Jul 10, 2018
Do you remember the first time you walked pass a UFO catcher, seeing the prize being a doll of a character that you have always adored or a doll of something you don't really care for, but it looks like it is about to fall? Then you stopped from your track towards the next shop and decided to put in a single 100 yen to test your skills in getting the reward in one go. It falls. But hey, it got even closer than before, so another coin must do the job. Another 100 yen rolls into the machine, and the prize continued to make its progress towards the goal but is always just so close, but not close enough. Another coin goes in and it kept getting closer until you ran out of coins, so you exchanged the 1000 yen bill for 10 more chances, so the battle continued.
Perhaps you walked away with the prize in your arm or a stomach full of frustration after the minutes of thrill. Then you recall putting in about 1500 yen worth of coins into the machine just because the prize looked easy enough to get on a first try. The entertainment only lasted you about 10 minutes, for better or for worse. Then you start to think that 1500 yen could have bought you that plastic model you have always longed for, with a 100% chance of success if you simply bought it from a store, and you start to question: was it worth it?
A friend of mine who is a UFO Catcher Master tells me that he never does it for the prize in the machine, but simply for the fun and thrill of the process, even if he fails as the end (which is rare). It is the analyzing and the idea of it getting closer each time that makes it so exciting for him, even if the prize is less so. Having that said, he keeps all his prizes at home as trophies, and thanks to him who got me started, I also have a few of my own, but I also blame him for the 8000 yen I have spent on UFO catchers so far, which rewarded me with a few lovely dolls and an addiction.