Japanese crane game arcade ufo catcher lucky bag prize win photos

Check out our UFO Catcher haul!

Our reporter Ikuna Kanezawa has never had a lot of luck with crane games or “UFO Catchers” as they’re known in Japan. But this summer, when she visited her parents’ house in the countryside, her luck changed, as she returned home from a nearby arcade centre with not one but two lucky bags, and not only that, the secret contents inside them actually turned out to be good!

▼ Ah, the bright lights and happy sounds of a Japanese arcade centre.

Her adventure started when this particular machine called out to her more than the others. Marked with a big red banner that read “Fukubukuro” (“Lucky Bags”), and a blurb that said they were available in limited numbers, Ikuna just had a good feeling about this machine.

Fukubukuro lucky bags are usually available around New Year’s, so it was unusual to see one at this time of the year. At 200 yen (US$1.38) per play, it seemed like a reasonable price for the mystery bag, so she popped in a coin to test her chances of successfully picking up one of the gleaming golden packages.

▼ Hey — it lifted easily!

▼ It didn’t quite make it to the gap, but it came pretty close, so Ikuna popped in another 200 yen.

Alas, her second try didn’t net her a bag, and neither did her third, fourth or fifth tries. However, on her sixth go, something miraculous happened…

…the crane’s arms appeared to grow in strength as they lifted a bag and carried it perfectly, taking it to the slot and dropping it with a thunk into the tray below!

Ikuna did a little happy dance as she plucked out her prize. Sure, it might’ve cost her 1,200 yen in total, but she’s spent much more at these machines and returned home empty-handed before, so this was a happy day.

As she made her way out of the arcade, she spotted another machine stocked with smaller lucky bags, or “Happy Bags”. She was certainly feeling happy right now, and with this machine costing just 100 yen per play, she figured it wouldn’t hurt to just give it a quick go.

Hmm…her first go didn’t produce anything, and the arms seemed quite weak, but she kept at it for a few more tries, until, on her fourth go…

▼…she won a Happy Bag!

So in the end, Ikuna returned home with not one, but two lucky bags, which cost her a total of 1,600 yen.

Crane game prizes aren’t always the best quality, so Ikuna had no idea what awaited her inside these bags. However, upon opening the big golden bag, she spied some things that brought a big smile to her face.

▼ Check this out — a BTS TinyTAN plushie, of leader RM!

And an eco bag, produced in collaboration with Monster Hunter and pet food brand CIAO Churu!

While these are a couple of things Ikuna might never have bought herself, she was pretty chuffed to have received them.

▼ So…what would be in her little Happy Bag?

Woah, now this was even better than the first bag, with a Sanrio plushie of My Melody and cute little stuffed cat toy.

Ikuna loves My Melody so this red version, with a sweet strawberry outfit, was an ideal prize for her. She definitely would’ve bought this for 400 yen, so she didn’t regret the money she spent on it at all.

After enjoying the fruits of her crane game haul, she couldn’t help but wonder what was in the anime fukubukuro that she didn’t try at the arcade.

Oh well, she might just return to try her luck at that machine another day. Or if she’s feeling really lucky, she can always visit the best UFO Catcher arcade in the universe!

Photos © SoraNews24
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