Slot machines are incredibly fun to play at casinos. But when compared to table games like poker and blackjack, they have one major weakness – you cannot replicate the experience at home.
You cannot keep a life-size slot machine at home in most places due to legal as well as logistical reasons. But there are several other options if you want to have some fun with slots at home. Our focus here is on one such contraption – miniature slot machines!
Miniature Slot Machines – What are they?
We have always had a fascination with miniature figurines, toys, dollhouses, and scale models. There is something very fascinating about tiny versions of big things – we just can’t have enough of them!
And it is not just kids either. Even adults love collecting miniatures. And miniature slot machines are just another manifestation of this centuries-old trend.
Miniature slot machines are pint-sized versions of the big slot machines you find in the halls of Vegas and Macau-style casinos. They are mainly aimed at casinos and gambling enthusiasts.
You can find them in many avatars, as small keychains, electronic toys, and most popularly, as slot machine piggy banks.
The size of these miniatures can vary depending on their purpose. Some are as big as a milk carton, while others are almost as small as a matchbox.
Let’s briefly explore some of these miniature slot machine types and why people would want to buy them.
Slot Machine Banks
These are one of the oldest types of miniature slot machines, with some dating back to the 1960s and ‘70s. The idea behind them is quite simple – they add a cool slot machine flavor to a boring little piggy bank!
These were made as real mechanical slots, complete with spinning reels and a lever. You could insert a coin and pull the lever. If you get matching reels, the piggy bank will release the coins inside!
These slot machines are usually called a “slot machine bank” to highlight the saving aspect of the toy. Some models have extra features, like a separate slot to insert coins without spinning the reels, a button to release all coins without playing the game, and so on.
Modern versions often come with battery-powered lights and other snazzy features. The older 3-reel mechanical slots are much simpler and command a premium from serious collectors. You can often find these at sites like eBay.
The main attraction of such slot machines is that they provide an avenue for mindless fun when you are stuck at home. And the best part is, even if you don’t win, the money stays inside your house!
Candy Slot Machines
Did you know that in the past, slot machines were not allowed to dispense real money coins, due to anti-gambling laws? It was only after the rise of Las Vegas that real money slots became popular.
From the late 1800s until the 1940s, slot machines served a different purpose. Many stocked harmless little prizes like candies, chewing gum, mints, and similar items.
The Japanese have similar slot machines that dispense gifts, toys, and tokens that can be exchanged for prizes. Called pachinko machines, they are wildly popular in Asia.
Modern miniature slots that are designed to be candy vending machines are inspired by these pachinko machines as well as older candy slots like the Liberty Bell from the USA.
Candy slot machine miniatures are often made from plastic and have bright, kid-friendly colors and designs. Many of them don’t even have a coin-operated system – you just have to pull the lever and get a prize.
These slot miniatures are obviously quite kid-friendly. Many of them are designed to hold popular candies like M&Ms and Skittles. You can open the slot and refill the machine easily when the candies run out.
Miniature Slot Machine Key-chains
Key-chains come in all shapes and designs, so why not have a slot machine? Better still – why not create a mini slot machine that actually has real spinning reels?
Slot machine key-chains are among the smallest types of slot miniatures you can find. These compact little contraptions do not usually have anything to payout, nor can you enter any coins. They are just too small!
So what can you do with them? It is simple really – they allow you to have some simple mindless fun, kind of like a fidget spinner. When you feel restless or tense, or just bored, spin the reels and see if your luck is still with you!
If you want the fun of real money wins, there are definitely more advanced machines available, both offline and online. But when you are out and about, a slot machine keychain is a worthy alternative to have in your pocket!
Are Miniature Slot Machines legal and safe?
Of course, all these slot machine miniatures are completely legal in most territories. There is no overt gambling element involved in any of these machines. Even when cash is involved, there is no transaction – you simply add the coins to the piggy bank yourself!
Slot machine banks, candy machines, and key-chains are all legal and safe to buy for this reason. There are many online stores that sell these as toys and collectibles. While relatively inexpensive, the older antique models can claim a premium price for obvious reasons.
If you want to have some fun with slots at home, online casinos are arguably a better option. But if you want to take your eyes off a screen for some time – and you should, for health reasons – a toy that you can control and use with your hands is a great alternative. And this is where slot machine miniatures shine.