How to Start a Small Coin Vending Machine Business

July 27th, 2013 by admin | Permalink

by Sarah Dray |

A vending machine business is great for people looking to earn some extra cash without having to invest a lot of time to get it started. Depending on what budget you have available, it’s possible to start small and grow with time, or go at it full-force.


1. Decide how much you’re ready to invest. If you have a small budget, you may only be able to afford small vending machines, like the ones that dispense gum or pocket toys. If you’re looking to invest more, you can always look into drink and snack machines. Financing is available from certain retailers, so don’t be afraid to inquire about it.

2. Map a route. It will be much easier to refill the machines if they’re distributed in a logical pattern. When planning the route and choosing locations, do keep in mind the best stops to place your machines. Hotel lobbies, storefronts and fast food restaurants are ideal because of the constant traffic in and out.

3. Look online for companies offering vending machines for rent and sale. Compare not only prices but the advantages of each one, the warranties offered and whether they have additional services available., the largest vending machine website in the country, offers second-hand machines, a great deal if you’re looking for large equipment.

4. Get coin vending machines made of metal. Plastic ones may look cuter but unless you’re placing them indoors, they are more likely to get vandalized. New vending machines may come with a partial warranty, but used ones (and certain new models) may not qualify.

5. Pay attention at how your machines are doing. If you see that a specific one that is still full about a month or two after placement, you will need to either move it or replace the contents with something more popular. Don’t stop by to check on the machine only with the intention of collecting money. Instead, treat the machines as a sound investment and do as much as possible to increase sales.

Tips & warnings

Don’t stick only to the classics. Lots of innovative products are available to be sold via vending machines, including toothpaste/toothbrush sets, miniature toys and even small electronics.


To read more about how to buy a coin vending machine, vending machines, or vending machine business, visit our website:

How to Give your Kids the Best Birthday Party

July 10th, 2013 by admin | Permalink

by Chance Kinstle

Many parents are really interested in throwing a birthday party. This is a special event for their kids to celebrate. However, there are moments when party preparations can be a pain. Most of the time, the parents do not have the energy, the money and the time to start a party. Therefore, they lose the interest and the momentum to prepare. This should not be a problem because we will give you a few tips on making your party a blast. There are only a few guides to remember. They are easy and most of all practical. If you are going to start a party for your kid, take time to read this post. Hopefully, you can get started with the preparation soon.

One thing to consider is the number of guests to invite. You should already know the kids and parents who will come to the party. This way, you can have sufficient foods, space and giveaways to create. It is important to know the exact number of guests so you can also prepare the budget. For each invited person, there is an overhead that you need to consider. This is the very source of budget allowance. So you really have to take time in listing the number of guests to invite. Only this way you can have a good allowance ready for spending. If you will expect some guests but are not sure if they will come, list them also. This will ensure that you have reserved items for them.

Next, you have to consider too the kind of foods to prepare. A birthday party for the kids will always involve yummy foods and sweets. So you have to cook them according to the kids’ taste. There could be some chicken, noodles or drinks with colors. Of course, these are also consumable by the parents. Therefore, you do not need to prepare separate foods for them. The more important thing is to prepare what kids will love. You could consult a cookbook for this if you wish. But most of the time, the foods for parties are easy to prepare and already satisfying. You just have to adjust them according to your preference and taste.

Lastly, you have to consider getting a party service. Most of the time, the parents consider parties to be troublesome. It will require money and energy resources. So the last option is to avail of a party service for the kids. You can easily find them online since these are popular services. You just have to choose the party service that will give you the best value. Consider something that offers you a package so you do not need to worry about anything. Some of these packages already include foods, balloons and even clown presentations. You just have to choose the right website where you can get the service. Of course, you should also request for a quote since the package will depend on the number of guests. Later, you could confirm with them about your intention to have a party.

If the birthday party is planned for the summer then you should consider it an opportunity to get some outdoor games, including inflatable games. Inflatable games are a great choice: kids love them and they can entertain with them so much you wouldn’t need anything else. There are several choices to choose from: inflatable slides, bouncy castles, obstacle curses, water slides… Pursuit Zone carries a lot of inflatable games and other entertainment equipment for your birthday party. Contact us today and ask for our inflatable slides for sale.


See a lot more about inflatable slide, inflatable slides for sale, or inflatable obstacle courses, by visiting our website:

Why People Flip Over Vintage Pinball Machines

May 28th, 2013 by admin | Permalink

by Maribeth Keane and Ben Marks |

I didn’t really get into to pinball machine collecting until maybe 15 years ago, but when I was a freshman in college, video games were really big. I went to Purdue University. They had a lot of arcade machines there. I always said that Space Invaders and Pac-Man took so much of my money—money that I really didn’t have—that it would have been cheaper to just buy one of those machines.

