September 5, 2006

ランダム自販機と喋る自販機:Random Vending Machines and Talking Vender Machines

Japan is the nation of vending machines, with about one machine for every 23 people (wikipedia ). PhotoMann(a.k.a. Doug Mann), an American engineer working in Misawa, Japan, offers here probably the most extensive photo collection on the web.

His menu includes egg, rice cleaner, porn items, mobile phone recharging system, cigarettes, fishing items, toilet tissue, automated waitress, pachinko (slot machines), parking garage, alcohol beverages, disposable cameras, can recycler, condoms, used schoolgirl panties, vegetable stand, beetles (male costs three times more), kerosene, dry ice, etc.

A new addition from me is a random vendor by DyDo DRINCO (photo above: courtesy of P's). This type of machine hides product labels and doesn't tell you what it provides until you buy it. It's regarded to be the last resort for overstock items.

One such was spotted near Hiroshima Station in April by P's. One local blogger, Konaki, read P's entry and jumped into his car to check it out.

Surprisingly enough, almost all the items were sold-out. Even the "Yokai Jiru (monster drink)" that warns "over one month of overdose may cause you a transformation" was sold-out. So, he bought "Men's Shobu Can"($2.15) meaning "duel can" or "sure-to-win can" and rushed back home to open it.

Inside was a can drink. Red Bull sort of energy drink. It doesn't sit straight. So he checked its bottom to find a pair of super-thin condoms attached to it. (We knew it!)

"What's this? Drink and do it? They probably figured out it'd be a great idea for those highschool kids hanging around Hiroshima Station," he wrote and deleted, saying his expectation shrank in a second, being left with a customer satisfaction as thin as the attachment item.

Another addition from xpotechi to my entry about iPod vending machine is "talking vender machine," and again, DyDo DRINCO is pretty active in this front. This year, DyDo has localized its talking venders; this one, for example, speaks like a middle aged man, and this one spotted in Aomori talks with Tsugaru dialect. Maybe NY version coming next?





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