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I have always been taken for my main holidays to the seaside (Chapel St leonards by Skegness to be specific), and have always had a real love for the old fashioned arcades (slotties!), and though i like the new one's, the original penny pushers and grabbing machines will always be my favourite (the one's that haven't been tampered with, and you actually might win something then!).
As i have had my children, i decided that i wanted them to have the same experiences of the place that i did (with even my husband falling in love with the place), consequently they have fell in love with the same slotties, so when i found out that you could buy the toy versions of their favourite games i had to get them!
The grabber machine i purchased (and there are quite a few different versions available to buy!), was a square shape, the top portion is clear plastic (obviously or else you wouldn't be able to see the prizes inside!), with a sturdy looking lid on the top.
The base again is a very sturdy square, complete with a joystick to move the grabber arm, and a button to actually drop the grabber when you have it in the position you want it!
The whole process is powered with two industrial looking batteries (size c one's i think they are), which should be removed when not in use incase of leaking.
Along with the unit there area around 6-7 balls (very like the old fashioned eggs you could get with prizes inside), these came with little cheap looking prizes in, which the kids weren't interested in, so i simply swapped them for small prizes, the small chocolate bars, penny chews, that sort of thing, as long as they fit in the balls and weren't too heavy they worked!
I then simply had to pop the balls into the main part of the unit, via a ball shaped hole on the top.
The first time they used it i was gob smacked by just how noisy it was! The unit plays a generic sounding tune, with a voice inviting the child to "have a go!", i assume this is meant to be the clown that is pictured on the back panel of the unit!
Once the child starts positioning the crane arm a high pitched beeping sound starts, with there being a descending sound made once the crane has been dropped to pick the gift up, and unlike the full sized one's this hasn't been tampered with, and the kids do generally win a prize everytime!
Any downsides? Not major ones i have to say, the prizes do have to be kept small enough to fit inside the balls provided, though i did put some very small cuddly toys in too, and lollipops, and the crane still managed to pick those up, anything heavy and the mechanics seizes up and it makes a whiring noise!
The only other downside was the "swinging crane", which was when the kids got a bit over the top moved the unit too much, then had to wait for the crane to stop moving before they could drop the grabber down, but again these are small niggles rather than problems!
Price wise this only cost £19.99, though can be purchased for much less now, as this was when they first came out a few years ago!
The novelty factor has now worn off, and it is still on top of my daughters wardrobe, though when i suggest maybe giving it to a charity for another child to play with, they simply look horrified!
This is a lovely toy that has kept my children entertained for many an hour, recommended!
Thanks for reading x
I bought this candy grabber for my daughters 11th birthday, Inside I put coins, sweets, and other little goodies. Here is how we got on with it.....
What is it? It is a mini version of those grab machines you get at the seaside. It comes empty so you can fill it with whatever you fancy. The aim of the game is to 'grab' a sweet before the time is up.
How does it work ? The top of the machine comes off so you can fill it with whatever you like, sweets, chocolate, small toys etc. Don't fill it up too much or the claw will not have room to move around.
To play you need to pay one coin, the machine comes with a little bag of plastic coins but they are a similar size to pennies so a 1p coin may work too.
It takes three C batteries, these are fitted in an enclosed section on the base.
When you have put your coin in the slot the music starts, you have to use the two little joysticks to move the claw and grab some sweets. One of the joysticks is left and right and one is up and down. If you haven't grabbed anything by the time the music stops then you have lost. You get about 30 seconds to do the grabbing, which isn't as long as it seems!!!
If you do manage to grab something, you need to move the claw above the chute and when the music stops the claw will release the sweeties for you.
Having a go - it is actually much harder than it looks, and can be incredibly frustrating when you nearly have something and the music stops. The music is traditional brash seaside tunes, which is fun but can add to the irritation after a while.
The joysticks are easy to use and both my 11 year old daughter and six year old son could use it very easily.
I would recommend choosing the items to fill it with wisely, some of the things I put in were just impossible to pick up and some were too big to fit down the chute. Good things I found were mini heros, candy bracelets, chocolate eclairs and hair bobbles. some of the bad things were coins, lolly pops, chocolate bars like penguins etc. and lip glosses.
Was it fun ? Well when my daughter first opened it she loved it, she wanted to stop opening her other present s and play with it straight away- always a good sign.
She really enjoyed trying to grab the goodies, she loved the music and was really excited when she 'won'. All the family wanted to have a go and it was definitely a hit - for five minutes .......
Unfortunately the novelty really wore off very quickly with this toy, once she had won a few sweets and lost quite a few times I could tell she was getting bored with it.
Over the next few days my children played with it a few times, but then the seaside sounds became a distant memory, it was relegated to the bottom cupboard with no intention of ever being played again.
Where can I buy it ? I bought mine off of ebay for £9.99 brand new, I think you can buy them on Amazon too. There are many different varieties available from shops such as Hawkins bazaar and the Gadget shop.
It started out as a good fun toy but sadly lost its appeal all too soon.
You got to be handy for your candy! Put in your tokens and try to grab the sweeties using the two control joysticks and your skill! Includes tokens. Requires 3 x C batteries (not included)