Unusual Vending Machines from Around the World

March 25, 2017

Vending machines come in all shapes and sizes, but the ones most of us are familiar with have sodas, candy, or chips. These unusual vending machines from around the world contain some things you might never expect to come out of a vending machine. What these machines really prove, however, is that just about anything can be dispensed in a vending machine.

French Fries Vending Machine

French fry vending machine
Sandra Cohen-Rose and Colin Rose/Wikimedia

This french fry vending machine in Montreal, Canada cooks up some piping hot fries in only two minutes. The first machine to dispense french fries was developed in Australia in 1982.

LEGO Vending Machine

Lego Vending Machine
Jim Kelly/Flickr

There are vending machines that have been made out of LEGO blocks that dispense such things as burgers, McNuggets, and drinks, but this machine allows a person to buy a real LEGO set on the fly. This particular machine is located in Munich, Germany.

Mustard Vending Machine

mustard vending machineThis machine is the only one of its kind, and it shows that almost any condiment can be put in a vending machine. This particular machine contains mustard of different varieties and is located at the National Mustard Museum in Middleton, Wisconsin. The mustard vending machine was created specifically for the museum by Silver Spring Foods of Eau Claire, Wisconsin.

Live Bait Vending Machine

Live bait vending machine
Dwight Burdette/Wikimedia

Sometimes you just can’t wait to get fishing, or the bait shop is just too far away. But don’t worry, worms and crickets can be dispensed in just seconds with this live bait vending machine. This particular machine is located in Michigan but these beauties are located in many different countries around the world.

Umbrella Vending Machine

Umbrella vending machine

This vending machine may seem like it wouldn’t make any money, but when the rain falls like cats and dogs, the line for this machine might run around the block. This umbrella vending machine in Japan will spit out a brand new umbrella to keep the new owner nice and dry.

Lettuce Vending Machine

lettuce vending machineHow about a vending machine that grows its own product right inside the machine? This lettuce vending machine in Japan does such a thing. It uses fluorescent light to grow lettuce on the spot.

Pizza Vending Machine

pizza vending machine
Javier Leiva/Flickr

No more waiting for delivery or standing in line when you have a craving for pizza. Let’s Pizza is the name of the vending machine that was created by an Italian company in 2009 and distributed by a company in the Netherlands. It’s reported that it makes a pizza from scratch in two and a half minutes with the ability to make about 100 pizzas a day. The machines haven’t quite taken hold though. They started in Italy and went to the United Kingdom, but beyond that, it seems the pizza machine is hard and almost impossible to find.

Flip Flops Vending Machine

Flip fop vending machine
Francisco Anzola/Wikimedia

Did you lose your shoes or just want to be a little more casual? This Australian vending machine can hook you up because it dispenses footwear, specifically flip-flops. There’s even a handy fitting guide on the floor so you can pick the right size.

Gold Vending Machine

gold vending machine
Guilhem Vellut/Flickr

Gold to Go is a vending machine that dispenses real 24-carat gold bars in various weights depending on how much the user wants to spend. The machines are located in over forty locations across Europe, North America, and in the United Arab Emirates. The prices are updated every ten minutes over an internet connection to reflect the current gold prices.

Bicycle Helmet Vending Machine

Melbourne Bike Helmets
Polly clip/Wikimedia

There is nothing more important than protecting your melon when riding a bike. But what if you’re off on a ride and you forgot your helmet? If you’re in Melbourne, Australia at the time, this bicycle helmet vending machine will come in handy. This particular machine is sponsored by the Melbourne Bike Share program, and you can pick one up for $5.

Egg Vending Machine

egg vending machine

This egg vending machine in Japan is supplied with farm fresh eggs daily. The cost is about $3 for a bag of eggs.

Book Vending Machine

Book vending machine

A book vending machine is a novel idea in today’s technologically frenzied society.

Lobster Claw Vending Machine

lobster vending machine
Randal Cooper/Flickr

Those claw machine games are hard enough, now try catching your lobster dinner the same way. This mixture between a game and a vending machine will test how bad someone wants a lobster dinner, and how much they want to spend. Attempts for The Lobster Zone machine cost $2, and a patron has thirty seconds on each turn to snag a lobster.

Bonus Vending Machine Fact

There are approximately 6.9 million vending machines in the United States. Japan comes in second with about 5.6 million machines. Japan also has the highest number of vending machines per capita. There is one machine for every twenty-three people in the country.

About the author 

Daniel Ganninger - The writer, editor, and chief lackey of Knowledge Stew, the author of the Knowledge Stew line of great trivia books, and editor of Fact World and the Knowledge Stew sister site on Medium. I hope you find things here to annoy those around you with your new found knowledge.

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