At an outdoor mall in California, this Golden Key merchandiser (pictured below) was placed like a kiosk along a passageway between the stores, with no “virus restrictions” against playing it. Presumably moved inside one of the stores at night, the machine offers high-end that include expensive sneakers like those famously looted on Fairfax Avenue in Los Angeles during the protests that erupted there last month and watched by millions on TV.
The machine runs on $5 vend and accepts all major credit cards. As with Key Master, the idea is to carefully push the rod through the “keyhole” and knock the prize off the hook. Here two were installed back-to-back making for a clever attraction as shoppers drifted from store to store, many stopping to check it out.
The Los Angeles intersection of Fairfax and Melrose avenues was the hub of the region’s “sneaker fever” where at least a dozen stores sold nothing but expensive pairs of these top-quality shoes priced in many cases at $1,000 or even higher. A huge number of teenagers and young adults hung out in the area and, regrettably no doubt made up for a big portion of the looters who stole their goods and in several cases, vandalized the stores (and everything else inside).
Prior to the protests, several sneaker stores sported duded-up Sega Key Master machines (like these called Cool Kicks). At $5 a try, folks could insert cash or cards to attempt to win a pair of these “tennis” shoes hanging just behind the glass. Many tried and some won. Will this world of sneaker retailers all come back? If not, blame the kids who destroyed their own hangout.