Time Out says
Want a divorce? Fancy a cheap holiday? Need to launder money or lose weight? All these things and many others can be achieved for the modest outlay of a pound (sometimes two) at the nutty slot machines of Novelty Automation in a small shabby space behind a Bloomsbury shopfront. Once displayed in the Cabaret Mechanical Theatre on the lower level of Covent Garden’s Apple Market, these lovingly crafted moving sculptures are almost all the work of cartoonist Tim Hunkin. Highlights include Test Your Nerve – a slot machine that invites you to place your hand beneath the jowls of a huge, red-eyed, growling dog; and Microbreak, which simulates ‘all the benefits of a holiday with none of the downsides’ – you even get a hot blast of sun, courtesy of the lamp on top of the telly in front of you. Great fun.
|Transport:||Holborn or Chancery Lane tube|
|Price:||Admission free; tokens £1 each|
|Opening hours:||Open Term time 11am-6pm Mon-Wed, Fri, Sat; noon-8pm Thur. School holidays daily; hours vary|
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Users say (6)
Average User Rating
4.3 / 5
- 5 star:5
- 4 star:0
- 3 star:0
- 2 star:0
- 1 star:1
Utterly wonderful, it doesn't get more British than is this, witty, subversive and quirky. Worth every penny.
If it hadn't been for the following experience, I would have given this 3 stars for a quirky way to spend 30 minutes in central London, but...
One machine is a frisking machine powered by compressed air. I thought it'd be a funny concept so I gave it a shot. It was funny, right up until the end, when the machine hit me in the crotch with a punch powered by compressed air. This quickly changed the experience from funny (and a bit uncomfortable) to downright painful (and it still hurts, even an hour later). I expressed my disappointment to the guy who was working there (short, black hair, dark glasses), and he smiled and laughed at me. When I asked for my money back, he kept laughing and grumbled a bit, but he eventually gave the pound back.
So while some of the other machines were entertaining and were worth a few minutes of time and a few pounds to "play", I wouldn't go back and will recommend that people avoid giving their money to someone who would laugh at a customer who experienced pain in their shop.
Amazing arcade with a great sense of humor. A collection of inventive ideas and games. It was a great surprise to find. I can't recommend it enough.
What a fantastic place! We've loved Tim Hunkin's 'Under the Pier Show' in Southwold for years, so were thrilled to hear about Novelty Automation. This is every bit as bonkers, and just as much fun! A highly recommended way to spend a couple of hours with children (or adults) of all ages. Good old fashioned entertainment, and worth the price of the tokens just to marvel at the ingenuity of the inventor. Properly eccentric British seaside fun in the centre of Kondon, love it!
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