Taiwanese Claw Games

Claw Game Culture

I love places with lots of character. So when I cycled past this claw game arcade the other night I had to stop and take some photos.

This place was pretty grungy and tucked in between two shops on a busy street.


When I think of claw machines I’m reminded of the arcades back home when I was a kid. Here in Taiwan they are still hugely popular and not only found in tourist areas or seaside resorts.


I met a young couple there who were going from machine to machine seeing what they could find. The girl said they come out every now and again to see if anything interesting has been added.


The colour from the lights was great, but also the paint jobs on the machines, if a bit grimy.


The contents of claw machines in Taiwan is interesting. As well as the plush toys and dolls, there are also watches, lighters, gadgets and I even saw a thong and a pack of raunchy playing cards in there.


I did have a go on one of the machines while I was taking the photos. I tried to get this Famicom lighter. It’s obviously not genuine – I don’t think Wii U sales have been bad enough that Nintendo is now making lighters. I also just realised it says “40th anniversary” on it, but the Famicom is only 32 years old.



If you’re in Taiwan, the next time you pass these machines have a look in and see what you can find.

About the author dave

I'm a web developer and photographer from the UK living in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. I shoot with a Canon 650D and a Ricoh GR.

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