The Time I Won A Massive Can of Pringles At A Japanese Arcade
Earlier today I was waiting for a friend at an arcade in Fukuoka, Japan. Saw a claw machine where the prizes were massive Pringles cans.
“I’m going to win that enormous Pringles can.” I said to myself. “Sour cream and onion.”
¥100 per try.
I was out of ¥100 coins (from playing Street Fighter, of course.)
So I brought my ¥1000 bill to a change machine and fed it in. And the machine instantly began belching coins.
They were just hemorrhaging out and clanking everywhere. Very nerve wracking. I busted a sweat and glanced over my shoulder to check if anyone was looking. But the coins kept coming.
That’s when I saw the sticker on the machine, in tiny Roman characters:
PLEASE DO NOT CONFUSE THE TOKENS FOR COINS.
I had accidentally purchased 100 (pachinko?) tokens. They kept coming, clanking down like a lottery win.
Sheepishly, I beckoned at the service counter for help. A short man in a yellow vest arrived with a bucket and helped me shovel my 100 tokens from the change cup. He shortly returned with two ¥500 coins.
Back to the claw machine to get the Pringles. One coin, five tries.
To get the Pringles, you had to first move the claw on the x axis, with a single motion. Then, the y axis. Single motion. No adjustments, no do-overs. Stress inducing casino music plays the whole time.
After you’ve made your two moves, the claw automatically descends to grasp at a flimsy ring of green paper attached to the can.
TRY 1/5: Grasp the paper–slip.
TRY 2/5: Grasp the paper–slip.
TRY 3/5: Miss the paper. Wah wah.
TRY 4/5. Grasp the paper… Slip.
At this point I’m pretty positive I’m not getting these Pringles.
But on the final try, I missed the paper entirely and bumped the can just right. It swayed for a moment under its towering center of gravity, then tumbled into the prize collection bin. Jackpot. Instant endorphin flood.
For a sense of scale, please compare the size of this Pringles can to a FUCKING PITCHER! I love Japan.
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- 3.25.13 / 11am