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A Trusted Friend in a Complicated World

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

They're not just for snacks anymore.

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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:

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Courtersy of Word Vancouver


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.

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Courtesy of Sprinkles


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.

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Courtesy of une nana cool, Wacoal-Corp


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?”

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Courtesy of Onno Bruins


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. 

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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. 

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Courtesy of minuteKEY


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.

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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.

Reader's Digest
Originally Published in Reader's Digest