• About

    Adventure Box is an collaborative project designed to transform an ordinary vending machine into an immersive interactive experience.

    Each adventure begins when the machine dispenses a small capsule containing a hand-made toy. The Adventure Box automatically identifies which unique toy is dispensed and tells the customer about the toy and the artist who created it. An individual code allows the owner to visit this site and learn even more about the toy and creator here at the Adventure Box website.

    Adventure Box lives at the intersection of design, technology, adventure, art, and inspiration.

  • Concept

    Adventure Box started when some friends wondered, “How awesome would it be to have a vending machine filled with hand-made toys?” The idea grew and became an interactive art project, one that dispenses a hand-crafted mystery to those who discover it. This project was conceived as a merging of digital and physical interaction - each half working together to create a magical experience.

    Each toy is made in a limited batches by friends and local artists. They are designed to inspire adventure when received, either conceptually or aesthetically. Every toy has its own entry on this site, where there is more information about the artist and how they made the toy. We hope to inspire others to create their own adventures just as we have.

  • Technology

    Adventure Box is a combination of many different online, and offline, technologies. The vending machine's brains lie within an Arduino Mega. This allows a program that reacts to inputs and dictates appropriate outputs.

    The machine contains LEDs and speakers that provide user feedback when it is used. Each toy capsule contains a RFID chip with a unique identifying code. When the capsule comes down the chute, RFID readers attached to the machine scan the chip inside the capsule. The code is then sent to an online database which in turn passes information about that toy back to the machine which is displayed on a LCD screen. The machine then sends a tweet from the @ToyBoxProject account and marking the toy as “sold”. The database is also used to generate the grid of toys on this website, which can be searched using the code that comes with the toy.

    If you are interested in the build process or more information about the technology, please check out the project blog.

  • The Toys

    The toys are the most integral part of the Adventure Box. The machine wouldn't mean a thing without them. The majority of the toys are hand-crafted and produced in very small runs by friends, local artists, and other contributors.

    Each creator was given only one simple guideline: be inspired by adventure and inspire adventure in others. This led to a myriad of forms, techniques, and results. 3D-printed action figures, self-produced puppet shows, hand-written fables, and more. While each toy can only be given to one owner, every toy is documented on this website.

    If you would also like to contribute and create a toy for the Adventure Box project, get in touch with info@adventureboxproject.com!

The Team

  • Asa Alger

    Asa Alger

    Team Leader

    Adventure Box is Asa's brainchild and he has had a hand in all aspects of its production from toys to hardware to design. When not tinkering with strange side projects, he specializes in interactive installations and creative experiences.

  • Andrew Maruska

    Andrew Maruska

    Designer

    The look and feel of Adventure Box is a result of the talented mind of Andrew. He designed the logo, the box graphics, and the wonderful website you’re on now. Andrew co-founded House of 207 and Space2 while designing websites out of Dumbo, Brooklyn.

  • Brandon Iffert

    Brandon Iffert

    Site Developer

    Brandon made this site possible. Without the backend he created, we would have had a splash page up with just some words and the hope of a newsletter. Brandon co-founded House of 207 with Andrew with the goal to make beautiful and functional websites.

  • Evan Anthony

    Evan Anthony

    Toy Master

    Evan helped breathe life into the very basic idea of Adventure Box and his creative mind helped shape the direction it would take. He also helped organize the creation of many of the toys found within the machine, without which the project would not exist. He is a designer, animator, and creative without peer.

  • Jeremy Abel

    Jeremy Abel

    Programmer

    Jeremy was instrumental in making the hardware inside of adventure box work correctly. He is an expert in microelectronics and programming and without his advice and brainpower Adventure Box never would have come alive. He also is a freelance animator, designer, and programmer by trade.

  • K. Nicole Murtagh

    K. Nicole Murtagh

    Public Relations

    Nicole contributed constant feedback, support, and a keen eye for promotion and social media to Adventure Box. She was heavily involved in getting the word out about the project and was an invaluable aid when the project was still in the process of being made. She is a freelance designer and promational consultant.

Contributors

These are the friends and artists that have made the toys in the box. They are responsible for giving the machine its heart and guts.

Here, you can also filter the toys by artist to learn more about everyone who participated in our project.

News

Recent Blog Post

It’s not often that a person gets to have that nervous excitement that always shows up at the end of a long project. But if I’ve ever felt it in my life, I certainly feel it today.

What became The Adventure Box has been a very exciting journey for me, one filled with friends, new experiences, personal growth, and of course adventure. The project started as a simple discussion while walking down a sidewalk. But from there it turned into something magical, and one of the things i’m most proud of in my life. Thank you to everyone who helped me...

Read More!