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On the surface, being a beloved children’s character might seem like it’s all hugs and smiles. In the harsh world of reality, though, being so soft and cuddly, with no offensive capabilities, can have its downsides.

It was only a week ago, for example, that Sesame Street’s Elmo was discovered tied to a stake in the hinterlands of Japan, his mouth wide open as, we assumed, he screamed for help. Next on the list of cute captives: Dutch storybook bunny Miffy, who was found trapped inside a vending machine.

The tiny rabbit was spotted inside the plastic cover of the unit, nestled between cans of green and black tea. But how did Miffy end up in this predicament? Did her curiosity get the best of her, and after she’d climbed inside to explore, was she unable to get back out? Was she crammed in there by Pikachu in revenge for copying his style, or perhaps to prove that not just Yokohama, but all of Japan, is his turf?

Actually, it seems like she was placed there by savvy beverage distributors. The cans and bottles you can see from outside a vending machine are, in fact, just for display. They’re actually empty, and only there as a representation of what you get by pressing the button underneath. Sometimes, they’ll even add an element of suspense by placing a question mark or some other non-description there, like the super cheap 10-yen (US 10-cent) vending machine we found in Osaka.

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Taking another look at vending Miffy, we can see a red light on the button below her.

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That indicates that the slot on the machine is sold out, and so while we’ll never know whether the customers who tapped the button got little stuffed animals or, more likely, an off-brand of canned coffee, we do know that they kept pumping money into the selection until it couldn’t take any more.

But while that’s great news for the machine’s owner, poor Miffy is still stuck in there. What she needs is a vending machine escape artist mentor, someone who can show her how to slip through even the smallest cracks in its metal casing.

We think this photo, shared by Twitter user Saku, might show the most qualified candidate.

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Hang in there Miffy, help is on the way! We just hope you’re not scared of frogs.

Sources: Livedoor, Jin
Top image: Livedoor, Twitter (edited by RocketNews24)
Insert images: RocketNews24, Livedoor (edited by RocketNews24), Twitter