Concept: 2 out of 5
Execution: 3 out of 5
Yeah, but: I'm not sure if cleverness is worth an extra 'concept' point.
The Long Version: Kikkerland Design is one of those companies that makes paperclips in funny shapes and little speakers that look like rubber duckies. They're fun, for sure, but it's not a brand name that leaps to the front of my mind when I look for something that's practical and functional. I bought their camera case that looks like a Rollei 35 as a lark, something cheap and fun, so you can imagine my surprise at just how much I like it.
The case itself is simple enough. It's two panels of neoprene – yes, the famous wetsuit material – joined with a zipper along the top half of their perimeter, and a piece of nylon around the bottom half. The seams provide some cushioning and keep the camera away from the unpadded parts, and the whole thing works surprisingly well to protect the camera from scratches and bumps.
The Kikkerland camera case is more of a 'padded sleeve' design than the typical nylon pouches that sport lots of velcro, secondary pockets, and a belt loop. This is something to put a camera in before the whole thing is put in something else, and trades off some of the utility of a hard-core case in exchange for a lot less bulk. And while on the subject of not being hard core, the playful graphics make most people who see it – friends, family, photographers – laugh.
My Panasonic TS3 is big and boxy for a contemporary point-and-shoot camera, and the large flat design of the Kikkerland case manages to provide a perfectly acceptable home. That means it will be too big for most of the little snappers on the market these days, but it would be a good choice for the new style of compact 10-15x zoom cameras out there. It's just a simple case, but it's proven itself to be far more useful and durable than its novelty brand and its price point would suggest. I've been using it for a couple of months, and I've been impressed – but if that changes I'll be back for an update.
last updated 15 may 2011