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Polaroid has reinvented themselves over the last few years and now are rolling through 2015 with several new imaging products along with an exciting new photo retail concept store. The idea is to that change consumer concepts about what to do with their images after they’ve captured them.

Launched in 2013 and currently operating traditional stores in South Florida and Las Vegas (with more planned later this year), Polaroid Fotobar offers consumers the ability to instantly turn pictures that only currently live on their smartphones, Facebook, Instagram and other digital platforms into what the company likes to call “cherished pieces of art” by printing them using the popular Polaroid Classic Border Logo format.

Fotobar Grab

Images can be transformed into three different size Polaroid prints (3.5 x 4.25 transfer for $1.00 each (minimum of 6); 9 x 11 costing $10 each and 14 x 17 priced at $15.00). Additionally, the store also offers several other very unique photo products crafted from a variety of materials, including canvas, acrylic, metal, glass and even bamboo.

Polaroid has also just announced they are expanding their Polaroid Fotobar experiential retail concept with the opening of seven micro-retail locations in California. The current Fotobar locations include a 2,000 square foot location in Delray Beach, FL and a 4,500 square feet flagship store in Las Vegas, which includes event spaces and a professional portrait studio. The new micro-retail locations in California measure approximately 300 square feet each.

It’s all in the name of encouraging, and even exciting, consumers to print those images trapped on their smartphones and turn them into more tangible memories.

“The basic idea here remains providing consumers with options for their photos, wherever they reside—in cameras or smartphones and on Facebook, Instagram and other digital platforms—to create prints and custom photo products either in store or online,” explained Polaroid CEO Scott Hardy. “Consumer’s favorite photos shouldn’t only be residing on their smartphones.”

And, by the way, if you happen to have a few hundred thousand dollars burning a hole in your wallet, Polaroid recently announced they have expanded the Fotobar retail concept as a franchise opportunity. There are a variety of design options for franchisees, including a traditional 1,400-square-foot store and a micro-retail experience. Initial investments will range from $135,000 to $439,000, depending on the type of Polaroid Fotobar concept selected.

Unique New Products Too…

Cube mockup 2

And perhaps even slicker than the Fotobar concept are a couple of new products the company has brought to market in the last few months.

The first one essentially bridges the gap between yesterday’s photo print and today’s instant social media sharing. The Socialmatic is a 14MP camera that connects over Wi-Fi allowing you to post your snapshots to Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter and also lets you instantly print two by three-inch adhesive-backed photos you can stick on anything your little heart desires. It also has a 2MP selfie cam on the back and is GPS- and Bluetooth-enabled.

The Socialmatic comes bundled with enough paper for 10 prints at a total cost of around $300. You can then keep the sticky-pics madness going with additional 25-pack photo paper boxes for $25, or two packs for $45.

Add their new Polaroid Cube to the list of unique offerings from the company as well – and as the name suggests, this cube-shaped little camera is Polaroid’s answer to the largely male-dominated action/sports camera category. They tell us they worked with a design firm in San Francisco, Ammunition, with the mission to design a product that would appeal to a much broader demographic – consumers who want to capture lifestyle videos as well as just fun, family-oriented moments.

The Polaroid Cube is also designed to be very easy to use; you just press the button on top to take a 6MP photo or 1080p video. At under $99, with a variety of different types of mounts, this is a fairly easy entry into the “action cam” game for “rest of us.”

This is clearly not your father’s Polaroid and this re-invention is a far cry from a company that graced the cover of LIFE magazine back in 1972 with the introduction of their Magic Instant Film Camera” – oh, how time flies.

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