A toddler stuck inside of a toy claw machine, happily playing with the stuffed animal prizes, was rescued by Maryville, Tennessee firefighters this week. Much to the one-year-old’s chagrin, but to the relief of his fretting grandmother, the boy was plucked unharmed from the toy bin. And no, firefighters did not have even pay the requisite 50 cents, nor did they use the big-boy claw – the jaws of life.
Writes USA Today on Oct. 23: “A curious toddler got an insider’s look at a toy machine when he climbed in and got stuck. The 18-month-old, Colin Lambert, is safe after he managed to climb into the toy claw machine, which dispenses prizes for winners, at a coin laundry Tuesday.”
Grandma Diane O’Neill said she looked down for about ten seconds to use her phone, heard a noise, and looked up to see Colin’s feet disappearing into the prize chute. “All I could see was his feet. He had already crawled in,” she said. “I grabbed his feet and he kicked my hand and got in. Climbed up over the glass partition and sat down in the toys.”
Maryville Fire Deputy Chief David Hodges said this was a first for his team. Kittens in trees are one thing, kids in toy tubs are another. “You never know what the next call holds,” Hodges said.
The 62-year-old O’Neill couldn’t resist but to snap some pics. “I took a bunch of photos. As long as he was okay, it was funny. He thought it was fun, like, ‘Look what I can do. I’m clever.’ He was smiling until he wanted to get out, and then he became unhappy.”
For his troubles, firefighters let Colin pick a toy of his choice. So that’s how you get those tantalizing stuffed puppies out of the impossible-to-win claw machines.