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Wacky Mechanical Museum Delights Visitors

MUSEUM REVIEW

Wacky Mechanical Museum Delights Visitors

Reagan Young

Among all the coin machines is an antique miniature carousel. Museum owner Marvin Yagoda has been collecting antiques coin machines since the 1960s.

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Every teenager in Metro-Detroit needs to visit Marvin’s Marvelous Mechanical Museum at least once. The museum has over 200 vintage and modern coin machines that do everything from telling fortunes to allowing the user to play tic tac toe with a chicken.
Open since 1990, it is one of the most fun museums to visit, and it is also listed as one of the 100 most unusual museums in the US Almanac.
For those who are bored with movie theaters and want a new place to have a good time, Marvin’s Marvelous Mechanical Museum is a great option. After all, this is the place where rapper Eminem celebrated his 30th birthday party in 2002.

“People come from all over – different colors, shapes, and personalities” to tinker with the coin machines and see the vintage posters and airplane models,” said Museum Manager Andrew Rosenfeld, who is the nephew of owner Marvin Yagoda. 

The museum is 5,500 square feet filled with antique fun and games. Fifty model planes hang from the 40-foot ceiling. Vintage posters adorn the walls.
Rosenfeld says his favorite part about the museum is the diversity of the people who visit there.
But visitors come to see the antique games, which are metal and include coin slots that range in price from 25 cents to $4, so bring your piggy bank.
The most interesting game is Chicken Tic Tac Toe. The white feathered chicken is in a glass box and plays blue squares. Players in front of the box touch one of nine buttons to select their next move. When the chicken wins, he dances. When the player wins, he gets 100 tickets that go toward a prize of his choice. The game is $1.
Also for $1, a creepy fortune teller will predict your future. After putting the coins or the dollar bill in the slot, a wrinkled, gray-haired man in a white lab coat instructs players to press a button. He then recites some sort of a spell and then a fortune card prints from the machine, advising of lucky numbers, financial tips and relationship news.
This wonderfully wacky museum has been featured on the History Channel and on the American Pickers show, as well as the Modern Marvels show.
“We just want to improve and stay as relevant as we are now,” said Rosenfeld.
The museum offers a great chill vibe for visitors of all ages to enjoy games and admire the vintage photos and toy planes. But be prepared: Everything in the museum is somewhat jammed together.
Of all places, the museum is tucked behind the California Pizza Kitchen restaurant in the Hunter’s Ridge shopping center at 14 Mile and Orchard Lake Roads.

IF YOU GO:
Location: 310005 Orchard Lake Rd, Farmington Hills, Michigan 48334
Hours: Monday – Thursday 10 a.m. – 9 p.m,. Friday & Saturday 10 a.m.-11 p.m., Sunday 11a.m. – 9 p.m.
If you go: Play tic tac toe with a chicken!
Price Range: Plan on spending $10 or more, each. Coin machines take between a quarter and $4.50.
Phone: (248) 626-5020
Rating: 4 out of 5

  • Marvin's Marvelous Mechanical Museum, in Farmington Hills, is ranked among the 100 most unusual museums in the U.S. Almanac. (Reagan Young)
  • Museum visitors can play Tic Tac Toe with a chicken for a few quarters. (Reagan Young)
  • At Marvin's Marvelous Mechanical Museum, it's always time to have fun. (Reagan Young)
  • Vintage airplanes hang from the museum's ceiling. There's something to see wherever visitors to the museum look.
  • Besides coin machines, flags and vintage posters are also part of the fun at Marvin's museum. (Reagan Young)
  • Weigh yourself on a vintage scale at Marvin's. Or not. (Reagan Young)
  • Among all the coin machines is an antique miniature carousel. Museum owner Marvin Yagoda has been collecting antiques coin machines since the 1960s. (Reagan Young)
  • Visitors to Marvin's Marvelous Mechanical Museum can redeem their winnings for a superballs, eyeballs and other odds and ends. Especially odds. (Reagan Young)
  • The entrance to Marvin's is behind the California Pizza Kitchen restaurant. (Reagan Young)
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The student news site of Southfield High School
Wacky Mechanical Museum Delights Visitors