Barbies, Razor Scooters, Pokemon Cards, Gameboys, Polly Pockets, Beanie Babies.
“Toys” was such a vast category when we were children. Nowadays, if I say I got a new toy, eyebrows raise. Adult toy means one of two things. I either got something for the bedroom, or a BMW. And we all know I didn’t get a BMW…
Sure, you could argue that this toy could easily be a bedroom item, I can assure you those were not my original intentions. Keepin’ things SFW on this blog…
Behold the Fujifilm Instax Mini 8 (God, it even sounds like a bedroom toy, huh…?).
This adorable little nugget showed up in my Urban Outfitters email newsletter, on sale for $80. I understand that to most this seems like absolute nonsense. But to me, it was 80 bucks for instant, physical timepieces to cherish and admire. To adorn the walls of my apartment. To mimic Taylor Swift’s 1989 Album. To write ironic hashtags in the white space and leave ominously in bathroom stalls. To have pictures the size of a credit cards, so when people ask to see my future Pomeranian Husky “Pocket,” I can pull out an actual photo. Pull out a picture of Pocket from my pocket!!! IT WAS TOO GOOD.
I emailed my trusted female work advisors, whom I consult before most online purchases.
“Please talk me off the ledge, or push me over. I can’t decide if this is a completely necessary impulse purchase that will result in years of joy or regret.”
“Do it – $80 for priceless memories.” Thank you, LJ. You get me.
Then I did what every self-respecting internet shopper does. I oogled the item on UO’s site, then bought it for cheaper on Amazon. $72.45. Including the camera and two packages of film. Shipped to my door in 2 days. Sometimes I feel like such a internet floozy. Using my favorite websites for visual stimulation, product reviews, and captivating content. Then tossing these retailers to the side like a leather satchel and giving all my money to Amazon. But it’s not my fault that Amazon always has the best prices. Get it together, E-commerce.
Anticipating a trip to Madison for UW’s Homecoming, I ecstatically reached out to my friends to tell them about my new toy that would dramatically change our memory-making. Insert virtual eye-brow raising emoji. “GUYS. I GOT A POLAROID.”
It’s too easy to just tell people I got a Polaroid. But working in marketing, it kills my soul a little bit. I’m part of the problem. It doesn’t make sense to tell people I got a Fujifilm. But everyone gets it when I tell them I got a Polaroid. Polaroid has just become the generic trademark for instant photo products. Take Kleenex. Chapstick. Cellophane. If there was a Maslow’s triangle for product life-cycle, those brands would have reached the self-actualization peak. For your brand to become the product – that’s marketing gold. And Polaroid did it. And it’s gonna take a long time for me to get comfortable saying “Ooohhh let’s take a Fujifilm!” But for the sake of this new amazing machinery, and in effort to be a natural brand ambassador (or get to paid for this post…), I will try.
So far this new toy has fit snugly in most of my purses, and provided a great photo staging opportunity at football games, girls nights, and capturing the souls of dogs. But it’s also given me a creative, fulfilling outlet that doesn’t involve the approval of others. It’s not a Snapchat story or an Instagram post for me to derive self-worth from based on views/likes. It’s a little treasure for just me. All mine. To appreciate it all by myself. And maybe you, if I’m generous enough to let you keep the one and only original copy.
I’ve actually already used my Fujifilm as an in-the-moment present. Trusted female work adviser #2 – LK – had a little going away breakfast this morning before her big move to Cali. What better sending off present than a wallet-sized memento of her favorite Minne team? I mean, yeah we ended up scanning it so everyone could have access to the gem…but…irrelevant.
All in all, this purchase has been completely worth it. And fun. Sure, I’ll have to buy extra film for the rest of my life… but at least I just gave my mom an easy idea for a stocking-stuffer…(wink wink, nudge nudge).
With the Fujiflm, I feel even more like a professional photographer than I do on Instagram. I have to set the perfect photo stage. Judge lighting. Find the right background. I only get one shot after all! Kind of makes me feel like an artistic director… and it’s ALWAYS a conversation starter when people watch me pull this plastic bubble camera out of my bag. I basically reek of hipster. I’m already looking forward to purchasing those silver Ikea clothing lines and buying little baby clothes pins to make some Pinterest-worthy home decor.
Mini photos. Mini clothes pins. Mini 8. Everything’s just better in miniature form. Except coffee. That I prefer to come in a vat.
But then again…