Consumer Freedom

Vending, Vidi, Vici: U.S. Vending Machines Get More Creative

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Cupcake ATM, LA Sprinkles

Sprinkles, an Los Angeles-based bakery, will soon launch the world's first cupcake ATM in Beverly Hills. According to the Facebook page made just for this delectable device, "This automatic cupcake machine dispenses freshly baked cupcakes, cupcake mixes, apparel and even cupcakes for Fido!" Open 24/7 and with new cupcakes added each day, the cupcake ATM will be the ultimate vending machine for stoners. Too bad it comes after a crackdown on L.A.'s medical marijuana dispensaries. Bummer.

In addition to cupcakes, L.A. is also home to America's first underwear vending machine. Operated by MeUndies.com, the machine sells micro model men's underwear for $16 a pair on Hollywood Boulevard. MeUndies will soon add women's underwear and socks to future mechanical vendors. Eventually, the site hopes to roll out more undie dispensers at gyms, hotels, and airports. To double down on free minds and free markets, perhaps MeUndies could partner with 4th Amendment Wear and protest the TSA.

Nevertheless, with underwear vending machines (and our burgeoning debt crisis), it's clear America is getting closer and closer to becoming Japan.

Meanwhile, in Boston, a group of MIT students have developed a vending machine for bike helmets. Called the HelmetHub, these machines will be launched in Boston over the summer and can hold 12 helmets each. For $8 a piece, cyclists can either keep the helmet or rent it and drop it off at another HelmetHub. Since only 30 percent of cyclists in Boston's bikeshare program currently wear a helmet, there is a big potential market.

But even if HelmetHubs take off, it could face roadblocks from the Massachusetts state government who are proposing a 567 percent hike in license fees for vending machines. Fees would jump from $3 a machine to $20. Since there are over 22,000 vending machines in the Bay State, officials estimate this would raise $375,000 in revenue. To top off this statist maelstrom, these proposed proceeds would fund Massachusetts' implementation of Obamacare. According to an official with the state's Department of Public Health, "the increase is primarily to support the inspectional staff that will need to focus efforts on carrying out inspections across the commonwealth."

If only there were a vending machine that dispensed Constitutions…

For more on consumer freedom, be sure to check out Reason's voluminous coverage of vending machines that dispense everything from the morning-after pill to bars of gold.

NEXT: Should Police Need a Warrant to Search an Arrestee's Cellphone?

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  1. “CONSTITUTIONALISM”: THE WHITE MAN’S GHOST DANCE
    by Robert C. Black
    http://www.spunk.org/texts/writers/black/sp001650.html

    Cuz paper gonna save us.

    1. Constitutions don’t work too well when they ignore the neocortex size as a constraint on group size in primates.

      White Indian suggests studying closer what did actually work. The US Constitution has obviously failed, but it was in part modeled on a confederacy of Non-State tribes that did work for 1000 years. It was called the Great Peace.

      __________________
      Dunbar, R.I.M. (June 1992). “Neocortex size as a constraint on group size in primates”. Journal of Human Evolution 22 (6): 469?493. doi:10.1016/0047-2484(92)90081-J.

      Weatherford, Jack McIver (1988). Indian givers: how the Indians of the Americas transformed the world. New York: Fawcett Columbine. ISBN 0-449-90496-2.

      1. Constitutions don’t work too well when they ignore my small penis as a constraint on the size of the primates that I mount when I climb into the cages at night.

        White Idiot suggests studying closer what did actually work. I have obviously failed, but I was in part modeled on the statue of Buddha by my parents. Both Agricultural City Statists who had work for 1000 years to pay off the debt incurred feeding me sweets and getting fabulous hair care. It was called the Great Piece of Pizza. Mmmmmm Pizza

        __________________
        Dunbar, R.I.M. (June 1992). “Penis size as a constraint on Jason the primate getting laid (with a member of the same species)”. Journal of Human Evolution 22 (6): 469?493. 10.1016/0047-2484(92)90081-J.
        Masters and Johnson (1988). Blowjob givers: how the hookers of the Americas transformed the world. New York: Farah Fawcett Columbine. ISBN 0-449-90496-2.

      2. Imbeciles.

        “They tend to fling their shit at everything when startled. They do not present a patters of behavior consistent with rational thought.”

