The 10 Best Gumball Machines

Updated September 29, 2017 by Daniel Imperiale

10 Best Gumball Machines
Best High-End
Best Mid-Range
Best Inexpensive
We spent 43 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top selections for this wiki. Got a bubble gum lover in your family? Then, how about treating him or her to one of these fun and decorative gumball machines. They will dispense the delicious chews on demand, with or without a coin, and can also serve up other small candies, too, if preferred. As a bonus, the coin-operated models serve double-duty as piggy banks. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best gumball machine on Amazon.

10. Schylling Classic Dubble Bubble

The retro Schylling Classic Dubble Bubble coin bank has sat on office desks and kids' shelves for years. It's charming, fun, and extremely low-priced, making it a great gift for anybody who loves gum. It can also be used for a variety of other hard candies.
  • comes with over 50 gumballs
  • official dubble bubble logo
  • flimsy plastic construction
Brand Schylling
Model GBB
Weight 1 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

9. Shindigz Dubble Bubble Spiral Fun

The Shindigz Dubble Bubble Spiral Fun makes it as much fun to watch your gumball as it rolls down the tubes as it is to finally retrieve and eat it. It works without coins, so you are never stuck scrounging around for change when all you want is a tasty treat.
  • perfect for larger sized gum
  • compact at just over 10 inches tall
  • cannot choose your color
Brand Shindigz
Model pending
Weight 12 ounces
Rating 3.6 / 5.0

7. Sweet N Fun Light And Sound Spiral

Designed to titillate younger children, the Sweet N Fun Light And Sound Spiral illuminates with each dispensation of delicious gum. The music is delightful to youngsters, but it can quickly become tiresome to parents who have to hear it all day.
  • stands 21 inches tall
  • multicolored spiral design
  • plastic components feel weak
Brand Sweet N Fun
Model 9468
Weight 3.2 pounds
Rating 3.7 / 5.0

6. Star Wars Darth Vader

When you press the button to dispense a ball from the Star Wars Darth Vader, the unit comes alive with the sound of Anakin Skywalker's signature respiratory assistance apparatus. Unfortunately, the included candies aren't particularly tasty.
  • branded collectible
  • comes in a decorative box
  • no coin operation
Brand Star Wars
Model pending
Weight 1.6 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

5. Godinger 1541

The Godinger 1541 has a metallic finish on its base and a sleek, simple globe, making it perfect for the person who prefers a minimalist design and loves gum. It's a bit more elegant than a kid's model and wouldn't look out of place on your desk.
  • tarnish-resistant finish
  • works for other small candies
  • glass is thin and fragile
Brand Godinger
Model 1541
Weight 1.6 pounds
Rating 3.8 / 5.0

3. Hello Kitty KT3109

If your daughter loves Hello Kitty and gum, then she is in for a real treat. The Hello Kitty KT3109 has bright pink colors and a Hello Kitty figure sitting atop the see-through globe. The turning key is also designed to mimic the famous cat's bow.
  • great for kids' birthday parties
  • works with or without coins
  • includes 'pearlized' candies
Brand Hello Kitty
Model KT3109
Weight 2 pounds
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

1. Great Northern Vintage

If you want a classic model just like the one you pumped quarters into as a child, then look no further than the Great Northern Vintage. It has a real glass globe perched atop its elegant base, providing both sophistication and fun.
  • available with or without the stand
  • accepts all standard coins
  • cast metal construction
Brand Great Northern Popcorn
Model 6260 Gumball Machine 15
Weight 12.4 pounds
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

Color, Variety, and Simplistic Pleasure

Whether you plan to open a candy store or you're simply looking for the perfect gift to appease the sweet treat aficionado in your life, a gumball machine is a colorful, fun, and inexpensive option to consider. The machine is a silent salesman, meaning that you don't have to invest a lot of time in its use or operation. Instead, your main concern is keeping the machine filled and letting it do the work for you.

The gumball machine is a coin-operated vending machine that dispenses gum and other candies or small toys. It consists of a clear glass or plastic sphere that houses the gumballs and sits atop a metal base. Additional components common to the machine include: a top cap and lock, which keep the candy secured; a coin mechanism, complete with both a coin slot and crank knob for operation; an internal gumball wheel at the bottom of the sphere, with precut dispensing holes; and a candy shoot down which the gumballs ultimately drop.