So one day I went to an auction of coin-operated video games. They had pinball machines there, too, including a 1980 Spider-Man machine. This is about 1988, so the game’s only eight years old. They started bidding at a hundred dollars, and nobody’s bidding. I drag it home and set it up, and sure enough a few things don’t work on it. And of course I don’t know how to fix it, but I go through it, figure it out, and it’s rewarding.

So I started buying these machines, tried to figure out how to fix them, and started to network with other guys who were buying games. I’d say, “Hey, I have this problem, how do you fix that?” You couldn’t find anybody to repair them. As time progressed, I just started buying more games, figuring out how to fix them, and I would run an ad in the paper—“Buying pinball machines, broken or working.” I would get a zillion calls.

Over the course of talking to people, I was developing this library of repair information. Then, in about 1995, I got a new job, and they had this crazy thing at work called Internet access. I’m like, “Wow, I can post all my repair stuff on the Internet.” I made a database and it just kept growing until I ended up with this huge website called

As part of the hobby, I went to the Pinball Expo in Chicago. This was about 1999, and they had all these seminars with people involved in the industry—programmers, game designers, service guys. The next year we presented a demonstration at the show about repairing games. As a joke, we said, “We’re going to make a videotape,” just a goofy, comedy videotape on pinball repair. And so we came up with this Norman-Shaggy thing, where I was Shaggy, the guy with long hair, and Norm was the guy who you never, ever saw, but he talked with a Boston accent. It was loosely based on This Old House, so we called it This Old Pinball. It was a weird morph of a bunch of ideas.

We showed the tape after our repair seminar, and people just went nuts, saying, “Hey, can I get a copy?” And we’re like, “We’re not selling this. It was just a one-time thing.” So then this guy comes up to me and says, “Look, I’m running this pinball hall of fame thing in Las Vegas. I’ll sell your video, and I’ll give some of the money to the Salvation Army and some of the money to our nonprofit pinball hall of fame, and you’ll help a lot of people out.”

If you are a fan of vintage pinball machines, check the ones Pursuit Zone has for sale!

If you are a fan of vintage pinball machines, check the ones Pursuit Zone has for sale!

So we started making these videos, and we turned them into nine, two-hour DVDs. We’ve sold 5,000 of them, or something. It’s unbelievable.

Collectors Weekly: How long does it take to repair the average pinball machine?
Harrell: The quickest I can restore a machine is maybe a week, and that would be the best-case scenario. It takes time to tear them down. All the mechanical assemblies have to be taken apart, cleaned, and the parts must be replaced and put back together. A lot of times I’ll touch up the play fields with clear coat so it doesn’t look like it’s been touched up.

Most of the machines are commercial devices designed to make money for an operator, and most operators just ran the games into the ground. They didn’t really maintain them or take care of them. When they got done with them, they sold them at auction, or maybe cleaned them up a little, ran a rag across them, put new rubber on, and sold them to a homeowner, who then played the bejebus out of it. Or their kids did. Most of the games that you end up with tend to be pretty tired by the time you get them.

Collectors Weekly: Are there a lot of pinball machine collectors?

Harrell: It is a fairly small hobby. I’m the co-editor of one of the pinball magazines, and the subscription number is 1,200 people worldwide. Now, I know not every collector subscribes, but that gives you an indication that the hobby is not huge. There are people who own pinball machines, but they’re not collectors. I would say there’s a difference between a pinball collector and a pinball owner.

We categorize collectors by digits: single-digit collectors, one to nine machines, or double-digit collectors, 10 to 99 machines. Well, I’m a three-digit collector, which is just sick. There’s something wrong with me. If you’re a three-digit collector, you’ve got issues. I think the largest collection known is around 1,500 machines. But the problem is that after you get so many machines, it’s hard to keep them all working and operating or even to have them all restored in the first place because they are a huge time suck.

We started a pinball club, a local Detroit pinball club. We call it the Detroit Pinball Collectors Club. We’ve got a little clubhouse, and so I’ve got a bunch of games there, too. And I’ve got games at a friend’s house. I’ve got games all over the place, unfortunately, just because the one single thread in pinball collecting is you can never have just one, and you always run out of room. If you’re a real collector, it seems like you’re just always amassing more games. I have a really great time restoring them and playing them. I’m probably an average pinball player, maybe above average, but I’m not great. But it’s fun. It’s a fun thing, and it doesn’t become old quickly like, say, video games.

Collectors Weekly: How did pinball evolve in the United States?

Harrell: It was a game that morphed from the French game of bagatelle. In the 1930s, it really exploded as a gambling thing, and that’s where pinball got this gambling association.

Coming out of World War II, the gambling laws were changing in the United States. In particular, in 1950, the Johnson Act made it difficult for slot machines or any sort of gambling device to be used in public. It was a federal offense. So, pinball had to shed its gambling association to become a game of skill. In 1947, they came up with this crazy idea of adding flippers to the machine.

