After a three-hour drive from the Riverland, Jos Waechter was desperate to let her rambunctious 13-month old boy Lewis stretch his legs at Marion Shopping Centre.

But in the time it took for her to look away and then back again the adventurous Lewis had scrambled into the Emoji Movie skill tester arcade machine, surprising his mother by appearing happily among the plush toys.

The Waechter family made the long trip from their home in Kingston-On-Murray to Marion Shopping Centre because four-year-old Abigail was desperate to see the My Little Pony movie.

Life on the inside. Photo / Supplied
Life on the inside. Photo / Supplied

"While my husband Jason was inside with her watching the movie we waited outside," Ms Waechter said.

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"We went to the playground and I let him run around a bit.

"I struck up a conversation with some gentleman and had put $5 in the machine. I had a couple of tries and Lewis was at my feet playing with the control stick.

"I was chatting to the guys and in the time it took to look away and back again he was gone."

Ms Waechter, 38, thought at first Lewis had slipped down the side of the machine but then his head appeared among the plush toys inside the machine.

Inside the machine, among more plush toys than he knew what to do with, Lewis was loving life.

One-year-old Lewis Waechter with his mum Jos Waechter, after his adventure. Photo / Supplied
One-year-old Lewis Waechter with his mum Jos Waechter, after his adventure. Photo / Supplied

The toddler had recently begun to master walking and according to his mother was a fan of exploring cabinets and closets at home.

A worker from the nearby arcade came with and opened up the machine.

"He was only in there for between five and ten minutes," Ms Waechter said.

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"When the owner got him out they gave him a little devil plush toy, which I thought was appropriate.

"He's just started walking so I know I'm going to have to keep an eye on him."