Candy Machines: the Coolest Candy Gift Idea Ever

Spiral Gumball Machine

Aren't Candy Machines the coolest looking things?

I've been in love with gumball machines and candy vending machines for as long as I could remember. Who didn't ask their mom or grandpa for a quarter at a restaurant when you were a kid?

I own some of the large spiral gumball machines and many of the small candy vending machines for my vending machine business I run on my spare time. A "bulk" candy machine is a small machine that "vends" handfuls of loose candy as opposed to packaged candy.

Bulk vending machines take coins, usually a quarter (here in the US), and out comes the prized candy, M&M®s, Skittles®, Mike & Ike® or large 1 inch
Dubble Bubble® gumballs, etc.

Candy vending machines come in all different size, colors, shapes and can be purchased used or new.

Got any questions about the Bulk Candy Machines Business or Vending Business?

Candy Machine Gift Idea:

Another cool thing about spiral gumball machines is that you can customize them for your boyfriend, husband, kid and so on! Decorate your candy machine with his favorite sports teams or purchase them already labeled with the team's logo.

Purchase decals with your daughter's favorite TV character or your son's favorite hobby.

So what kinds of candy machines could I find for gifts?

Bulk Vending Candy Machines

Bulk vending machines are either plastic or metal, but most are metal and that's what I recommend, for both business or as a gift. They are small in height, about 3-4 feet tall and only take up roughly 24 square inches of floor space. Only metal machines can be bought in many different colors. Don't worry all candy vending machines are easy to use. It's easy to drop in the candy and take out the quarters. You can also set the machine up to turn without taking quarters. You'll have to email me so I can tell you how to do it.

  • Styles: single-heads, double-heads, triple-heads, triple vends
  • Most Popular Colors: Red, Yellow, Black, Blue
  • Stands: Circular, Squared; Metal or Cast Iron(heavier)

Yellow Bulk Candy Machine

Styles: There are a zillion styles. The best for gifts are small vending machines, obviously not the bulk vending racks with 8-10 choices you see at the movie theaters or suupermarktets. You can get single-heads for one choice of candy or either double-heads or triple heads for more choices of candy. These kind have a classic, antique look to them. They are perfect for game rooms with pool tables or bars, or dens. They are pretty too and make the candy look more appetizing since the heads are completely transparent and the entire amount of candy is visible.

You can also purchase triple vend candy machines as gifts. Triple vends are one complete cannister without space inbetween each. They aren't completely transparent like the "heads", but are more colorful since more color can be seen instead of the transparent plastic in the heads.

Colors: Red, Yellow, Black and Blue are the most common colors you will be able to purchase your candy machine gifts. Most of the ones I see and own are yellow or red. Red is a more classic look while yellow is a wilder, happier look.

Stands: The stand will determine how heavy it easy and thus easy to move around. Although still relavitely light, the iron stands are much heavier than the metal stands. Stands either come circular or squared.

Gumball Machines: Spiral Gumball Machines and More!

Gumball Machines are the most fun of all candy machines! Kids are mesmerized by the little red, green or blue gumballs dropping down then rolling down the spiral track until- clunk!, they hit the bottom. OK, so I'm an adult and still mesmerized by it. Gumball machines come in different styles, colors and sizes. Gumballs come either small(for mini table top machines) or large(usually 1 inch in diameter) and can be ordered in multi colors and flavors or one single flavor. You can even buy your gumball machine set up to "free vend" to not require any money to vend the gumball. The spiral machines can hold up to several thousand gumballs, but you do not need to fill them.

  • Common Styles: Spiral, Old Fashioned Gas Pump, Single Head, Mini Table Top, Carousel (antique)
  • Unique Styles: Rocket Ship, Pinball Machine, Foosball, Jumbo, Mini Jukebox and more!
  • Colors: Red, Blue, Green, Yellow, Orange, Purple
  • Sizes (height): Less than 12 inches(tabletop), Less than 3 feet, 4 feet, 5 feet, 7 feet
  • Special Features: Light up(tracks on spiral)

Common Styles: Spiral and gas pump gumball machines will take up the least space in your boyfriend's room, your house's game room or child's play area compared to the more exotic kinds. Gas pump gumball machines have a sign on top of the cannister that holds the gumballs of usually a made-up gas company. For a cool gift idea consider purchasing a gas pump machine with your boyfriend or husband's favorite sports team.

Unique Styles: Want an even crazier set of ideas? Then your imagination will run wild when you see all the different types of gumball machines that you can purchase online. No matter which style you choose, except the behemoth jumbo 7-foot machines, they will be small, so do not worry about space. If he or she loves gumballs then imagine how cool it would look to have a foosball gumball machine or a rocket ship?.

Colors: Gumball machines, depending on the online store, usually offer a bigger variety of colors than for bulk candy machines. Pick the color based upon the decor of the room where it will go or the decals and stickers that you will place on them.

Sizes: Again, all gumball machines are relatively small except for the jumbo machines. The bases vary from machine to machine depending on the company. Usually the bases are usually no larger than 24 square inches across.

