This is the luckiest win at an arcade game we’ve ever seen!
This hilarious clip shows a crane game we hope to never encounter in Japan.
Amazingly generous arcade makes the diabolically difficult game super easy in celebration of something that had the entire town feeling good.
This plushie of Kirby’s video game co-star wasn’t broken, but it got fixed anyway.
Here’s your chance to breathe the rarefied air of AKB48, Japan’s highest-flying idol mega group.
You monsters! What have you done to George!?
Pikachu plushies snuggled up in Pokémon sleeping bags are the prizes we’ve all been waiting for!
Score a real gem in this high-class crane game.
Here comes a new challenger…
Both foreigners and Japanese folks agree, Calbee’s new cola-flavored chips are a big win. But you’ll have to be pretty lucky to get some for yourself!
Look, arcade owners, UFO catchers are difficult enough already, okay? We’ve already worked out a precarious balance where you tempt us with stuffed animals, anime figures, and boxes of candy placed tantalizingly close to the drop slot, and we accept that almost always said item will slip out of the claw’s pitifully weak grip, leaving us empty-handed and the surrounding air resounding with frustrated cursing.
But still, it’s all worth it for the rare time everything goes just right. Once the player hits the button to drop the claw, the rest of the game is automatic. That means if you do manage to get a solid grip on the prize, you can sit back and savor your impending victory as the arm swings back into position over the slot and drops the prize in for you to claim.
Unless you’re at this heartless, diabolical Japanese arcade.
UFO catchers, or crane games, are a common sight at game arcades not just in Japan, but in various parts of the world as well. We’re sure you’ve come across the typical kind of machine loaded with soft toys, anime figurines or snacks, or even the occasional rare prize of live pufferfish.
It goes without saying that the more valuable the prize is, the more difficult it would be to get a drop. Sometimes it takes so many tries to get even close to winning something, and when you just miss by that tiny bit, it really makes you want to cry. There is one special machine, however, that will really make you cry, especially if you manage to catch one of the prizes! Check out this one of a kind Tamanegi UFO Catcher!
UFO catchers occupy a major portion of Japanese arcades nowadays. If you happen to walk by an arcade, the flashing lights and fun prizes all beckon customers to try their luck at these “skill” testing games. Normally, the prizes are figures and stuffed animals from popular TV shows and manga, but you will often see snacks and food. Most recently, a UFO catcher at the Amuseum Oizumi caught our eye because of its prize, a real live pufferfish!
There’s nothing quite like the joy of pumping shiny coins into a “UFO Catcher” machine or crane game and getting a fuzzy toy in return. As long as you can figure out the machine’s “sweet spot”, you’re almost guaranteed a prize.
But in Japan, where crane games feature a wide variety of prizes including anime figures and snacks, the game designers have been coming up with sneaky ways to trick you into feeding in even more coins in pursuit of a reward. Check out these epic crane game fails…
Crane games, AKA claw games or even “UFO catchers” if you’re in Japan, have always been a bit of a con. This much we know already. They’re designed so that the claws exert barely enough force to grip the trinkets we’re so lusting after, and the prizes are usually worth much less than it costs to actually win one of them to begin with. Even so, they’re great fun, and Japan’s arcades are chock-full of them, luring us in with their various exciting, and sometimes not-so-exciting prizes.
But this particular crane game, which asks arcade goers to attempt to pick up a what appear to be miniature moe-style figurines, is not so much tricky as plain lazy.
We’ve talked a lot recently about how Youkai Watch has now definitely overtaken Pokémon in the popularity stakes, at least among Japan’s young’uns. With Youkai Watch replacing Pokémon as McDonald’s yearly calendar stars and with Pikachu himself being shunted into the background on anime convention posters in favour of Jibanyan and pals, 2014 really hasn’t been a good year for all things Pikachu. Still, with Pokémon’s legion of worldwide fans and entertainment-world pedigree, you’d be forgiven for thinking that Pikachu would be taking this all on the chin. Instead? He’s exposed himself as a desperate has-been, clinging on to relevancy by whatever devious means he can turn a paw to, and that includes smuggling himself into some unsuspecting kid’s life by disguising himself as a Youkai Watch product! For shame!
“Oh shoot, I’m out of dish soap, let’s go to the game center.” If this sentence seems incongruous, you clearly have not spent enough time in Japanese game centers. Sure game centers have good old fashion arcade games, air hockey and photo booths, but a lot of the space is taken up by UFO catchers (adorably pronounced, oo-fo in Japan), aka claw/crane games.
Usually, UFO catchers are filled with cute toys or cool figurines, but sometimes things get a little too practical. Other times, the prizes are just a bit… off. Twitter users across Japan have shared their strange finds with us before, but they just keep coming and they keep getting weirder.
While our RocketNews24 Japanese team of writers has been having fun snatching up a variety of lucky bags during this first week of the new year, the contents of those bags have ranged from exciting to just plain meh. But the two lucky bags our Japanese correspondent Yoshio grabbed from UFO catchers (aka claw machines) have hit a new all-time low. We don’t think he’ll be going back for more next year…
Game centers in Japan promise a treasure trove of riches for those skilled at coaxing small prizes from their crane game glass housings, but endless frustration for anyone who hasn’t had plenty of practice. If you’ve ever been to Japan, you’ve probably played a crane game or two yourself, but we have a feeling you’ve never seen something like the following Twitter users captured. Let’s take a look at 10 strange happenings at game centers across Japan.
Japanese UFO catchers give the best prizes – if you’re talented or lucky enough to grab them. (Personally, I think it’s all about luck because after many hours and probably hundreds of yen down the drain, I’m still not any better at winning.) But the euphoria of a win is usually quickly forgotten, and you’re left with one more piece of tat to cram into your room. So what about if UFO catchers actually dished out useful goodies? Wouldn’t that be a real win-win situation?!