Gottlieb came out with the first flipper machine. Instead of just letting the ball fall into a hole worth points or money, now the player actually had some control over the ball. With flippers, you could steer the ball into different point areas. All the companies jumped on this flipper technology—Gottlieb did not patent it. Soon everybody was using flipper machines, and it made all the pre-flipper machines of the ’30s and early ’40s—the pre-1947 stuff—obsolete.

In the ’60s, games became more technologically advanced, and in the ’70s they were still using the same electromechanical principles of coils (which are magnets), relays, and stepper units, which are, more or less, one-bit memory units, in a mechanical sense.

By about 1977, 1978, the companies all dropped the electromechanical stuff and went to solid state, using microprocessors to control the games as opposed to having everything hardwired with relays and stepper units. I collect the pre-solid state games.

Collectors Weekly: Who were the major manufacturers?

Harrell: During the 1930s, there were literally hundreds of companies making pinball machines. After World War II, though, there was only a handful. The key players were Gottlieb—the biggest, and pretty much the Cadillac of pinball—and Williams, which was substantially smaller but still an up-and-coming game company. They were the two prime manufacturers. There were smaller players like Chicago Coin, Keeney, and United that made pinball. But really, it was Gottlieb and Williams. Even Bally only made a handful of pinball machines during the 1950s. They made mostly bingos. They looked like pinball machines, but they were really gambling devices. They didn’t have flippers.

The artwork on pinball machines, especially in the ’50s, was fairly racy because the players they were attracting were mostly male bar patrons, ages 20 to 50. There were always lightly clad, well-endowed women on the back glass. The general thought is that Gottlieb had the best artwork. There are some people who collect the machines just because they like the artwork. For them, Gottlieb is pretty much the king.

In the 1960s, Williams started making more machines, and Bally started to get into the market more aggressively. As the bingo machines became clearly illegal, Bally shifted its production over to pinball, and by the mid-1960s, it was starting to make a lot more pinball machines. So now the big three players were Gottlieb, Williams, and Bally, with Chicago Coin as a runner-up. United was bought out by Williams, and Keeney was out of business.

By the 1970s, Gottlieb was still the leader because of its artwork, game play, and quality. Williams was second. But Bally began pushing the envelope as far as artwork was concerned. The company hired a new artist named Dave Christensen, a guy who had been doing slot-machine art in the Bally slot-machine department. They shifted him over to pinball and he really brought Bally pinball machines to the forefront because of his racy artwork, which was much more realistic than the cartoony art that Williams and Gottlieb were creating. The women Christensen drew looked almost real, maybe a bit super-human.

For a while, Bally was up-and-coming, but as soon as the crossover to solid state happened, when companies dumped electromechanical technology for microprocessors, Bally and Williams really took over. Gottlieb fell behind because the operators didn’t view their system as being reliable. Gottlieb’s approach to game design also lagged, but the company eventually went out of business in 1995 because they could never get past the reliability issue.

Collectors Weekly: Did Williams and Gottlieb have their own artists?

Harrell: Yes, they had preferred artists. During the ’50s, ’60s, and ’70s, artwork wasn’t always created in house. Williams or another company would design a game, and then they would hand the game over to another company that just did art. This second company had their own staff artists. In the case of Gottlieb, they used one particular artist, Roy Parker.

So the look of each manufacturer’s machines took on a personality based on the artist—the theme was almost irrelevant. The art really didn’t have anything to do with the actual game play. It could be about almost anything. Clearly some games were designed with a card game like poker or blackjack or something like that in mind. But with a lot of the themes, the art could’ve been anything. The art company would often come up with names for the games, and they would do all the artwork based on the actual whitewood, which was the name for the raw prototype game without art on it. They would pretty much do whatever they wanted, but they knew what the companies were expecting, so that’s why the companies used the same artists over and over.

There were different artists in different years. Gottlieb started out with Roy Parker, who died in 1965 of cancer. Art Stenholm took over and did a lot of Gottlieb artwork through the rest of the ’60s. So you had these artists who would do games for a particular manufacturer for years and years. By the ’80s, the games were getting more sophisticated with voice and speech, and the theme of the game was more set in concrete, so an artist couldn’t really re-theme a game. So a lot of the artists were brought in house and actually worked at Williams or Gottlieb or Bally, and the artwork on the games became much more entwined with the theme.

Collectors Weekly: When did movie promotion begin?

Harrell: Bally was the first company to do that. They were the first company to get an official licensed theme. During the 1950s, Gottlieb had done some unlicensed themes. They had a game called Guy’s Dolls, and it just happened to come out at the same time as the Broadway play called Guys and Dolls. So they were trying to wrap themselves in the popularity of pop culture at the time without actually having to pay any money for it.

