In Japan there is a big variety of merchandise strategies, one of my favorite is the UFO catcher, also known as Claw Vending Machine or Skill Crane. They are very popular in video arcades, supermarkets, shopping malls, restaurants, bowling alleys and Pachinko, they are all over Japan.
The cool thing about them is that they have incredible prizes, like a themed glass set, cushions, figures, lighters, DVD, vouchers for restaurants and hotels, almost anything you want. The philosophy is “if the prizes are good, they come back” that is true.
Wend I was in Japan I fell in love with the Daruma Dolls, to play with the UFO Catcher it costs 100 yen, more less One dollar, I spent almost 30 dollars to get the full collection of colored themed Keitei Darumas , as you can see at picture bellow with my finger Sumo wrestling arena.
The Skill Crane culture in Japan is very strong, some people develop techniques, as you can see in the post on the Japan Probe. This is one of the reasons I love marketing in Japan many of the brand strategies use interactivity, but not based on internet, they use karaoke to release new bands and video clips, toys, costumes and of course UFO Catchers.
Here are some pictures of them some mine other found on google, and please take a look at a post Danny Choo did about UFO Catchers
Chocolate and snacks
Oh and Happy New Year for everybody