Look, arcade owners, UFO catchers are difficult enough already, okay? We’ve already worked out a precarious balance where you tempt us with stuffed animals, anime figures, and boxes of candy placed tantalizingly close to the drop slot, and we accept that almost always said item will slip out of the claw’s pitifully weak grip, leaving us empty-handed and the surrounding air resounding with frustrated cursing.

But still, it’s all worth it for the rare time everything goes just right. Once the player hits the button to drop the claw, the rest of the game is automatic. That means if you do manage to get a solid grip on the prize, you can sit back and savor your impending victory as the arm swings back into position over the slot and drops the prize in for you to claim.

Unless you’re at this heartless, diabolical Japanese arcade.

Japanese Twitter user @neo_franco stopped by an arcade recently, where a UFO catcher stocked with canisters of either gum or some kind of fruit candy caught his eye.

At just 100 yen (US$0.81) a try, or six attempts for 500 yen, he decided to give it a shot. So he deposited his money, positioned the crane, and…

Success! The claw picked up the canister he’d been aiming for. That gum was as good as his, right?


Seriously, what kind of arcade operator does that? Why put a ball right in the drop area, so that prizes can bounce back into the case? Does the UFO catcher really need any more advantages in this already lopsided contest?

It’s like staging a fight between a child and a bear, with a child who’s already malnourished, sleepy, and uncoordinated, then saying “You know what? Before the kid gets in the ring, let’s still go ahead and baste him with honey.”

Source: Twitter/@neo_franco