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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Oakmont - Lindale Mall

Today I went to Lindale Mall, similar to most malls they have lots of varieties of claw machines.
 4444 1st Avenue NE Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52402

This claw machine is located in the food court of the mall, so you have to contend with lots of teens getting their Sbarro after shopping at Hot Topic.  This distraction aside you will find the Oakmont Claw Machine.

Featuring Angry Birds!

In this machine there was a sign saying that it features Angry Birds.  But there was only one angry bird in the whole machine and it was squished against the wall.  That being said there were some crazy colored, but officially licensed Scooby Doo toys, and a few other random cartoon characters from cartoons I've never actually watched.  So a decent haul if you could get it out of there.  Which is the problem with this one.  Once again the claw was terrible.  You couldn't even move the animals around to free them up.  And this one was again 1 dollar per play.

Claw Grip 1
Stocking Qty 5
Stocking Qlty 8
Price 3
Overall 2

The only redeeming thing about this machine is the great stuff inside it.  One day I saw a Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man in there, and it was on top.  Optimal position for the grabbing.  I went for it twice but came up empty each time.  With not even a wiggle to show for it, I gave up.  But the promise of getting that stuffed animal upset me to the core.  So really what I'm trying to say is that this machine is even worse than it should be, because it teases you and hurts your soul to lose on something so cool.  Avoid at all costs.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Super Shoppe - Walmart

Today I went to the Walmart in Marion, Iowa.
Walmart 5491 Highway 151 Marion

Walmarts in general are filled with claw machines, so I'm sure on future trips to Walmart I will dip back into this well, but I did the one in the main entrance, not the food entrance or the garden entrance.  There were also two options, the one with the gold watches and stuff and those weird black rocks in the bottom, or the one I ended up playing.

Completely stuffed with lovable toys

Now this particular machine was well stocked with decently usable stuffed animals.  Most on top are snowmen which seem more fit for a mom to decorate the house with than a little kid to have, but that's ok, still a decent quality plush toy.  An interesting thing to note about this machine is the ad in the back of the machine which shows a very sad bear getting rescued from the claw machine and a slogan.  Now I'm not a good blogger so I didn't write down that slogan or even remember it, but it was something like Play to Win.  Might have even had the word me in it, as if the bear needs you to win it.

Down to the brass tax of things.  Overall this machine was pretty terrible, I mean yeah look at all those quality toys, but let's be honest.  They are all too big.  Machines like this have toys that are too big and the claw is too loose, even though there is the illusion you could win because the toys are teasing you on top.  You get around the sweet spot between the head and the arms with the claw and it just breaks grip and comes up empty without even lifting the bear out of place.  Now where is the fun of that, I don't even feel like I could win.  This particular machine was 1 dollar to play as well, so poor grip, and 1 dollar to play.  It was a pretty standard machine, unlimited moves, but a timer set to 30 seconds, so plenty of time to get from one end to the other.
Claw Grip 3
Stocking Qty 7
Stocking Qlty 6
Price 3
Overall 3
Bottom line is, I wouldn't waste my time with this game again.  The bigger prizes are usually not worth trying for, they are just too heavy for the claw to support, it needs some serious grip to get around those bad boys.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Toy Soldier: Buffalo Wild Wings Grill & Bar

The first claw machine review comes to us from Buffalo Wild Wings Grill & Bar.  1100 Blairs Ferry Road #101 Cedar Rapids, IA 52402-1276

Location of claw machine

This machine is called the Toy Soldier.  It's a pretty standard claw machine, three pronged claw grip.  It had a timer feature, but movement wasn't limited.  The toy selection was sparse, and the remaining toys were very weak.  Overall very bad stocking and selection in the machine.  I mean who wants bears wearing Buffalo Wild Wings gear?  Nobody.  Another thing about this machine, it was 1 dollar per play.  That's ridiculous for non-name brand toys.  Throw a damn Smurf in the mix or something to make me think like it's worth my 1 dollar.

Green spots on a cow with blue eyes?  Now I've seen everything!

I gave the game a go, despite not having any open animals to grab at.  I was able to dislodge a stuck bear, so the grip on the claw must have been above average, which would explain the lack of stock in the machine.  Whoever came in after me had a very good chance to win themselves a Buffalo Wild Wings cheerleader bear.  You had to be there.  Is that even their slogan?  I just went to their official website and it was littered with so much garbage going off whenever I moved my mouse I gave up.

Claw Grip 9
Stocking Qty 4
Stocking Qlty 3
Price 3
Overall 5
My overall assessment of this machine is that it's not worth while.  Ok it's decent because there is a very high chance you would win if you saw something floating above the packed down animals.  So it's not something I'd rule out playing again.  But I'm  not going out of my way to play it with it's stocking quantity or quality.  Let them get better stuff in there and more stuff, or just less dense packed stuff, and I might come back.