Fossil Fuel

A Lower Moyamensing resident is using a Dave the Dinosaur vending machine to draw attention to his art.

During these uncertain economic times, one might wonder how far $20 can go. For artist Christopher Walter, spending that amount on August 7 gave him a new lease on his creative life. That’s when $20 saved a Dave the Dinosaur vending machine from an uncertain fate and gave Walter a new way to advertise his services outside his home on the 900 block of Wolf Street.

“Dave the Dinosaur has provided me with a great opportunity not only to have people appreciate his look, but also to serve as a billboard for what I do,” the Lower Moyamensing resident said. “I’m looking forward to both parts continuing to grow and reap benefits.”

The 40-year-old was searching for an apartment earlier this summer and noted that the random dinosaur served as a selling point when he chose his abode. When he moved in on August 1, the dinosaur was located on the southeast corner of Ninth and Wolf streets. Two days later, Walter noticed it was gone.

On August 7th Walter spotted the dino on the back of a truck. Eager to add it to his artistic repertoire, he parted with $20 and began placing his artwork above its vending buttons to announce his presence in the community. The Northeast Philadelphia native’s work will have special appeal to science fiction fans.

As Dave the Dinosaur announces, Walter is taking commissions for prints and stickers. He’s had great success with those mediums since he began marketing his skills five years ago. In 2018 the BBC used one of his “Doctor Who” designs.

“I look for various ways to give people a giggle because I think a giggle a day is good,” Walter said. “I’m happy to make people smile, so I hope the combination of my work and Dave the Dinosaur’s placement will do that.”

An internet search yielded little information about the origins of the dinosaur-shaped vending machines. Most were used at arcades, ice cream shops, and other retailers to vend toys and candy. They were produced by ICE, a manufacturer of amusement, gaming and vending equipment.

August was “…an interesting month, to say the least,” Walter said of his fortune in being able to secure a great apartment and a colorful new calling card for his handiwork. “It will be interesting to see how much joy we can bring to our surroundings.”

For more information, contact Christopher Walter on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook.

Artwork provided by Christopher Walter.