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…
When this Twitter user decided to film what was supposed to be the triumphant retrieval of a tub of chewing gum, they probably weren’t expecting their prize to slip out of their clutches in quite this dramatic a manner…
えね (@_ene7) May 04, 2015
Luckily, they seemed to see the funny side, but others aren’t quite so impressed! Check out this gallery of fails!
▼ In this game, anti-slip material is used to prevent prizes sliding towards the goal.
池袋のねづみ(またたび風味) (@nezuminya_namja) May 08, 2015
▼ Er, how are you supposed to fit those long boxes through the slot, anyway?
きしモン (@T_F_kishimon) February 28, 2015
⛅ ｻ ﾅ ⛅ (@S____2405) April 19, 2015
▼ Those arms are weaker than a newborn baby’s!
珠里 (@juri_vb_storm) March 31, 2015
てび かずき (@dorasupa) February 09, 2015
▼ So close!
ナチュラルMななお太郎 (@GeeeGym) October 23, 2014
ゆかり☆ (@yukari_day) April 21, 2014
Being no stranger to the lure of a fluffy character myself, I recently wasted about 500 yen trying to get a cuddly toy from a UFO catcher machine, only to be outwitted at the final hurdle by a particularly inventive bit of trickery. On my fifth try, I managed to pick up and drop the fuzzy critter right into the retrieval slot – only, it didn’t drop, and instead seemed to be suspended in mid-air as if by magic. That’s when I noticed the webbing of almost-invisible floss-like plastic strands criss-crossed over the top of the slot. Aaaargh!
We guess that with so many people out there regularly visiting arcades and honing their skills on the UFO catchers, the machine creators have had to seriously step up their game to outsmart them. Unfortunately, that means the rest of us average coin-gamblers wind up wasting our money for nothing when outfoxed by the machines’ evil tricks.
Main Image: Twitter @S____2405