How a European collector resurrected an American icon from a slow and painful demise (and managed to sell 1 million film cartridges a year).

The first Polaroid instant film camera hit the market in 1948 to please baby boomer parents eager to photograph their babies in post-war America. The revolution came in the 70s, with the birth of the mythical SX-70, a work tool for artists and legends like Andy Warhol. The high point is given in 1991, when instant film sales reach 3,000 million dollars. But Polaroid is doomed to failure. It can not withstand the digital pull and in 2007 announces that it stops making cameras.

End of story? Of course not, darling. Happy endings exist, and they are not always American.
In 2008, a Viennese together with a ex Polaroid worker, buys the latest machines to produce film in the Netherlands, rents the factory itself and starts to work. The nostalgic revolution of THE IMPOSSIBLE PROJECT sells over 1 million film cartridges a year and now owns Polaroid itself.
Here we review the most iconic models of the rainbow firm.

POLAROID SX70 Land Camera Sonar Autofocus Gold 24k

The professional. The Polaroid SX-70 instant camera caused a worldwide stir when it was first released in 1972. The first instant SLR camera that folds up to fit in a jacket pocket. Professional and amateur photographers from all over the world found happiness with this camera that offered developed photos in 60 seconds. This 24-karat gold-plated SX-70 Land Camera Sonar Autofocus was produced for Polaroid's 40th anniversary in 1977 as a gift to some of the company's employees. 500 models were made.

POLAROID 1000 Land Camera

The Iconic. It was born in 1977 as a response to the demand of the young American children of the baby boom. Curiously, today it is adored by a multitude of millennials. Backed by a popular advertising campaign, the inexpensive boxy device, with its white casing and color-spectrum stripe, was the best-selling camera in the US for four years in a row.

POLAROID Supercolor 635CL

The image of pop culture. The camera that brought instant photography to the masses. These square cubes that opened up and shown a camera defined an era of photography in the 1980s and 1990s.


The "Rara Avis". Polaroid collaborations in the 90s with brands such as McDonalds, Pepsi, Barbie, Coca-Cola or even the Spice Girls now reach astronomical prices in second-hand stores and online platforms. The Camel special edition is one of the most sought after models of which hardly any units can be found.

POLAROID Autofocus 660 Transparent

The one that never went on sale. It is a prototype made in the 1980s to be distributed in photography stores to promote the launch of the Autofocus 660 model. In this way, the internal workings of the camera could be shown. Price? About 1500 euros if you are lucky enough to find it.

Have you come to see or have one of these models in your hands?