It was only a matter of time before I got my own Claw Game. I've been into the arcade classic since the Mexican Grocery Store near my College Apartment had one which included a claw with a strong grip. Seriously after winning every other game, you begin to fancy yourself a pretty good claw game aficionado.
Fortunately this cheap plastic version was $10 at Tuesday Morning. (Discount Store ala Ross or TJMaxx, except they focus on tacky housewares.) It's pretty good, the claw mechanism is adequate, although the space is rather small. That actually makes it harder, since the claw is often times to large to get in the position you want it to, or the mechanisms that allow movement don't quite reach everywhere. So there's still some skill/luck involved.
There's a start button that you press which causes some carnival music to play. You use 2 levers to control the claw. One controls the direction of the claw, the other raises and lowers the claw. The claw is set up so that it opens when it is lowered and snaps closed when you raise it up again. You can raise and lower the claw as often as you want, but after a period of time the music stops and the claw freezes up. You can press the start button to continue, but your turn is up. The machine also stops if you open the claw over the prize chute (under the idea that you've successfully grabbed a prize). The machine toots out a little jingle and locks up so your turn is over. To go again you've got to press the start button on the machine.
You add the prizes through a small porthole in the back. You can't put anything really large in there, but that's fine, since the claw can't pick up much. There's a moveable piece of plastic that swings aside to give you access to the hole.
The only REAL downside is that it requires 3 D batteries to work. D batteries? Who the hell makes something for D batteries? Well, aside from Maglites.
But overall, this is pretty damn cool. I can't wait to get more prizes to put in this thing and invite people over to try their hand at winning something. The only question is how awesome of a prize do I want to put in there? Just bits of candy and party favors OR do I want to put Lego Minifigs and minimates in there?