In 1975 Bally was the first company to pay for a license. The game was Wizard, which was based on the Tommy movie by the Who. They paid very little for the licensing at the time, but they were able to promote the machine around the movie. And since it was called Wizard, they actually would go around to different cities and give the machines away at pinball tournaments. They would host pinball tournaments to try and increase the popularity of their brand.

Then all the other companies followed suit. Gottlieb got a license in 1979 for Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Williams did it to a much lesser extent. Bally was the key player in licensing themes. They really felt that they could bring new people in to play pinball if they recognized the theme.

Today, the only pinball manufacturer left is Stern out of Chicago. Just about every game they put out, if not every game they put out, is a licensed theme because they are really strong believers in the idea that themes attract new players to pinball. In other words, you can get somebody to play an Indiana Jones pinball machine because they just walked out of the Indiana Jones movie, that sort of thing.

Bally also did a lot of games based on rock groups. They did a KISS machine, which was hugely popular, and one with Ted Nugent. The payments to these guys were so small. For the Ted Nugent game, everybody on the road crew, the management, and the band got a machine. That was the licensing fee, probably 15 machines. Stern did the Ted Nugent deal.

Collectors Weekly: What were some of the other most popular themes?

Harrell: Gottlieb was really good at card themes. They were known for that. Card games like poker, you’re trying to get different hands, a royal flush, they used that name a bunch of times—Card Whiz, Royal Flush, Pop-a-Card.

In the 1950s, Gottlieb would run a machine for maybe three or four weeks in their factory and then make anywhere from 500 to 1,500 machines. They would produce maybe 10 different games a year. By the 1960s, production numbers began to bump up. One thousand was now a low production number, and 2,500 to 3,500 was a good run for any particular game. The games were becoming more popular. They were selling more of them.

By the 1970s, some of the machines were breaking sales records, especially the early Bally licensed stuff. They were selling 10,000 machines, 15,000 machines, and this is an incredible number of machines compared to what they were selling just a few years before. But in the mid-’70s, video games were just on the horizon, and by 1979, microprocessor games like Space Invaders, which was a black-and-white game, really started to cut into the pinball market share.

When Pac-Man came out in 1980, pinball really took a dive. Where just a couple years before they had been selling 8,000, 10,000, 12,000, or 15,000 machines, now manufacturers were having a hard time selling 2,000 machines. So the popularity would go down, and pinball would constantly have to reinvent itself. By the late 1980s, Bally was almost out of business, and Williams bought them just to get the name and basically kill a competitor.

By the early 1990s, pinball was on upswing again. Manufacturers were selling boatloads of machines, with the Adam’s Family being the most popular game of all time. And then in the mid-’90s, home-gaming consoles became popular and once again pinball’s popularity started to slide. People weren’t going out so much to be entertained. Arcades were having a hard time, some even closed.

In 1999, Williams/Bally stopped making pinball machines. They just stopped. They said, “We’re just making slot machines.” Remember, Gottlieb had already gone out of business in 1995. So now there was only one pinball manufacturer left, a company called Data East, which in 1995, was bought by Sega.

By 1999, Sega wanted out, so they basically dumped the pinball company. A long-time Data East guy, Gary Stern, picked it up for a very fair price. So now, Gary Stern is running Stern Pinball. There are no stockholders to answer to, it’s just Gary. Because of that autonomy, his pinball machine company has been able to survive. He’s been able to keep his company afloat even during these poor economic times. That’s good because if Stern Pinball goes under, there’s nobody left making any new machines. There almost has to be a new pinball manufacturer out there to keep pinball alive as a pop cultural icon.

Collectors Weekly: When did multi-player games appear?

Harrell: Originally, machines were all single-player games. It was one player at a time. But starting in 1954, Gottlieb came up with the idea to have two or even four people playing at a time. Player one would play ball one, then player two would play ball one. Then player one would play ball two, and player two would play ball two. Suddenly it was more competitive.

The problem was that with electromechanical architecture, the amount of circuitry needed to support multi-player games came at the expense of game play. Basically, it meant that the games couldn’t be as complicated as far as game play and game features were concerned. So there was always this kind of wresting match—do you have a multi-player game that people can play more or less head to head, or do you have a single-player game where the rule set can be considerably deeper but with only one person playing at a time?

As far as collectors go, most collectors like single-player electromechanical games because the games are more involved and they have a deeper rule set. There’s more to do. With the advent of solid-state microcomputers and microprocessors, all games became multi-player just by default because now the game could remember.

Collectors Weekly: Did the transition from wood rail to metal rail change game play, or was that just the frame?

