New palm-sized machine actually takes real purikura photos.

Purikura — an amalgamation of the Japanese words purinto kurabu, which translates to “Print Club” — has been a huge part of youth culture in Japan since it first debuted here in 1995.

Back then, purikura were basic photo booth machines that took photos and printed them out with fancy frames around them, but these days they’re far more advanced, allowing people to digitally mainpulate their appearance and add personalised sketches, words and cute icons.

Still, there’s a lot of nostalgia for the look of photos printed out from the old models, especially amongst people in their 30s and 40s, who remember using them with their friends after school. And seeing as people in this age bracket are likely to be in full-time jobs with disposable income, now’s a perfect time for them to recapture their lost youth by splurging on this new miniature purikura created by Takara Tomy.

Called the “Seishun no Purinto Seal“, which translates to “Youth Print Sticker“, this new item not only looks like a purikura photo booth machine, it works like one as well, allowing you to actually take photos with it.

Simply download the special app and then place your smartphone inside the machine, where it acts as the purikura camera and selection screen. Then all you have to do is press the button in the middle of the machine, just like people did back in the ’90s, and your photo will be taken!

▼ When the machine is being used, side lights turn on to add the authentic feel of a real purikura machine.

The app allows you to select from two different modes when shooting: “normal mode” for normal shooting and “time travel mode”, which allows you to get a glimpse of your past, present and future self.

▼ You can see what you might’ve looked like back in 1998 and 2008…

▼ What you look like now…

▼ And, for the brave, what you might look like in 10 years time.

In “normal mode”’ you can select different frames from designs that were popular back in 1995.

And because all the processed images are saved on your smartphone, you’ll be able to share the photos on social media or print them out so you can relive the ’90s with all your high school friends.

The Youth Print Sticker can be purchased from Takara Tomy Arts from 21 November, where it’s set to retail for 3,980 yen (US$36.64) plus tax.

And if you’re looking for another dose of childhood nostalgia, Takara Tomy has a talking, dancing Pikachu light to tempt you right now as well.

Source, images: PR Times
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[ Read in Japanese ]