Penny Machines on TV

Over the weekend after spending the day collecting pressed coins I decided to indulge in another guilty pleasure of mine.  There was a movie on SyFy Network a few years ago that started it all, Sharknado.  When I originally heard the title I immediately laughed out loud but than had to check out the promo trailer.  It looked incredibly stupid and yet intriguing all at the same time.  I watch the original and I just can’t explain my draw to the movie other than saying it was so dumb it was good.  I apparently wasn’t the only one as they had such a following of the first that last year (2014) they came out with a sequel that was equally as bad but still entertaining.  Well the SyFy network has done it again and just last week came out with the third installment.  Now before you go running for the hills thinking this is a review of a terrible movie I promise that isn’t the point of this post.

Sharknado 3

Each movie takes place in a different part of the United States.  First was Los Angeles, then New York and this time it started in Washington, DC but ended up in Florida and more specific in Universal Studios Orlando.

During one scene when the Sharknado is raining down all manner of sharks on the innocent tourists visiting the park something immediately caught my eye.  This must be from all the training I have whenever we are out on vacation or visiting any new attraction.  I noticed in the background there was a penny machine.

Sharknado 3 Penny Machine

I was able to grab a screen shot and as you can see above it was right in the middle of the shot.  After seeing this I quickly headed online and checked out my personal collection as I was almost positive I had visited that exact machine.  Sure enough I found a picture of the machine I took when visiting Universal Studios 2011.

US - Midway near Jaws Exit 2011

Back when I had visited the Jaws ride was still there but has recently been removed to make room for more Harry Potter attractions, but apparently this machine is still available for use.

US Jaws 01

The designs are still the same and include: Amity Island, Bruce (Jaws), Spider-Man and X-Men.  After finishing the movie I started thinking back to some other shows I had seen in the past where a penny machine made an appearance.  My wife always laughs when we would watch these shows and I would immediately pause the screen and point out the machine.  She was just amazed at how I can pick these out at a moments noticed.  What can I say it’s a gift.

It took a little time on my end but I was able to come up with two other instances.  First was from a show on the Travel Channel called Food Paradise.  They basically pick a type of food (Steaks, Burgers, Pizza, etc) and visit places all across the country that supposedly have either the best or most unusual take on that food.  One episode I saw was titled Deep Fried Paradise 2 Extra Crispy.  In it they visit Old Town in San Diego California where there is a restaurant called Cafe Coyote that services up Deep Fried Ice Cream.  They interview numerous customers and then have a shot of a mariachi band playing right beside a penny machine.

Deep Fried Paradise 2 Extra Crispy Cafe Coyote 2010

Strangely enough I had also visited this location during a trip to California back in 2008.  Unfortunately at that time I didn’t know this place had such great Deep Fried Ice Cream so we didn’t stop to eat here but I knew about the penny machine and made a special stop to collect the coin.

Cafe Coyote 01

There is only one design available and as you can see from the picture above it was pressing a little short.  The design is of Old Town itself and lists Cabrillo 1542.

I knew of one other machine I had seen on TV and it was in the newer version of Hawaii Five-O that premiered in 2010.  I stopped watching the show after the first couple season, but I remembered in Season 1 Episode 1 Steve McGarrett returns home to Oahu and is greeted by Chin Ho Kelly.  As they reminisce about their past they walk right by a young boy using a penny machine.

Hawaii Five-O S01e01

This one took me a little time to research online.  Since I have not had the pleasure of visiting Hawaii yet I have not used this machine and didn’t recognize where it was located.  Eventually I found on the pennycollector.com website that this machine appears to be at the U.S.S. Missouri Memorial.

USS Missouri Memorial

There are 4 designs available: USS Missouri, Kamikaze Apr 11 1945, Pear Harbor, and USS Missouri BB-63 Pear Harbor Hawaii.

I must say I was pretty impressed with my memory on some of these.  It took some time to go back and find the shows but was really cool to see the machines on some pretty popular shows.

Remember to keep your eyes open you never know when you’ll find a machine during your travels, or even on TV.

[UPDATE 3/31/2017]
I don’t usually watch the Fox Animated Series Bob’s Burgers on a regular basis, but sometimes it just happens to be on when I’m channel surfing and I’ll check it out.  I’m glad I did on this most recent weekend.  From Season 7 Episode 14 the children are visiting a local aquarium and they briefly mention a penny crusher (press) machine.  Later in the episode you can see the aforementioned penny crusher in the background.

I thought this was a cool little easter egg for us penny collectors and wanted to add it to this post.  I’ll keep updating as I find more penny machines appearing in TV shows.

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