8 Weird Vending Machines (and What You Can Buy from Them)

They're not just for snacks anymore.

By Beth Dreher
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    Courtesy of Jennie Sokolik

    Mashed potatoes

    At 7-Eleven stores in Singapore, the ultimate comfort food can be yours at the touch of a button. Mashed potato vending machines dispense a cup of liquified spuds (with or without gravy) for only a dollar. Watch:

    Courtersy of Word Vancouver

    Poetry

    The Vancouver Book and Magazine Fair Society raised more than $1,000 to transform candy vending machines into poetry dispensers. During September 2013, lines from dozens of poets were placed in plastic capsules and sold for $2 each in several locations in downtown Vancouver.

    Courtesy of Sprinkles

    Cupcakes

    In 2012, Sprinkles Cupcakes debuted the world's first cupcake vending machine (the company calls it an ATM) in Beverly Hills. Stocked with fresh cupcakes from the brick-and-mortar store next door, the vending machine is open 24 hours a day. Sprinkles also operates cupcake ATMs in Washington, D.C., New York, Chicago, and Dallas.

    Courtesy of une nana cool, Wacoal-Corp

    Bras

    At a lingerie store in a Shibuya, Japan, $30 will buy you a sports bra from a vending machine. Consult the sizing chart on the front of the machine, then select one of four undergarments. It's hard to say how useful this concept will be, but one customer had an idea: "So this is peace of mind for the days when you forget to wear a bra?"

    Courtesy of Onno Bruins

    Eggs

    Romanian company Ovomach has developed a line of refrigerated vending machines that dispense six-egg cartons. Ovomach sold the first three machines—easily identified by a two-foot fiberglass egg atop each one—to hen farmers in a town in central Romania in November 2012 and plans to hatch new locations throughout the country this year. 

    Courtesy of Rollasole

    Ballet flats

    Marketed as the answer to late-night high heel fatigue, Rollasole ballet flats are sold in an array of sizes and colors for $20 in vending machines in the U.S., U.K., and Australia. 

    Courtesy of minuteKEY

    Keys

    The handy MinuteKEY vending machine, with locations near major cities across the country, will make a duplicate key in about a minute. Insert a home, office or padlock key into the machine, swipe your credit card (the cost is $1.49 per key or $3 for three keys), and watch it cut and buff the metal into submission.

    Hulton-Deutsch Collection/CORBIS

    Reader's Digest magazine

    Well, it used to be: According to this vintage photo, taken at Exeter St. Davids train station in Exeter, England, the going price for a Reader's Digest magazine in the 1940s was two shillings and sixpence.

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    Your Comments

    • Nick

      Another unique vending machine is Farmer’s Fridge! Farmer’s Fridge offers healthy and delicious salads and snacks that are prepared fresh daily and provide a variety of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Packaged in recyclable plastic mason-like jars, customers can choose from several delicious salad options, as well as breakfast and snack items, each designed to offer various benefits of a healthy diet.