Move over plushies, here are the weirdest things you can catch with claw machines

Move over plushies, here are the weirdest things you can catch with claw machines
PHOTO: YouTube screengrab

While netizens are either salivating or baulking at recent reports of bikini girls sitting in claw machines in Taiwan, this old school arcade game has got gamers honing their 'clawing' skills once again.

Claw machines have seen a resurgence in popularity in Asia in recent years, but what do operators do when cute plush toys seem to have lost their charm?

To attract the crowds (and the money), they've racked their brains to come up with wacky prizes.

For those feeling hungry, they can even have some fun grabbing ingredients for dinner at arcade shops.

Photo: YouTube screengrab

In September, a claw machine filled with hairy crabs drew thousands to a shopping mall in Zhejiang, China, waiting for their chance to snatch a crustacean at five yuan (S$1) each - a fraction of its regularĀ 30 yuan price tag.

Meanwhile, gamers in Changhua, Taiwan, could grab some tasty greens such as lettuce, cucumbers, corn, and carrots with the machines for TWD60 (S$2.70).

Others may just catch a new pet.

Photo: YouTube

Just last month, gamers travelled to a game arcade in Taiwan to catch Surinam horned frogs. To prevent the amphibians from getting hurt, the shop put replacements in the machine which can be exchanged for live frogs.

But not all prizes offered by such operators are welcomed. In May, netizens were outraged after a video clip of a man trying to catch live cats from a claw machine in China went viral. They slammed the act as cruel.

Although it's an open secret that most of these machines are rigged, a game arcade operator in Japan has taken it to the extremes.

Photo: YouTube

Six people were arrested on Dec 23 for defrauding its customers by rigging their expensive claw machines so that no one could win anything. The police said that four women were scammed of 470,000 yen (S$5,600).

However, a Chinese man said that claw machines are not a scam and claimed to haveĀ won 15,000 toys from claw machines. Chen Zhitong's so skilled at the game that operators have pleaded with him not to use their machines. With so many plushies filling his home, Chen said he donated 1,000 of them to charity last year.

So, will you try your luck at the game arcade?

minlee@sph.com.sg

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