Young or Old, There's a Toy Vending Machine For Kids of All Ages

By: Mark Sierra


Many different vending machines have been supplying different types of products to consumers for decades. But few would argue that the kind that most appeals to kids is the toy vending machine. Very common types include the type that sell small toys in plastic capsules. There is a large selection of attractive options available to vendors when it comes to this type of machine. After all, selling to children, though a competitive market, has always been profitable when the right toy is sold. But what are the choices that are available to vendors today?

The way a toy vending machine is designed plays an important role in creating profits. Bright colors and shiny parts always make for a winning combination, but the market is becoming so cluttered with these, especially when they are positioned alongside other machines meant to capture the attention of children in locations designed for children (e.g., miniature golf course parks, pizza establishments with many entertaining distractions). Vending owners are always looking for ways to vye for a kid's attention and they are doing it in creative ways.

You can choose from a regular version which dispenses small toys in capsules or choose a vending machine that utilizes a crane to be manipulated by the user to capture a toy of their choice. The types of items associated with regular machines are one- to two-inch capsules with stickers, costume jewelry, glow-in-the-dark plastic trinkets, etc. You can also select a novelty machine which will involve a video game, DVDs, and other higher priced items, but with these, not only is the price of admission higher, but the level of difficulty is greater, too.

A novelty toy vending machine requires a larger investment, but will no doubt pay for itself in the long run with the sales it will generate. The best places to buy these machines online are gumball.com, brandvendingproducts.com, and Novelties-a-GoGo.com. These sites not only have used and new machines, but they also sell the toys, capsules, and other items that can go along with them.

Naturally, a reason why small novelty toy vending has been so successful is due to the relatively low cost associated with it, at least for the smaller variety. There are larger, more challenging machines that require the customer to perform some sort of act to win a prize, and usually means the prize being dispensed has greater value. For example, using a joystick to control a crane in an enclosed plexiglas box to pick up a toy is a machine commonly seen at family entertainment establishments and arcades. Because the prize is worth more, the challenge is little harder. The owner is at risk of buying more expensive toys, but the customer also puts up more money for the chance to win the prize. Some machines even feature light and sound displays that increase the chances of attracting a consumer who would normally just pass it by.

The prizes that are dispensed by the novelty machines usually include small toy trucks, costume jewelry, candy, plush toys, and any number of other similar objects. To increase profits, vendors sometimes gather the prizes being offered according to the establishment or its locale. There are several companies that provide toys for vending machines and you can find a number of them listed on vendingconnections.com.

The cost of a bottom-of-the-line novelty machine starts around $100, but can work its way up to $500. The next step up from that -- a moderate level -- will run approximately $500 to $2,000. Many manufacturers and suppliers offer financing options while others will require an upfront investment. It is also suggested to check the terms and conditions of the warranty when you purchase a novelty unit.

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