Life and Seoul

Claw Cranes in Korea

Claw cranes are popular worldwide, but it seems like prizes in the Korean version have the edge over anywhere else. If you play the game right, then a 10megapixel camera could be yours! Another curiosity of Korea is that these games can be found everywhere. On every major street there are probably a couple of these things, even in smaller towns.

Back in England, it’s almost impossible to find claw cranes, most likely because they would not last very long before somebody came along with a rock and tried to smash it open and take all the prizes.

My buddy tried to go for the camera, so he put in $5 (5000 Korean won), which gave him 30 attempts.

I’m not sure how ownership of these machines works; whether there is a company that comes around to collect the money and keep them stocked, or whether they are owned by small local businesses, but a benefit of Korea’s lack of petty crime is that these things are ubiquitous and nobody need worry about senseless vandalism by idiots.

Whoever is in control however probably also has the shameful job of attaching weights to the prizes, such as huge chunks of rubber. This makes it difficult to really hook the prize, and although my buddy is pretty adept at playing these machines, the weights were proving too much for the claw crane’s claws, and the camera kept dropping out.

So, down to just 5 attempts left, we gave up the camera and went for something more achievable: a key-chain.

Note the two pieces of rubber which had been inserted inside the box of the key-chain even. Now the BMW key-chain rip off holds my buddy’s keys together, but his ignominious defeat over the camera was down simply to some hefty chunks of rubber.

Korea also has many of the machines which poke prizes off a shelf through a small gap (for want of a better explanation). If you thought that sounded phallic, the name ‘Love Push’ (see photo above) doesn’t help alleviate that thought. These are slightly easier in theory, but just as impossible to win.

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One response

  1. Chewster

    The pokey machines are easy depending on the actual machine. Some are wired to move faster and thus difficult but I find most not too hard to play. A lot of the prizes are not really valuable though.

    August 4, 2013 at 9:30 pm

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