For Your Protection: Risque Coin-Op Novelty


Part of the fun of a gameroom is the novelty inside. Seemingly anyone can have a Ms. Pac Man or Galaga arcade game in their gameroom, but it’s always interesting to see really rare or unique coin-operated equipment in a personal collection.  Sure, coin-operated love testers and peep show movie reels are unique, but none push the envelope as much as what KLOV user PeRFiDiouS hangs on his walls. In fact, it may make you blush.

When you think of a vending machine, most people think of sweet candies or cool drinks, I’m sure most people’s thoughts don’t drift towards prophylactic dispensaries. However, these vintage coin-operated condom machines bring a new meaning to “novelty” gameroom items. Sometimes, in a gameroom, it is not just about the games, but about the nostalgia of a time-period.  PerRFiDiouS says,

I have a few of these in the warehouse so I decided to fix one up and see how it looks. I remember seeing these in gas stations when I was a kid. They were always a little taboo to say the least. They are made by Harmon and look to be from sometime between the mid-50’s to mid-60’s. They operate on a double quarter stack (50c) coin mech and have flat/skeleton key type locks.

I stripped them with Aircraft Remover and then sanded. These tend to have many coats of different types of paint. Anytime the bathroom wall was painted it seems these would get painted also. The stickers were sold in bulk with the particular brand condom/novelty you put in the machine. Many machines will have 3 or 4 old stickers on top of each other from years of being on location.

As far as restoration goes, these are pretty straight-forward. Strip the paint off, repaint, and apply a new or reproduction sticker. Many vendors still supply bulk condoms to fill the machine if you’re looking for functionality. Whether or not you decide to hang one of these in your own gameroom or bathroom is your own decision. Regardless, for now we can all be thankful simply to view these machines can “tickle” our fancy. (That’s what she said!)

Preston Burt

The co-host of the Gameroom Junkies Podcast, Preston is a writer and designer living outside Atlanta, GA. He has an affinity for VHS tapes, and an obsession with arcade games and pinball machines. He is a contributing writer for GeekDad, Paste and RETRO Magazines, and a founder of the Southern-Fried Gameroom Expo.

One Comment

  1. I just purchased one of the novelty machine pictured I cant find novelty refills for it.
    Do you know any or do you have them.

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