        But do they possess any sort of behavior that could be considered as rational?

        “No. If they had, they would have realized that shit flinging is not really that usefull. Higher animals have more sophisticated ways of dealing with stress, lack of education and living rent-free in mommy’s basement than White Imbeciles. It’s really sad.”

        “Study of White Imbeciles In The Wild”
        By Dr. Kimberly Clark, PhD
        University of Clark County Press
        1972 pages 233 through 320

      3. You’re still here? WTF? Go get a life, you really are a pathetic example of armchair quarterbacking in the game of life.

    2. I get all my bows and arrows from vending machines.

    3. I will link and link and link until you love me. Dammit why don’t you love me????

    4. Imbeciles.

      “They tend to fling their shit at everything when startled. They do not present a patters of behavior consistent with rational thought.”

      But do they possess any sort of behavior that could be considered as rational?

      “No. If they had, they would have realized that shit flinging is not really that usefull. Higher animals have more sophisticated ways of dealing with stress, lack of education and living rent-free in mommy’s basement than White Imbeciles. It’s really sad.”

      “Study of White Imbeciles In The Wild”
      By Dr. Kimberly Clark, PhD
      University of Clark County Press
      1972 pages 233 through 320

    5. Isn’t there some “Asshole Primitivist” magazine out there that misses your informative and insightful commentary?

      If not, maybe you should start one. You would be your own #1 fan!

      1. Cut rather some slack. The 900 character limit is killing her.

  2. There have been very few times in my life when I needed underwear badly enough to look for an underwear vending machine. Is this a common problem, or are they really just selling soiled Japanese schoolgirl panties?

    1. So the Depends have worked well for you, then?

      1. Get off his lawn, punk.

      2. Well enough. I can’t expect miracles.

    2. Is that last sentence a question or a request?

      1. More of a veiled threat.

        1. Whatever gets you off.

  3. Instead of all of these machines, we should have a vast network of pneumatic tubes for high-speed delivery of goods. That way, we can use the Internet and the Intertubials in tandem to get stuff fast. This will become particularly useful when at-home fabrication finally hits it big.

    Not original, but it needs to happen.

    1. Do you think 3d printing is going to let you print out cars and shit in your home?

      1. Of course not. People will specialize in doing parts in different materials, and I’ll order those parts to assemble whatever. Via Intertubials.

        1. Print out replacement parts for your car, shingles for your roof.

          1. There’s a project at some school–Stanford, maybe–that involves using the same technology on a larger scale to “print” a house.

            1. There is a large group of Guatemalans who are doing that a couple of blocks away from my house right now.

              1. This project, if it’s still going on, is pretty cool. The design for the house is programmed into the system, which sprays some sort of material (it might be concrete) into the preset shape. It can leave gaps for wiring and plumbing, the whole nine yards. It’s actually a very cool idea. You’d still have plenty of finishing for labor, of course.

                1. It sounds way cool. I still don’t quite get it.

                  1. Well, labor is plentiful here. Not so much on, say, the Moon. Letting robots do the hard work of building settlements using Mooncrete would be ideal.

                2. Too bad many zoning laws forbid everything except traditional construction.

            2. I’ve seen that. Cool stuff, but a lot of details to be worked out. And you’re fucked if someone misprograms it.

              1. Say, why is my house shaped like a sex toy?

                1. It’s the ancient Eastern science of Dong Shui.

      2. can you print carbon fibre?

  4. Until I can buy whiskey and beer out of a machine as easily as I buy a coke, I don’t much care.

  5. …it could face roadblocks from the Massachusetts state government who are proposing a 567 percent hike in license fees for vending machines.

    Vending machines add to unemployment. I say, hike the fees five gazillion percent.

    Now, do suicide booths count as vending machines?

    1. Doesn’t Obamacare have something in it about disintegration chambers?

      1. Anan 7: Are those five hundred people of yours more important than the hundreds of millions of innocent people on Eminiar and Vendikar? What kind of monster are you?

        Captain James T. Kirk: I’m a barbarian. You said it yourself.

        1. If we had more people like Kirk around today, things would be much more groovy.

        2. One of the greatest Kirk showcase episodes.

  6. WHY U NO LIKE CUSTOMER SERVICE?

  7. You know, just to geek out completely, that picture looks like the Tantalus Device. If it is, I could use something like that. Is there a home version?

