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Toys at Your Fingertips: Exploring the World of Toy Vending Machines

Updated: May 10, 2023

Toy vending machine in India

Unbox fun with a toy vending machine! From urban malls to gaming arcades and sometimes even adjacent to your grocery store, an automatic vending machine can be a box of mysteries, magic, and delights.

On deeper inspection, especially from a business viewpoint, reports unwrap that the same toy vending machine is also bound to remain a constant in the booming vending machine industry.

With its growing importance, the toy vending machine industry is sure to attract more attention from brands and end-consumers likewise. Especially when it comes to vending machines in India.

But what is the ‘win’ for your business? Our experts share every detail you need to know below!

Table of contents

What exactly is a toy vending machine?

It is all in the name!

Simply put, a toy vending machine or famously called a ‘Gashapon’, is a vending machine that dispenses toys and small collectables in exchange for tokens, cash and presently digital payments.

The story behind toy vending machines runs past a century when they were operated by hand-crank, in exchange for coins and dispensed toys and novelties such as gum, candy, and stickers.

Over time, it has transformed into a smart vending machine, with automated mechanisms that could dispense a wider variety of toys and collectable items all over digital payment gateways.

This shift was evident in vending machines in India as well. But, what makes these toy dispensing machines so popular among kids and adults across the globe?

Let us take a peek at it.

A capsule toy vending machine
A capsule toy vending machine

Fact Box: ‘Gashapon’, the Japanese name for a capsule-toy vending machine, comes from the two sounds. (1) the ‘Gasha-gasha’ sound from the machine handle being cracked and (2) the ‘pon’ sound when the machine finally vends the toy.

Why are toy vending machines so famous?

From kids to adults, everyone agrees that automatic toy vending machines in India are amusing. Why, though?

For one, they are a fun and accessible way to purchase small toys or collectables. Secondly, they also offer a degree of surprise and anticipation, as consumers never know exactly what they will get.

With the advancement in vending machine management software, users can now indulge in a more interactive and immersive experience with toy vending machines. All this together makes them fun

What are some common types of toy vending machines?

Across the globe, one can find different types of toy vending machines that are unique in their design, functionality, and the types of products they dispense. A few common ones are:

Capsule-toy vending machines

They dispense small toys or collectables contained within small capsules. These machines are popular in many parts of the world and are often used to distribute figurines or toys featuring popular characters.

Claw vending machines

Often seen in Japan and US, a claw toy vending machine or "crane games” add a tangent of play to retail vending where the consumer has to claw out a toy from the vending machine.

Prize redemption vending machines

These kinds of toy vending machines offer customers the chance to win prizes by completing a specific task and in return, they dispense tickets or coupons that can be redeemed for a prize. Such automatic vending machines are often found in game arcades and amusement parks.

Prize redemption vending machines at a game arcade
Prize redemption vending machines at a game arcade

Interactive game vending machines

Taking interaction one leap ahead are vending machines with a digital game interface. Such toy vending machines might feature a touchscreen game that customers can play to win a prize.

Gumball vending machines

Standing on traditional nostalgia are gumball vending machines that dispense gum, candies and small token edible items.

Among these prize redemption vending machines are the most common type of toy vending machines in India.

How can brands benefit from automatic toy vending machines?

From an active means of earning to a brand awareness campaign, toy vending machines can be applied in many ways. A few of them are:

  • Increase sales

  • Expand the business reach

  • Promotions and giveaways

  • Aid in new product distribution/ launch

  • Build on brand exposure

  • Social media integration

  • Enhance brand loyalty

  • Support event marketing

  • Help in campaigns

  • Enhance consumer experience

To get the right perspective here are a few instances of brands using toy vending machines:

Minecraft, a well-known name in the gaming industry, brought its audience delight with the Mystery toy vending series. By placing a toy vending machine in areas like airports, malls and subways, Minecraft sold unique mystery mini collectables.

Lego holds another example. It placed a Lego toy vending machine at the O'Hare International Airport.

Lego toy vending machine at O'Hare Intl. Airport
Lego toy vending machine at O'Hare Intl. Airport | Source: O'Hare Intl. Airport

Apart from this, businesses that buy vending machines in India also earn by renting it out.

Pro Tip: In order to get the most out of vending machine prices in India, you must identify the right location for your toy vending machine.

Ideal locations for toy vending machine

  • Malls and shopping centres

  • Arcades and game rooms

  • Fests and events

  • Amusement and water parks

  • Movie theatres and entertainment venues

  • Restaurants and cafes

  • Grocery stores and supermarkets

  • Around tourist attractions

  • Airports and transportation hubs

  • Convenience stores and gas stations

The potential is enormous. The idea is to locate the vending machine in areas with a high footfall of your target audience.

Pro Tip: To identify the right location for your toy vending machine, get vending machine management software that can track and record which vending machine is performing better at what location.

How does an automatic toy vending machine work?

Here is how: Scan>>Select>>Pay>>Play

The phygital journey for your consumers begins by scanning the QR code on the toy vending machine. This will lead them to a specially designed web app or browser-based interface that matches your brand tones, colours, images and even has your brand logo.

This retail interface will display all the products placed in the toy vending machine and every detail related to them. This can include the model type, price, special offers and discounts, the material used, their size and more.

Mobile scanning QR code for vending machine operation
Mobile scanning QR code for vending machine operation

To maintain the element of wonder, brands can stick to the traditional capsule toy while providing their customers with every convenience of modern vending machine interaction.

Once all items are selected, they can proceed to pay digitally over multiple payment platforms, from credit cards to mobile wallets. An automatic vending machine will allow you to select multiple items (unlike traditional ones) and pay for a total sum, instead of paying for individual items.

Many incorporate sensors to prevent theft or tampering and vending machine management software from offering online monitoring and reporting capabilities from remote locations.

Added to the ease and security of digital transactions, quick refunds and touchless vending enhance the customer’s engagement while the digital interface (without the need for app installation) makes the whole process convenient and immersive without any external human intervention. Making brands experience the complete value of their vending machines price in India.

Things to consider while buying a toy vending machine in India

From the digital payment platforms to the kind of dispensation method you want for your toy vending machine in India, there are so many factors that impact your choice. These include:

  • Your product

  • Machine size

  • Machine cost

  • Security and maintenance

  • Transaction methods

  • Customisation options

  • Technology used

  • Vending method

A claw toy vending machine
A claw toy vending machine

How can vendekin help?

Vendekin's innovative vending machine management software provides businesses with access to real-time data from all their automated vending machines, allowing them to make informed decisions that can impact their bottom line.

By collecting, maintaining, and analysing data over time, smart vending machine solutions like vNetra and RetroBox can help businesses evolve their strategies, build immersive shopping experiences, and meet the needs of today's consumers. Vendekin's solutions provide an inclusive and immediate shopping experience that can help businesses stand out in a crowded market.

In addition to providing valuable data insights, Vendekin aids businesses by fully customising their vending machine, whether it is a cashless coffee vending machine or a giant toy vending one.

Investing in smart vending machines with Vendekin is an investment in the future of your business. As a growing industry, vending machines have the potential to drive significant revenue and provide a competitive edge.

To learn more about how Vendekin can help your business succeed, contact us today at or give us a call at +91 9555712713 to start a conversation.


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