Junk Steel Boxes Turned Into "Toy Vending Machine"

Chiyoko Kana
by Chiyoko Kana
2 Materials
2 Days
Does anyone hate those Toy Vending Machine?
I guess even grown ups love them, of course I love it too. My 6 year old daughter loves those machines and wants to play it whenever she finds them at store or shopping mall.
As her mom, I like watching her playing with a coin, but I always had a bit different thought as a crafter.
Which means that I wanted to have it in my home. Let me re-phrase this, I always wanted to have the fun things such as juke-box, real scale GUNDAM(if you have no idea of what the GUNDAM is, pls do google) and so on. The toy vending machine was one of those and I'd like to post this story that I finally got it in my living room.

Did I buy it?
Um, it will be the quickest and easiest solution, but NO.
I made it, using junk steel boxes came with rice-cracker gift set and dollar shop items.
Total cost was...approximately 3 dollars. Most of parts I used this time was things were ready to be trashed on next recycling trash day.(we have this sort of day in Japan, detail may vary depends each local community)

So. Here is what I did.

My cat is inspecting the materials...
Here is the main materials that I used. 3 empty steel boxes, plastic sheets from dollar store and empty drink bottle(aluminum).
This is my design of toy vending machine. Since I had 3 steel boxes in same size, I decided to separate functions to 3 parts. 1st layer to be collecting toy capsules, 2nd layer to get one capsule, rotate and carry it to last layer. 3rd layer to be receiving a capsule from 2nd layer and let it out smoothly.
In 2nd layer, the empty drink bottle was used as rotating system.
All 3 layers are needed to be connected in order to have capsules move and making hole was needed, but this was the toughest work.
I used the jam lid as the handle, which was also in the recycling box and waiting for next trash day.
Plastic sheets (hard type) I purchased at dollar store, DAISO was good fit to my boxes. Again, stuff I buy and use are Japanese, but I am pretty sure similar items are available in other countries in different product name.
Added some drawings too.
Oh, my cat was so curious!

Then I see a big smile after thisicon
Things I have noticed since I made this toy- vending machine, making each capsule content and adding them into are also funicon
The time I made this one was middle of summer vacation time for my daughter, which she has problem waking up in early morning, we made a rule that she can play it when she could wake up before 7 am.

Well, I have to say this, the toy vending machine rule really workedicon  

And for the content of the machine, I have put many capsules with a small message card with a comment or a riddle and a candy, and fewer capsules with small toys such as medals of cartoon characters she likes.

For anyone who wish to try making the same way I did, please be careful with the edge of steel, it is very sharp and not recommended your little ones to help you while making it.

Have fun!icon

NOTE: I think there are mainly 3 reasons why kids in Japan wake up early during "summer vacation". See followings;

1. Homework, lots - Kids are off from school not because of it is pure fun - only- vacation, but it is off due to the too hot and humid weather to study and some schools like my daughter goes do not have A/C. So instead of going to school and get sick at class by heat, kids are asked to study at home and maintain same time-schedule. (but it is still called "summer vacation" when translated to English)

2. Radio gymnastic exercises - This thing is on radio and plays every morning starting 6:30am at park. And kids are required to attend it.(then, they gets stamp on card each time they attended it. ) It used to be the mandatory thing when I was a child, but it seems changed over years.

3. Kids Anime - Those kids animation shows are played in very early morning, I do not know why, but I guess TV station put the program just in time when kids gets home after attending radio gymnastic exercises.

Well, it is a different country and culture. Hope this would help understanding.
Suggested materials:
  • Steel box   (home)
  • Plastic sheets   (dollar store)
Frequently asked questions
Have a question about this project?
  2 questions
  • 371926 371926 on Sep 02, 2017

    What's a jam rid?

  • Debbie Germano Debbie Germano on Sep 02, 2017

    What is the little box on the side for? I love this toy vending "machine"!! I think my youngest grand daughter will love it.

    Deb Terrebonne, OR

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2 of 22 comments
  • Chiyoko Kana Chiyoko Kana on Sep 04, 2017

    Thank you so much for kind feedbacks! I am very very pleased to read each comment and sorry not to reply back separately. I wish this little idea would make some fun.

    I also have added note explains why kids in Japan wake up early during "summer vacation".

  • Linda Moore Linda Moore on Aug 01, 2023

    Very cool idea!!!!