If you have been trawling ebay for a bit, you might have come across a bunch of colorful, reusable 35mm cameras under the name Kodak M35. Now, I know they are cheap little plastic cameras, but why aren't they available in the USA? There are plenty of eBay sellers - all from China, Taiwan, or Korea, with prices ranging from nearly $30 to quite a bit more, as if these were some sort of collectible. I searched US sellers, and although B&H have them listed for sale, there are no photos of the product, and their site says expected delivery in 7-14 days, but at $25.00 each.
Now, with the Dubble Film Show and the Harman 35, I certainly don't really need another camera in that same class, but I would like to test one out, as I am prepping for a 35mm toy camera issue of Monochrome Mania. The Kodak M35 looks very similar to the Dubble Film and Harman products, and yeah, there's only so many ways one can manufacture a cheap plastic camera that is barely a step-up from a one-time use camera.
What surprises me most is that these camera have Kodak branding, yet not a peep from Kodak in the US about selling/marketing them. They are colorful, and sure to attract young buyers, so I have to wonder why there has not been anything about them from Kodak or Kodak/Alaris. Are they testing the waters elsewhere before they sell in the US? I don't expect anything better than what I have gotten from the Dubble Show or Harman 35, but at $25, they would be an attractive alternative, and priced right. Of course they are probably worth $10, but that's where we are these days with new film cameras, no matter how low-tech they may be.
Some digging in the Web led me to Sino Promise Group in Hong Kong, which proclaims itself as the largest distributor of Kodak/Alaris products in the world, and THAT's where I found the Kodak information about the M35 and the M38 cameras. Here's the key bit of information at the bottom of the page about the M35: "Sino Promise Group LTD. manufactures and sells the above film cameras. The Kodak trademark, logo and trade dress are used under license by Sino Promise Group LTD. Products are not available in all countries." Indeed, they appear to be marketed in China, Philippines, Thailand, etc.
|Specs are pretty much the same as the Dubble Film and Harman 35 cameras|
So, there you have it. Sino Promise Group makes these under license from Kodak, and markets them, not Kodak. Maybe we will eventually see them sold here in a variety of stores, but they were introduced in 2020, and the M38 model looks a lot more like the Dubble/Harman cameras. I bet they are all made in the same factory - perhaps Great Wall? Keep your eyes open for them to appear somewhere in the US at a retailer... or a flea market.
UPDATE - JULY 27, 2021.
I was at the Film Photography Project HQ last week, and Mike Raso has one of these cameras. I was able to inspect it, and it's EXACTLY the same camera as the Harman Reusable Camera. The only thing that's different is the color of the front part of the camera, and the branding. Given that the Harman camera comes with 2 rolls of Kentmere 400, it's a better deal