An interesting and inexpensive find at a thrift store led to an unexpected result!
Given that my house is just a 2-minute walk from a thrift store, it’s no surprise that I frequent there to check and see if I’ll stumble upon cameras. Usually I run out of luck, but sometimes not.
The Lipton Toy Camera
Almost a year ago I found a red toy camera. A closer look and I discovered that it carries the Lipton brand. Yes, you read it right, the noodle and tea brand. Initially I decided against buying it but I found myself going back to the thrift store and buying it. After all, it’s just for a $1.99, it’s not a big of a risk for me. I haven’t owned a specialty-brand camera other than my Pizza Hut plastic camera so I was excited to own one.
I didn’t get the chance to bring it on the streets until recently, when I was scheduled to pick up a friend at the airport.
The Lipton Toy Camera is 28mm, f/9.5 point-and-shoot plastic camera. Construction is similar to your manual and AF film compact so it’s very convenient to bring. It has a battery compartment at the bottom where you can insert one AA-size battery for the flash. In addition to that it has a red-eye reduction option. As to how reliable is that, I am not sure. I am also unsure of the lens construction, although I think it is made of plastic.
What I liked about this camera is the flash. The recycle time is very fast, which is very surprising. I also find the plastic body to be pretty solid and not to mention, cute. It’s a sure-fire conversation starter. As for the technical qualities of the photos it yields I can say it was decently sharp and would be a good go-to camera for a walk outside the house.
The only thing that I dislike about this camera is its film advance mechanism. I found that the film advance wheel continues to move forward after I hit the number 8 counter. It seems like the spool inside the camera does not attach to the film sprocket properly after a significant number of frames so it just continues to move forward. I had to estimate how many “clicks” I made when I advance my film in order to shoot again. Frames survived but not the whole roll of film I popped in it, which is really disappointing.
For a $1.99 camera it is not a bad find at all, but I terribly wish that it tells me which frame I am ready to shoot. This Lipton Toy Camera is an OK camera for that random walk in the park or visit to the beach, or perhaps a good camera to test out that obscure roll you found on the internet.