Pros: Similar to the arcade games; Doesn't require money
Cons: Frustrating at first; Not very durable, Opening at the top too small
Do your kids like arcade games? Mine certainly do and one of their favorites is the grabber machine- the one that is usually filled with stuffed animals that can become yours if you can grab one of them in just the right way and drop through the opening on the side. I can’t always find these machines available for use, but there is one way to bring the action home, right into your house. It is called The Claw, a scaled down version of the popular arcade game.
Toy Facts and Figures:
The Claw is a crane- like, table top arcade game made for the home. It contains a see- through section where objects are placed (either candy or small toys), small tokens to activate play, and a lever to move the claw around as you try to grab a specific object. Once grabbed, the claw can then be moved over to the dispensing area where the item can be dropped, for easy access.
To start play, all you do is insert one of the included tokens. The player then has one minute to use the Claw to grab something. Music starts to play the moment a token is dropped and the music speeds up as the one minute mark draws closer. If a player successfully grabs something, they will hear the sound of applause.
The Claw is plastic and metal in construction and measures about 13.5 inches in height, 10 inches in width, and 7.5 inches in depth. It operates on 3 “D” size batteries.
The Claw is a crane- style toy similar to the arcade games that offer stuffed animals to those who can maneuver the grabber just right and lower it at just the right spot. This toy is basically a smaller version of the larger arcade game and it shares many similarities as well as a few key differences that set it apart from its larger cousins.
My girls love the arcade games that offer a stuffed animal to those who can coordinate the grabbing device in just the right way. The self- directed action is part of why they like it, but the main reason they love these games is because they love stuffed animals. They are both girlie- girls and they can’t get enough “best friends” to cover their beds and fill their rooms. They will often take a stab at these games a time or two, then call on dad to take over and grab them something so they don’t waste any more time or money. Their love of these games convinced me to purchase The Claw and they have been enjoying it on and off ever since.
The Claw is action oriented and works based on the same concept as the large arcade games. This game offers you a little more time- 60 seconds- to complete a grab and you can try as often as you like, but the overall idea is still the same. You try to grasp a small toy or piece of candy in the grip of The Claw, then release it through the opening where it drops down and becomes yours. There us no money necessary to operate this version of the game. All you need is the included plastic tokens to activate the game and test your skill.
My girls like this version of the arcade game of the same concept, but much to my surprise, they do not love it the way I thought they would. A good part of the reason is because of the difficulty in grabbing an item. It takes a little more work than I (and they) expected and this fact has causes their interest to wane. Often, they will get frustrated and just lift the machine up, tilt it, give it a good shake, and release a few items. This gets them laughing, and helps them forget the frustration.
The reason The Claw is difficult to use at first is because, when you try to grab something, the claw will open and close completely, which means if you don’t already have an item surrounded, the complete closing of the claw will prevent you from grabbing it. I would like it better if it let you control how much it closes. The way it works now, if the inside of the device is overfilled with candy or toys, you won’t be able to grab anything because the claw will not be able to surround any one object. There is an easy solution to this: Fill the machine with smaller items and don’t overfill. Not knowing how it worked, I purchased a bag of large candy pieces and my girls were not able to pick up anything. Smaller items work best and I am hopeful that, once they see how easy it is to pick up the small things, they will regain an interest in this toy.
As far as the construction of this device goes, it is has held up so far but it doesn’t seem very durable and it just doesn’t seem made to last. Call me a pessimist if you will, but the flimsy chain that holds the claw and the plastic lever controls convince me that this toy may be history before my girls even begin to love it. I also do not like the way the manufacturer designed the enclosure. There is very little space on top, in the small opening, to insert the toys or candy. It takes more effort than it should and it also takes a good amount of effort to get the plastic off of the claw itself when the item is brand new. You have to reach inside with two fingers, grip the plastic, then pull it off. It is best to use scissors so as not to do any damage. It can be done, but I question the wisdom of those who built The Claw in this manner.
Arcade “grabber” toys are fun, but I consider The Claw an average toy that may or may not be a hit with children. I think my girls will renew their enthusiasm now that I am filling it up with smaller items, but this is still a hit or miss type of game and with the questionable quality level, it is a toy of average value overall.