Mother Natalie Draper had taken her three year-old Noah and his twin brother, Joey, to a play center in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, when the unexpected happened.
The 37-year old left Noah with a friend of his while she took his brother to the bathroom.
But upon her return, she was asked “is that your son in the machine?”
And when Natalie turned around, she found that Noah had climbed completely inside the machine in an attempt to get a teddy bear.
To get the boy out of the claw machine and reunited with his mother took about 10 minutes, three broken padlocks and an out of order sign.
And while she was terrified at first, she feels she can now laugh it off.
“I had taken my sons out to an indoor play centre to keep them entertained for the morning, but I never expected this to happen.
I had taken his brother, Joel, to the toilet and left Noah playing with his friend for a matter of minutes.
But when I came back, a lady grabbed me and asked if ‘that was my child in there’ – to which I replied ‘in where?’”
“As soon as she said ‘the machine’ I rushed over to take a look and could see Noah had climbed into the crane and got himself stuck!
Thankfully the team got him out within ten minutes, and now that I know he is safe and unharmed, I can’t stop laughing at what happened.”
Natalie went on to describe the experience as the “most terrifying 10 minutes of her life.”
“As the machine was operated by a third-party company, the indoor play centre didn’t have keys to unlock it.
So they had to break off three padlocks using a screwdriver and then twist the lock using a knife to be able to break the door open and get him out.
But he came out completely unscathed, thankfully, and an ‘out of order’ sign was placed on the machine.
Now it’s all over and we’re home I can’t stop laughing at what happened.
All he wanted was a teddy bear – if he’d asked me for the money I would have got one for him, he didn’t need to go to such extreme lengths!”
Let’s just say this kid won’t have any issues taking what he wants in life!
States have actually regulated claw machine games as they do gambling activities — limiting the value of prizes — but not as safety hazards.
Barbara Eldredge, design researcher and writer for creative agency Real Art, which made the world’s biggest claw machine, according to Guinness World Records, says claw machines are designed to be tantalizing.
The world’s biggest claw machine is being re-installed and it opens this week at a Proto BuildBar in Dayton, Ohio.
“The prizes are so close but they are also just out of reach. The appeal of going inside is like entering a magic land. It’s kid-sized and if the kid can fit, why not?” she said.
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