Leica cameras are highly collectible, especially ones that are rare and hard to find. But here’s one that’s equivalent to hunting for sasquatch or chupacabra, except it was real (sort of) but just never produced. And unlike the special edition Hermès or one-of-a-kind aluminum from Jony Ive and Marc Newson, it’s made entirely out of plastic. Huh, you ask?
OK, this special Leica was not so much a camera, but a planned promotional item for customers in Brazil. This plastic Leica was to be a DIY hobby-style kit that you put together using pieces you snap off, similar in concept to the Lomography Konstruktor. It doesn’t work because there aren’t any real photo components, but, once built, you get a plastic clone of a Leica rangefinder.
The idea was to present customers with a thank-you poster for buying a Leica M camera, and celebrate Leica’s 100th anniversary; the poster would contain the plastic parts that snap off. But because the cost of making this camera kit turned out to be too expensive, the project was scrapped. Marco Riberio was able to get a prototype, and posted a video of it being put together.
So, we don’t know if this counts as a collectible Leica camera, but die-hard Leica fans might want to search for one to add to their collection anyhow – if there’s even more than one. Maybe in the near future, when costs become less prohibitive, Leica can start churning these things out.