For want of a rod . . .
These little rods are critical to the new line of figures with interchangeable heads. At first, if a figure did not cast well, I would throw it back into the pot before I remembered to remove the rod. Sometimes I would drop one and lose it. Sometimes a rod will get stuck in a figure and by the time I get it out, it is deformed. Buy lots of these!
Normally, they slip out easily. Just make sure they are in position before you close the mold.