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Losing Millions on the Homie Vending Machine Empire: Profiles by VICE

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We traveled to New York City's forgotten borough, Staten Island, to find out how Sugarman created a small vending empire—and how he subsequently lost it—one quarter at a time. In 1996 Bradley Ellison, a.k.a. Sugarman, started Sugar Daddies vending company in Staten Island. He placed thousands of machines throughout New York City in pizza parlors, supermarkets, and corner shops. Due largely in part to a cash economy, his business flourished, shaking down every neighborhood kid for their milk money in exchange for a sticky hand, bouncy ball, or a handful of candies. In 2004, he finally made it big with the "Homies" series (arguably the most popular vending toy of all time), grossing over $1 million in sales. Check out the next VICE Profiles "Teenage Bullfighter" - http://www.vice.com/vice-profiles/teenage-bullfighters Subscribe to VICE here! http://bit.ly/Subscribe-to-VICE Check out our full video catalog: http://bit.ly/VICE-Videos Videos, daily editorial and more: http://vice.com Like VICE on Facebook: http://fb.com/vice Follow VICE on Twitter: http://twitter.com/vice Read our tumblr: http://vicemag.tumblr.com
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Text Comments (7502)
presidenteb (18 hours ago)
Better save your money so it can save you
nightmuffin937 (1 day ago)
WAIT! So They are No Longer Selling HOMIES figures!!???
Bonnie Howell (1 day ago)
I remember when those were everywhere!! My ex spent so much damn money to collect those.
KC (2 days ago)
guy needs a fucking job lol
Master Jedi (3 days ago)
So wait a minute. A white dude monopolizing on Black and Latino culture by creating avatars of black and Latino figurines. Brilliant and a Culture Vulture. How much has he reinvested into stopping gang violence? Take, take, take. Typical white man mentality.
GoNzO (3 days ago)
dt 1792 (4 days ago)
kids dont play with toys anymore now all the kids are on a fucking ipad or some screen fucking ridiculous.
Amir Hogans (4 days ago)
You could make a tv show outta this dude. A real New Yorker to the fullest w too much personality
LYPTIS (6 days ago)
Wonder where he’s at now
Pool Guy (6 days ago)
From what I understand, he was grossing a mill but was still broke, and now hes making chump change and still broke. I respect his hustle, but total waste of a story, thanks VICE
Neon (6 days ago)
puttputt524 (7 days ago)
I think there was a homies GBA game, and it did poorly for being racist. I think it’s messed up to call these toys racist when it reminds people of their community.
kmk 9400 (7 days ago)
Now it's all about the V-Bucks
Precious Gonzales (8 days ago)
Oh shit! I used to buy these in the machines when I was younger. Damn this guy created them. They were cool to play with tbh. It just reminded me of my family while growing up. Thankyou for my childhood. Maybe you should try claw machines instead.
Ja & Rob (8 days ago)
Good luck homie!
UFCWWEFan 619 (9 days ago)
The problem- 1. Nobody really carries change 2. Kids don't want little toys, they want loot boxes.
Cholo Andrew (10 days ago)
When I was 5 years old I had some many of the homies
Handsome Jack (10 days ago)
The most disorganized yet organized man in existence
salvador santoyo (11 days ago)
Fucken crack heads lost all the money better said u smoke it sugar homie
sammythahoodlum (11 days ago)
I have so many homies to this day. Rip
Yees Jetson (11 days ago)
That hair cut tho
Joe Ryan Comics (11 days ago)
“I never asked ya sister out, Mario!” Or “What should I do about herrrrr?” - This guy in GTA Vice City.
Albert Medina (12 days ago)
Watching this video stressed me the fuck out 😬
Taps 1 (12 days ago)
This is devastating to watch
Internet 411 (12 days ago)
Any kids here still use vending machines? Just curious
Powder (12 days ago)
he made so much money but then he had to pay the bills.. so actually he made 0 $ .. he bought and sold for no profit. im just wondering where is the story?
Chris Gutierrez (12 days ago)
Cocaine is hell of a drug
ZombieGirlsLife (12 days ago)
I freaking owned so many of these man!
