this weekend, i picked up another gameroom gadget i had wanted for a long time - a gumball machine. but not one of those tiny ones you screw to the wall or put on the table, i had been on the lookout for a full upright version. those machines don't show up very often - and when they do, they go for a lot of money (and are very far out). here's an example of one which was on ebay a little more than one moth ago. i seriously considered bidding on it (because of the condition it was in), but 200 euros was out of my league at that time - so i had to let it go!
those machines are from the usa (manufactured in canada) from a firm called BEAVER who specialize in different types of vending machines. it is an older model called THE MAGICIAN
doesn't it just look fabulous?
anyway, only recently a later model called THE WIZARD
by the same manufacturer popped up on ebay with a starting bid of 50 euros. i immediately contacted the seller (who was new to ebay) and asked him for a BUY-IT-NOW deal. he got back to me one day later telling me he had had a lot of request of the same nature, but since i was the first guy to ask him and because he wants the machine gone asap, he told me we had a deal
even better, he told me he had another machine of the same type (if i wanted it) along with a lot of spare parts which he was going to throw in as well - of course i couldn't resist (although this meant a lot of hours on the road again). so we made an appointment for the weekend and the gumball rally was on its way ...
the seller was located in the southernmost part of germany very close to the swiss border, here's what's coming up
the roadtrip starts to an icy morningMINUS
two degress - damn, this is really cold!
the view through the windshield (note that the pinocchio figure from my joust 2 roadtrip to tuscany
is still there
one of the good things about my home town lauda is the fact that the autobahn is nearby - a mere 10 kilometers
speaking of which, right at the beginning there's a straight stretch of autobahn which adolf hitler had planned to use as a landing field for airplanes during world war ii
of course, the typical road constructions must not be missing
but here's something that's new: while i'm driving along the german autobahn, in the distance i spot a field on the right side of the road where something is running towards the road fast
. i count three moving objects! my first idea is horses, but as i'm getting closer i realize that those are wild boars in a stampede
. i also realize that the boars will "hit the autobahn" directly in front of my car if i continue at the same speed, so i push down the gas pedal and manage to "overtake" the boars just it time. i also manage to grab my camera and take one photo through the passenger's window
i put down the camera, look in the rear view mirror and of course the inevitable happens: the three boars rush onto the autobahn
!!! cars are slowing down behind me, but from what i can tell, nothing happens. the boars panic and leave the road as quickly as they came. you can imagine that i couldn't take any more picture, but believe me: my heart was pounding fast
time to take a break at one of the motorway service stations near the french border (where germany's biggest amusement park, the europa park, is located) and guess what: there's a beaver vending machine (selling bouncing balls) waiting in the lobby. what a coincidence!
here it is again - i like the yellow color of it
as i'm getting closer to the swiss border ...
... the temperature rises as well. i'm in an area of germany called the upper rhine valley which - because of its benificial geographical position between two mountain ranges - gets the highest temperatures during the warm seasons!
enough driving done, i'm almost there
here's the seller's location - somehow it fits the roadtrip's gumball theme!
waiting in the cellar of the house are two THE WIZARD
gumball machines. they are a little bit dirty and could use some cleaning, but look great next to each other!
much easier to handle than an arcade cabinet - and much lighter. those a high quality products made out of fibreglass, not plastic!
as i've said before, i also get a lot of spare parts
here they are, loaded up in my car. the seller was extremely friendly and told me he had tried to get a third (yellow) gumball machine for me from his ex-girlfriend, but she wouldn't let go of it - damn!
on my way back, i pass by wonderful castles high up on hills
after some more hours on the road, the sun is already setting
here's what you've all been waiting for one country, one county, 739 kilometers, 8 hours 39minutes on the road - this roadtrip is OFFICIALLY OVER!
the next morning, i'm carrying the two gumball machines up into my apartment where they will undergo a thorough cleaning and some restoration work as well.
i've read on the manufacturer's homepage that you can add rope lights into the spiral (where the gumball rolls down the center spine) to make the machine even more attractive to the "audience" - let's see if i can upgrade my machine. i'm also going to convert it either to accept tokens or to free spin - not sure yet what to do. and of course there's a choice to be made on the type of gums i'm going to put in there ...
i was told about 2,500 gumballs fit into the plastic globe on top - so expect some serious gum chewing going on in my gameroom
p.s.: in case you're wondering what i'm going to do with two machines: right now my plan is to clean it up and put it back on ebay. i'm pretty sure i can make all the money back which i spent on my machine and on the roadtrip. of course, if there's someone from this forum who wants to have it, i could consider selling it IF
the price is right!