"I had zero chance to react to it; it was unbelievable how fast he climbed up there," Mr Hopper told the Australian news outlet. "He always opens up the flap to be an opportunist, and then within a split second, he crawled into the machine, and the door closed behind him."
Ethan appeared to be having the time of his life, playing with all the stuffed animals inside the machine.
"He stood up and realised what had happened, he climbed over the perplex glass and was king of the mountain," he said.
The Queensland Police Department was called to rescue the boy from the machine. Unable to find the key to open the top, the officers had to break the glass.
The boy cooperated with police and stood in the back corner and covered his eyes while they smashed the glass to free him. The department shared the video of his rescue on X.
"Ethan and the Police: 1Claw Machine: 0," they wrote.