Sega creates mini UFO catcher crane game with electric arm for Japanese magazine | SoraNews24 -Japan News-

Bring the joy of a Japanese arcade game into your home and win ALL the prizes! 

Like a lot of people, we have a love-hate relationship with crane games, or “UFO catchers” as they’re known in Japan. While we love to play them, and get tingles of excitement as the mechanical arm tentatively dangles our prize tantalisingly close to the chute, the chances of our prize actually falling into the tray are annoyingly slim, and that makes us funnel more and more coins into the coin slot, fraying our nerves and emptying our wallets at breakneck speed.

If only there was a way to get that feeling of joy at playing the game without having to lose all our money in the process…

What’s that, you say?” Asks Japanese children’s magazine Yochien (which translates to “Kindergarten“). “Would you like your very own UFO Catcher to play at home?

▼ “Then you’ll want to grab the February/March issue, which comes with a free UFO Catcher made in conjunction with Sega“.

This all sounded too good to be true, especially when we heard that Sega, who manufactures UFO Catchers for real-world arcades, would be involved in the production process. So, despite this being a magazine aimed at four-to-six year-olds, we unashamedly went out and bought a copy for ourselves.

The magazine was chunky to hold, as it had this free present sandwiched inside it.

Like most of the free presents included with Yochien, this mini UFO Catcher required some assembly, which instantly had us feeling like we were in kindergarten again.

What really caught our eye, though, was the the crane arm, which Yochien describes as “the world’s first” electric arm to appear in a magazine. While the UFO machine needs to be assembled by hand, the crane arm is fully made, only needing the addition of one AAA-sized battery to work.

▼ The components for the body of the machine are given a real sense of authenticity with official Sega logos.

Constructing the machine turned out to be a simple process, and seeing as we could manage it without any fuss, it’d be easy for a six-year-old to create this too, with minimal adult assistance.

Despite being a miniature version of the original machine found at Japanese arcade centres, this UFO Catcher was slightly bigger than we’d imagined.

▼ A copy of Ernest Hemingway’s “The Old Man and the Sea” for scale.

We didn’t mind the size of it, though, as that meant the finer details were large enough to be seen–and fully appreciated–by the human eye.

While the front of the machine is covered in plastic sheeting to resemble the glass casing, the top and sides are open, allowing you to operate the arm smoothly and add and remove prizes with ease.

While the arm needs to be positioned manually, the claws are operated by pressing the open and close buttons.

The kit comes with rectangular boxes, printed with characters like Doraemon and Detective Conan on them, which are designed to be used as prizes. So we popped them into the machine, set up the crane arm and gave it a go.

Huzzah! Picking up all the prizes and winning them with ease gave us such a deep sense of joy and satisfaction we decided to drop a larger and heavier “prize” into the machine for testing.

▼ Could the mechanical arm handle our Gundam model? Why yes — yes, it could!

It may have come free with a kids’ magazine, but this electric arm did an impressive job of replicating the much larger ones seen in Japanese arcade centres. The only thing that was different was its increased accuracy in carrying and dropping our prizes into the chute!

▼ Plus, we can take it out and have all sorts of fun using the electrical assist to pick things up outside of the machine.

Now that we own a UFO Catcher of our very own, we can enjoy all the thrill of playing the game from the safety of our own home. And with all the money it’ll save us, we can put all sorts of fun items into the machine for catching, like sweets, cake, and perhaps even dishwashing liquid, like that machine we saw one time…

Another bonus is we won’t have to worry about calling the police to investigate in case we fail to catch anything, like this person did when they lost at the game 200 times. Way to redeem yourselves after that incident, Sega!

Related: Yochien
Photos © SoraNews24
● Want to hear about SoraNews24’s latest articles as soon as they’re published? Follow us on Facebook and Twitter!

Like this: