Fans of both vintage film cameras and Barbie can now grab a camera that’s covered in childhood nostalgia. On Barbie’s 61st birthday, March 9, Retrospekt, a company restoring classic film cameras, launched the limited edition Polaroid 600 Barbie Throwback. The camera uses refurbished parts from 80s and 90s Polaroids inside a new plastic body with a classic Barbie look.
The camera is made from classic Polaroid 600 camera parts restored and tested by Retrospekt. The company takes old Polaroids and strips everything down to the basic parts. After cleaning and inspection, the classic innards are paired with a new molded-plastic housing.
Despite the part-refurbished parts, the camera is officially licensed by both Polaroid and Mattel, the owners of the Barbie brand. The all-new pink, purple, and green exterior is inspired by a Barbie camera launched in 1999 and uses the script font Barbie logo that launched with the earliest of these cameras. The company says that they worked with a chemist to ensure the new plastic would match the real 1990s camera.
Like original Polaroid 600 cameras, the camera doesn’t need a battery, because it’s built into the film pack. The film cartridge itself has metal contacts that transfer power to the motor to eject the film and operate the flash.
The camera takes Polaroid Originals 600 film, which is widely available in black and white or color. Even the box, Retrospekt says, is inspired by the original packaging, though it adapts a holographic front.
Polaroid 600 cameras were popular in the 80s and 90s, favored for the simple point-and-shoot use and low price point. Polaroid often launched special edition designs, and, now, Polaroid Originals keeps up that tradition with new styles for the Polaroid OneStep 2.
Retrospekt is a Wisconsin-based company that refurbishes old cameras, cassette players, and game consoles with a mix of old and new parts. The company has re-mixed both instant film and 35mm cameras. The company also offers repairs.
The Polaroid 600 Barbie Throwback is available for about $150 from Retrospekt’s website. The company says the Barbie throwback cameras will be done in a limited run, but did not specify how many models would be sold.
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