Kodak Super 8 film camera revival is finally happening but there’s a huge catch

The Super 8 film camera has become an important part of photography history, particularly when it comes to cinematography. The distinctive design of the camera and its unique format inspired many amateurs who would later become industry veterans, and that legacy is fondly remembered and even commemorated in a 2011 movie bearing the camera’s very name. Not long after that film was released, Kodak, whose name has become closely associated with the camera, announced a new version of this beloved camera that sticks true to its unique analog experience while adding a few digital conveniences. Almost 8 years later, that camera might finally be ready to roll, but it seems that very few fans will actually be able to get their hands on it.

Designer: Kodak

The Super 8 camera can probably be credited for giving birth to home movies that are now made using smartphones. Making motion picture cameras more accessible to the masses helped aspiring moviemakers get started without having to burn through their savings. Although Super 8 cameras are actually still available today, they are already considered vintage by today’s standards, especially because of their use of physical film. That said, a faithful Super 8 successor won’t be able to win hearts unless it also stays true to that format and medium.

That’s exactly what Kodak was going for when it revealed plans to upgrade the Super 8 camera back in 2016 at CES. It would still be a film camera like its predecessors, but it would add a few convenient features taken from digital cameras. The new Super 8 would also retain the same basic shape, especially the gun-like pistol grip that has become iconic of the camera’s design. There’s an addition of a top handle with an integrated run button for more difficult angles. It does modernize the aesthetic, though, adopting a more industrial appearance with plenty of flat planes and sharp angles. It is a look that’s both fresh and new yet still unambiguously Super 8.

As for those modern conveniences, it sports a 4-inch LCD swiveling viewfinder, similar to all video cameras today. It comes with a detachable wide-angle 6mm 1:1.2 C-mount lens, so you can actually use any other C-mount prime lens or adapters, depending on what you need. There’s an SD card reader for recording audio directly into storage, as well as a micro HDMI port for connecting an external monitor. Ironically, despite all the new hardware, the camera still charges with an old and slow micro USB connection. And yes, it still shoots on analog film, so you’ll need to make sure to have a stock of KODAK’s Super 8 cartridges at hand.

Given how long ago the announcement was, there were perhaps some doubts about whether Kodak would actually be able to pull this off at all. The good news is that Kodak has finally opened up sign-ups, with shipping expected to start next month. The bad news is that, in addition to limited availability, the price tag for this new Kodak Super 8 film camera is a whopping $5,495, more than twice the announced SRP back in 2016. This immediately puts it out of the reach of all but the most dedicated collectors, a rather disappointing U-turn for a camera that originally catered to amateurs and aspiring moviemakers.

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Analogue Pocket Classic retro gaming handheld puts the color in Game Boy Color

Just because you’re trying to design a retro interpretation of an old design doesn’t mean you have to copy the original inch for inch. In fact, it might even be illegal in some cases to be an exact replica of the product you’re trying to pay homage to. It’s definitely a good opportunity to address the flaws of the past or to implement designs that were intended but couldn’t be implemented because of the limitations or tastes of ages past. It wouldn’t make sense, for example, for a modern recreation of the Game Boy Color to display the extremely limited palette of the original in this day and age. Fortunately, Analogue had the sense to equip its retro gaming handheld with modern capabilities while staying faithful to the original’s essence. So faithful that it, in fact, even tried to recreate the playful colors of the Game Boy Color while also expanding that selection with almost all the colors of the rainbow and then some.

Designer: Analogue

Even by yesteryear’s standards, the Game Boy Color’s chunky design clearly earmarked it as a toy for kids. Those kids, however, have now grown up, and many of them want to relive those fun-filled days but probably with something that doesn’t look like it was plucked out of a time capsule. The Analogue Pocket is an attempt to feed this hunger while also making the design and the heritage accessible to a lot more people. Its more modern and sleeker aesthetic easily appeals to gamers of all ages but still exudes that charm that made the GBC an icon. Still, the retro handheld seemed to be missing one particular element that would really set it apart from other Game Boy Color recreations.

That missing piece of the puzzle was delivered by the “Classic” edition of the Analogue Pocket, which basically gives the device a colorful paint job. The very first GBC was a rather boring and very industrial gray, but the market eventually exploded in a variety of colors, including a transparent one. The Analogue Pocket Classic brings back not just one or two or five of these but offers no less than eight hues. That’s on top of the plain black, white, transparent, and glow-in-the-dark editions that came out in the past.

