffrey the Giraffe some proper due. He’ll put his neck on the line for anyone.

4. Tiger

Before you send angry hate mail complaining the tiger isn’t ranked higher, please keep in mind that we’re still going to probably endorse you for governor, Mr. Exotic.

Seriously, though, this Mold-A-Matic is pretty cool. I like to admire it while laying in bed listening to “I Saw A Tiger.

3. Elephant

As I was taking this photo, a butterfly floated by in preparation for the Monarch Madness 5K. I wanted to grab it and place it on the elephant’s nose for a great promotional photo, but then I remembered A) you’re not supposed to touch the animals and B) I’m scared of bugs.

2. Sea Lion

Is that a seal or sea lion? I was hoping it was a seal, but only because I had a good joke lined up about Heidi Klum.

Anyway, The Phew isn’t old enough to truly appreciate the zoo (or play with Mold-A-Matics), but he loved pointing at the seal lions (or seals) and calling them “Dawg.” Here’s an adorable pic of me telling him that we’re never going to survive unless we get a little crazy.

1. Hippopotamus

When I was in first grade, my class took a field trip to the zoo. While we were gazing at the hippo, it made this strange sound and then spit water through the fence all over my mean teacher and some classmates. I’ve been a sucker for hippos ever since.

As I was trying to photograph Mr. Hippo, a fly landed on his nose. I guess flies also like plastic hippos… and that Mold-A-Matic smell.

Anyway, I’d like to thank the zoo for letting me and the nephew come out last week. It was a lot of fun. Hopefully we’ll see you or Alex Abrines at the Monarch Madness 5K on Saturday. I can’t wait to win my finisher’s medal.