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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Tip: No Buried Treasure

As I shared with all of you claw machine enthusiasts last, the first trick to a successful claw is to want what you can get, not to get what you want. This will be the first in a series of tips on how to spot your easiest target.

I've never witnessed nor participated in the filling of a claw machine with its prizes. I have a suspicion that each Claw Machine Technician is trained not only in how the technology works, but also in the psychology of prize placement. Most often--especially with plush prizes--the items have been wedged between one another very purposefully. This is a strategy to make it difficult to just pluck your winnings from the pile.

To overcome the obstacle of the tight-squeeze, peel your eyes for animals that have come loose. Preferably if has such things, all four legs, the tail, the head, and the rump should all be freed from the other plushies. After spotting a claw machine and approaching it, this is the first thing I scope prior to inserting my money. If every single item is wedged against another, do not waste your money! While each claw is different and is programmed with its own grab strength, none are designed to do any kind of yanking. Don't be foolish, claw machine enthusiasts!

Keep an eye out for next time, when I explain why the prize's location in the chamber makes a difference. You can find all of my tips here.

My name is Brooke and I am fortunate enough to be named Claw Machine Review's Chicago correspondent. I was raised on both classic and modern arcade games, with a full-sized pinball machine in my home.  My father trained me well on claw machines, and I currently have about a 50% claw machine success rate. Check out my life-style blog,  The Broke Brog, and say hello!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Godfather's Pizza

This special Saint Valentine's Day post was done at Godfather's Pizza in the Town & Country Shopping Center in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
3647 1/2 1st Ave, Cedar Rapids, IA, 52402
This one was a Prize Time machine.   It is a pretty standard machine.  50 cents, 3 claw style and full range of motion control.

Too many Toys?
As you can see from the picture I got there right after they stuffed the machine.  So there was full quantity of toys, but the quality was pretty poor.  Slim pickings at the top at least.  Oh well.

Claw Grip 3
Stocking Qty 10
Stocking Qlty 5
Price 6
Overall 7

So the claw grip was pretty bad, but it was so full that you could just put your claw in the right spot and drag in a toy.

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner
So I was able to get a win for the first time ever.  Hopefully my girlfriend doesn't read this post before tomorrow to see what she is getting for Valentine's day, if she does...Happy Valentine's Day Sweetie.  Anyway, I've had good luck on this machine, the second try I went for a more difficult thing to try out the claw's grasp, but it was weak at this time.  But they have a fair amount of time it's tight so worth a play for sure.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Westdale Mall Machine

Recently I traveled across town to the bad mall.  They had a claw machine to review.
2600 Edgewood Road Southwest, Cedar Rapids, IA 52404
The fun thing about this blog is that I get to take extra risks to do it.  This time I went wild and went for the side of the machine that has miniature basketballs.  Normally I'd think sphere doesn't get picked up by the claw, but what if you got it perfectly around it? Wouldn't the sphere hold better?

Play it safe with the stuffed animals, or go for the glory of the balls?
Now obviously this was going to be a challenge.  But the game was 50 cents a play so not a rip off that way, and it had decent stuff.  NBA and College themed basketballs.  Not a bad officially licensed merchandise.  Or what I assume was officially licensed.  The problem though is that to get down low enough to get that perfect grip around the basketball you need some serious force behind the claw to wedge it's way between the other balls.  Spheres are good for stacking surprisingly.  This makes it tough to get the claw in.  So my review on this machine won't come with a number because I don't think that's fair.  Instead it will come with this warning.  When trying for a ball, especially a rubber one and not a squishy one.  Make sure there is enough squishy stuff around it so the claw can caress it's way underneath.  This should allow it to get that optimal grip position.  But unless it has that, you won't be able to break the rubbery surface to get the sweet prize inside.

This trip to the mall also had an old lady mall walker wandering around and she talked to me, which distracted me quite a bit.  Can't you see I'm busy here lady.  But I'm a nice guy so I talked back and she said how she has never seen anyone win one of those damned machines.  Oh how I wanted to win and rub it in her face.  See totally a nice guy.  But sadly dear readers, I wasn't able to pull off a win this time.