Saturday, January 08, 2011

The Toy Crane Game Machine

Greetings Readers

That toy crane game.

It is the devil.

I am strangely drawn to this coin operated game when I do come across this in my travels, mostly vacation travels. Though, not in my everyday travels since I could have a problem if I did have toy crane game to play everyday.

Then again, in the part of town that I live in near Denver, I can not even think of a coin operated toy Crane game being at. Definitely at no local supermarkets – and that includes any video games of any sorts.

Well Readers, it has come to a sort of tradition… fuck it… let me be honest. It is fucking tradition that I play a certain toy Crane game at the local supermarket chain store – Smith’s – in Rio Rancho, N.M. I have to admit that whoever does stock the prizes in the machine does a pretty good job of stocking items that someone would want. Yet, with the, in my ex-co-worker’s infamous line, “awesome” prizes – there are the fucked up prizes that are not even worth the 50 cents that cost to play the game.

The many years of playing those toy crane games I can tell which toy crane machines you may actually have a chance to pick up / win a prize. What I mean is that there are some toy crane machines that the “claws” are “loose” when picking up the prize. Also, I have come across a couple of machines that the “claws” are greased. That further pushes the odds against getting any prizes. Yes – Greased – You can see the gleam in the lights when looking at the “claws” from a certain angle catching the lights in the supermarket. Furthermore, I estimate that 25 percent of the machines that I do play and actually get the crane to get a prize when the crane does retract the “claws” the machine will jerk to a stop and when it does that jerk is enough to release the prize I did get from the “claws” and drop back into the machine’s pile of prizes.

Oh, how that fucking pisses me off. But, as Paulie Walnuts would say – “What are you going to do?”

Now, I am not going to drop more than two dollars in one meeting. After all, if I try and try and get close I usually know it ain’t going to happen.

And this depends on the prizes themselves. You Readers may think that the prizes are just there in the machine ready to be won. Oh no. About 90% of the time the good prizes are strategically placed in the machine so that you / someone will have to actually get the piece of shit prize before getting the, in the words of my ex-co-worker “awesome” prize. Meaning that if you see that one prize you want and even try the “claw” will get the prize and start to reel in. Yet, when the “claw” retracts the prize, the prize soon gets hung up and gets released from the “claw” Whoever stocked the toy crane machine has purposely placed the prizes in the machine so that you can not get the “good” prize without getting the piece of shit prizes surrounding the “good” prize since the bad prizes have been carefully wedge around the “good” prize.

So, even when I see a prize I desire, I must go for the piece of prize since I am there to play – period.

I know it is a waste of money, but I can not resist. To me it is like a gorgeous blonde I meet and I can not resist not saying hi.

I would say that the game is game of skill, but it is a game of skill and luck – but more of luck than skill depending on some the factors I did mention above. The skill is looking at the crane and the possible drop point and contact of said prize you want. Of course, if the “claws” rotate during the descent of the “claws” then skill goes out the door and luck comes into play. Although, with my background of toy crane playing I have taken in that factor so skill comes back into play since I have taken in the account that most likely the “claws” will rotate during descent.

Anyway, coming to this blog post and why I decided to write about this. This time around on vacation I was able to win two prizes at the same machine on two different occasions on my vacation. The first time I wanted the Simpson’s Bart/Krusty the clown prize, but fucking knew that prize was unobtainable without spending a lot of money to get. So, I opted for a prize I knew I could get and lo and behold – I did. Basically, A rabbit in a purple hat – a soft top pop toy. I wanted to play the machine and I wanted to win so I chose the only prize I knew I had a chance to win.

Then, on New Year’s Eve, after dropping my brother off at Albuquerque, me and my Dad stopped off at Smith’s and saw that someone won the prize I wanted before, but I saw another Simpson’s plush toy. Again, I saw that was not going to be possible to get without spending money. Then, I saw a prize that was not too bad and obviously a prize I could get. 50 cents later and first try – I got the prize – a walrus – his/her name on the tag is “Blithe”.

And that Readers is another part of my life. No addiction, but I can not resist playing when I see that there are prizes that I want.

What? The Holy Grail? Currently, I have seen a few machines with South park plush toys. And I so fucking want. You know me – I am a die-hard South park fan and I want any South park collectible. So far, I have not gotten any. I would say I have gotten close, but in reality no. What it has always comes down to is spending the money in order to get that South park toy.

I do not play every toy crane machine. Only the ones I see with prizes I would want to have. Otherwise, if no toys look desirable I am not going to play.

What made this obsession funny this vacation was that I pulled out a roll of quarters and told my Mom that I was going to play until I won something.

LOL – I said this, but did not mean it. Consciously, subconsciously, I wanted my Mom to middle name call me.

Until the next time

Daryl Charley
The Fallen Athlete

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