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Vikings' Merchandise In Vending Machines At Mall Of America?

It used to be that the only piece of Vikings "merchandise" that you could get out of a vending machine was a cheap plastic helmet, a sticker, or something equally useless that you'd end up losing in a day or two and would inevitably forget about.

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No longer, thanks to the folks at an Indianapolis-based company called Maingate, Inc. The company has set up a vending machine full of Vikings merchandise at the Mall of America in Bloomington. You won't find jerseys or anything like that. . .Maingate says they're too big and too expensive. . .but you'll find things such as trading cards, hats, and T-shirts inside of these machines. Prices range from $5 for things such as bands that are similar to the yellow Lance Armstrong "Livestrong" bracelets to $25 for a T-shirt or a hat.

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The Vikings are one of seven teams that are experimenting with the machines. The others are the Indianapolis Colts, St. Louis Rams, Tennessee Titans, Washington Redskins, Detroit Lions and Kansas City Chiefs. If these markets prove to be successful, Maingate plans to expand to all 32 NFL teams in the future.

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Has anyone out there seen or used this machine at the MoA? If so, what are your thoughts on it?

Photographs by Micah Taylor, clairity, and Fibonacci Blue used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.