A new vending machine has been installed at Oakland Airport in California. Nothing special about that. Except the machine vends shirts and jackets to weary travellers who can’t possibly continue their journey without freshening up their wardrobe. So, slightly unusual then and a perfect excuse to look at some of the other off-beat, strange and downright weird vending machines there are in the world.
Why wouldn’t you grab a pizza from a vending machine?
And, this is no frozen or pre-made pie. Oh no. You get to choose your toppings and the machine kneads the dough and knocks out a freshly made 10” pizza within three minutes.
Fittingly the machine was developed in Italy but is now available in the UK and is claimed to be the only pizza vending machine in the world.
Although self-serve beer machines are quite common in bars and at festivals, a true vending machine is a rarer sight.
There are many which dispense cans but in Japan, which seems to the home of the whacky vender, there is actually a machine which will vend a draught pint of beer.
I can’t see it replacing your friendly bartender. Its pouring skills look poor and a drunken flirt is definitely out of the question. But, if you find a few coins in your pocket on the way home why not stop for a nightcap?
Come on we’ve all done it. Walking through a shopping centre and suddenly you see a vending machine. You pop in your money on an impulse and walk away with…..a gold bar.
OK, you may need a little more than loose change but if you want to add a few nuggets to your precious metal collection this will be right up your street.
Unsurprisingly, the first machine to dispense gold was installed in Abu Dhabi but now the Gold to Go vending machines can be found all over the world. Even in a London shopping centre.
Back to Japan again. Here’s a useless piece of trivia for you. In the land of the rising sun there is one vending machine for every 23 people.
One of which will provide you with a nice can of bread.
Apparently bread in a can is very popular in Japan so naturally enough there are vending machines. The cans usually have colourful designs and are stocked with different breads. Just pop and go.
If you prefer your bread fresh rather than out of a can there is a vending machine in Germany which dispenses hot bread as it warms up bard-baked loafs.
Only in America. Actually, there is bound to be one in Japan as well but the States is the home of the hot dog. And pop a few dollars into the HD300 vending machine and it will deliver a freshly grilled hot dog on a toasted bun. Happy days.
It may look like a bus stop but this really is a vending machine. French company Direct Lait have gone all out to enhance the experience when you want a litre of milk.
It may not come directly from the cow but the sound effects and farm like design will have you believing you’ve just emptied Daisy’s udder. What could be better?
We all love a cake so why not get your sugar rush from a vending machine? Sprinkles, a luxury cupcake producer in the States, have a number of machines set up right across the country.
From New York to California you can grab a cupcake though the brand label their vending machine as an ATM. Whatever its called it you know you want one.
Feeling guilty after your cupcake? Counting the calories? Head down to a shopping centre and grab yourself a nutritious salad – from a vending machine.
Farmers Fridge package their salads in a jar and dispense them from vending machines in Chicago and Illinois. Made from fresh and organic ingredients they do look better than the stale pre-made salad packs from the supermarket. Kale Chicken Caesar anyone?
Champagne and caviar
Well why not? If you happen to be in Beverley Hills and have a few hundred dollars to spare you can score some caviar. Then jump in the private jet and head over to Selfridges in London where you can bag a bottle of vending machine bubbly.
And the ultimate vending machine?
I kid you not. Fair enough you’ll need a few truckloads of pound coins. But, in Singapore you can walk up to a 15 storey ‘vending machine’ and choose from its selection of Bentleys, Ferraris and Lamborghinis.
Punters use a touchscreen display to choose a vehicle which is then delivered through an automated system.
A US company, Carvana, uses similar technology.
You have got to love their strapline:
‘Vending fresh cars daily.’