King Conkerr (13 days ago)
“It’s like taking money out of a dead mans pocket ova here” fucking sucks indeed! Reminds me of F is for family but the real thing.
RapidFire Muzik™ (13 days ago)
How can I reach this Guy?....dude be great for VoiceOvers
sugarman08 (13 days ago)
RapidFire Muzik™ anytime you need me
Kaustubh Pethkar (13 days ago)
Bring those toys to India he would be millionaire
C17H25N FTW (13 days ago)
Love that Social Distortion jacket, nice.
dezzeard (13 days ago)
too bad he didn't change with the times. should have kept what he had going instead of living off his one product. lesson to learn here can be if your not willing to adapt you will be left behind....
armonia numerica (13 days ago)
Do more videos with this guy!!! So real with everything. Dope as fuck!!!
jose guzman (14 days ago)
Don’t find myself commenting my personal opinion on videos, but it’s just sad to show anyone can go thru it.... make it and unexpectedly lose it all. Makes you think we’re all after the same thing, to be able to make enough money for bills and living .
greade Aundera (14 days ago)
My sisters boyfriend has a big collection of these things like over 200 of them
2018 Tesla (14 days ago)
Vroom we need a movie
John Doe (14 days ago)
Vending machine mafioso 😂
Johnny Everett (14 days ago)
This is the single most depressing thing I’ve watched in quite awhile. Maybe it’s time for dude to look at other career options..
Kinda silly but I'm actually a little choked up by this. It's just so cute.
daniel yeroshalmi (14 days ago)
i can only imagine how many thousands of silver quarters he had a choice to find
Jorge Fierro (14 days ago)
Make miniture DONALD TRUMPs action figures I'll buy some.
Jorge Fierro (14 days ago)
Frank Wall (14 days ago)
Gonna scan comments for lol a white guy fails selling Mexican stereotypes figurines. 😁😂🤣😂😁
Jonathan Toledo (14 days ago)
Honestly he has an amazing untouched market, if he did something with artist who are big names currently kaws, murakami, he could really bank on small collectibles that people would want to collect and resell
Ness Recordz (14 days ago)
Idk How But I Got The Chance To Buy Homies Here In New Jersey I Hade Dozens Of Them 😢🙌🏼
kizzy dee (14 days ago)
The struggle is REAL
Olifantenstaart (15 days ago)
$ 200 gets you a portable coin counting machine. Instead, he wastes an hour a day counting them. Priceless.
Cofee Creme (15 days ago)
white trash syndrome
BMWMED1 (15 days ago)
This is Staten Island. He goes in one store and comes out another. He pulled into the same lot twice to go to stores right next to each other. The editing is funny when you know the neighborhood like the back of your hand.
buaboy (15 days ago)
He's like fuckin santa and shit.
chimmy infernape (15 days ago)
Is that the guy who got the jackes up tattoo on ink master?
stachurski1216 (15 days ago)
Kids dont start smoking.
Manuel Solis (15 days ago)
Ay fry, pizza going out.....COME ON!
little lion man (15 days ago)
Oh memories
Big Chungus (15 days ago)
That's how the Mafia works.
Raul Ruiz (15 days ago)
Easy come, easy go, specially when you dont work for it.
Attila Grace (15 days ago)
I remember they made a homies dog collection. My parents gave me way too much money in quarters to keep going until I had all of them 😂 still have them!!!
Max Martin (15 days ago)
Grand theft auto VICE city
SUGAR DOLLAR DADDY (16 days ago)
That is my dad. Sugarman
nerfninja661 (16 days ago)
If i win the lotto im setting this fucker up somewhere nice i think he is struggling the same way a lot of us are...obviously just our jobs are different
nerfninja661 (16 days ago)
6:00 to 6:30 so sad i wanted to give him a hug
Allan Lozada (16 days ago)
Like, where did you go wrong bro.
Allan Lozada (16 days ago)
Theres nothing more sad than hearing a washed up has beens story of any kind in any field .
ginema sky rivers (16 days ago)
Good history, I remember buying this toys when I was in junior high school
1Blastarr (16 days ago)
The major downfall is kids don't really play with toys or collect things anymore.