Harrell: No, it was purely aesthetics. At first the games didn’t have a lot of security. There was a coin box. The coin doors were wooden. The legs were wooden. The side rails that held the top glass in place were wooden, and that’s why they call those games wood rails. Most games from the 1950s cost a nickel to play. So you only had a few bucks worth of nickels in the coin box. By 1960 the price of games had gone up to a dime, so now there’s more money in the coin boxes and they just felt that they needed more security. Also the cost of wood was going up. Metal was actually cheaper to produce. It’s also harder to pry them off, to get the glass up, and then get to the coin box.

Collectors Weekly: How do you choose new games to collect?

Harrell: There are games that I’m looking for, clearly. The one thing that’s very interesting about this hobby is it doesn’t have to be expensive. You can buy machines off Craigslist or out of the want ads, or wherever, for anywhere from $50 to $500. These are decent games that are restorable; something to work on and have fun with. And when you’re done, you got a game to play.

I tend to try and look for things that I can afford, that seem interesting and that maybe I don’t have a lot of experience with because it is a huge learning experience, the whole thing, working on the different games and learning their ins and outs.

Collectors Weekly: What do you look for in game play?

Harrell: I’ve never played a pinball machine that didn’t have some sort of objective. The game play always has an objective. With pool themes, those are pretty generic. You need to try to get all the stripes or all the solids. And once you get all the stripes or all the solids, in some games, anyway, then you want to get the 8-ball. Some Games are actually called 8 Ball or the 8-ball is an important part of the theme. But there’s always some objective, and sometimes there’s an order to the objective.

One thing that’s unusual about pinball compared to a lot of other amusement games is that you can actually win something from playing it. This goes back to that 1930s gambling association. The machines couldn’t pay out, but they could award a free game. So what’s a free game? I guess some people thought it was something of value, but really it’s just another game you get to play for free. So in a lot of games like Flipper Pool or Bank-a-Ball, both 1965 Gottlieb games, if you had hit all the targets associated with all the solids or all the stripes, you would get what’s called a replay. You would basically win a free game. And on some machines, you can win multiple free games if you accomplished enough things.

Some people remember playing that game. They’d put in a dime, rack up 10 credits, and play the rest of the afternoon for free. There are a lot of people who have that sort of recollection from their youth. Even today, if you get to a certain replay score, you can still win a free game. In some states, pinball machines were outlawed because winning a game was viewed as winning something of value. It felt too much like gambling. So Gottlieb figured that instead of rewarding the player with an extra game, they’d just reward the player by making the current game last longer. So you would win additional balls instead of winning free games.

Collectors Weekly: Finally, what was a conversion machine?

Harrell: There were really three types. Back in 1947, when flippers were invented, a lot of the non-flipper machines were converted to flippers with a kit. That was one style of conversion machine. Then in the 1970s, there were a couple experiments where you could buy a machine, say a Bally Mata Hari, and you could flip a different playfield into it. They would sell just the playfield, which is the wood portion that the ball rolls on, plus a different score glass and a different set of chips for the computer. It let you convert a base machine into an entirely different game.

The idea didn’t go over so well. Bally/Williams tried it again in 1999 with Pinball 2000. Again, you would buy a base machine, and in order to make it into a different game, you could basically flip in a new playfield, some new memory cards, and the new back glass art. None of these ideas seemed to work all that well. Pinball 2001 took this idea further and probably was the one format that could have worked, but Bally/Williams closed its pinball division in 1999, so it never really took off. So there you go, three different types of conversion machines.


Visit our website:, for further information about vintage pinball machines, arcade machines, or bally pinball machine.

School Nutrition: Targeting Junk-Food-Filled Vending Machines

May 10th, 2013 by admin | Permalink

by Oz Garcia |

Childhood obesity has more than tripled in the past 30 years. Statistics show that nearly one in three American children are either overweight or obese. I repeat: one in three! Sadly, these statistics have become the norm and for no justified reason.

These statistics need to change for a number of reasons, the most important one being that this is a matter of life and death. But where do we start?When our grocery store aisles are filled with candy, cookies, soda, sugary cereals and other heart-unhealthy processed foods and sugary, artificial additives, how do we shake this epidemic?

While I believe that parents play the most important role in teaching children healthy habits, I also believe that the U.S. school system plays a very central part in developing a child’s eating habits.

I recently published my fourth book (coauthored by Natalie Geary, M.D.) called “The Food Cure for Kids.” The book is, in a few words, about how kids become better — or “cured,” if you will — physically, mentally and behaviorally when living on the ideal nutritional diet.

While skimming the BusinessWeek website, I came across an article entitled “School Vending Machines Undermine Student Nutrition.” The article really hit home and is very closely related to my book.

The social issues inflicted upon children who are overweight and obese are highly debilitating and include depression and lack of self-esteem. What type of message are we sending when educational institutions — the very place that is supposed to infuse our children with thoughtfulness and nourishment — literally pushes limitless high-calorie and excessively processed foods?

