UFO catcher

Ice Cream with Baby Star Ramen noodles only available from UFO catchers across Japan

This special ice cream treat cannot be found in stores.

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Player wins prize after Japanese UFO catcher game performs miraculous move【Video】

This is the luckiest win at an arcade game we’ve ever seen!

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Japanese artist captures the thrill of playing a UFO catcher crane game in short animated video

This hilarious clip shows a crane game we hope to never encounter in Japan.

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This just might be the greatest UFO catcher game ever【Video】

Amazingly generous arcade makes the diabolically difficult game super easy in celebration of something that had the entire town feeling good.

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“Helpful” Japanese parent gives Nintendo’s Meta Knight a seriously weird makeover

This plushie of Kirby’s video game co-star wasn’t broken, but it got fixed anyway.

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Want some canned Japanese idol air? Smartphone virtual crane game offering exactly that as prize

Here’s your chance to breathe the rarefied air of AKB48, Japan’s highest-flying idol mega group.

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Crane game adds next-level sense of urgency with a disturbing Curious George display

You monsters! What have you done to George!?

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New sleeping bag Pikachu plush toys coming to game centres in Japan this May

Pikachu plushies snuggled up in Pokémon sleeping bags are the prizes we’ve all been waiting for!

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Win real, natural gemstones at Saitama game center, which boasts over 300 crane games!【Video】

Score a real gem in this high-class crane game.

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Trolling UFO catcher denies player prize but gives us a good laugh instead【Video】

Here comes a new challenger…

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Calbee will have you clawing (literally) for their new cola-flavored chips

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!

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Is this Japanese arcade’s UFO catcher the most diabolical ever? 【Video】

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.

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The UFO catcher that will make you laugh and cry – the Onion Crane Game!

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!

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The next fad for UFO catcher prizes: tiny pufferfish!

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!

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Trolled by the crane game: Japan’s UFO Catcher machines are getting increasingly tricky

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

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Must try harder: This crane game in Japan is laughably bad 【Video】

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.

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Facing obscurity, Pikachu smuggles himself in a Youkai Watch UFO catcher bag

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!

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Japanese UFO catcher prizes just keep getting weirder…

“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. 

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Yoshio discovers that lucky bag loot from a UFO catcher is spectacularly underwhelming

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…

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A funny thing happened at the game center: 10 strange crane game tweets from Japan

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.

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