Vintage mini capsule lighter made in Hong Kong / New Old Stock working gumball machine toy small anodized aluminum feuerzeug l’allume-cigare




Do you remember when you could actually win cigarette lighters from a gumball machine? I don’t, but then, by the time I was old enough to realize I had aged into the ‘children 3-13’ target market, my window had passed (a 1975 NYTimes exposé appears to have succeeded in bringing about a vending machine market shift sometime during the next couple of years…looks like they stopped vending 25¢ toxic adhesives to three year olds, then, too?).

What this means within he context of an online product listing, though, is that at some point, these things got yanked from grocery entrances everywhere, with many left to language as deadstock for decades…

We were down to our last mini lighter when we read a review from one of our Etsy friends who had purchased one as a gift for her father (whose mother had taken away his purchase ‘until you turn 18’ and never actually returned it): apparently these are now the heart’s nostalgic desire for Boomers and elder Gen Xers (because as a solidly middle-era Xer, the only thing I bought and never got back from parental seizure was my G’n’R ‘Appetite For Destruction’ cassette…). It took a few tries, but when we found a batch last week, we jumped right on it!

This most recent batch was made in Hong Kong. They measure 1.25″ tall (closed capsule/1″ when open), w/ a .75″ diameter. Other than one we opened so we could see and photograph the ‘not actually a toy’ guts, there’s still a ‘Small Toy Lighter’ sticker holding each of these deceptively innocent-looking treasures together: ‘toy’ doesn’t mean ‘safe’ – it just means small — because no matter your current age or stage, if you add butane, these babies are gonna produce fire, fire, fire.

Oh, and for better or worse, they also make great cat toys. Hey! #vintage *AND* #repurposed…

These gumball-shaped capsules are available in Gold, Silver, Turquoise, & Lavender anodized aluminum orbs. We have one remaining green mini lighter in the style we had been selling before (y’all ran us out of the gold and red ones!), and that is listed and photographed along with the new ones with this listing. Once that color sells out, it’s gone for good.

We got a great price on these, so we’ve set retail lower than the last round, too. Score!


Secondhand goods are embodied energy: choosing to purchase secondhand items instead of new extends the useful life of existing things and avoids the new manufacturing emissions that amplify climate change. We love seeing people feel *good* about choosing the most sustainable products possible (the ones that already exist!).

Your order will be shipped in secondhand packaging and will not be put on a plane. If you live in Minneapolis and would like to pick up near Minnehaha Falls rather than having your items shipped to you, please enter code MPLSCURBSIDE2021 at checkout to waive shipping charges and trigger the curbside process — we’ll follow up to coordinate with you.

Choosing to be patient is good for our future. We’ll do our best to serve you well with this order. <3 Thanks for supporting our work!

Additional information

Weight 3 oz
Dimensions 7 × 5 × 2 in
Primary color

Gold, Green (SEE PHOTO), Lavender, Silver, Turquoise


aluminum, cotton, flint, Metal, new old stock, vintage child safety hazard


  1. Rahul Orn

    So great! Thanks! My daughter loves it. Fast shipping and just as described .

  2. Nelle Fahey

    Wonderful customer service. Item was exactly how described. Well buy from this seller! Highly recommended

  3. Stewart Kuhic

    Great product, came with a hand written note! My dad was telling us about when he was a kid he was so excited to get the flip lighter from the quarter machine, but my grandma took it away from him. She said he could have it back when he was 18 and he never got it back. So I ordered a mini lighter for him for Christmas and put it in a quarter machine cup. It came wrapped up so cute, and the lighter really works. I can't wait to see his face! Thank you so much for the unique gift.

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