The Nanoblock Camera is a tiny, USB camera that you can reshape as you like.

So you can create a "polaroid," a tripod, or even a rangefinder, in a sense.

I see it as a really fun "toy" camera, with a simple USB-stick way to plug into a computer, even if you could get something more functional for $55.

(It would also be nice for kids, of course.)

I’d be interested if any build-ons could actually affect image quality.

Though obviously this mega flash doesn’t work.

Because this tripod really could stabilize a shot.

Here are some photos of the camera at work.

They’re really not bad in that purposefully lousy camera kind of way.

Plus, you know, the camera is adorable.

This Camera Is As Fun As Playing With Lego

And it embodies everything that’s great about childhood.

If I could go back in time and ask my corpulent eight-year-old self what my dream camera might look like, I’d probably hijack that time machine/wormhole to do all sorts of other things first. See the dinosaurs. Save Lincoln. Buy a few stocks. Punch myself in the face at least once. After this list of thousands of other priorities was completed, I’d probably realize that I really screwed up the future, and so I’d find a way to travel back and prevent this time machine from ever being invented in the first place.

But assuming things were okay in the space-time continuum, and assuming I’d grown relatively bored with the concept of skipping through millennia like flipping the pages of a magazine, I’d possibly ask my eight-year-old self what my dream camera might look like. And he’d inevitably crayon-sketch (was I still using crayons at 8?) the Nanoblock Camera ($55), by Fuuvi.

Scratch that, he’d inevitably crayon-sketch a Lego camera, but I’d say, "Sorry, kid, Nanoblocks are all we’ve got in the future." And then that little wimp would probably start crying again. I’d remember how painful that memory was, relent, and tell myself that Lego was alive and well in the year 2013, but to stop eating so much ice cream.

Regardless, what appealed to me at age eight and appeals to me now is the fact that this toy camera fits in your pocket, then plugs directly into a computer, just like a USB stick. (I had to explain what a USB stick was to the eight-year-old me, but then I totally dug it.) It also exudes charm, thanks to that dotted Nanoblock body, which allows you to expand the frame through all sorts of block building—build a lens, or reshape the camera to look like a Polaroid. It’s mostly cosmetic stuff, but how many cameras have you ever been able to personalize in any way? It’s delightful.

Once we were done talking cameras, me and Mark, age eight, would go hang at the mall, or wherever Mark, age eight, thought was cool and couldn’t drive to on his own. Then I’d say super casually, "I know a little place," and take him for sundaes in the Jurassic Period. We’d think we were really cool.

I’d ask him how it felt to be a kid. He’d ask me how it felt to touch a boob. Then I’d tell him I didn’t know.

"How can that be?" he’d ask, welling up a bit as he buried his tears in another mouthful of hot fudge. And I’d put my arm around him reassuredly.

"Well, as a kid, I ate too much ice cream."

Buy one here.

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