The full palette includes Indigo, Red, Green, Blue, Yellow, Pink, Orange, and Silver, all of which Analogue boasts have been color-matched to the original models. It might just be a change of hue, but it immediately gives the Pocket a vibrant character befitting of a gaming device. With these accurate colors and the overall design of the handheld, there is very little doubt that this retro revival truly captures the spirit of the Game Boy Color as faithfully as it can without tripping over legal landmines.

The story doesn’t end on a high note, unfortunately, with all variants of the Analogue Pocket now declared to be completely sold out. That’s true for this colorful yet limited run of the “Classic” edition as well as the original models. It’s uncertain if these will ever return to shelves, and collectors will have to stay on their toes while waiting for hopeful news in the coming days.

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This retro gaming console is actually a mini PC disguised as a classic Macintosh

Nostalgia is a very powerful emotion, especially judging by the number of successful “retro” products sold in the market in the past years. Although the flood has seemingly trickled down a bit, it continues to flow especially in the gaming scene. Old gaming brands have suddenly resurfaced to bring nearly forgotten designs to the present, taking previous generations down memory lane while introducing today’s gamers to old-school experiences. While some of these retro consoles actually try to relive the past, this interesting and rather cute box might take your head for a spin with its Mac design and PC internals, combined to offer not just a gaming computer but a piece of desk decoration as well.

Designer: AYANEO

Compared to the computers put out by the likes of Atari and Commodore, the early PCs didn’t really have a memorable design that would go down in history as iconic computers. It was the original Apple Macintosh, instead, that captured people’s attention and imagination of what a home personal computer should look like. Of course, that was decades in the past, but the imagery has stood the test of time as proof of the design’s timeless character. AYANEO, a brand better known for gaming handhelds, is now taking that immensely popular design and giving it a rather curious twist.

As part of its AYANEO REMAKE concept line, the AYANEO Retro Mini PC AM01 slaps the old Mac design onto a new machine. The basic elements that have distinguished one of Apple’s earliest successes are there, tweaked a bit to avoid potential controversies, of course. There’s the telltale sign of a floppy drive, as well as a square rainbow badge that’s a nod to the old Apple logo. There’s a black rectangle near the top that’s purely cosmetic, denoting where the screen is supposed to be located. There’s nothing there, though, which is a bit of a waste, but it doesn’t really matter considering how the mini PC is used.

Unlike the Mac, the AYANEO Retro Mini PC is meant to lie down on its “back” rather than standing up, with that black rectangle in the rear. That’s because the ports for the computer are actually located on what would have been the top and bottom sides, so it has to be horizontal to actually be useful. Of course, this product is a gaming console anyway, not a standalone computer with a built-in display, so you’ll need to plug in peripherals to make it work. And yes, it runs Windows 11, which, given the eternal rivalry between Macs and PCs, some might find a bit insulting.

AYANEO has other retro designs also in the pipeline, including the Retro Mini PC AM02 that takes after the classic NES design. Curiously, that one does have a functional mini display since it can actually be used upright. It’s also working on a handheld that brings back the dual-display design of the not-so-old Nintendo DS, though the practical purpose of that second display is yet to be revealed.

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8bitDo Retro Mechanical Keyboard turns an old iconic console design into a fun-looking keyboard

When you talk about video games, most people will probably think of game controllers immediately, even if a large chunk of these aren’t played that way. Even disregarding mobile games that only use touch screens, many are actually played with good, “old-fashioned” keyboard and mouse. There are, of course, keyboards made for gaming, with noisy mechanical switches and bright RBG lights, but most of these are designed to match the aesthetics of most computers, which is to say they almost always come in black, a few in off-white. Nothing screams “gaming,” however, more than a keyboard that’s designed to look like a gaming console. Ever the masters of making old things new, 8bitDo is coming out with its very first keyboard, one that pays homage to a gaming classic in an endearing and tasteful way.

Designer: 8bitDo

8bitDo is a brand best known for its multitude of game controllers catering not just to console owners but also to PC gamers. Although many of these look like your typical gamepads, the company has a penchant for applying the design language of past gaming controllers to present products, giving an ode to the rich history of video games. Its portfolio, however, has been growing recently to cover other accessories and gadgets, including a wireless charging pad, a wireless speaker, and a computer mouse. For the first time, it’s dipping its toes into keyboard territory, and what better way to start that venture than with one of the most iconic consoles in history?

Launched in the 80s, the Nintendo Entertainment System or NES, which was called the Family Computer or Famicom in Japan, kickstarted Nintendo’s own journey from making playing cards to the gaming giant it is today. Although it is hardly the first home gaming console to be launched to the masses, it is one of the few to have gained worldwide acclaim to the point of being an icon. The new 8bitDo Retro Mechanical Keyboard pays tribute to this landmark gaming device but does more than just get a paint job to match the gray or red themes of the NES and Famicom, respectively.

