In this study, cross-sectional analyses were performed on microcellular injection-molded high-impact polystyrene products. The results confirm that the following five types of layers were formed: Skin layers I (the silver streak layer) and II (a nonfoamed layer), Core layers I (cell diameter, d > 150 μm), II (d < 50 μm), and III (d > 100 μm). As the maximum in-mold pressure (P max ) was increased from 5 to 30 MPa, the thickness of Skin layer II remained nearly constant. However, the foam types in the core layers changed from I and II to II and III or III only, resulting in an increase in cell diameter and a decrease in cell density. The process of cellular structure formation was observed using a glass-inserted mold, which revealed that this process consists of a flow (with a burst of cells at the melt front and the subsequent flow of the melt containing the cells), an end of the filling (involving elastic compression or the dissolution and disappearance of cells formed in the flow stage), and a cooling (new cell generation and growth and cooling solidification). Based on these cross-sectional observations, in concert with melt-pressure measurements and visualizations, we developed a model describing the formation process of Skin layer II and the core layers including a new concept that considers the melt pressure inside the cavity. The following layers are incorporated into the model: Skin layer II: A nonfoamed layer is formed in the area of the melt front where gases diffuse out from within the melt during the filling stage, and this nonfoamed layer moves to from melt front to the surface of the product due to fountain flow. Core layers I and II: A multilayer is formed containing a distribution of cells preserved from the flow stage due to the low compression forces, Core layer III: cells are dissolved in the melt due to strong compression forces at the end of the filling stage and then reform and grow in the cooling stage.