The Muplet Super 8 Projector
By James Grahame
No, this isn't a piece about Muppets. The Muplet was an incredibly cheap (in every sense of the word) battery-powered Super 8 film projector. They were produced by an Italian company in the early 1970s. In an attempt to keep the price as low as possible, they used a plastic hand crank for advancing the film. Muplets were infamous for accidentally scratching your film, and the projected image was neither bright nor clear. But forget those minor annoyances -- they're awesome fun.
Polariot in Germany recently found a small batch of these little plastic beasties in NOS (New Old Stock) condition. I accidentally deleted their message in a fit of inbox tidying, but I think they were selling for 30 to 40 euros each. If you're interested, I suggest giving them a shout quickly.
[Update: The photo above is from Retro Enterprises in Japan -- looks like I Googled a picture from their site by mistake. Some of their pages are in English, but the Muplet page is in Japanese only.
Here's my pitiful attempt at a translation: It looks like Retro Enterprises will soon receive a shipment of 22 Muplets. They're accepting pre-orders at 9,800 Yen ($85) for units in excellent condition. Projectors in slightly damaged packaging cost 7,800 Yen ($70), but condition cannot be guaranteed. Packages of five replacement bulbs are available for 1,200 Yen -- just over $10.]