Here Comes Santa Claw

Here Comes Santa ClawHere Comes Santa Claw

Real Art’s latest project for kids (and clients) at heart

By Nicole Wroten

The Santa Claw sits inside Real Art's offices on E. First Street

So, what does Santa do with all of those left over presents that nobody included on their wish lists? Ask Dayton’s own Real Art Design Group.

On January 3, Real Art unveiled a one-of-a-kind, once-in-a-lifetime project with the Santa Claw. Yes, Claw. The design group has created a giant, virtually controlled claw game like you’re used to seeing in arcades and bowling alleys.

The Claw was created out of 2,000 pounds of steel, 700 feet of wire and one-and-a-half electric wheelchairs. It measures 17 feet x 8 feet x 12 feet. In order to operate the game virtually, a player can sign into its website (www.thesantaclaw.com) with a Facebook, Twitter or an e-mail account and control the Claw using either their computer keyboard or mouse. Two cameras give the players the proper viewpoints to control the claw to grab presents and drop them down the chute, “winning” various prizes. These prizes (one per household) will then be mailed directly to the player through a provided address (in the continental U.S. only).

Some of the prizes include: huge colorful bouncy balls, vintage toys, the complete Dokken collection on vinyl, Old English cologne, leather chaps, magic 8 balls, Zebra-striped Snuggies. “We even have some ultra cool stuff like Alien Workshop skateboards,” a news release described.

The design team of this project at Real Art has already boasted that it’s the largest Claw game in the world and has already submitted it for consideration to the “Guinness Book of World Records.”

According to the website, the story of the Santa Claw goes like this: “Have you ever wondered what happens to Santa’s leftover gifts? The ones that never appeared on Christmas wish lists? Well … nothing. Until now. This year, the Fat Man sent us all the unused presents and we gave them a home in the Santa Claw.”

a giant purple bouncy ball is one of the Santa Claw's possible prizes

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.

Every year, Real Art sends out a “Happy New Year” gift to their clients as a thank-you for their business over the last year. After building and developing the Santa Claw, Real Art mailed a giant metal token to all of their clients at the end of December.  The coin wished them a Happy New Year and invited them to log on to www.thesantaclaw.com on the launch date of Jan. 3 to play the game and win one of Santa’s leftovers.

There has been tremendous response to the game, not only from it being displayed in the Real Art building’s window, located at 520 E. First St. in Dayton, but from the number of people logging on to www.thesantaclaw.com and getting in line to operate the Claw. On the day of the launch, Real Art estimated there were over 19,000 people in line, which overloaded their system (Note: I logged on late last week to try it myself and found 489 people in line in front of me). The response has been overwhelming as has the promotional benefits for Real Art.

We thought it would be fun to make this giant claw machine,” said Patrice Hall, Real Art’s new media marketing strategist. “It is a giant promotion for us. Very fun.”

With over 30 years in the design world, Real Art has definitely created some amazing things, but never quite on this scale. When they’re not creating giant claw games, the company is a “full-service design firm that specializes in innovative design solutions for real business problems.” They operate studios in Dayton and Chicago.

The Santa Claw also has its own Facebook at facebook.com/thesantaclaw and it’s own Twitter, @thesantaclaw, so that after players have tried their luck at grabbing a prize, they can post it online.

After the success of the Santa Claw this year, I am sure every client of Real Art’s will be looking forward to 2012. Hopefully it will be just as fun and entertaining because a zebra-striped Snuggie? Yes, please.

To see the Santa Claw in person, visit Real Art Design Groups at 520 E. First St. in Dayton. To play the Santa Claw, visit www.thesantaclaw.com.

Reach DCP Editor Nicole Wroten at editor@daytoncitypaper.com.


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