The BusinessWeek article examined a study from the Journal of Adolescent Health, showing the negative impact that vending machine foods had on the purchasing choices of students at about 150 different U.S. schools. Eighty-three percent of the studied schools housed vending machines with foods containing minimal nutritional value — such as chips, soda and candy. The remaining schools’ vending machines contained fruits and vegetables.

The findings showed that students without access to junk food-filled vending machines ate more produce overall.

The moral of this story is that children will adapt to what they are given. Put a junk food-filled vending machine in front of a child and more than likely he will dial for Doritos. When this same child is presented a vending machine with the choice between an apple or a bag of grapes, he will have no choice but to choose one of two fruits and, consequently, develop a taste for fruit. Vending machines do not make sense inside a house of education unless they are offering thoughtful foods that are beneficial to children’s health.

In my book, I actually note my opinion that vending machines are a novel and unnecessary addition to schools. Principals and parents have begun to see them as a source of revenue to pay for extracurricular programs and school supplies. Parents must realize, however, that the implementation of vending machines are becoming factors of the growing number of children with heart problems, diabetes and other health risks.

Parents and principals: If you want healthy, successful and active children, I ask you to look for revenue solutions beyond vending machines; there is a better way to raise money than asking your child to buy a bag of chips. A bag of grapes will support your school’s football team or your fall talent show just as well as a bag of chips or a pack of Twinkies. Even better, your kids will walk away with a valuable lesson and maybe even increased self-esteem.

Take the time to check out your child’s cafeteria and explore what’s inside their vending machines. If you don’t like what you see, take a stand. Do something. If parents and schools can work together we will find a new generation of children, which are better educated and healthier. What more can a parent want?


Are you interested in food vending machines, vending machines, or used amusement fec equipment? To continue reading about these subjects, visit our website:

DIY Cotton Candy Machine

April 23rd, 2013 by admin | Permalink

by David Weinberg |

The specialized hardware required to make cotton candy usually limits it to a carnival food. At its simplest, a cotton candy machine is basically just a spinning heated container filled with sugar. As the sugar melts, it liquefies and slips through holes in the container. The sugar cools as it comes out of the holes and turns into long threads.The threads then stick onto the outside of a bowl that is placed around the outside of the container.

Below you will find instructions on how to make your DIY cotton candy machine!


1. Drill small holes outside the tin can in columns of three. The columns should wrap all the way around the can with each set of holes being about 1/8 inch away from the next hole. The holes should be about as thick as a pin.

2. Press the bottom of the can against the blade on the blender so that the blender blade perforates the bottom of the can. Center the blade in the middle of the base of the can. Glue the can in place against the blender’s blade. Allow the glue to fully dry according to the instructions on the bottle.

3. Position the lighter or hair dryer so that the heat source heats the center of the tin can. Ensure that the rotating blender will not hit the heat source.

4. Surround the entire machine with cardboard. Tape the pieces of cardboard together to make a bowl around the assembly. The cotton candy will collect on this cardboard when you run the machine.

5. Add a thin layer of sugar to the bottom of the can, turn on the heat source and turn the blender on its slowest speed setting. Collect the wisps of cotton candy off the cardboard with the wooden dowel.

Tips & warnings:

  • Use caution with your heat source.


Get more information about DIY cotton candy machine, cotton candy vending machine, and used amusement center equipment, by visiting our webpage:

Inflatable Obstacle Courses are Fun for your Summer Vacations

March 28th, 2013 by admin | Permalink

by Paki Peng |

It is believed that summer is the best time when you can try out several outdoor sports. Inflatable games are those games which can easily make your summer vacations special and full of fun. Inflatable obstacle courses are inflatable games which you can play with your friends as well as guests. If you are a sports lover, then certainly you will love inflatable obstacle courses. One thing should be noted is that if you are having the water slides in obstacles courses, then surely your fun is going to get double.

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There is no doubt in the fact that inflatable obstacle courses are extremely enjoyable as they challenge your mind as well as your body. Though inflatable courses present challenges, it does not mean that the obstacles are very hard to accomplish. It is important to note that there is no such complex or difficult technique involved in play this game. There are only some simple techniques which can be learn by anybody. With some basic knowledge, you can clear all the obstacles. The best part about this game is that one can be slower or quicker to clear the obstacles, but no healthy person will fail to accomplish all the obstacles.

This sport is known to be quite simple as well as easy and one can play this game barefoot. Inflatable obstacle courses do not require any special dress or shoes. If you are wearing your regular-fit t-shirt as well as jeans, then you are all ready to play this game. The interesting thing about this game is that entire family can play this sport and have real fun. There are some of the people who have objected to violent video games as well as loud music in a special event, but it is essential to note that no one has ever filed a complaint about inflatable courses. There is no doubt in the fact that this game is a clean entertainment game which can provide you with lots of fun.

