Links to Other Sites & More Information
- COCA, short for "Coin-Op Collectors Association" (and that, not "Coin-Operated Collectors Association," is the name we adopted at the club's inception) is the largest group of coin-op collectors around. The primary benefits of membership are a nice and informative magazine published thrice yearly, and admission to the semi-annual meetings held on the Friday night of each Chicagoland show. The meetings feature guest speakers considered to be experts in their coin-op field (thus making them coin-operated experts), and the chance to meet and talk to other collectors in person rather than through email.
- The Chicagoland show is the best show around for old coin-op. It's declined from its peak of 10 or so years ago, but for serious collectors it's still worth the trip even if you have to fly to it. Friday admission is $50, and that'll get you in Saturday and Sunday as well. Don't try to save money by waiting till Saturday; the bargains and one-of-a-kind finds will be packed away into the vehicles of folks who attended Friday.
- Shawn Flock posts his collection online and occasionally lists machines for sale. You'll want to check his website every now and then.
- Dave Brown is a serious active collector and a good friend. Our tastes overlap a lot so we often lust after the same machines. Sometimes I get 'em, sometimes he does. Visit his website to see some of his "victories."
- Erick Johnson is an advanced collector and was a mentor of mine in the hobby. Many of the historical facts and trivia you can read on my site I learned from Erick. Some of them might even be accurate. In the late 1990's Erick sold much of his collection to finance the purchase of a plane and some land for a retirement home, but kept active in the hobby and has built his collection back up since then. As of January 2009 his site has but a tiny fraction of what he owns, but what he's not posted yet is a vending collector's wet dream and hopefully he'll post more stuff soon. His stuff is top-notch. As a side note, seeing Erick liberate so much money so quickly in the late 1990's was an epiphany for me and made me realize that the money we spend on machines isn't gone---it's just changed forms. I made sure my wife learned that, too.
- Fabrice Dachelet is a Belgian collector of coin-op, advertising, and related items. I first "met" him through ebay, but have since gotten to know him better through private communications and have found him to be friendly, honest, and reliable. Since overseas transactions can be so much riskier than domestic transactions, 'honest' and 'reliable' are important qualities. His website is in French, but you can stumble your way to some interesting pictures of his loft, which contains a bunch of old signs and a good-sized rack of predominantly European countertop vending machines.
- Paul Hindin has more machines than any single collector I know, and it's great stuff. He doesn't aim for quantity, it just works out that way. The machines displayed on his site comprise a small fraction of his collection, but it's a good fraction to see.
- Chad Boekleheide has built a very nice collection despite living in South Dakota 12 miles from his next nearest neighbor and 46 miles from a town.
- Mark Souffrant collects vending machines and trade stimulators and has a website dedicated to his collection. He may have a few things listed for sale.
- Robert Barnes is a Chicago-area collector who favors Bluebird, Columbus, and Simpson and has a nice collection of machines from these and other manufacturers. His site is well worth a visit.
- Bob Butler has created The Vending Machine Museum, an interesting and informative site that's compiled links to the websites of many collectors. To the best of my knowledge it's the most extensive single source of this kind of information. I was surprised to see how many collectors have their own website, and that includes collectors I don't know and collectors I know who I didn't realize had a site.
©Small Vintage Vending 2003