Hawkeye Novelty Co., Iowa, c. 1930's or 40's, 12 1/4". The date is an estimate, but it feels right. I first saw one of these in a collection in about 1996, and thought it was the cutest machine! Not as cute as Mary Lou Retton---well, maybe as cute, but in a different way. I wanted her one of these machines! I then went about 10 years and saw 3 more that I can remember, 2 in other collections (which caused me to commit the sin of envy), and the other in my hands for awhile before I returned it to the person I'd bought it from because some of the machine had been repainted and I'd paid a strong original-paint price.
So I waited, and one day this showed up on my doorstep. Not literally, of course, it was actually a few doors down from my doorstep, over another doorstep and into the hotel room of someone who'd picked it up on the way to a show. I beat him up with large sums of money---large for this model---and he finally decided to sell it to me. Methinks I overpaid for this, but someday its actual value may catch up to what I paid, and until then I have a perfect example to admire and fondle.
It's a simple match machine that's been configured to dispense gumballs. It's a simple concept that I'm surprised was used only with this model (as far as I know). Take the graphics away and it's a $150 machine on a good day; add the cute graphics and it's........much more. It's made of sheet metal and gives one slide for a penny.
The example shown above is 100% original.
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