If your summer vacations are approaching, then it will be a good idea to include inflatable obstacle courses in your schedule. If you are thinking that this game is quite hard to install, then you are wrong. Always remember that the installation as well as dismantling of this game is extremely easy and hassle free.


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How to Set Up a Jumping Castle Business

March 14th, 2013 by admin | Permalink

by Thomas Ferraioli |

Opening a jumping castle, bounce house, or moon bounce business, is ideal for those who like to be around happy families. Your jumping castle business can take many forms, depending on how you want to run your business. You may want to run a rental company for birthdays and corporate events, rent space at fairs or flea markets and charge an admission fee, rent retail space as a permanent indoor amusement park or combine all three.

Step 1
Register your business with your state. Inflatable businesses, like other amusement ride operations, must comply with state and local safety rules and legislation pertaining to ride equipment and ride operators. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission keeps an updated list of each state’s agency that oversees amusement rides.

Step 2
Purchase inflatable bounce houses. Choose several different kinds, such as straight bounce houses, castles with giant inflatable slides and obstacle courses. How many you purchase initially is dictated by how much financing you have. Insurance costs are determined by the number of bounce houses you own and how often they are rented, according to Owning too many bounce houses upfront could make your overhead too expensive.

Step 3
Market your services by advertising in local newspapers, yellow pages and creating an online presence. Rent space at flea markets and fairs. You can make money by charging an admission fee and use this opportunity to book private party rentals.

Step 4
Set up a separate phone line and an email account to stay in contact with customers. An office calendar allows you to keep track of rentals and bookings.

Step 5
Train employees with an accredited training program. Safety is a major concern in the amusement industry. Although bounce houses seem innocent enough, the risk of injury is great. Torn parts, as well as improper set-up, can lead to someone getting hurt, which could be followed by an insurance claim or potential lawsuit against your company. Consult the Safe Inflatable Operators Training Organization for information on receiving an insurance discount when you and your employees complete an accredited training program.


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How to Choose the Best Bounce House for your Backyard

March 1st, 2013 by admin | Permalink

by Ryan Keeven |

Are you ready to entertain the kids for the summer and summer parties? You maybe thinking snacks, balloon animals and a picnic table. Your child is thinking bounce house!

Don’t rent a bounce house, when you can save and have long lasting fun by purchasing your own bouncy castle. Just be sure to choose the right inflatable bouncer for your backyard.

Don’t rent a bounce house, when you can save and have long lasting fun by purchasing your own bouncy castle. Buying used inflatable games might be a good compromise. Visit for used cutting edge creations (very little use).

There are some things to take into consideration when it comes to choosing the right inflatable bounce house for your situation. Will your child like the single person bounce house or would they like friends to jump with them? Should you incorporate the theme of your jumping party into the inflatable bouncer or keep it simple? What about size? Here are a few things to consider when determining the best moon jump for your needs.

Size. It is important to first determine the size of your backyard and how big of a moonwalk you can fit in it. Inflatable bounce houses can also be pretty tall. Therefore, it is important to determine if any trees may get in the way and possibly damage your bouncer. Do you have enough room for a bounce house with a slide? Choosing a smaller inflatable bounce house may also result in less children being able to play at the same time. You may also have your child’s “bounce and party” at a park location. In that case, a bouncy castle, such as the Bounce and Slide Castle, is perfect for large parties!

Age limit. Some larger inflatable bouncers may not be suitable for smaller children. It is important to know the ages of the children attending who will be jumping.. The age limit typically begins at around four years of age. These smaller children will enjoy things such as the ball pit or smaller inflatable slides attached to these bounce houses. For younger children consider inflatable bouncers such as the or the My Little Playhouse Bouncer. Older children may enjoy more physically involved activities from an inflatable moonwalk. The Hoops N Hops 5 Inflatable Jumper provides basketball, a slide, and they can even just jump for fun in the huge bouncing area!

Party theme. Many of the inflatable bouncers are based on a particular theme to meet every child and parent’s wants and likes. Basic moonwalk inflatables, such as the Curved Double Slide Bouncer, are meant for a universal audience and will be loved by everyone! However, if your child has a special style or your party has a theme you can choose a bounce house designed around jungle animals,race cars, magic dragons and more.

Why not rent. Some parents automatically think to rent a jump house. However, the conditions of these rentals are never really known and they can be unreliable. Also, many inflatable bounce house rental companies just do not have a large selection. It is understandable that purchasing a jump house is an investment. However, the price you pay once for a bounce house will be much less expensive than renting one every year for a bounce house party. Better yet, your child gets to enjoy an inflatable jumper all year long when you purchase your own. The right choice may be to purchase your own bounce house and use it when and however you want to without going to service provider.

