I first saw these live crab vending machines on the Internet a few weeks ago and tonight Stephen Colbert mentioned them on his show:
It made me wonder what other crazy sh-t is being sold in vending machines around the world, so I did a little investigating (Googling) and came up with the following. Behold: In no particular order, five of the craziest things being sold in vending machines (that I could find easily within a couple minutes of Googling)!
Okay, this is technically a game, and not a vending machine, so I suppose this list is off to a wonky start. But it’s still pretty amusing. A description from the manufacturer’s website:
The Maine Lobster Game is solid state designed. Made from a Poly-powder-coated high grade 304 stainless steel frame, thermal glass tank, and the highest quality parts (bio-filtration, chillers, dollar bill validators). This game can produce in upwards of $2000.00 per week making it the vending machine in highest demand.
I could see drunk folks at the restaurant or bar playing a round or two for kicks, but I’ve never won a thing from these damn claw games, and at several dollars per play — not sure exactly how much — I’d rather just buy a cooked lobster dinner.
It’s not what this machine sells — Coca-Cola — that makes it noteworthy, but the fact that it can supposedly WALK AND TALK. Wonder what it’d do if you walked by with a Pepsi. Anyway, I figured there must be video of this somewhere on the interwebs, but preliminary investigations (30 seconds of unmotivated late-night Googling) failed to yield any results. Guess I shouldn’t have been surprised, though: According to one student news magazine that wrote about it: “Walking coke machine.. you don’t find it, it finds you!” Reminds me of “Never say no to Panda.”
3.) Used panties
According to Snopes (which deemed it true, mind you):
Used underwear that has supposedly been previously worn by schoolgirls is being offered for sale in vending machines in Japan. Though we don’t know the current price for the items, in 1993 they sold for the equivalent of US $50 a piece. We’d read that this practice ended in 1993 … but since that time numerous readers living in Japan have written to say that not only haven’t the machines gone away, but that they’ve themselves seen them.
Fast Company has also confirmed the existence of these things, but noted that “today, in accordance with the law, most of these sell fake used panties, scented with things like mango.”
4.) Stuff to smash
Ideal for people realizing the purportedly used panties they just bought have been artificially scented with mango. Via Make:
This “Passive Aggressive Vending Machine” by artist Yarisa Kublitz is filled with fine China. When someone puts in a coin, and selects an object, the piece will fall to the bottom, shattering into a million tiny pieces. The artist contends that this act will make you feel better.
Here‘s a close-up of some of the china passive aggressive folks can pay to break. That gravy boat is askin’ for it.
If you’ve ever had one too many to drink and woken up in a strange place shoeless and confused — yeah, me neither — then you’d probably appreciate this vending machine by shoe manufacturer Onitsuka Tiger. Not sure how many of these exist, but Onitsuka Tiger’s first one was installed on Carnaby Street in London.
Other neat vending machines I saw sold items such as eggs, umbrellas, neck ties, beetles, gooold, bicycles and a Bentley.