An Open Letter to the Person Who Invented the Crane Game

Dear Sir or Madam (although my gut tells me you are a Sir),

I’m writing to you after yet another disappointing experience with your awful invention.  Recently I took my six-year-old daughter to the movies to see Muppets Most Wanted.  We both love the Muppets, and seeing the movies together in the theater is kind of our thing.  After the movie, we walked into the lobby feeling super happy because that’s what the Muppets do to us.  That was when my daughter asked if we could play one of the many stupid games in the theater lobby.

I shit you not, there were no less than FOUR crane games in the lobby of this theater.  Can I just pause here to say what the fuck happened to movie theater lobby video games?!  The only other choices were three other “put your money in and not win a prize” games, a Terminator-themed shooting game, a driving game, and a Ripley’s Believe It or Not! pinball machine.  This may come as a shock, but my daughter passed on these games in favor of the large glass case crammed full of stuffed animals.  I bet I’ll further blow your fucking mind when I tell you she tried twice to retrieve a blue Rio bird to no avail, and despite my warning to not be upset if she couldn’t get the bird, she left the theater crying.

Courtesy of Flickr user sharkhats

Basically, this is how the transaction went between me and your fuck-faced contraption: I got to spend $2 for the privilege of making my daughter cry.  I mean, that’s the real point of this thing, right?  Make kids cry so that parents pump more and more money into it chasing that fucking Chewbacca Angry Bird?  I paid $2 and got to leave the building with a crying kid.  The worst part? I took her to Target and was forced to spend $12 on a goddamn Kidz Bop CD to make her feel better about the crane game fiasco.  Because of your piece of shit, dream-wrecking machine I had to break a solemn vow to myself that I would never expose my children to the vile filth that is Kidz Bop.  So actually your machine cost me $14 and a piece of my soul.

Good sir, you know your invention is complete and utter bullshit.  You know that you shove those stuffed animals down so that the flimsy pincers have absolutely no chance of extracting one from the pile.  I think we further know that you put the coolest items right up against the glass, or in similarly compromised positions in order to lure people into pumping even more money into your machine in a misguided effort to retrieve these items.

I hope you’re happy.

You also need to know that on top of the injury of losing $2 and gaining only the tears of my first-born, I was insulted as well.  My husband is the only person on the planet Earth (or at least in the state of Michigan) who never walks away from one of your machines without a prize.  He has some kind of Tommy-esque ability to figure out how to win something every single time.  I was not blessed with this evolutionary advantage.  As we walked out of the theater, I explained to my daughter that if I could win her a prize by putting more money into The Machine, I certainly would.  She told me she understood.  Then she went on to tell me that she wished Daddy were with her that day instead of me.  Me, her fellow Muppet fan.  She was willing to sell me out and sit through a movie with a guy who doesn’t even know all the words to the Muppet Show theme song.  So, just in case you were keeping track, your maching cost me $14, a piece of my soul, and the respect of my daughter.

In summary, sir: we are not cool on any level.  Congratulations on your douchey business model.  You should be super pleased with yourself.





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10 Responses to An Open Letter to the Person Who Invented the Crane Game

  1. 1. My movie theater also has 8k claw machines and a Terminator shooter
    2. My husband is also magic with claw machines
    3. He won my son a stuffed Rio bird…
    4. After we saw The Muppets

    So, yeah, get out of my brain, please. THX BAI!!!

  2. monica says:

    also, they are like fucking vegas (at least for unlucky gamblers like me). one time hubby and I spent I think around $8,000 (or the firstborn’s college fund) to try and win our son a little dog lovie (when HE WASN’T EVEN THERE – yeah, it was our firstborn – don’t judge). no luck. some gang bangers stepped in right behind us and won that stupid dog lovie piece of shit and two other ones. my firstborn is 12. I still remember it like it was yesterday. (I’m not bitter.)

  3. Like Monica, my child will not be attending college because all of our dollars have been spent not winning crane game prizes. Now I just tell my kids the machines are broken or that we are broke. They always believe the second.

  4. They are the devil. What happened to those cute little rides?? Ellen

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