After you insert currency into the machine's coin slot, and rotate the crank knob in a clockwise direction, a coin wheel inside the mechanism spins, forcing the coin to come out of the back of the mechanism and drop into a cash box within the machine's base. At the same time, a gear inside the mechanism also spins the machine's gumball dispensing wheel, which is located at the bottom of the sphere and underneath the gumball hopper. The dispensing wheel resembles a circular-shaped piece of Swiss cheese with an arrangement of holes that, when lined up with the machine's opening over the gum shoot, allow a predetermined number of gumballs to drop into the shoot and roll toward the shoot door where you can collect them. Depending on the design, the machine may operate without receiving any money at all.

The excitement, anticipation, and lack of certainty about what comes from the machine provides much of its charm and magic, especially for kids. Because the machine is manufactured in different shapes, colors, and designs, it is easy to theme and place them strategically in locations that receive a lot of foot traffic. A themed gumball machine also makes a fun birthday gift and a colorful addition to a child's bedroom decor. As more than just a simple toy, the machine is even used for research and development purposes and as a teaching aid for understanding and visualizing abstract concepts in math, science, and engineering that are better explained through the use of color, variation, and design.

Unique Methods For Instant Gratification

Location, use, and the intended recipient are all considerations one must make when purchasing a gumball machine. Commercial units are designed for store countertop use and for mounting on a stand made from something sturdy, like cast iron or heavy steel. For the shop owner, durable materials and use of the stand also keep the machine's contents protected from impacts, pilfering, and extreme weather when located outdoors.

A domestic or free-spin machine is most likely to grace the shelves and countertops of your child's bedroom. This type of machine should also be durable and made from die cast metal, steel, or a sturdy plastic. It should have the capability to work with and without coins, allowing your kid to learn the value of saving money. Some gumball machines also operate as piggy banks themselves, so finding one with an adequately-sized cash drawer is beneficial when you decide to use the machine as an incentive for saving an allowance.

Consider the different styles available. Some machines are equipped with their own lights, sounds, and elaborately-shaped gumball chutes, all of which add a sense of fun and uniqueness to the environment in which they sit. Domestic machines may also be found with decorative patterns depicting characters from children's television shows or Hollywood films. These features make the machine a great gift for display at birthday parties and as a means for sprucing up drab decor in places like dental and doctor offices, where their contents may serve as a reward or incentive for children who endure potentially unpleasant visits.

If you have a kid who tends to be on the messy side, look for a gumball machine with some type of anti-spill door cover in front of its gumball shoot. When the machine dispenses several candies at once, the door cover helps to prevent the sweets from simply rolling onto the floor.

A Brief History Of The Gumball Machine

The first gumball machines were developed in the early 20th century by American glassmaker and inventor Thomas Adams. Working as secretary to Mexican president Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna in the 1860s, Adams was fascinated by the white sap produced by the Manilkara chicle tree, which Santa Anna chewed on a regular basis.

Although Adams failed in his attempts to use this sap to develop a commercially-viable and inexpensive rubber alternative, he was able to use it to manufacture chewing gum instead. Following his 1888 invention of a vending machine to sell the Black Jack and Tutti-Frutti brands of chewing gum, Adams designed one of the first gumball machines in 1907. The Norris Manufacturing Company later marketed its patented Master line of chrome-style gumball machines during the 1930s, which accepted both pennies and nickels. By 1934, the Ford Gum and Machine Company began selling the machines to local charities during the Great Depression.

By the 1950s, Arthur Gold of Illinois invented the Carousel brand of gumball machine. Gold's company, Carousel Industries, became the leading manufacturer of gumball machines up until the 1980s when it was sold to the Ford Gum and Machine Company. Since that time, the machines have been designed with more elaborate features, including lights, sounds, and spiral ramps to attract customers young and old. Regardless of its location, the gumball machine retains much of its intrinsic value as both a novelty and collectible item with functionality that transcends both time and generational gaps.

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Last updated on September 29, 2017 by Daniel Imperiale

Daniel is a writer, actor, and director living in Los Angeles, CA. He spent a large portion of his 20s roaming the country in search of new experiences, taking on odd jobs in the strangest places, studying at incredible schools, and making art with empathy and curiosity.

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