Anonymous Andy (16 days ago)
This man really embodies that social distortion jacket. Probably wasted the 80s smoking crack and now he's struggling trying to find a way to survive where he doesn't actually have to work. Hes too damn old to learn anything new and is firmly entrenched in his habits... Like wasting spending a third of his profit at every pizza shop he owns a vending machine. This man is miserable, and it's depressing watching him live on nostalgia. Stay in school kids.
triadwarfare (16 days ago)
Why does he sound like an Italian mob boss?
jojo 2281 (16 days ago)
This guy could of benefited from proper business management...
Robert Groves (16 days ago)
This guy is inspiring and entertaining to watch. Also 10:14 the Felix the Cat figure looks amazing!
Anthony Figueroa (16 days ago)
Travis Williams (16 days ago)
Smoke another cigarette guy ! Damn!
Pierce Arrow (16 days ago)
Social D! He should start a stand up comedy act.
Shawn Chawla (16 days ago)
Anthony Maher (17 days ago)
I’m 35 years old and I completely forgot these existed till a month ago when I moved apartments and found a giant ziplock bag full of em (and weird clown ones)... and now this video pops in my feed... YouTube is freakin me out!!
Leilani Rubio (17 days ago)
I remember going to a Mexican restaurant and getting a quarter from my dad and getting one of the homies, I was living my best life
mild soup (17 days ago)
There's a good lesson in this for all of us: homies will just leave you broke.
Roku Jones (17 days ago)
Definitely a character of a man. Best of luck to him, though. As he said, it's hustle really even though some people want to believe vending machines equal easy lives and money. I, personally, couldn't stand all that driving around after a certain point.
English Cool tv (17 days ago)
homies.....and muscle the wrestlers
Mike Macc (17 days ago)
TheDudeMinds89 (17 days ago)
He sounds like Joey Diaz
caleb jaymes (18 days ago)
11:15 lolol got me laughing in bed lol
Mariano Fernandez (19 days ago)
He should bring the homies back, the vintage stuff is trending now
Manuel Ramirez (19 days ago)
Damn... I still have my homies from back in the days when I was in high school 2001 ... There chilling in my drawer its 2019 now .. How time flys
That Dude Deven (19 days ago)
Fuck this guys life lol I would give up allready
paul tak (19 days ago)
Yeah unfortunate.. dude is a dead ringer for Tony the Lip ... times are changing ... theres less interest for vending machine toys... its all about apps and viral trending street brands when it comes to urban youths
On Sight (19 days ago)
I told her I broke my leg lmao
HEMI BOY T (20 days ago)
Respect to this man. Reminds me of goodfelles or some shit haha
LegionCommander (20 days ago)
I could listen to this guy talk all day.
Jesse Santamaria (20 days ago)
I easy had like 100 homies in my childhood days traded them for Pokémon cards
TITAN RIK (20 days ago)
He sounds like Frank Rizzo
Chiesel (20 days ago)
Is this man a lost brother of Joey Diaz?
Sean Petrovic (20 days ago)
Nobody told this old man that people dont use cash anymore....?
Vito Der Eine (21 days ago)
Joey Diaz... is that you?
Inthe Midwest (21 days ago)
my quarters went to this vato loco? damn, ...............damn........well........mad respect my homie.
latinafox23 (21 days ago)
"I'm a NEW YORKER Till da day i die.. theres no way I won't make some money"... That's a tru NEW YORKERs mind set, we hustle
latinafox23 (21 days ago)
I been to the West coast, n ppl dnt be like that.. lol
paso fino (21 days ago)
latinafox23 I’ve been to like 30 cities that’s everywhere
Wahyu Khrisna (21 days ago)
Bet the hommies series be collectible item and price is sky rocketing
DEATHComes1 DAY (22 days ago)
Anyone know what the clown dj homie was
Pure4us (22 days ago)
I never seen so many men infatuated with another mans voice, lmao get off his dick.
I wish he was my dad

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