Even if you didn’t grow up in the ’70s, you’re likely familiar with the Polaroid cameras that spit film out the front and, like magic, developed an image before your eyes. Polaroid provided instant gratification for the photographer and subject and because of The Impossible Project, the Polaroid Fotobar and the newly opened Polaroid Museum in Las Vegas, a new generation is discovering the joys of instant photography.
When I heard The Impossible Project was resurrecting instant film for Dr. Land’s instant camera I decided to open the Dr. Frankenroid eBay store. I wanted to educate people—who might just be discovering the joys of instant photography—about the use, value and variety of these old cameras.
I started seriously collecting in 2008, the same year I opened my store. I currently own over 100 rare cameras and accessories. Dr. Frankenroid is technically an eBay store, but it’s also an online museum for many styles of vintage Polaroid cameras and ephemera that allows people to see the variety and valuation of these cameras with their accessories in entire kits. Many of the most rare items in my store are actually priced to 'not sell'.
Polaroid produced millions of cameras around the world, but only a fraction of them have any real monetary value. However, a careful eye at a garage sale or local Goodwill can turn a small investment into a tidy return. I’ve met many people who have found box style 600 cameras (more on that later) at a garage sale or thrift store for $10 that ended up being worth hundreds.