Saturday, June 14, 2014

UFO Catchers and Winning at Them

The arcades in Tokyo are found near most major train stations.  Sega and Taito are a few of the big names but there are many other game centers.  They are not hard to miss and are often open to the outside at ground level.  On the main floor of most of these game centers / arcades are UFO catchers or claw machines where you can try your skill and luck at securing a prize. Other types of video games and entertainment are located in the many floors above.

Exterior of arcade
Often a 100 yen a shot, but it can be more, you can win all sorts of prizes ranging from stuffed animals to anime figurines.  The prizes are often limited edition and they run out so visiting the arcade every couple of weeks results in different prizes that can be won.  I'm not very good at these machines myself but there are people who are good at them.  The arcades there often set the machines up so that at least one prize is in a winning position if you know how to play.

Many UFO catchers
Tora Dora and Black Butler Anime Figures
Here are some videos from Youtube about the winning moves and how to play the UFO catchers.  You have to aim for the little string loop or ring or play a few time to properly position the prize for capture.  There are also techniques you use to push a prize down or to nudge it sideways for the win!  It isn't easy, but the videos sure make it look simple.  Also, there are a few links below about UFO catchers that are of interest.

Pandas and more.
Evangelion and Angel Figures
Hatsune Miku stuffies
It's K-On!
More Japanese Pop Culture Posts

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