What are claw machines?
Claw machines are toys which have been designed with the purpose of allowing children to perform simple tasks such as picking up small objects or pushing buttons. They were originally marketed in the 1950’s and 1960’s under various brand names including Mopar, Kato, and others. These toys came in many shapes and sizes. Some of them could even be operated by one child at a time!
The most popular type of claw machine was the Mopar® Clawsmith®. These toys were sold in several different models and had a variety of functions such as:
Pushing buttons to turn knobs and open doors;
Opening drawers, cabinets, etc.;
Pulling levers to move parts around; and/or
Switching on lights.
There were also other types of claw machines such as:
Push-to-talk (PTT) toys, where the user would speak into a microphone attached to the toy and it would respond back. These toys were very popular during the 1970’s and 1980’s. PTT toys used a speaker system connected to a computer via telephone lines. A voice synthesizer then translated your words into sounds for the toy to play out.
There were also pull-string toys, in which a string would be pulled from inside the machine and the user was rewarded with a small prize. These toys were also popular during the 1980’s and 1990’s.
What are claw machines used for?
Claw machines can be used to play a game of skill similar to skeeball by trying to pick up small prizes using a claw at the bottom of the machine.
Why are claw machines so popular?
These toys are designed to make it extremely difficult for a person to pick up a small prize but relatively easy for the machine itself. For this reason, people are drawn to them – the challenge is irresistible! It is fun and rewarding when you manage to pick up a small prize from the machine.
How does a claw machine work?
The claw is connected to a set of cables and pulleys. There is usually a lever or button which allows the user to control the claw. When this is pressed, the claw moves forward, picks up the prize, and then returns back to its original position. Claw machines can be quite complex but at their core they are relatively simple.
There are several different types of claw machines. Some have a themed front (for example, a pirate ship) while others are more generic. Some claw machines have stuffed animals, dolls, or other prizes inside them, while others have nothing at all – in these cases, the prizes are usually hidden behind the front of the machine.
Best Mini Claw Machines
As these toys became increasingly popular with children, their design and style changed over time.
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