First Camcorder for Children

Interesting Information About the First Camcorder for Children

The first camcorder for children was introduced by Fisher-Price in 1987.  The Deluxe PXL 2000 Camcorder System was priced right around $200 and well received by New York City’s American International Toy Fair.  At this annual extravaganza, the showing of the first camcorder for children was such a success that retailers remained sold out for the entire calender year.

Marketing

Fisher-Price spent an aggressive $3 million on ad campaigns for this toy that included a 30 second commercial that appeared on Nickelodeon cable and network television.  Also included in promoting the first camcorder for children were print ads in People, Life, Sports Illustrated, Newsweek and Time Magazine.  While most toys are marketed toward women buyers, Fisher-Price concentrated on targeting men since it has been found that fathers are primarily responsible for buying electronics, especially in separated or divorced families.

Description

The first camcorder for children was black and white and used compact audio cassettes.  When the systems finally became available in retail stores, they were sold two different ways.  One version included the camera, blank tape and power supply while the other included a 4.5 inch portable white and black television to use as a monitor.  Other accessories could also be purchased such as extra cassettes, carrying case and cassette holders.

An audio cassette mechanism, infrared filter, spherical lens, custom ASIC and ACCD image sensor were the main components of the first camcorder for children.  The fixed focus was actually of pretty decent quality.

The camera’s design was put together neatly and user friendly for a child with an effective but unusual grip.  Along the underside are where you find the main cassette controls including play, record, rewind and stop/eject.  The lens is a fixed-focus, allowing the only picture control to be a filter that in bright light can be moved to block the lens.

There is no in-camera playback but the viewfinder is easily connected to its monitor or a home television.  It runs on 6 AA batteries however, external power supply is also an option.

Quality

The pictures resulting from the first camcorder for children are pixelated and grainy and suffer from trailing if the subject happens to move too quickly.  It was reported that many children found the images scary and ghost-like.

Underground Uses

In the 1990s, the first camcorder for children saw a rebirth in popularity with underground amateur filmmakers.  The trailing, grainy image provides for a dream-like weird quality that became something of a cult.

Major film makers including Michael Almarayda and Richard Linklater have used the PXL cameras for their productions.  Because of the cult status linked with this first camcorder for children, they have become somewhat of a collector’s item, often selling for over $500 in auctions. Find more at Dublin Dun Laoghaire Reviews.

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