The retro keyboard is filled to the brim with details that will really give you that old-school vibe, from the fonts used on the keycaps to the analogy dials for volume and for switching between Bluetooth or Wireless modes. There’s even a classic power light that thankfully uses a more modern LED. The package also includes two giant programmable red buttons in the style of the A and B buttons of the original NES controller. You can connect up to four of these pairs via a 3.5mm headphone jack, which is a pretty old-school connector by now.

As for the keyboard itself, it’s a tenkeyless keyboard, which means you don’t get a numeric keypad on the side. Like with many mechanical keyboards, you have the option to change not only the keycaps but even the switches to your liking. It can connect via Bluetooth, the included wireless RF receiver, or a USB cable. Unlike most gaming keyboards, however, there is no backlighting at all. The 8bitDo Retro Mechanical Keyboard costs $99.99 and will ship starting in September. If you really dig the NES motif, you might be tempted to also grab the brand’s N30 wireless mouse which was also inspired by the classic console.

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This seemingly real cassette tape is actually a fun power bank in disguise

Power banks or portable batteries are a common part of modern life. While our devices are continually getting more powerful, the batteries inside them haven’t exactly evolved at the same pace. Faster charging and power banks are our stopgap measures until batteries become a lot better without increasing their sizes. Thanks to this situation, the market for portable batteries has grown and thrived, offering people a dizzying number of choices ranging in size, capacity, and features. Of course, there are also different designs as well, but the majority of power banks seem to come in elegant yet drab shades of white, black, and gray. From time to time, however, we do come upon a distinctive-looking design, such as this rather cute power bank that emulates the look of an old-school cassette tape almost perfectly.

Designer: Remax

OK, it isn’t a completely faithful rendition of the well-known medium. It’s rather thick, closer to a Video 8 than a cassette tape, but the markings are all in the right places. Naturally, there are no reels to turn, which would have required a more complex internal design that would make it more inefficient as a portable battery. Accurate imitation shouldn’t get in the way of functionality, especially for a critical accessory such as this.

Regardless of those minor drawbacks, the Remax Powerbank Tape still packs quite a punch when it comes to visual appeal and “wow” factor. Whether it’s the yellow original, the Apple Lightning-equipped red variant, or the new green and yellow update, the cassette tape battery is sure to catch people’s attention, especially once you take it out and plug it into your phone. It even has a transparent case just to complete the illusion of an old-school product.

The Remax Powerbank Tape isn’t lacking in features either, at least on paper. The original model supports both the old micro USB connector and USB-C for input, while only the red has support for Apple Lightning to charge the power bank itself. The newer 2023 model sets itself apart by including two pull-out USB-C cables for output. There’s an assortment of other ports, though, including full-sized USB-A, and in some cases, a small LED flashlight. The location of the ports also depends on which model you buy, and there can be different options, depending on where you’re looking.

That said, you might have second thoughts about investing in this rather adorable blast from the past. Availability is a hit or miss, and you can’t exactly be assured of the quality when it comes to online retailers. There are also some inconsistencies with the specs, like the actual rated capacity of the battery versus its advertised capacity. Given its low average selling price, though, it still makes for an interesting gift, like those short-lived power banks some people give away at events.

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Instax SQUARE SQ40 makes a literally big gamble on the fusion of past and present

Although it might not be as hyped or as loud as before, there is still a strong “retro” design trend today as people continue to rediscover and appreciate the aesthetics and values of their forebears. Vinyl records and players are still attracting audiophiles, while the iconic “Polaroid” photo format continues to tickle the fancy of even younger generations. The latter is, of course, possible with any smartphone and a specialized printer, but that only delivers half the joy of the instant photo experience. That other half is courtesy of a dedicated instant camera, and the latest addition to that roster is perhaps the biggest and boldest attempt at appealing to all generations of shutterbugs, bearing details from not one but two “old-school” cameras for modern people to enjoy today.

Designer: Fujifilm

It’s almost surprising that the Instax line of Polaroid-like cameras would take the photography market by storm despite their inherent technical limitations. Despite their attachment to social media and selfies, the “instant” generation found themselves drawn to these rather adorable non-digital cameras, appealing to their sense of instant gratification, desire to share, and love of novelty. The new Instax SQUARE SQ40 retains these qualities, particularly with the use of a special photo paper and instant printout of photos, but it also takes the design in another direction to grab the attention of more earnest photographers.

