See Also: Aliens, the toys held in the claw
- "The claw is our master."
"The claw chooses who will go and who will stay."
- —Two of the aliens in the Space Crane game
In Toy Story, Buzz catches sight of the claw, thinking it is a spaceship that will take him to his "destination," and enters the rocket-shaped game. Inside, he meets some aliens who worship the claw because they believe if one of them is chosen, they will go on to a better place, an idea that is very much the product of being trapped inside the crane game their whole lives. One of the aliens gets fished out by the claw as Woody eventually catches up with Buzz. Unfortunately, Andy's violent next-door neighbor, Sid (who loves to torture toys), is seen taking control of the claw and fishes Buzz and Woody out.
Toy Story 3
In Toy Story 3, the aliens again show their obsession with the claw when a construction vehicle toy with a claw on it drives by them at Sunnyside Daycare. Later, after the toys are dumped at the Tri-County Landfill, the aliens spot a large crane in the distance, which they dub "The claw," and run toward it. Then, when the toys are about to be destroyed by an incinerator, they are rescued by the aliens using the same crane with a claw that has five fingers.
- The Claw also appears in the Toy Story video game in the level called the "The Claw!" in PC, Genesis and Super Nintendo Entertainment System versions.
- The claw is also in the Toy Story 2 teaser trailer.
- The rescue of our heroes at the end of Toy Story 3 is an example of the plot device "deus ex machina." Translated into English, this Latin phrase means "god out of a machine," or an unforeseen change in events serving to save the protagonist(s). The Claw, being a machine that is a god to the Aliens, is a literal manifestation of this plot device.
- In the online game Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft, there is a card from Druid's basic set named "Claw", and its flavor text reads: "The claw decides who will stay and who will go."