Hello Kitty Polaroid Camera: Reviews and Buying Guide

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Hello Kitty may once have been a more niche interest, but now Sanrio’s feline character is popular not only in Japan, but also in the USA and all around the world! Polaroid cameras and instant photos are one area taking full advantage of Hello Kitty’s popularity. 

There are three different instant cameras with Hello Kitty themes available today, but only one of these Hello Kitty instant cameras is actually produced by the actual Polaroid company.

Fujifilm, which is currently dominating the market in instant cameras with its Instax line, offers two slightly differing, and far more affordable, Hello Kitty options than its Polaroid counterpart.

Want to know more about how Hello Kitty has made its way into the Polaroid world? Keep reading to learn about both of the different Hello Kitty polaroid camera models, and the accessories that they come with!

Hello Kitty Polaroid Camera

The Origins of the Hello Kitty Polaroid Camera

In the late 90s, Polaroid engaged in a very unique cross-brand collaboration with Hello Kitty. At the time, this famous pink and white kitty was huge in Japan, and Polaroid’s special limited edition 600 camera, complete with pink houndstooth and the Hello Kitty face, was only released in that country.

Nowadays, getting a refurbished Polaroid 600 Hello Kitty Instant Camera will cost you around $430, and that’s if you’re lucky enough to be able to score when Polaroid actually has one of these vintage cameras in stock. When they’re in, they go fast. 

It’s not only collectors who are interested in Hello Kitty Instant Cameras. The popularity of both instant cameras and Hello Kitty are higher than ever. Hello Kitty, especially, has achieved far wider global appeal since the 1990s. It’s popular with both children and adults.

Polaroid’s competitor, Fujifilm, has brought the Hello Kitty instant camera out of the collector’s vault with its extremely popular Instax Mini cameras. While you’ll have a hard time finding one of the limited edition Hello Kitty Polaroid 600 cameras, Fujifilm has two Hello Kitty designs currently on the market, at much better prices.

1. Fujifilm Instax Hello Kitty Polaroid Camera – International Version

Fujifilm’s first Hello Kitty polaroid camera changes the shape of the camera itself into Hello Kitty’s face shape, complete with her signature pointy ears. Of course, it also features a bow. It wouldn’t be Hello Kitty without it.  

It may not be a limited edition or vintage like the Hello Kitty Polaroid 600 camera, but it’s cute and takes great photos! In a world of cookie-cutter products, this can be a truly unique gift. It is significantly more affordable than the Polaroid 600 camera.

The Hello Kitty Instax International Version comes in two colors: pink and red. The pink version has a pink bow and lighter pink wrapping around the cream-colored body. The red version is a red bow with yellow wrapping around the cream body.

You might be able to find the third color variation for sale, which has since been discontinued by the manufacturer. This discontinued version is a slightly brighter shade of pink bow with a matching pink wrap around the body of the camera.

Settings

This cat-shaped camera is the same model as the Instax Mini 8. It uses a manual dial around the lens to change the aperture and exposure of the pictures. It features five different brightness settings for different light levels:

  • Very Sunny (f/32 aperture): This setting lets in the least amount of light. It’s best used in situations when there’s already a lot of bright light. 
  • Sunny (f/22 aperture): This is best for outside photos during the day where the sun isn’t fully glaring. Slightly cloudy days are good. If you happen to be taking pictures with LED light fixtures, this may also be a better setting than the indoor setting.
  •  Cloudy (f/16 aperture): If it’s overcast but you still want to take pictures outdoors, this is the setting for you. This setting would also work well in other low-light situations, such as a sunset or brightly lit indoor settings.
  • Indoors (f/12.7 aperture): This setting is not only great for indoor photos, but also for photos taken at night. It should also be used for most pictures with a lot of shadows.
  • Hi Key: This setting is the brightest. It creates photos that are soft and bright. It works best in situations where the indoor setting would otherwise be used, or at nighttime. If you have low lighting indoors you may also want to consider using this setting.

If you’re worried about selecting the right mode to have your pictures come out looking great, you can rest at ease! The camera will automatically detect the lighting, and suggest the best setting by lighting up. Then, you simply have to turn the dial to the suggested setting for a great photo.

Even though this Hello Kitty polaroid camera automatically detects the best setting, the decision remains yours about whether to use it. Choosing a different setting can create different effects in your photos. 

For example, taking a photo using the sunny setting when the camera suggests very sunny will create brighter pictures. In the same way, picking cloudy when the camera suggests indoors will result in a darker photo.

Purchasing some extra film to get familiar with the settings may be required before pictures start turning out the way you want them to. It wouldn’t be fun to run out of film just as you get the hang of the camera! Ten pictures aren’t much.

Other Specifications

While you can control the aperture size through the settings, Fujifilm’s Hello Kitty Instax International Version has several set specifications that you’ll want to keep in mind before purchasing.

  • Range: 0.6 meters and up
  • Shutter Speed: 1/60 seconds
  • Focal Length: 60mm
  • Usable Flash Range: 0.6 meters to 2.7 meters

Included With the Camera

The excitement with the Hello Kitty Instax International Version doesn’t stop at its cute bow and cat shape. There are several other things that come with the camera which make it an exciting purchase for any Hello Kitty fan.

