New Mr. Saturn Plushies
Well, well, well. With this new flood of Mr. Saturn plushies blossoming all over Japan, you’d think that MOTHER 2 was coming out on the DS–or the DSi, or DSX, or whatever the heck it is nowadays. I lost count, I’m still on my $170 pink clunky original DS with a cat sticker on it. It’s like dangling carrots in front of our faces, and all we can do is spend hundreds of dollars bribing Banpresto to just drop the damn carrot, just to find out that the carrot is a plushie and we can’t eat it.
But I digress. Today was the release date for the new Mr. Saturn plushies, this time strapped to a ball and chain. Belch plushies have also been released–I only wish Belch plushies would have been released both in America and at the same time of Earthbound’s release. Oh, how that would have screwed with my head when I was a child. I can still clearly hear the echoing belches coming from my TV speakers; it was really effective in making me feel vomity myself, because I’m really queasy and sensitive to vomit sounds. Way to go, Team Itoi. Way to go.
Luckily, once again I found that the list of participating arcades included the one below the grocery store near my apartment. Oh, how good it feels. Unfortunately, my heart sang and sank at the same time when I saw it.
Here’s when it sank:
Those of you who know how Japanese crane games work know how hard these are. And those of you who are really good at Japanese crane games and think I suck for not being able to pull out a prize from the ring-version game, well you can shove it. These things are hard. I know I whined last time about how difficult these crane games are, but this one is virtually impossible. If I phrased it that way last time, well I was lying, and this time I mean it. You don’t even get to lift the ring up. Not only does the crane arm barely move in the first place, but you’re supposed to like, push the ring forward little by little. There’s not a hole to drop it into, you just have to get it off the pole it’s hanging on.
I even did the Japanese thing of asking an employee for tips, and they almost always move it closer so it’s easier for you to get. Unfortunately, I apparently terrified the woman, who came over, stuttered the directions that were already written out, and ran away. Literally ran away. I thought I missed something, like she was going to get something or whatever, but she never came back. So about thirty dollars later, the ring has not budged, but merely wiggled back and forth in the same spot because there were so many coins weighing down the Mr. Saturn that it was that much harder to budge the plastic ring across the rubber-tipped pole. You know, how like, rubber is put on the bottom of laptops and other objects so they DON’T SLIDE?
Me kissing my precious money good-bye.
Anyway, as you can see, there are no Belches. I’m not sure if any machines have both in them, but my assumption right now is that there are some Belch machines and some Mr. Saturn machines. Which is kind of cool. But still really mean.
I walked out of there empty handed and disgusted at losing money as fast as if I’d just played a hand of high-roller black jack in Las Vegas and lost, with nothing to show for that blink of an eye. There are some other arcades in the prefecture, so I’m going to try another one and hope that it’s got a different set-up, because last time I travelled around for Mr. Saturns they did change up the set-up of the machine depending on location. (Generally, the three I see are 1. Claw pick-em-up, which is general in America, 2. Claw push-it-down, where the claw is too wussy or weird to pick it up and the whole strategy is to push it downwards because there is no wall around the drop hole, and 3. The Ring, which is what the movie was actually based on.)
So, I make another trek out tomorrow to try one more time, but I know that just as it happened last time with the mini Mr. Saturns, this is going to turn into my merely buying them all, thereby ruining the excitement. But it’s a lot less exciting when I reach eighty dollars and empty hands when I could have just bought like four plushies online.
So, in the end, I win not because I live next to an arcade full of Mr. Saturns, but because I have a Japanese mailing address to save on shipping with Yahoo! Auctions. Living in Japan can be so anticlimactic.