We’ve put our heads together to make what we believe to be an out-of-the-box (jk most of these come in boxes) holiday gift guide for the analog lovers in your life (or someone you hope to share the magic of analog with!)
FOR THE AUDIO LOVERS
Cassette Tapes: Vintage & Peak Indie 2000s
Hear me out. You’re driving in the car, trying to disconnect from it all. The radio has ads. Your Spotify account has ads. Your GPS is tracking your every move. Toss your phone in the backseat and experience the pure isolation that only non-streamed music can give.
If you know someone with a tape deck in their car, they are all set to experience the magic of cassette tapes.
We have spent this autumn preparing our biggest collection of vintage tapes yet! All have been tested and re-cased for maximum wow-factor. Use the search bar to find something specific, or shop by decade.
We also carry a wide selection of new tapes, reissues of classic albums and brand new releases as recently as this year, from a wide variety of record labels. (For all you 90s kids, there’s an amazing selection of peak indie music from the 2000s.)
If you’re suddenly regretful that you don’t drive a 1998 Toyota Camry, there’s still a way to listen to tapes in the car if you have an aux input. All portable cassette players have an aux output, and you can cable it into your car’s input to bump some tapes on the road. Gift it with a pretty aux cable and a cassette tape for max appeal.
By the way, getting off the car theme, you can also just plug cassette players into speakers via aux cords, which is a lot of fun at parties (remember parties?)
For an extra personal touch, you can get a blank tape and record your own mixtape.
If you want something that can play tapes but also has built in speakers, these new boomboxes by Crosley are pretty great. They have the retro aesthetic but can also take USB and SD cards.
FOR THE POLAROID LOVERS
For the person that already has a camera, you could get them a Polaroid bag and dress it up with pins and patches of all their favorite things. Etsy and eBay are littered with crazy pins and patches both vintage and new. For my bag, I’ve hit all the winners -- Music (I’m a wannabe Deadhead), TV (Scully is my fashion idol), and gaming (these vintage Nintendo pins from 1988 are amazing.
Emulsion Lift Gear & Instructional Book
For the Polaroid artist looking to take their work to the next level, you could put together a kit for emulsion lifts. We recommend:
- A pack of film
- A pad of watercolor paper
- A small, wide paint brush
- A how-to book on all things emulsion lifts.
Consider getting the paint brushes and watercolor paper from your local art store instead of from our Prime overlords. There’s a whole bunch of YouTube videos on how to do emulsion lifts, so no need to dive deep on that process here.
History and Art Books
For the enthusiast that enjoys a deep cut, this Polaroid book is more than just a coffee table book. Authored by Barbara Hitchock, the former director of cultural affairs for the Polaroid Corporation, this book is the perfect cross section of both art and technology, with lots of history peppered in. Plus, books are easy to wrap, amiright? Check out our entire collection of books.
FOR THE FILM LOVERS
If you’ve never experienced the magic of 3D film, your mind will be blown by the amazing camera that RETO just put out. It’s an alternative spin on the vintage Nimslo and Nishika cameras. Using 35mm film, the camera makes 3 exposures with 3 different lenses. Once developed, the photos can be assembled into a gif or looping video to make you look like the Soundcloud rapper you always wanted to be. Check out the camera and don’t forget a roll of film.
FROM SOME FRIENDS AROUND THE WORLD WIDE WEB
The holidays are all about sharing the love, and we want to share some favorites from around the Web. This isn’t a veiled attempt at paid promotion, these are actually things we like. They don’t even know we’re doing this.
Killer Acid just put out an amazing puzzle collection. Let’s be real, puzzles are the best stay-at-home activity of 2020, second only to crying in the shower.
Speaking of puzzles, Adam and I (well, pretty much mainly Adam) personally tackled this moon puzzle as our COVID activity, and I can’t even say I recommend it because it was so dang hard. Actually, consider this a “lump of coal” gift because it is so difficult we would often get ONE piece in a single night and call it a success.
Designer Phillip David Stearns at GlitchTextiles brings the cold, sterile world of digital imagery and turns it into absolutely stunning cozy blankets. Check out his collection of premium woven blankets that feature digital renderings of viruses (both the malware-kind and biology-kind). Who knew the malware virus for cryptocurrency mining could look so beautiful. This is a completely different version of turning digital to analog.
If you’ve never written with a high-quality fountain pen before, you’re missing out. Topdrawer has an amazing collection of writing utensils, and besides being functional and well-made, they are incredibly beautiful. This brass fountain pen is a perfect gift for your far away friends, with a well-intentioned note begging them to “please write soon.”
By Kori Fuerst
Co-Owner | Retrospekt
Kori started Retrospekt with her husband Adam many a year ago when a casual fascination with haunting thrift stores for vintage Polaroid products blossomed into a full-blown obsession with all things retro tech. She likes green furniture and thinks you're going to need to desaturate that last photo you took just a little bit.