Captain Claw pirate crane machine costume Wearer: Benz, 8 years old

Ahoy, me hearties! I’m Captain Claw! My SUPER CREATIVE mom turned a cardboard box into a working arcade game! She taped 3 of the top flaps down and taped the top flap up after cornering the edges. This would be the front sign. All 4 bottom flaps were removed. She then cut out a window in the front and on both sides. Pieces of clear vinyl were attached to the inside and secured in place with black Gorilla tape.

Next she covered the box with red contact paper. She had 4 pieces of PVC pipe cut to run down the length of each corner to reinforce the box. They were secured with zip ties. She added elbow connectors on each bottom pipe and has 4 more PVC pieces running horizontally to finish off this inner frame. Next my mom drilled holes along the front (about every 5 inches) and poked the mini LED lights through. The lights and battery pack were secured to the pipe with more zip ties. She also drilled small holes into ping pong balls and hot glued them over each light.

She then cut out the letters for “Captain Claw” and a hook for the sign. I helped add pirate wall decals on all sides for decoration. Next we thought it would be funny to cut off the end of an old power cord and have it hanging down the back. It was taped onto the inside and she covered the whole inner back panel with a sheet of silver chrome mirror vinyl. To help me carry the weight around, she added shoulder and waist straps.

When it came time to design the claw part of the machine, my Mom found some flexible shower tubing and secured it to the top pipe with zip ties and the bottom was attached to my silver pirate hook and was left to dangle. Next we took apart an old video game joystick and taped it inside of a small priority mail box that had been spray painted black. Buttons were added to the top along with a coin slot and dollar bill feeder. A large black plastic elbow pipe serves as a drop slot for the prizes. The toughest part of all was trying to figure out how to keep the stuffed animals inside without falling down through the open bottom. We settled on a thick piece of 4 inch foam with a hole cut in the middle for my waist. It sits on top of the side PVC pipes and my Mom drops the beanie babies down to me through the two top vents at the top (for air flow). Each beanie baby has a zip tie around its neck so it can be picked up easily by my claw/hook.

Then to make the whole Captain Claw pirate crane machine costume come to life, I got dressed up in my pirate shirt, pants, boots, eye patch, wig, mustache, goatee, and earring. The finishing touches are the parrot on my shoulder and the voice box inside that I can press to hear fun pirate sayings, like “Shiver me timbers!” and “Yo Ho Ho and a Happy Halloween!”