shoes toronto keymaster

People in Toronto are obsessed with gambling for shoes

What if you could snag a pair of Yeezys or Air Jordans for just five bucks?

That's the exact principle behind a game that's been popping up in Toronto fashion stores. Called "Key Master," the arcade game is made by Sega, and operates by using a joystick to fit a key into a hole, behind which is a corresponding prize to be won.

When expertly threaded through the hole, the key "pulls" the prize—in this case designer sneakers—forward, dropping them into a prize slot, kind of like a vending machine. The prizes inside the machine don't have to be sneakers, but it seems the chance to win certain shoes is what's getting people to play.

Typically found at designer shoe consignment shops, the game is already bringing a high-end arcade and casino element to several spots in Toronto, including People Like Us and Essential, as well as the basement of Chic Xi and The Shops at Aura.

People Like Us even further weaves together arcade and fashion culture with a Supreme pinball machine.

Key Master is so impossible to win it has reportedly even sparked a lawsuit, and videos have swept the Internet of players dumping hundreds or even thousands of dollars into machines with no payout.

The Sega website itself even describes the Key Master as "the key to high earnings." However, if Instagram posts are to be believed, there have been over 125 winners at Essential alone, though many spent hundreds.

Toronto is slated to get even more of these machines at OD Toronto, set to open this Friday on Queen Street West. 

Although, like playing the slots in Vegas, the idea behind the machine is all in good fun, be careful just how many five-dollar bills you're feeding into that machine, Toronto streetwear aficionados. 

Lead photo by

Hector Vasquez at People Like Us


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