Right off the bat, the Instax SQUARE SQ40 looks bigger than its predecessors, though the brand promises it is designed to easily fit in your hand. In this regard, it takes some cues from traditional cameras, such as those that Fujifilm produces, including the use of a textured leather-like black surface that gives it a more stylish and elegant appearance. There’s even a camera case specially designed for this shooter that also uses a kind of tactile material not unlike leather.


Although it pays homage to instant and traditional cameras of the past, the Instax SQUARE SQ40 has its feet, pardon the pun, squarely planted in the present. An auto-exposure feature lets you take usable photos even in the dark without having to fiddle with settings or dials. More importantly, a twist of the telescopic lens ring activates the camera’s “selfie mode,” revealing a tiny mirror that will help you frame the perfect shot, even if you have to squint a bit.

The Instax SQUARE SQ40 not only continues the retro instant camera trend but upsizes it and gives it a bit of a different character. Of course, there will be plenty of practical arguments against this kind of camera, especially with a larger size that makes it hard to easily stash in bags. For avid photographers who want to share a unique and truly one-of-a-kind photo, however, the $149.95 price tag might actually be just fine, though you’ll have to also take into account the boxes of film you’ll also have to buy in the long run.

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Beautiful messaging display creates a delightful way to connect with family and colleagues

As convenient and as empowering as smartphones may be, they have also become the source of some of modern life’s social and psychological ills. They break down geographical barriers and easily connect us with people around the world, but they ironically also isolate us from persons who are just right across the room. Large smart displays are starting to appear on our walls, serving to increase both the efficiency as well as the separation in our lives at home and in the workplace. Fortunately, these are not the only ways we can communicate with one another, even from afar, and that’s where Vestaboard comes in, a striking one-of-a-kind messaging display that offers an alternative that is simpler, more memorable, and, most importantly, more engaging.

Designers: Faiza Moore & Fred Bould

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The magic of split-flap signage has long been relegated to industrial or transportation use due to its size and cost, but it remains an interesting way to get the message across. There’s just something mesmerizing about seeing those flaps shuffled to the right character or number, as well as hearing the distinct sound that they produce. It has that distinct retro charm that is all the rave these days, but, more importantly, it creates a more personal and more engaging atmosphere than even the prettiest colored graphics on a regular smart display.

Vestaboard offers 6 rows of 22 split-flap character units that can each display letters, numbers, symbols, and all the colors of a rainbow. That gives you a total of 132 “bits” that you can from a mobile app or from the Web, allowing you to easily send messages to anyone at home or in the office, even if you’re half a world away. You can show inspirational quotes, personalized messages, reminders, to-do lists, schedules, and more. You can even try creating patterns or low-res graphics reminiscent of the 8-bit graphics of old. And while you will definitely find it fun and inspiring to craft those messages, those on the receiving end will also enjoy seeing the display change in real-time as well.

Although 132 “characters” might feel limiting, it can actually make your creativity really shine through by wisely using every single bit available. Or you can select from messages made and shared by Vestaboard’s passionate community. The Vestaboard+ paid subscription even lets you hook it up with Google Calendar, Spotify, Sonos, or major league sports, just to name a few, to automate the messages you can put up for everyone to see. It might be an optional service, but it definitely gives Vestaboard an upgrade that makes it a more personal and personalized experience than any smart home assistant or display.

Technology should help make human lives easier, but not at the expense of cutting them off from their loved ones. Yes, you can send out a short instant message in a flash, but nothing creates more impact than that same message delivered in an eye-catching and spectacular manner. With a rapid split-flap movement and a fluttering sound, your messages of love and motivation will last longer in people’s minds, even long after the message has gone. Why settle for an ordinary text message when you can have the same delivered in a more thoughtful and engaging way with the beautiful Vestaboard messaging display.

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This desktop gadget helps students study on their own by making them more social

Although many schools have returned to traditional face-to-face interactions, there are still some that utilize online classes. Even without these more recent changes in school systems around the world, there have always been times when students had to face their school work on their own, separated from classmates and friends. Of course, smartphones and computers make connecting with others remotely all too easy to the point that they become distractions instead. Striking a balance between focus and socialization in the age of the Internet can be a daunting prospect for both students and their parents; that’s why this rather curious touch screen device tries to perform that delicate dance by connecting students to one another without becoming a distraction.

Designers: Simay Tokus, Muhammet Uzuntas, Brenda Gallardo Flores

Self-study has long been encouraged by many education systems, but let’s face it, few students really enjoy and thrive in that environment. While they may be able to focus for some time, they eventually find themselves craving a connection with their classmates, especially when they come across a problem they can’t solve on their own. Smartphones and the Internet break down barriers and connect students to one another easily. Unfortunately, they also become a source of distraction, even when the screen is turned off.

