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Gumball Machine Ninjas – a Popular Toy

by Bryan La Rue on April 08, 2011

Gumball Machine Ninjas are a top-selling toys for vending machines, and are a great addition to a vendor’s lineup for a  Tower Toy Capsule Machine or gumball machine using 1-inch capsules.

The Gumball Machine Ninjas typically sold are distributed in the U.S. by many vending companies. The toys themselves are manufactured in China. Those who collect the little toys may or may not be aware of the full lineup of figurines which include (in order of clothing color):

  • Red Ninja with kusarigama (chain-sickle)
  • Black Ninja with shuriken and tonfa
  • Green Ninja also with shuriken and tonfa
  • Yellow Ninja with shuriken and tanto (short sword)
  • Blue Ninja with a sai
  • Orange Ninja with ninjato
  • White Ninja with nunchaku

Yes. they are armed to the teeth — but at the same time, they are darn cute! For vendors, encouraging collecting of these mini-warriors may be a key to added sales. Perhaps a small sign or poster would be helpful in encouraging repeat purchases for collectors?

The  real and legendary history of the Japanese Ninja is one surrounded by myth, legend, and wild tales — many of which were spread by the ninjas themselves as part of their tactics. Despite what Hollywood and these figurines portray, there is little historical evidence ninjas wore a distinct costume, instead opting to blend in to the local community they were spying on.

Aside of their legendary powers, real-world ninjas of the 13th Century forward were usually lower-class (or non-classed) Japanese recruited into a local lord’s fighting force, or by a ninja clan (in later time periods). There, they served to do the work the honor- and rules-bound samurai warriors would not do because of their honor code. Ninjas were employed as spies, scouts, political agitators and (surprisingly rarely) as assassins.

Because they did not have access to (or the funds for) the beautifully made weapons of the samurai and bushi classes,  ninja weaponry was a hodgepodge of peasant farming implements (such as the sickle for cutting grain), broken weapons scavanged from battlefields, and inventive new items. Ninjas may have worn some light forms of armor from time to time, but stealth and secrecy was indeed their hallmark.

However, our Gumball Machine Ninjas don’t worry about stealth. With brightly colored outfits and silver weaponry, they are ready for any kid to play with. Be sure to stock some in your Tower Toy Capsule vending machine or gumball machine as they are, and will most likely remain, quite popular.


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