Hit Miniature Camera
One of my earliest objects of longing was a Hit miniature camera. At the grocery store near my house growing up, there was a gumball machine with the Hit proffered as the best possible prize. Needless to say that I never won it. The same camera also showed up in comic book advertising as a prize for selling True Grit magazine subscriptions or other detritus. Never earned enough points to win one...
It sounded so cool - a real miniature camera that took real pictures. The compactness made it ideal for a child... or a spy... or a spy with childlike hands, I guess. But the main thing that I didn't understand as a kid is where one would get the pictures developed, or where the film came from. I didn't remember seeing teeny boxes of film at the drug store.
Clearly you can see that as I child I tended to overthink things.
Imagine my thrill when I recently scored the camera at a thrift store for 50 cents - twice what some lucky bastard paid to get it out of the gumball machine 30 years ago. Poking around on the internet, I see that Hit cameras aren't quite as exotic or rare as I thought. It seems to be pretty easy to pick one up on Ebay for as little as $10. Perhaps the bottom fell out of the miniature camera market when espionage went digital.
I think that the film is just 16mm motion picture film rolled with a paper backing, but I doubt that anyone but the most ardent hobbyist is going to use this for actual photography today. Unless you're a spy on a budget, that is...