  • Exclusive Hello Kitty Film: Along with the camera, you’ll receive a ten pack of special film with cute borders.
  • Hello Kitty Camera Strap: A pink and blue plaid, built-in neck strap ensures that you can safely carry your camera and look stylish.
  • Close Up Lens: You can use your camera to take close-up shots with the pop-on close-up lens. This quality lens is ideal for taking photos in the 35 to 50-centimeter range.
  • Selfie Mirror: The front of the camera has a small mirror to make taking selfies a snap.
  •  Hello Kitty Stickers: Besides the exclusive Instax film, the Hello Kitty Instax Mini also comes with a set of stickers. You can use these to decorate your photo or your camera.

One thing that’s not included with the camera, which you may want to purchase, is a carrying case. Because this camera has a unique shape that differs from other Instax Mini 8s, you’ll need to buy the corresponding case if you want something that can hold your Hello Kitty camera securely. 

HelloHelio makes a case that works well. 

2. FujiFilm Instax Mini Hello Kitty Instant Camera

This Hello Kitty polaroid camera is somewhat similar to its counterpart, though there are some notable differences. The first, and most obvious, is the shape of the camera. This Mini version is in the shape of a standard FujiFilm Instax Mini instead of the shape of Hello Kitty, like the International Version. 

This Hello Kitty version only comes in the light pink color even though the Instax Mini 9 itself is available in a wide variety of colors and character options.

Settings

The settings on this camera are identical to the international version. The settings knob is also located in the same place, to the side of the shutter. To recap, these settings are: 

  • Very sunny
  • Sunny
  • Cloudy
  • Indoors
  • Hi-key

As with the international version, the camera does notify the user which setting to use. Using other settings will produce different, and sometimes more artistic, high-quality pictures.

Even though this version includes a bit more Instax film than the other, it would still be a good idea to purchase some extra film to have on hand for practice photos. This is especially true if you are buying this product for a child. The film probably won’t last through day one!

Other Specifications

This Mini Hello Kitty camera has identical mechanical specifications to the international version. 

These settings are:

  • Range: 0.6 meters and up
  • Shutter Speed: 1/60 seconds
  • Focal Length: 60mm
  • Usable Flash Range: 0.6 meters to 2.7 meters

It’s also worth noting that this product comes with a money-back guarantee for 90 days. FujiFilm offers a full return for any reason.

Included With the Camera

This camera has much more included with it than the international version. For this reason, the higher price tag is worth it.

Included with the camera are:

  • Carrying case: This adorable case with a shoulder strap is pink with slightly darker pink designs on it. It’s not as cute as the standalone option mentioned earlier, but it still fits snugly and will keep the camera safe.
  • Instant film: A 20-pack of instant picture film is included with the camera. That’s twice as many packs of film as the international version.
  • Photo album: A 64-page photo album with clear sleeves is included. Stickers or frames can be added to the pictures before they’re inserted into the album.
  • Color filters: Four colored lenses come with the camera. They’re red, blue, yellow, and green. Toying around with these can create some very interesting effects!
  • Wall hanging frames: These frames use clips and a string to hang pictures up on the wall. They’re not sticky so they’re reusable.
  • Stickers: Many stickers are included such as corner stickers, border stickers, a sheet of small stickers to decorate your camera with, and one large decorative sticker. Made for either the camera itself or the photos, there’s no end to the creativity they provide.
  • Photo frame notebook: This notebook has removable photo frames for displaying your pictures on your desk. They include a kickstand that you bend into place. They’re not terribly sturdy since they’re made out of cardboard, but they’re still cute.

All of these goodies mean that your picture-taking will truly be an experience with results that can easily be shown off. Particularly if the recipient is a child, this means hours of fun (and some peace for Mom!).

Comparing the Two Models

After factoring in the cost of the extras that come with the Mini, particularly the case, these two Hello Kitty polaroid camera models are pretty comparable in price. This is especially true given the fact that the standalone case for the international version is about $25.

Admittedly, the standalone case is much cuter than the one included with the Mini version.

While they are different models, both of these cameras are identical in capability, features, and settings. Practically speaking, they’re the same camera, and will take pictures of identical quality.

One difference between the two is the number of reviews. As of this writing, the international version has over 600 reviews, while the Mini has less than 20. Since FujiFilm is a popular brand this may not mean as much as it would for a lesser-known brand, but is still worth a mention. Both versions have overwhelmingly positive reviews.

Both of these cameras currently offer free Prime shipping. Shipping time can easily make or break an online purchase, but you won’t have to wait long for whichever version you choose.

Final Thoughts

Essentially, what it boils down to with these two Hello Kitty Polaroid camera models is whether you want the camera to be in the shape of Hello Kitty, or whether you want the standard-shaped camera with the extra fun accessories.

The differing cases can also be factored into your decision.

Either way, these products are sure to delight people of all ages. Older Hello Kitty enthusiasts will love the nostalgia that the product offers.

Children will adore an instant camera for its novelty, and the wide array of crafts that it can lead to. Either one of these products would be a fantastic purchase.

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