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The History and Appeal of Gumball Vending Machines

Brightly colored and highly appealing, gumball machines have been mesmerizing the young and old for years and years. An eye-catching addition to your home or office, these historical candy vending machines has been dispensing shiny and colorful gumballs into the eager hands of their operators for a long time. 

A type of vending machine that releases a piece of gum when a coin is inserted into the coin slot, these machines can be found in an array of locales including malls, supermarkets, toy stores, etc. Although, you may only initially consider the traditional tabletop gumball machine, they actually come in an assortment of sizes, shapes, and styles. Modern gumball machines are even taking their gumball dispensing to the next level with interactive machines that allow you to watch your gum spiral down or play a game before the gumball drops into your hands.

Gumball vending services have a long history that has taken them beyond typical snack machines to interactive toys.  According to an article on, the first machines were introduced in 1907; however, similar machines that instead dispensed sticks of gum were available as early as 1888. The first gumball machines charged a penny per ball, with the average price for a gumball now being about 25 cents.

In this day and age there is an array of types of gumball machines as well. Traditional gumball machines are popular among antique collectors due to their vintage look and feel. They often have a glass dome that houses the gumballs and a colored metal base where the coin slot and dispenser are. They can either be tabletop or jumbo size.

Vending gumball machines increases the number of dispensers by putting more machines on one rack or stand than traditional gumball machines. With the increased number of dispensers, more flavors and colors can be offered in order to attract more customers. These machines give you the ability to tier the gumball machines on the same stand or rack.

Spiral gumball machines let you watch as the gumball spirals down a long winding path to the bottom of the machines. They are usually much larger than other types and can be embellished with winding and blinking lights and come in an array of shapes.

Interactive gumball machines are the modern varieties that provide offer fun and games. There are sports ball machines that send 10 to 15 gumballs racing down a twisting roller-coaster ride before they’re dispensed or the soccer gumball machine that pits two players against each other. Once the gumballs are dispensed, each player uses foosball-like rods and players to kick their gumball into the opposing goal.

Ricardo Mendonça Ferreira via Compfight

Sarah Wozniak

Staff Writer, Page1 Online Marketing