Random Roundup

Just a few things I’ve spotted recently…

First up was this very interesting, but likely not very tasty, Cadbury’s Mint Crisp vending size bar.

Marked up at 20p still, the best before date on this was the 26th July 1993; this surely must have been the swansong for these machines but even I’m surprised. Then again, perhaps nicely timed; the smaller 10p coin for which I’ve never seen a Cadburys machine adapted to was introduced 30 September 1992, with the older coins finally being withdrawn on 30 June 1993. If the very last machines were removed between late 1992 and mid 1993, this does make sense as potentially one of the last ever bars.

This was, going by the sellers description, from a reps collection, though going by the rest of the items for sale, they weren’t tied to the vending division or if they were, it must have been at the very tail end of their career. The seller also described them as sadly no longer with us, so I’ve held back from asking for any further information. But what a find!

And in fact from the same seller, this caught my eye;

This was a bit confusing at first, and then I realised it was likely a replica. And, I was right, but, it also reminded me (name-wise, definitely not visually) of the ‘Rations’ prototype Yorkie bar I’ve talked about before.

Of course a quick look at the back reveals a not-so-forties barcode; and is there maybe an unspoken suggestion this was only ever sold at select outlets around 1995-1996; Imperial War Museum shop and/or Cadburys World* perhaps? Just a feeling, although, I could be very wrong. (You might be surprised to know that Cadburys World has been around since 1990!).

Finally and completely unrelated, this stamp machine;

This was almost certainly mounted in the wall or window of a Post Office somewhere in Wales and the complete lack of a back or front opener suggests that the back was open right inside the Post Office itself, likely behind the counter.

The more modern of the two was made in 1981 by BPT in Titchfield, near Fareham, Hampshire (no, me neither).

They must have been around (or, ROMEC got hold of all the remaining spares) long enough for the sorter below the National Rejectors coin mech to be updated* to supply a 2x 50p, £1 booklet – suggesting this was very much still going into the early to mid 90’s. Prior to that, it was dispensing 52p worth of stamps for 50p – a healthy 4% return! *Or of course the 2 coin option might have just always been there, dormant until a pin or bolt was moved – but I’m a little surprised by this.

And finally, the story of a Taiwanese company whose design team had just a bit too much Sherbert Dib-Dab at the office party – the result…

That’s all for now – I’m back to my university course any day now, so things will be a bit quieter for the next 9 months, but hoping to upload bits here and there when I can. As ever, thanks for reading!