What is the Santa Claw?

I know, this is a cake blog. I’m supposed to be telling you about cake… but seriously, some times crazy things happen and this is one of those things. I feel the need to share it with the world. So here is my long off topic inside scoop on The Santa Claw.

You may have heard about The Santa Claw already. It’s possible you saw it posted on the daily what. Or on a gamer blog or on laughing squid.

It seems to be in a shroud of mystery though. Every thing I’ve found online is vague and pretty much just a copy+paste job of the same few paragraphs.

I wanted to bring you more than that.

As far as I can tell, this the first blog to bring “inside answers” about the Santa Claw.

So, I know there are lots of questions. Who the hell is the Real Art group and why are they making us stand in a virtual line queue for 8 hours waiting for our chance to operate the world’s largest claw machine from the comfort of our own homes?

As it turns out, I’m lucky enough to live a mere two blocks from this beastly game. So I went and got the answers for you.

santaclaw 007
What is the Santa Claw?
The Santa Claw is the world’s largest claw machine! It’s located in Dayton, Ohio in the Real Art building.
When I got to go into the Real Art building, I’ve never wished so much in my entire life that I would have gone to college. Though I did well in school, I really disliked the experience of being in school. That and I was really poor. So I never went. I assume, though, that if I had gone, I might some day have had a chance at working someplace as amazingly cool as Real Art. Holy wow. This place is sort of what you imagine in your head when you imagine a place where they make video games or something.
I was given a tour and lead through out staircases and levels and rooms that were all just inspiring and awesome.
santaclaw 013santaclaw 012santaclaw 011

So… what inspires a place to build the world’s largest claw machine in their break room?
santaclaw 009

I mean… the thing is created from 2,000 pounds of steel, 700 feet of wire and 1.5 electric wheelchairs, the actual claw game measures 17 feet x 8 feet x 12 feet. Pure insanity. It’s butted against the windows which is sweet because you can go up to the windows and watch it being played.

So what do they get out of it??? What do YOU get out of it?
I’m told Real Art does something crazy every year to thank their clients and staff for another great year. I’m told this is the largest/most elaborate thing so far lol. They don’t want to send out normal boring corporate gifts. (I mean… I know I was pretty excited when my company got a box full of delicious holiday treats from one of our vendors… but this is just awesome.)
They sent their clients metal tokens… These large tokens wished them a happy holiday and invited them to go to http://www.thesantaclaw.com on January 3rd for a chance to win one of “Santa’s cast-off gifts.”

“It was one of those things that we started joking about over lunch one day, and it just kind of grew from there,” said Chris Wire, owner of Real Art Design Group.

Well guys, word traveled quickly, as some of you may realize. On the first day they went live the site received about 19,000 views and about 400 people had already played by 5:00 that day!
Obviously, only one person can play at a time, but on the first day wait times started around 15 minutes- an hour or so… by the next day, things had sky-rocketed and the site was receiving so much traffic that things were starting to get crazy. Wait times were hours long and the site ended up going down for a bit.

The first time I saw The Santa Claw IRL was during that time. I walked by as they all huddled around the computer screens attempting to fix the issues.

So your big question is what do I win??? Are they REALLY going to send me something? I’ve even seen flat out speculation that they just want your information so they can send you spam mail. I can now assure you, with certainty, this is not the case!

If you win a prize in the Santa Claw(one prize per household.), they WILL mail it to you!(as long as you live in the contiguous 48 in the US) You will be charged nothing and there is no catch. Pinky swear. One thing that seems to be confusing people is the question “What did I just win?” Well! I have the answers! If you drop a squishy ball down the chute… you win a squishy ball! If you drop a clear bubble with a gift box in it, you win a random gift! If you manage to pick a specific prize… they send you THAT prize! How cool is that, right?

Now don’t go complaining about how you waited 8 hours to win a bouncy ball! It’s not about that! You got to play the world’s largest claw machine… and you won! And you get a sweet bouncy ball FOR FREE. And if anyone gives you shit about “dude why do you have a hot pink bouncy ball?” You can say “Hey I won that playing the world’s largest claw machine!”

What are the “random” prizes?
Well, I got to see some of the prizes in the “claw stuff room” and it’s just fun little things.
santaclaw 008
A lot of it is just silly stuff. Obviously, they’re not going to mail you the keys to a new car. I mean, have you seen how many people win this thing every day?
They sourced gifts on the internet and bought some random ones at Trader’s World. They’re saying the prizes are oddball and random, but they also have some very cool ones – Alien Workshop threw in some skateboards and shirts!
So some lucky lucky folks will be getting something super sweet! You never know!

