I was on vacation in St. Petersburg, Florida, and visited a fun indoor/outdoor arcade bar called Park & Rec. While there, this vending machine caught my eye. It wasn't your typical vending machine with Kit Kat’s, gum, and bags of Doritos. In fact, there wasn’t a whole lot, if anything, that was even edible.

Not for the kids establishments, “The Mystery Box” is likely serving its purpose, which is having customers curiosity peaked by the need to know what’s inside these bags. Not to mention, impulse purchases happen much more frequently after a few drinks, am I right?

I did think about making a purchase but bags with a “?” on it and one that says “Nostalgic Kids Meal Toy” had me seriously contemplating curiosity versus wasteful spending, even after a few adult beverages.

That said, I’m sure the creator of this knew exactly what they were doing, and to be honest, the idea behind it is brilliant. When a group of friends are out together, one of those items is likely to get one of them to pull out their wallet, and if two people are out on a first date, they might not be able to resist dropping $15 for the “Don’t Buy This On A First Date” bag. I know I would… icebreaker, am I right?

Rob Riccitelli
Rob Riccitell

In conclusion, it’s unlikely that any of these mystery items are worth their price tag, but that’s likely not the point. The hope is that when they are purchased and opened, there is at least some sort of entertainment and/or laughter as opposed to a case of buyer’s remorse.

According to their website, they are currently only displayed in Florida, Texas, and Colorado at this time. I have a feeling this would be a hit in one of Maine's finest, not-so-fine establishments.

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