      1. That’s it! Great, I always wanted one.

        1. Star Trek was a treasure drove of design brilliance. Why tech companies don’t follow it as a blue print is beyond me. Who wouldn’t want their laptop to look like a tricorder? Or cellphone to look like a communicator?

          1. non-nerds

            1. You don’t have to be a nerd to appreciate the art deco meets sci fi brilliance of the props on that show.

              1. What’s funny is that some of the same props showed up on Mission: Impossible, which was filmed right next to Star Trek on the Desilu lot. They also shared guest stars and some cast (Nimoy being the most obvious example).

                1. Having been an art dog in my former career, I have had the pleasure of wandering the Universal Studios prop department. It is amazing to see a prop from a movie that you recognize. Even more amazing is the amount of sets and props that were simply scrapped after filming. There was also a prop house in North Hollywood called 20th Century Props that specialized in large, “science fictiony” props. You’d be walking there, and all of a sudden there would be something like the cockpit and dashboard from a Cylon Raider! Or the computer housing for WOPR, from War Games. That place would crack me up.

              2. You mean “art deco meets cardboard brilliance”

          2. Or cellphone to look like a communicator?

            Dude, the communicator was the inspiration for the flip open design of cell phones.

            1. I think there was a cellphone that had the communicator license, but that probably doesn’t work so well now, with the flat touchscreen style that’s so prominent.

            2. Yeah. I heard that somewhere. I am telling you, the prop design on that show was brilliant.

              1. They had no cash and a lot of creativity. An excellent combination.

                1. Oh of my all time favorite moments in the original series was when there was some sort of a timer counting down an explosion or some such. And this advanced 23rd century spaceship, with all its high technology, had a freaking analog timer counting down, which the numbers slowing rolling towards zero. I see that recently and thought, shit, this was fifty years ago.

                  1. OR the fact that they could travel the stars but no one ever thought of putting in some kind of emergency beacon to call the ship and have them beam you up immediately.

                    1. Or going warp speed with no seat belts.

                  2. To do anything other than that back then meant special effects and mucho dinero.

                    1. Next Generation had much better budgets yet they produced three seasons of pure suck.

                    2. clue: directed by jonathan frakes

                    3. Thank you Captain, I know I have an advanced degree and Academy training but I’ll sleep well knowing you’re letting a twelve year old fly the ship.

                    4. Piloting the Enterprise is about as complicated as driving Disneylands Autopia cars!

                    5. An implausibility carried over fifty times to make the silly reboot.

                      Kirk would’ve beamed the kid into space.

                    6. Kirk took his son on one mission (ST#3) and the poor bastard got a Klingon bayonet in the back.

                    7. No kids! One of my favorite things about the BSG reboot was that they mentioned the kid character from the original series, even had him on screen for a bit, then he went the hell away.

                    8. That show really needed daggits.

                    9. That show needed an ending that made sense.

                    10. To do anything other than that back then meant special effects and mucho dinero.

                      I highly recommend the Blu ray version of the Original Series. When I first heard of the redone CGI for the set, I thought it was blasphemous. Once I saw them, however, I completely changed my mind. They really do make some of the episodes better. The remastered transfer is fucking gorgeous too.

            3. Dude, the communicator was the inspiration for the flip open design of cell phones.

              I remember the first time I saw the Nextel i1000, I had to have one, it was so communicator-like.

  8. If only there were a vending machine that dispensed Constitutions…

    From the rate New Constitutions are produced in some parts of the world, I assume there is one.

    However, the users would be better off going to the pocket horoscope vending machine beside it.

  9. A guns and ammo machine, that would be tits. It would only accept krugerrands…

    1. Diplomatic Immunity

  10. The cupcake idea is gold, but the underwear machine, sorry, but that makes no sense. I just don’t see how there is any demand for instant undies. The only location I could see this making sense would be in the restroom of a place that sold really greasy food and expected a lot of accidents.

    1. Woman’s restrooms in restaurants known for singles or dates. Lets women change out of their granny panties and put on something more sexy if it happens to look like they are going to get lucky.