There are many things us parents should research before making the decision to buy our children anything. Inflatable bounce houses and castles should be an easy decision since it is almost guaranteed fun and hours of entertainment for your children. If your child wants a bouncing castle or inflatable slide or an obstacle course of fun then now is the time to find that perfect backyard attraction. Turn your house into the house that every kid wants to be at when you have your own bounce house in the backyard. Just be sure to have enough lemonade.


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Classic Arcade Games that Everyone Loves

February 13th, 2013 by admin | Permalink

by Daniel Millions |

For those that grew up in the 1980’s: they remember those classic arcade games very well. The days when video games were few, but played with great enthusiasm. Very much like the early years when cars were first introduced and there was only the Model T Ford to select, and the only color it came in was black! People still loved to drive that Model T and it was quite popular. Just as those classic arcade games were popular in their original heyday, they are still just as popular today with the children of those who first played them in their youths.

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Pac Man was one of the first video games. For those who have never played Pac Man, this is a video game involving a little round yellow guy that eats dots to get the player points. As the Pac Man goes around the maze, he has the ability to eat special goodies that can win the player even more points. However, he must avoid the gremlin guys that are after Pac Man. These gremlins come in several colors and float kind of like ghosts. Pac Man was so popular, that very soon Ms. Pac Man was introduced with a female version of the Pac Man game.

Tetris is another popular classic arcade game. This game involves stacking squares and rectangles to make perfect lines that quickly vanish, achieving the player great points as they vanish. The game starts out nice and easy, with the Tetris boxes and rectangle shapes coming at you quite slowly. However as you achieve various levels, they come much more quickly and the game gets tougher and tougher as you go. This is a game for someone who is quick on the trigger finger and is great at spatial things.

Frogger is classic arcade game that many people love. It is very easy to fall in love with a cute little froggy trying to cross a busy highway. Anyone in their right mind would want to help out this froggy to get to the other side! Frogger must cross difficult traffic, often advancing both forwards and backwards with the traffic. Both cars and trucks will appear on the highway. Again, like most arcade games the game gets tougher as you get better at it. The cars and trucks get faster and the highway gets even wider for Frogger to cross.

Today there are so many arcade games to play. Sometimes it feels like it is hard to keep track of exactly how many games there are out there that both children and adults can enjoy. Classic arcade games are ideal as often these games can be enjoyed easily by adults and children. These games are approachable by players of either beginning or advanced skill levels. Playing classic arcade games is fun for someone that grew up in the decade when they were first introduced, it is a true “blast from the past.” For young children today, these games may seem a bit quaint and dated in comparison to the high-tech arcade games available today. However, the classic arcade games still offer plenty of entertainment and they are great for family fun.


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Should You Buy a New or Used Vending Machine for Your Business?

January 29th, 2013 by admin | Permalink

by Sue Barrett |

Are you getting started in the vending machine business? If you are looking for equipment to buy, it can be worth your while to look into used vending machines or refurbished models. You can sometimes save thousands of dollars.

Even though you can save money by cutting your costs, you want to be smart and do your research. Since this is an income opportunity, the most important factor in your purchasing decision is your bottom line. Just as much as you do not want to overspend on your equipment, you do not want to have vending machines that constantly break and are out of operation – not producing any income for you.

If you are starting your company on a tight budget, keep in mind that used equipment may cost less, but newer or refurbished options may offer great financing on equipment. Run the numbers and see if you can qualify for financing. Depending on your situation, sometimes newer models can end up costing you less money in the long run.

Refurbished Vending Machines

You can often get refurbished vending machines from the same shop that sells new models. They can include warranties and the equally fast shipping and easy delivery that you would expect when buying brand new. This applies whether you are purchasing a snack vending machine, soda or even frozen food machine.

When comparing refurbished items, look at (1) warranty coverage, (2) what type of inspection is done on the machines prior to sale and (3) the repair service available. Warranties generally run from one to three years. You sometimes can get extending warranties, adding years on to the standard protection package.

It is nearly impossible to know exactly how long a particular refurbished model will last and how well it will run. However, you can get references and customer testimonials from the vending company to better predict what to expect before your purchase.

Used Vending Machines

You can find used equipment offered in the classified ad section of publications or on websites. Generally cheaper than a newer, refurbished model, used equipment may require you to pick up. If delivery is offered, it may not be as fast or convenient as it would with a large retailer – and you should not expect a warranty.

When buying used without a warranty or service plan, you either want to be knowledgeable in vending machine maintenance and repairs or know someone who is. This will take a large amount of the risk and hassle out of buying equipment that is not new and is likely to need more care.

If you find a used vending machine for sale that is in close proximity to you, and you have a truck plus manpower available to easily pick up and move the machine, this can be a great opportunity for you. If the owner is anxious to sell, and there are limited buyers in the area, you can often negotiate a great price.

As with most business purchases, you want to comparison shop to find the best deal for your particular needs. Get advice from people who have already operated their own machine businesses. You will gain great insight that can help you save money and increase your profits.


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