From vending machines to help homeless people get the provisions they need to ultra-secure ones that could sell guns, booze, or other ID-requiring products, we’ve covered some pretty cool vending machines here at Digital Trends. None, however, is quite so cool as a new vending machine that’s just popped up in Minnesota. And we mean that quite literally.
Just when you think you’ve heard about every possible vended good, this vending machine sells hand-packed frozen snowballs — ready and waiting to be thrown at a sibling, partner, buddy, or annoying co-worker at your leisure. The vending machine in question was created by marketing agency, Space150, and is intended to bring a little Minnesota chill to visiting Super Bowl fans for $1 a pop.
“We wanted to give Minnesota visitors something unique to our region that they could bring back home,” Brock Davis, chief creative officer on the project, told Digital Trends. “Since we’re known for our cold, naturally that gave us the idea to sell real snowballs as souvenirs. And the best way to do that? Vending machine. This project was exceptionally fun because the entire idea rests firmly at the intersection of brilliant and dumb.”
As “dumb” as the idea may sound, getting snowballs to stay snowballs inside a vending machine is surprisingly tricky. Make a few miscalculations and the vending machine becomes home to either small puddles of water or else rock-hard projectiles that will ensure you’re watching the Super Bowl from behind bars on an assault charge.
“The snowballs were made by hand and then sealed in a waterproof container,” Davis continued. “Luckily, the weather has cooperated and we were able to store the snowballs outside. The vending machine is refrigerated, so once inside, the snowballs will never melt. We modified a normal vending machine so it could dispense canisters large enough to hold snowballs. The most complex problem we faced was making sure the snowball containers were waterproof. After a little trial and error, we were able to rig an antique canner to create a perfectly tight seal. The only thing left to do was make round, well-packed snowballs and avoid throwing them at each other.”
The Real Minnesota Snowball Machine is currently operating in the alley of the Hewing Hotel in Minneapolis’ North Loop, where you can “purchase a little piece of the North for a buck.” We give the the creators hella props for their hustling huckster spirit!
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