      1. Or vice versa! And they could even recycle their sexy panties into the Japanese schoolgirl vending machines.

        1. Now that is thinking. That is sustainable marketing.

      2. These are the women that don’t have purses, right?

    2. Does it come with a changing room or do you strip right there on the side of that LA street?

      1. On Hollywood Blvd.? Could be either.

  11. Grownups eating cupcakes has to stop.

    1. Bravo Tim. Please tell me the trend of having cupcake wedding cakes has died with the yutes.

      1. Not. Why do you hate our happiness?

        1. Because it is tacky rather.

          1. I hate that you are unhappy about the cupcakes, Tom.
            Hug?

            1. We all know it is you Rather.

              1. You don’t know shit, Tom.
                That’s what makes it so funny.

                1. Pointing it out only makes you angry, and generally runs you off because it is true.

                  1. I’ve got all day. Go ahead and prove that I am “rather.”
                    I’ll wait here.

                    1. There is no need to prove it. Your anger and defensiveness over it proves it. There is only one troll on this board.

                    2. I’m not the angry one.
                      Still waiting for you to prove it…

                      BTW, isn’t this just about the time you start with the name-calling?

                    3. How is calling you who you are name calling? It is not a big deal. Everyone knows it is you. They mystery is solved. The 900 character limit prevents you from white indianing us to death. And sometimes you even engage in semi intelligent conversation.

                      Reason will never require registration. You log onto a common server, probably at a university, so you get a new IP address every time. So they can’t effectively ban you. It is what it is.

                    4. Still waiting for proof.

                    5. Why do I need to prove to you who you are? You know that you are rather with more certainty than anyone else. You are her after all.

                    6. You should stick with Star Trek like the rest of us John, she can’t keep up with it.

                    7. I recommend you begin doubling your doses.

                    8. I recommend you begin doubling your doses.

                    9. Not that your paranoid theories are not fascinating, in a demented sort of way.

                    10. There is nothing paranoid about it. We just figured out who you are. The game is up.

                    11. Why do I need to prove to you who you are?

                      You can’t. Yet you say you are certain. Yet you have no proof. That’s probably why you believe in an imaginary god, but that’s another psychosis.

                    12. “We?” I only see you.

                    13. Perhaps I would have to prove it to other people on this board. But I don’t have to prove anything to you. You know who you are. And you know better than I do that you are rather. You are the same person who posts as White Indian and every other griefer handle.

                      Everyone here knows it. You just deny it because you hold out hope that you can get your anonymity back. Sorry, you can’t. We know it is you. And it will be pointed out every time you post.

                    14. Again, Tom, you don’t know shit.
                      But you’re nothing if not persistent.
                      I’ll bet it’s eating you up inside.
                      Frustrating, isn’t it, claiming something, getting called on it, and being forced to expose your impotence.

                    15. It doesn’t bother me a bit. You can’t do anything but rage and get angry that we all know who you are. Your cover is blown. The more you deny it and go back and forth with me, the more it proves I am right. If it wasn’t true, you would ignore it.

                    16. I recommend you begin doubling your doses.

                    17. I recommend you begin doubling your doses.

                    18. ^ Now look who’s seeking attention.

                    19. Come on rather. Someone engaged you directly. This is as good as it gets for you.

                    20. Still waiting for that proof, Tom.

                    21. Look in the mirror.

                    22. Still waiting.

                    23. I’ve stolen a half-hour of your time, Tom.
                      Don’t you feel silly now?

                    24. I am working on other things. You haven’t stolen anything. And I have just showed the whole board how defensive you are about being called rather. And further showed that is who you are.

                    25. Sorry. Not. Can’t prove it. You’re still blowing smoke.

                      And not defensive at all. I’m not the one making the claim. You are. And you’ve failed.

                    26. It is not a claim. It is the truth. The more you deny it. The more obvious it is true. Why do you even respond? You only respond because it bothers you. Why else would it bother you unless you really were her and were pissed we are calling you out?

                      QED. This whole thread is all the proof anyone needs. Sorry. You stepped on it.

                    27. Who else would bother asking for proof?

                    28. No one. It really drives her nuts to point out who she is.

                    29. We all know who’s nuts here, Tom.

                    30. It’s driving you to distraction.

                    31. You just can’t let go. You’re hooked!

                    32. Have a nice night rather.

                    33. An emotionally healthy person would have ignored me, but you can’t. How does it feel, embarrassing yourself before the “whole board,” with your obsession?

                    34. Come back with your “proof,” Tom.

                      Hahahahaha!