It’s expected that the machine will be up and running at least a couple of months. (though I’m told not to quote anyone on that ;) lol) The idea of ad hosting is being tossed around as a way to extend the timeline of the santaclaw if the interest stays constant.
Right now though, it’s a great piece of advertising for The Real Art group and everyone is just having a blast with it.

So, how do you play?

Well, wait times are astronomical right now. But never fear! There’s a method to this which my friends and I seem to have perfected. You login using your email, facebook or twitter account. Super easy. Then you can customize your little person and then you wait. Wait times have been around 5-8 hours.
in ine
I know… it sounds crazy, but it is what it is. So get logged in and go do something. I have left it running in the background while at work. Then you come back to it later, maybe check in and see how much time is left once in a while. Then I like to watch other people play for the last 15 minutes or so and scope out the balls.
You get two screen views when it’s your turn. A front view and a view from above the claw. It’s pretty easy to navigate, which you do with either your mouse or your arrow keys.
in gamein gamein game

You get 60 seconds to pick out a ball and grab for it. I’ve played 3 times. I won the 1st time, dropped my ball the 2nd time and won again the 3rd time. Of course, I will only get one prize :), but everyone is welcome to play as much as you can/want.

Inside the building there is a screen that shows who is playing. I got a message from a friend yesterday asking if I just played because he saw my name pop up when he was loading balls into the machine. I didn’t know he worked there and he told me that he built the machine! What the hell?! How are my friends going to hold out on me on some cool shit like that??? How are you going to build the Santa Claw and then just not tell every single person you know?
Oh well. Craziness.

Patrice, who was really awesome and showed me around the Real Art building, said that “The project gives the Real Art team an opportunity to show off a variety of their talents and venture into a few new areas as well. From sketching original characters and building a site to fabricating the claw game and then hooking it up to the Web for everyone to play, the project was definitely a collaborative effort.”

So there you have it.
World’s largest claw machine. It’s in Dayton. It’s free. Anyone around the world can play. Your prize is mailed to you, one per house hold if you live in the US.
It’s awesome. That’s all you really need to know. So… get in line!!!

Outside the Santa Claw

Okay, so now that I’ve made you guys put up with my Santa Claw rambling, I’m off to work on a cake tutorial for you guys to make up for it lol.
Thanks for putting up with my craziness. I hope you all get to play The Santa Claw and win!

Here’s the trailer video if you don’t want to wait on the flash intro on the page:

Also, someone told me in the comments to hold down R, A or D while in the line. I tried it out for you guys and it’s cute. It makes your avatar do little things.
I’m looking for a video of someone winning. I’ll keep you guys posted.

And golly gee wilikers gum drops, it’d be just dandy if you’d please ask my permission to use any of my photos or quote my blog as a lot of time and effort went into this blog post. Come on, I almost froze my face off walking down there. <3

I got my prize today!

Santa Claw Prize Certificate

Santa Claw Prize

33 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Mom
    Jan 06, 2011 @ 21:11:49

    You mentioned it’s in Dayton and the building it’s in, but where is the building located? Intersection of “what & what?”
    Just wondering.
    When ya gonna post some pics of cakes with airbrush designs on them?


    • gemcitytiffany
      Jan 06, 2011 @ 21:14:47

      I was sort of baiting people to actually check out the company :)
      But it’s on 1st street, across from the ballpark! Next to Brixx.

      I’m yet to actually use the airbrush on a cake, but I have one coming up next week!


  2. Peterepeat
    Jan 07, 2011 @ 01:45:01

    check out what your avatar does when you press R,A or D (Real Art Design I suppose). You have to make sure you aren’t in the ‘chat’ box though


    • gemcitytiffany
      Jan 07, 2011 @ 09:15:32

      That’s fun! Thank you! I wish I could figure out how the line jump works… or if that’s people who work there trying to double check something they done with the coding. Have you seen the people who go running past in line?
      Of course a few times I’ve seen a smart ass tell people to push ctrl+w to line jump haha. I hope no one fell for that…


      • Ploppy
        Jan 07, 2011 @ 17:29:43

        Someone said Ctrl+W does it. I haven’t tried it


      • Peterepeat
        Jan 07, 2011 @ 19:56:44

        I have seen the people sneak past, but when they get to the front of the line they are rejected and go skulking back. I don’t see them get back in line, I thought it was just the developers having fun with some animation to keep us amused while we watched.


