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  • Claw machines are everywhere in Taiwan, from busy streets to corner stores like this one.


  • I used to play these all the time as a teenager.


  • And while I eventually grew out of it, Taiwan, well, hasn't.


  • In 2016, there were only about 920 claw machine stores in Taiwan.

    2016 年時,台灣只有 920 間夾娃娃機店。

  • Today, there are over 6,678 of them across the island.

    現在,全台已經超過 6,678 間了。

  • And you can usually find them clustered together in night market corners like this one.


  • Over the years, they've become a popular investment strategy for young people, particularly because of low stagnating wages on the island.


  • (Speaking Mandarin) Why work with claw machines?

    (中文) 為什麼會有夾娃娃機呢?

  • (Speaking Mandarin) The main hope is that I can make a little more money on top of my day job.

    (中文) 一方面最主要就是,希望能夠除了自己本身的工作之外,我還想要再賺一點錢。

  • (Speaking Mandarin) Because many friends have told me that they can make money, then I wanted to try.

    (中文) 因為聽很多朋友都說,夾娃娃機可以賺錢,那我就想要嘗試看看。

  • Here's how it works:


  • An arcade owner sets up all the infrastructure and buys the machines and security cameras for a grand total of around 30,000 USD.

    拱廊商業街的店主會備齊所有基礎設備,買機器和監視器,總共需要花大約 30,000 美元。

  • The owner will then rent out each individual claw machine at around 150 USD to 250 USD a month to interested individuals.

    接著,店主會以每月大約 150 至 250 美元的價格,出租機台給感興趣的人。

  • Pisuy has been obsessively playing claw machines for a year now and recently just got her own.

    Pisuy 沉迷於玩夾娃娃機已經一年了,最近才擁有了自己的機台。

  • (Speaking Mandarin) The rent for the claw machine is not a problem for me.

    (中文) 這一台的話,基本上租金是沒有問題。

  • (Speaking Mandarin) I'll make a little bit of money, about 5000 or 3000 (NTD).

    (中文) 賺一點點而已,可能有時候賺個 5000、3000 這樣。

  • (Speaking Mandarin) When I'm playing the claw machine, I'll set a goal for myself.

    (中文) 夾娃娃機我會給自己設定一個目標。

  • (Speaking Mandarin) For example, that sock, my spending limit is 50 NTD.

    (中文) 比如說,我夾這個襪子,我只想花 50 塊,所以我最多 50 塊一定要夾到它。

  • (Speaking Mandarin) If I have to spend over that, I'll stop playing.

    (中文) 如果花超過 50 塊,我就不夾了。

  • (Speaking Mandarin) 50 NTD, two pairs!

    (中文) 50 塊。兩雙。

  • But experts say that the claw machine craze is a bubble waiting to burst.


  • (Speaking Mandarin) Taiwan has a lot of claw machines because the media keeps on reporting that it's a moneymaker.

    (中文) 台灣為什摩會有越來越多的娃娃機台,主要的原因是因為媒體一直說娃娃機非常賺錢。

  • (Speaking Mandarin) That's why everyone is getting into it.

    (中文) 才會一窩蜂地大家一起開。

  • (Speaking Mandarin) But these stores are popping up so quickly, so not every machine is making money.

    (中文) 其實因為展店的速度很快,所以不一定每個機台都那麼賺錢。

  • And the market seems to have reached overcapacity.


  • But for Pisuy, it's more than just an investment strategy.

    但對 Pisuy 來說,這不只是投資策略而已。

  • (Speaking Mandarin) My day job is pretty tiring.

    (中文) 因為工作都很累了。

  • (Speaking Mandarin) Whenever I win something from a claw machine, it brings me a bit of happiness.

    (中文) 如果能過透過這個機台,夾到東西,其實就是你生活中一個部分的小確幸。

  • (Speaking Mandarin) So I believe they are useful this way.

    (中文) 所以我覺得它是有必要性的存在。

  • So cute!

    (中文) 好可愛。

Claw machines are everywhere in Taiwan, from busy streets to corner stores like this one.


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