                    35. oh dear my ass started bleeding

                      again!

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                    38. oh dear my ass started bleeding

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                    39. oh dear my ass started bleeding

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        2. Make sure you ask him about the space shuttle…

      2. My wife wanted a cupcake wedding cake, I told her those are the stupidest fucking things ever created and that we are adults and as such would have an actual cake. Of course, I had a pecan pie for my “grooms cake.”

        1. Grooms cake’s are meant to be gooofy.

          1. Damn it, John, you managed to use (or not) the apostrophe incorrectly in two consecutive words.

            1. Don’t stress John’s punctuation or spelling. He is commonly and notoriously bad at both. He is unapologetic about it. It’s best to accept it as one of his quirks, and move on.

  12. Since only 30 percent of cyclists in Boston’s bikeshare program currently wear a helmet, there is a big potential market.

    I sense a mandatory helmet law coming (pushed through by the HelmetHub lobby).

    1. What percentage have underpants?

      1. A mandatory underpants law is where I draw the line.

        1. You kidding? It’s a regulatory bonanza!

          1. kilt exemptions

  13. Where da women at?

  14. Since only 30 percent of cyclists in Boston’s bikeshare program currently wear a helmet, there is a big potential market

    Uh. Weird argument there for ‘market’? ‘Large group not using something’ = ‘potential use’!

    Are helmets *mandated*, but not often used in Boston? I’d almost call that a ‘potential’ market, but then the only reason for it to exist would be coersion anyhoo.

    Neither here nor there, but the economics of vending machines are fairly stupid for any product that doesn’t have a high turnover/replacement rate. (i.e. something people buy/consume *almost every day*, at various points in the day, when convenient/unplanned) Cigarettes made sense. Beverages, check. Bike Helmets, underwear? I really don’t think the investment in expensive hardware and regular maintenance is really justified by these kinds of product categories.

    1. I’m a decidely un-hip traveler and was surprised to find a vending machine in an airport selling digital camers (high end, good ones) mp3 players, headphones and other various personal electronics.

      1. Well, that makes sense actually – and I’ve seen them, forgot about them. The case there is different because the environment (airports) is perfectly suited for ‘laborless’-convenience sales of otherwise low-turnover items. It also, it should be noted, is a perfect opportunity to gauge captive consumers (once passed through security) for higher-margin prices on otherwise commoditized travel-electronics,etc.

        While I’ve never been to Japan, they are supposedly the leading Vending Machine market in the world, and have been doing stuff like this for ages already…

        confirmed = http://www.toxel.com/tech/2009…..rom-japan/

        Some of the more-interesting = Eggs, flowers, noodles, umbrellas, neckties, batteries…

        http://www.photomann.com/index.php?dest=machines

        …rice, porn AND condoms from same machine… and I think there was one there for Live Lobster.

        1. I think the teen-panties+lobster machine would be a neat combo.

    2. The underwear machine is located on Hollywood Blvd. My guess is the underwear will be a novelty item, branded with Hollywood graphics, and geared toward a tourist clientele.

  15. A vending machine here and there is nice and all, but not comprehensive enough. Let’s bring automats back!

    1. You know. I bet you could market an automat to hipsters. Have be open 24/7. Sell hipster food.

    2. They’re still around.

      http://bamnfood.com/

      1. Have you taken your clorox this afternoon?

  16. Gotta say the whole hiking the price by 567% is kinda horseshit. Sounds like that fee was set in 1950 and no one ever hiked it since. Since they charge me a $1.50 for a .50 bottle of soda, I’m generally unsympathetic.

    1. Thank you, toxic. $20/year per machine is hardly oppressive.

  17. oh dear my ass started bleeding

    again!

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    1. She really gets under your skin.
      It’s funny, yet sad.

  27. But even if HelmetHubs take off, it could face roadblocks from the Massachusetts state government who are proposing a 567 percent hike in license fees for vending machines.

    I’m sure some of those students were sympatico with the Occupy movement, so I have no doubt they’ll be chomping at the bit for their newly formed Corporation to Pay Its Fair Share.

  28. oh dear my ass started bleeding

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  29. oh dear my ass started bleeding

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    1. Shut up, John. Everybody knows it’s you.

  30. You have to admit dude thats a cool vending machine. WOw.

    http://www.Went-Anon.tk

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