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  4. Yogurt
    Jan 08, 2011 @ 16:37:19

    I wasn’t going to take a pic until I read “Pls to not be stealin’ my words and pictures without my permission! I’ll f_ckin’ cut you.”, then I did, cause you’re rude.


  5. Bunny
    Jan 10, 2011 @ 10:22:53

    Great article!! I haven’t won yet but I’m having a blast just being part of this whole thing. Thanks for freezing your tukus off for the photos. :D


  6. Lindsey
    Jan 10, 2011 @ 21:45:05

    Great write up Tiffany! Come visit us again.


  7. Leah
    Jan 10, 2011 @ 23:32:51

    Kinda wishing i lived in the US now so i can play it :(


  8. jennifer
    Jan 11, 2011 @ 09:17:51

    Thanks for taking the time to give the info bout the santa claw. I played several days ago and unlike so many i was lucky enough to wait in line only two hrs. I won but but dont know how i didnt see any ball picked up it all happened so fast. Would love to have something like this in my breakroom. Looking forward to whatever i won.


    • gemcitytiffany
      Jan 11, 2011 @ 09:51:32

      Awesome! Glad to hear you won. A lot of people have been complaining about the wait times and how it’s hard to win, but I think they’re forgetting this is a really cool/nice thing these people are doing free of charge!


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    Jan 11, 2011 @ 10:45:46

    The content on this article is really a single of the most beneficial material that I’ve ever occur across. I love your publish, I’ll occur back to verify for new posts.


  10. Angela
    Jan 11, 2011 @ 16:50:18

    well its not fair because i waited alot and finally it said that i need to live in the states in order to get my prize!


  11. ip camera
    Jan 12, 2011 @ 12:03:58

    I am so happy to read this. This is the kind of manual that needs to be given and not the random misinformation that is at the other blogs. Appreciate your sharing this best doc.


  12. Volector
    Jan 12, 2011 @ 22:06:50

    I won a ball (blue). yay! hope it shows. after i won, i filled in the info, and they said 2 to 3 weeks for shipping, but it posted on my facebook that it kicked my butt…. hmmm


  13. Amy L
    Jan 19, 2011 @ 10:00:34

    I am waiting in line as I write this :) Press G and you will also do something cute! Glad you got to check the claw out in person. Bummer we can only go on line….my kids would LOVE this! Esp my daughter who always seems to win. Thanks for the info.


    • Amy L
      Jan 19, 2011 @ 10:10:41

      OK only SOME of the characters do something when you press G. I am wasting too much time changing my avatar…


  14. Chocolateninja
    Jan 20, 2011 @ 19:58:39

    I reckon the ONLY problem with this EPIC THING is that you only get your prize if you live in the States, cos I live in Australia ;(
    But it’s still an awesome thing to take part in :D


  15. Ritzee Rebel
    Jan 22, 2011 @ 02:39:05

    I just happened to find your post the other day and have played a few times myself! I just won so of course I had to write a blog post about it haha. Here’s the link, I linked to your blog in the post so people can read more about it. Thank you for all the great pics and info!


  16. Ana
    Feb 01, 2011 @ 15:19:20

    I saw some guy logged in with the same name and in line 3 times??? How did he do it????


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    Feb 04, 2011 @ 22:59:41

    Good!!! Bookmarked this page that has this amazing content. Will come back to see if there are any updates. You, the author, are a master. Thanks


  18. Carrie Stewart
    Feb 06, 2011 @ 08:19:12

    DAYTON A local company has combined nostalgia with technology to create a web game thats become a worldwide sensation..Real Art Design Group a digital and print design firm located in downtown Dayton developed the Santa Claw billed as the worlds largest remote-controlled claw game.The game racked up an estimated 20 000 unique visits when it was introduced on Monday. First St.According to creative director Chris Wire its all a reflection of the companys business philosophy to build something creative that provides a moment of interest for the consumer.Thats literally true in the case of the giant claw where all 50 Real Art employees had a hand in planning designing constructing and maintaining the steel structure springloaded claw and Flash website for users. She plans to discuss it in her classes.I just wonder if they will use it to strengthen their brand and business and take full advantage of the buzz Dickey said adding that businesses that can find innovative and relevant ways to engage with people are more successful.Dickey says media technologies are playing a huge role in globalizing society allowing businesses to connect with people all over the world and making time and distance irrelevant.In addition the Internet connects people with other people who are all spreading the word.


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