Remember that scene in Toy Story, where Woody and Buzz first met the three eyed aliens? Remember when Buzz asked "Who's inchanged here?" and the aliens answered "the claaaaaaaaaw" while pointing up to their metal master.

"Claw is our master" one alien tells Buzz.

Well I wouldn't say the claw is my master, but it does have a certain power over me. You see whenever I see one of those machines, I just have to check it out. I love playing them...then I hate playing them.




See the other day at a local Wal-Mart, I walked past a claw grab game and saw a prize, I just had to have, I really wanted it. The prize was Eric Cartman from South Park. I spent more money than I wanted to, and sadly I didn't get him. Little moments in life can prove to be as annoying as feeding this machine dollar bill after dollar bill and getting nothing. Oh sure, with the money one spends on these games, you can just go and buy one. But there is something that makes you happy when you're able to say I won this.

Don't think people find that impressive do you? Well I would have to beg to differ. I remember when I won a Kermit the frog from one of these machines at a golden corral buffet. A entire family came by, looked at me with amazement, like I did a magic trick or something. They couldn't believe someone actually won something from those machines or not just anything, we're talking about America's favorite frog.

I can remember the first time I won a prize, it was some little pony stuffed toy from a Cub foods, which was where my mother worked at the time. I gave it to my little sister and she was very happy. Since than she started an amazing collection of stuffed toys made up of mine and my other sister's "hand-me-downs" but also from many many stuffed toys I won from years past.

Course there are also some claw grab games that gives out something else besides stuffed toys. I remember me and my father, for some reason, really wanted to win a pocket watch from one those that also give out jewelry as prizes. He couldn't do it, than one day, I was actually able to win one. I let him have it to his amazement.

Over the years, I've gotten pretty good at these games. Sure every now and than, I came up short, like for example that Eric Cartman, which is still bugging me, I must have it. Oh sorry, I digress.

But I can remember many times where I would play just for the fun of playing. Sure for many this wouldn't be one's idea of fun, but once you really get into these games, well...you're hooked. I would win some stuffed toy I didn't really want, again I just wanted to play. So what did I do with the toy? I would give it to some kid near by, which often times was just as enjoyable for me to give them a free toy as it is for them to get a free toy. I can remember giving a little girl a stuffed pink bear or this one little boy some stuffed Power Rangers doll, to which he later comes up to me and tells me "these are so cool."

I'm glad you like them, I answered back.

The one that can really warm my heart though is when I won this Daisy Duck (Donald Duck's girlfriend) toy and give it to this little girl. She looked up at me, told me thank you and ran to her mother. I'm sure her mother was thinking something like "oh man, my girl is asking for another toy," but when the little girl told her how she got it and pointed at me, the mother mouth "thank you" to me. I felt pretty good about myself.

But, of course, their are some I just have to kept for myself cause...well their just cool. Here are some of my personal favorites that I kept for myself.


Just in case anyone is wondering, that is the very same Kermit I won at the golden corral. Which is actually one of the best looking Kermit toys I've ever seen. Not bad for 50 cents.

Now I'm off to try to get that Cartman, wish me luck.