Unusual Vending Machines

Gone are the days when we turn to vending machines to satisfy our Hello Panda or Nescafe cravings fix. Vending machines – they are not just for all things edible anymore. I was walking around the all-luxe Robinson’s mall (a $40-million flagship located where the old Heeren was) over the weekend and spotted something interesting amidst all the upscale male fashion brands.

Strategically placed near an oversized leather couch, this machine isn’t difficult to spot. It offers readers three issues (current and back-copies) of August Man – a local men’s luxury lifestyle publication. Priced at $7.90 per issue, I felt this tie-up between a luxury magazine and a mall is so appropriate. After all, this publication seeks to target the more affluent and style conscious individual which most likely fits the profile of a buyer at this Robinson’s outlet.

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This discovery inspired me to find out other unique vending ideas around the world. Here is a short compilation of the more unusual or innovative ones !

1. Egg Vending Machine in Japan 

2. “Sprinkles” Cupcake ATM in US

Honestly, I think I would prefer the traditional retail experience when buying a cupcake. The combination of getting a cupcake from an instant machine just hints tasteless and staleness to me.

3. Lobster Vending Machine in Las Vegas

4. Fresh Salads Vending Machine in Tokyo

5. Gun Vending Machine in South Africa

A New-Zealand based ad agency spearheaded this campaign promoting a gun-free society. The line under “insert coin below” reads” “Your donation will go to the Gun Control Alliance, for a gun-free South Africa”. In a way, it also demonstrates to the public how guns are so easily accessible within the country.

6. Bicycle Vending Machines in Europe

This one is my favourite. Say hello to Bikedispenser! These 24/7 operating stations are scattered around cities in Europe. Commuters can ride from one destination to another and drop the vehicle off at the next nearest dispenser. Singapore should consider implementing this idea at our MRT stations isn’t it? It promotes a greener commuting method and also saves you the hassle of locating a bicycle parking space.




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