Summy is a dedicated device designed to keep students connected while still setting up limits to how many interruptions they can do. At its most basic, the device is a voice messenger, a timer, a daily planner, and a sort of social network among friends, most likely students in the same class or level. The idea is that you only get to send short voice messages to those in your circle, at least only when they’re available.


The device uses a UI made of concentric circles and icons represented by old-school monochrome 8-bit characters. Tapping on a friend’s icon allows you to send a voice message, which is more limited and less disruptive than a voice call. You can view other friends’ daily schedules, and if they’re free, you can send a “Study with Me” request so that both of you can set a synchronized timer to study for the same time period.

Summy creates a rather playful atmosphere around the concept of studying together, even remotely, making it easier for students, especially younger ones, to adjust to the system that might remind them of mobile games that have short bursts of activity and communication only. The spherical shape of the device reinforces that playful character, especially with how the screen flips over to turn off the device. Of course, this only works if the student has a number of friends willing to play the same “game,” but Summy can also be a fun gadget to keep tabs on their own time and maybe have a retro display on their desk to keep them entertained.


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Shargeek’s tiny 35W GaN fast charger is an adorable retro throwback for all Apple fans!

Looking for a good fast charger for your iPhone? Shargeek just designed the perfect one!

Now the Retro 35W GaN Charger from Shargeek isn’t as impressive as is much more popular transparent cyberpunk-inspired power bank, but it has a different sort of appeal that most tech nerds will instantly fall in love with. The charging brick models itself on the original Macintosh computer, complete with the MacOS ‘smiling’ logo displayed on the tiny computer’s screen. Built with a GaN semiconductor on the inside, the tiny charger comes with a max output of 35W, which is enough to fast-charge your iPhone or any other device. Plug it in and not only does it charge your device, but the Mac’s screen comes to life too, lighting up in various colors to let you know your device’s charging status!

Designer: Shargeek

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The highlight of this tiny charger is its design. Created as a perfect tribute to the Macintosh and also a rather funny juxtaposition of an old-tech exterior but a state-of-the-art GaN interior, the charging brick sits on your plug socket or extension board, smiling at you while delivering juice to your devices. The smiling screen also comes with its own LED backlight which just feels like an incredibly joy-giving experience on its own. Plug your charger in and the backlight lets you know the charging status. A white light means ‘not charging’, while yellow, blue, and green lights range between normal to fast, and finally ‘super’ charging.

As adorably tiny as it looks, the Mac-shaped charger packs a punch. Powered by GaN Ⅲ technology, the charger delivers up to 35W of power in its tiny avatar, charging devices like your phone, tablet, TWS earbuds, drone, handheld gaming console, and even your laptop. Its ability to deliver high wattage to your devices makes them charge faster (that’s putting it simply) – for instance, the Retro 35W GaN Charger gates your iPhone 14 from 0% to 50% battery in just 30 minutes.

The retro-inspired charger is compatible with a wide range of devices, almost an antithesis to Apple’s own ‘walled garden’. It’s tiny enough to fit in your pocket and weighs a mere 55 grams or 2 ounces. Each Shargeek Retro 35W GaN charger also comes with a set of DIY stickers that you can place on the tiny Mac’s screen, effectively changing your charger’s ‘wallpaper’!

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TinyTV Miniature Video Displays

TinyTV 2 and TinyTV Mini are miniature video displays in the form of old CRT televisions. Currently, an already heavily funded Kickstarter project, prices start at $49 and go up from there depending on the style and color of the television case and the inclusion of an equally tiny remote control. Obviously, I might just be receiving that World’s Best Uncle award sooner than I thought if I get one of these for my niece’s dollhouse.

The TinyTV 2 (the larger of the two tiny models) features a 216×135 pixel display, functional rotary knobs on the front for adjusting volume and changing the channel (next video file), a forward-facing speaker, 8GB storage (~10 hours of video) and a Li-polymer battery with about 2 hours of power. The TinyTV Mini features a 64×64 pixel OLED display, volume and channel buttons on top, an internal speaker, 8GB storage (~40 hours of video at this resolution), and a Li-polymer battery with about 1 hour of power. Both can easily have video footage uploaded, and their batteries recharged via USB-C cable, as well as be operated using an IR remote.

Most people want as large a TV as they can fit in front of the sofa, so it’s refreshing to see ultra-miniature televisions for a change. Plus, they’re much more budget-friendly. Sure I’ll likely miss a lot of the finer details watching House of the Dragon, but those dragons would probably scare me on the big screen anyways.