Mission Impossible

A 3-year-old got stuck in a claw machine.
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A Toddler Had To Be Rescued By Police After Climbing Inside A Claw Machine

“Ethan and the Police: 1 Claw Machine: 0”

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There are few things more satisfying than using one of those toy claw machines and actually managing to get hold of the toy you want. Knowing you had the dexterity to navigate the giant claw using only those little knobs to latch on to a big plush toy, it’s just a great feeling. But what do you do if you see a toy and you can’t quite grab it? Walk away with a shrug? Well, if you’re as small as 3-year-old Ethan in Queensland, Australia, you climb on up into that Hello Kitty claw machine to get the toy yourself. Sure, he needed to be rescued, but his ingenuity must be applauded nonetheless.

The Queensland Police Department took to X (formerly known as Twitter) to share a recent rescue mission from a Capalaba shopping center, where 3-year-old Ethan had climbed up inside a Hello Kitty-themed claw machine to avail himself of his preferred prize. Dressed casually for his outing in a Power Rangers t-shirt and green shorts, Ethan looked shockingly relaxed despite the fact that he was stuck inside a giant box full of stuffed toys.

As the adults, including both of his parents and several police officers, stood with hands on hips around the claw machine, trying to figure out how to get him out safely, Ethan was blissfully unperturbed. Simply holding on to his giant Hello Kitty plush toy, the whole point of the operation. After encouraging Ethan to move to the back corner and cover his face, officers smashed the glass and freed the motivated toddler to cheers from the crowd. “You won a prize,” an officer said to Ethan. “Which one do you want?”

Lesson learned. Ethan really can escape the long arm of the claw.

Ethan’s dad Timothy Hopper explained to reporters that the family was grocery shopping when he turned his back “for a split second” and his little “opportunist” used that moment to spring into action. “He loves claw machines … As he always does, he opened up the flap to be an opportunist. Then, within a split second, he crawled into the machine, the door closed behind him. He stood up and realised what happened and he was king of the mountain,” Hopper said, per The Guardian.

Ethan was stuck inside the machine for about 10 to 15 minutes, and his dad reports that he was having “the time of his life” in there with all the toys.

As for the police officers on duty, Ethan’s predicament was a first for them. “When we got the call there was a bit of a smile in the car. Both [of us] as fathers, thinking what our boys would do,” Officer Power told reporters. “Kids are kids. My boy’s four and I’m surprised he hasn’t done similar.”

Honestly, we’re surprised this doesn’t happen way more often. Here’s hoping Ethan hasn’t started a trend.

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