Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Vending Machine Roundup #2

It's everyone's favorite time, vending machine roundup time. Once again, my travels have put me in contact with some interesting vending machines that I thought I'd share with everyone. If you are new to Graham's Travel Blog, you may want to read Vending Machine Love and Russian Vending Machine Roundup for a little context.

First up we have a vending machine that dispenses microwave popcorn, and it even has a built in microwave. I found this machine immediately upon checking into a motel in Wisconsin. My vending machine radar seems to be improving and I caught sight of this one out of the corner of my eye. I knew that I had to use it as I'd never seen a machine quite like it.

The popcorn was nice, hot and eerily delicious despite the fact that I wasn't even in the mood for popcorn. When I see a machine like this, I can't resist.

On the other hand, here we have a pair of machines that I have no problem resisting. The machine on the left sells iPods, PSPs and the related accessories while the machine on the right sells the popular language learning software Rosetta Stone. Neither of these machines take coins or dispense food so they don't really draw me in. They fall well within the realm of luxury goods vending machines, accepting only plastic and vending things that shouldn't be impulse buy items. On the upper left section of each machine you can see the video screen that attmpts to lure in the casual passer by.

While I'll often seen people stopping and looking at these machines, I've never seen someone actually purchase something out of one of them. Perhaps, if you really needed a nice present for someone or if your headphones snap, then I might picture someone using an iPod machine, but I don't think these machines get a lot of use.

Slightly more practical is a vending machine that sells cut flowers. I first saw one of these in Las Vegas, which makes perfect sense within the context of Las Vegas. I can easily a guy spending the night at a strip club and then needing a handy appology gift.

The pictured machine however, was found in Raliegh, NC. It offers a variety of cut flowers within the $10-$20 range.

In addition to the machines above, I also found a good one at the local Costco. Since the last time I visited, they installed a coffee/hot drink machine. It was a little chilly that day, so I had to give it a try. I wasn't disappointed when the prerequisite poker coffee cup popped out, and I was pleasantly surprised at the high quality of the hot chocolate that was dispensed into said cup. In case you were wondering, my hand was a pair of queens.

Well, that's about it for this vending machine roundup. I look forward to photographing the next interesting vending machine that I come across (and posting about it). I will be moving to Boston, MA quite soon, does anyone know of any Boston area vending machines that I should seek out? Have you seen any interesting machines lately?

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  1. What happens when you put your card in, push A1, the coil turns and your ipod does not fall? Do you bang on the machine, is there a number to call? It's not like walking away from a candy bar. I like that they call the popcorn "gourmet" and it's just microwave. Funny.

  2. That's a good question Robin Sue. Today's modern vending machines are equipped with sensors that detect when product passes to the receiving drawer. Even the snack machines have these now. It's a wonder that someone didn't figure that out earlier.

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  4. This is a great post . thanks for sharing with us .

  5. I have 2 of those popcorn vending machines. Does anybody know the manufacture. Or perhaps another website that would.