Pop in a couple of coins and crank away for the date of your life.

Capsule vending machines in Japan spit out all manner of toys with the simple twist of a dial, ranging from little Buddha statues to oddly cute banana peels. There’s much fun to be had in anticipating what lies within the plastic egg.

A new type of capsule machine in Hong Kong, however, has taken the beloved gachapon concept to another level. Initially set up outside of a small pet store in Hong Kong, each plastic capsule contains contact details of singles looking for love. All one has to do is to feed the machine HK$20 (US$2.55) and crank for a potential date.

▼ It has since spread to other stores.

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#緣朗站即日開抽 🤫 🧚‍♂️ 我哋其中一部緣份扭蛋機已經放咗喺元朗嘉城商場3樓嘅 @hungrybeanshop 啦🧚‍♀️ 💕 💕 💕 簡單兩個10蚊銀,向右輕輕一轉,緣份從此而嚟。 怕醜嘅你又喺時候要 #召喚死黨閨蜜組團出現 #tag你朋友出嚟啦 #記得自備兩個十蚊銀喔 ————————————————————— 📥歡迎大家繼續登記,成為下一批扭蛋。 👦🏻👩🏻朋友版:http://bit.ly/fatecapsule . 📍24小時本舖:石硤尾偉智里2號金玉商場208地鋪 BT Reptile 門口(石硤尾地鐵站C出口落方向行約5分鐘) 📍POP-UP Hungrybeanshop :元朗教育路15-19號嘉城商場3063號店 (上三樓電梯左手面即到) 📍POP-UP @second_kill :旺角登打士街56號柏裕商業中心1901室 (Opening Hour 1300-2200) . 💌歡迎大家隨時PM我哋相關問題或其他合作機會🙇🏻‍♀️🙇🏻‍♂️#願天下有情人終成眷屬 💕 💕 💕 #緣份扭蛋機 #fatecapsule #緣來是你嗎 #緣分讓我們相遇 #踏出第一步就是成功的一半 #給自己一個機會 #愛情是自己要把握機會 #forfun #forfate #lovelife #hkiger

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Ben Tang is the owner of the store and manages the “Fate Capsule” vending machines — there are separate ones for men and women — in his free time. He had seen the concept taking off in Taiwan, and borrowed the idea as a way to connect people together through the crankings of fate.

Single candidates hoping to leave contact details in the capsules are required to fill out information such as name, age, height, weight, hobbies, and a brief self-introduction in an online Google document. It takes Tang and his girlfriend up to five hours a day to contact these individuals and verify their authenticity, an extremely thorough and arduous process.

He also contacts people who purchase the capsules, offering them the option of putting the information back in the machines should they not meet someone they like.

The Fate Capsule machines were installed right before Valentine’s Day this year. Thanks to their playful and cute nature, the machines quickly garnered attention across the country as people began sharing their experiences on social media.

▼ It came to the point where Tang decided to limit the number of capsules dispensed.

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#緣朗站即日開抽 🤫 🧚‍♂️ 我哋其中一部緣份扭蛋機已經放咗喺元朗嘉城商場3樓嘅 @hungrybeanshop 啦🧚‍♀️ 💕 💕 💕 簡單兩個10蚊銀,向右輕輕一轉,緣份從此而嚟。 怕醜嘅你又喺時候要 #召喚死黨閨蜜組團出現 #tag你朋友出嚟啦 #記得自備兩個十蚊銀喔 ————————————————————— 📥歡迎大家繼續登記,成為下一批扭蛋。 👦🏻👩🏻朋友版:http://bit.ly/fatecapsule . 📍24小時本舖:石硤尾偉智里2號金玉商場208地鋪 BT Reptile 門口(石硤尾地鐵站C出口落方向行約5分鐘) 📍POP-UP Hungrybeanshop :元朗教育路15-19號嘉城商場3063號店 (上三樓電梯左手面即到) 📍POP-UP @second_kill :旺角登打士街56號柏裕商業中心1901室 (Opening Hour 1300-2200) . 💌歡迎大家隨時PM我哋相關問題或其他合作機會🙇🏻‍♀️🙇🏻‍♂️#願天下有情人終成眷屬 💕 💕 💕 #緣份扭蛋機 #fatecapsule #緣來是你嗎 #緣分讓我們相遇 #踏出第一步就是成功的一半 #給自己一個機會 #愛情是自己要把握機會 #forfun #forfate #lovelife #hkiger

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“I can easily sell more than 1,000 capsules every single day if I want to,” Tang said in an interview. “But I’d rather not. I like to see people come by casually when they are free. It feels more destined.”

Tang has since dialed back the speed of capsule blind dating to increase the chances of success. “If dozens of people add you in one day, you will feel nothing but disturbed. But I want them to have enough time to really know each other,” he said.

▼ A YouTuber documents her purchase and subsequent blind date.

Despite its massive success, the service has been criticized by unsatisfied customers who complain that communication with their dates were abruptly cut off. Private contact details have also been accidentally disclosed in YouTube videos.

Nevertheless, the concept of dating using capsule machines took off in Hong Kong, with other businesses coming up with their own Fate Capsules. Tang doesn’t mind the competition.

“Sometimes it is really hard to simply get a proper date in Hong Kong. Every time I hear about a successful match, I feel like I really helped someone,” he said. Same-sex capsule machines are already in the works.

Blind dating using plastic capsules might sound a little odd, but it’s also strangely cute, arguably much preferable to attending bizarre matchmaking parties in Japan. And if it does turn out well, it’ll be an awesome love story to tell the kids one day.

Source: ON.CC, Coconuts Hong Kong via Oddity Central
Top image: Instagram/fatecapsule