Special Features: The most unique machines could offer an obstacle course for the gumball to drop through, but the most common special feature is the light up track of spiral machines. The colors range from machine to machine and are either rope lights (like Christmas lights covered in a plastic rope) or neon.

Candy Machines Parts

You should NOT need parts that often.

But some of the parts that could need replaced are the coin mechanisms, the base, stand, plastic globes, keys and locks.

If you have a bulk candy machine and would like to dispense gumballs than you need a gumball wheel. As you turn the coin, the coin mechanism turns the candy wheel on the inside of the machine which allows the candy to fall into the chute where you grab the treats. Without the gumball wheel the gumballs will not be able to drop. These are inexpensive parts and can be bought at almost any online candy store as well as Ebay. Some gumball wheels can be adjusted for different sizes of gumballs, but most gumballs are just one size- 1 inch.

If only used as a gift that will be placed in a house, you will next to never have to replace any part, however, if used for a business the coin mechanism breaks down the most. Before changing any coin mechanisms determine which will fit your machine. Most coin mechanisms are universal, but to be safe check the website of the manufacturer of the machine or call them to ask if the machine only allows for a certain kind. If your machine allows it the best one out there is the Beaver coin mechanism. It is bullet-proof(literally speaking of course).

Gumballs and Candy Refills Ideas


Gumballs come in different sizes. Large gumballs are either 1 inch in diameter or about .90 of an inch. Small gumballs are less than .90 of an inch. They can be bought at Sam's Club or other warehouse type stores in 850-count boxes. Gumballs are cheap! A box of assorted-colored gumballs will be less than $20(US) at Sam's. Specialty gumballs will be more expensive.

Gourmet Gumballs

  • Smiley Gumballs(smiley face imprinted over yellow gumball
  • Baseball Gumballs (laces imprinted over white gumball)
  • Fruit Gumballs (shaped like different fruits)
  • Nerds® Gumballs (filled with Nerds® candy)popular
  • Filled Gumballs (liquid candy filled)
  • Soccer Gumballs
  • Winner Gumballs(word "winner" imprinted)

Flavors are endless with gumballs. For the same flavor instead of the box of assorted flavors you will have to special order them online. Sam's Club allows you to special order on their website for members and they have the best prices, but for the largest selection of flavors then you'll have to look elsewhere. I believe has a good choice.

Flavors (but not limited to):

  • Very Cherry Gumballs
  • Cotton Candy Gumballs
  • Green Apple Gumballs
  • Grape Gumballs
  • Peach Gumballs
  • Pink Lemonade
  • Strawberry Banana
  • Tropical Fruit Gumballs
  • Hot Cinnamon Gumballs
  • Rootbeer Gumballs

And many more, just shop around.

A cool gumball idea for your boyfriend or husband would be to mix colors of his favorite sports team. If he likes the Dallas Cowboys then mix blueberry with white (pineapple flavored) gumballs, if he likes the Ohio State Buckeyes then mix in very cherry with white ones. Remeber to get decals of his team to place on globe or buy the gas pump gumballs machine that already comes with the sign on top.

Candy refills are best bought at Sam's Club or any warehouse, membership type store. Candy in the US is sold in 3-5 pound bags of M&Ms and Peanut M&Ms, Mike and Ike, Skittles, Runts, Hot Tamales and a few more depending on each store. One Sam's in your town may have items that another Sam's 5 miles away doesn't have. Of course for a candy machine that decorates a game room you do not need much candy just about a pound or so will do the trick. You do not need to fill the machine. So you could afford to buy small amounts of candy at any local candy store or at the super market. Make sure the candy will fit the candy wheel.

For additional fun and flavor mix in more than one type of candy. In my machines for my business I will mix in Swedish Red Fish® or Sour Patch Kids®.

Where to Buy Candy Machines

Where can you buy your candy gift machines?

Buy only where you can purchase one and preferably used since this will save you money, but if you would like a warranty (although not needed) or just feel more comfortable with a brand new, clean machine then I suggest, (for classic antique gumball machines), or

I have done business through these options. If you're going to buy brand new you can feel safe that your machine will be new, clean and in working condition. If you buy used then you should take a peak at what shape the machine is in. That's why I like Choose your city and contact the sellers. I have bought and sold through this source.

Another source would be to look through the Classifieds of your local newspapers or find the phone numbers on the "For Service" stickers on machines you see around town. The vendor may have machiens he or she is selling.

Vending Business or Bulk Candy Machine Business Questions

Have any questions about candy machines or the vending business?

How do I find locations for candy machines or vending machines? Where do I buy used bulk candy machines? Should I buy used bulk candy machines or new machines? I'm new to the business what candy should I buy? What types of businesses make best locations? Do I need a license? These are many questions that people new to the bulk candy machine business ask.

Maybe you have a question about candy machines as gifts either way...

Feel free to ask your questions here and I will post the answers.

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I will be putting up a page for starting a part-time candy vending machine business soon. So ask questions for candy machines as gifts or as a business :).

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