Jan 07, 2016 • By

A machine that pours Cheerios for you

You could pour yourself a bowl of Cheerios in the morning, and that’s how most of us do it, right?

But why not let a machine do it for you?

We spotted a wow-worthy Cheerios dispenser made out of LEGO bricks in a story in Gizmodo this week, so we reached out to the designer to learn more.

He’s Marcel, a 16-year-old high school student from Rhode Island!

In the video he posted to YouTube, he demonstrates how his Cheerios machine works and explains the special features (spoon drawer!).

Marcel, who has been building LEGO machines since he was 11, was inspired to construct a Cheerios dispenser after watching video of another creation.

“It wasn’t a Cheerios machine, but it was a cereal vending machine. It had a lot of flaws, and I wanted to do something similar,” he says. “I was trying to think of the most classic, timeless cereal brand that everyone knows, so I thought of Cheerios.”


Marcel travels to Europe every summer and built the machine to operate with a two euro coin.

“I was noticing that Cheerios are just as popular there as they are in America, so I was thinking, I’ll make a Cheerios machine, and to sweeten the deal just put in a two euro coin.”

Marcel’s YouTube channel (Astonishing Studios) gained followers once he began building machines using global food brands. He now has more than 91,000 subscribers and says only about 20 percent of them are American.

“I have machines that use M&M’s, McDonald’s and Tic Tac’s, and those videos have gotten hundreds of thousands of views.”

When creating a machine, the first thing Marcel considers is the food involved.

“The second thing I think about is the mechanism I’m going to use and the base plate size of that, which is pretty much how large the machine is going to be. I have to think that out, stud for stud, which is one unit of LEGO. In the case of Cheerios, it was 16″ by 32″. Then I just thought of what colors would work well together. In this case, it was yellow, black and white, like the Cheerios box.”


From there, Marcel builds what he has in mind and programs the robotics.

“[My work space] is a lot less professional than you would think. A lot of people I know in the YouTube community who make LEGO candy machines have bricks all sorted out into filing cabinets next to their desk. Me, I honestly just sit on the floor and take out several buckets of LEGO that are sorted by color.”

Marcel spent 15-20 hours of his winter break building the Cheerios dispenser. Since he features a new creation on YouTube every other week, he has to take apart his machines to re-use the LEGO bricks.

So the Cheerios machine has already met its fate.


“It’s not the saddest process in the world anymore since I’m able to make machines repetitively. I don’t get as attached to them as I used to. The Cheerios machine I already fully took apart before the video was even on YouTube because I’m just thinking that far ahead with my videos.”

We look forward to seeing your latest creations, Marcel!

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