Fujifilm’s latest Instax Mini Link bridges the gap missing from Blockbuster’s Pokémon Snap kiosks that allowed you to print stickers of your photos.
A huge component of my New Pokémon Snap review was written through a lens of nostalgia. I was enamoured with the Nintendo 64 version that took us away from battling Pokémon and sent out us into the wild to snap Pokémon instead. Such a novel concept wouldn’t be replicated for another two decades and it took until last month for us to even get a sequel. Thankfully, it turned out to be a great game that improved on what made the original so good and I’ve spent the last several weeks trying to gather the best snapshots I can with the guidance of Professor Mirror.
Nintendo has partnered with Fujifilm and released the Instax Mini Link Special Edition. What’s it do, you ask? It prints photos just like the ones you used to get the Blockbuster Pokémon Snap kiosk. Fujifilm says you can print photos from the New Pokémon Snap, Animal Crossing: New Horizons, and Super Mario Odyssey right from their Mini Link Special Edition using an app from your phone!
Fujifilm’s Instax Mini Link enhances the experience
From straight out of the retail box and is completely set up, I spent roughly 10 minutes getting the packing sorted, the film in the printer and the charger plugged in. It is an incredibly easy device to set up and use right away. You’ll need to find the flap on the side and plug in the microUSB (ugh) and ensure that your printer is charging before using it.
On the back is a latch that opens and reveals where the pack of 10 exposures slides in and the plastic piece preventing your exposures from being ruined. Once it is in, you’re essentially ready to start your journey into the world of Pokémon photography.
Fun for the entire family
The unit comes in an Ash White and features red accents on the top, and blue accents on the power button to pay homage to the colours of the Nintendo Switch. It’s a beautiful little device that pairs well with my standard Instax camera I own but the reality is this device is likely going to make me print a ton of pictures of all my Pokémon subjects. It will be available as a single printer and as a special limited edition bundle with a customized silicone case designed as a Pikachu.
While the Instax Mini Link has been available for over a year now, the Special Edition has been designed with Nintendo’s games in mind. You use the Instax Mini Link for the Nintendo Switch app instead of the standard app and you connect your Nintendo Switch via a series of QR codes, establishing a connection between the console and the printer.
In the main menu is a shortcut to scan the QR codes generated by the Switch, and then you’re free to add filters, stickers, and basic editing abilities. I usually adjust the brightness, saturation, and crop before printing. Many of the included frames feel gimmicky and cover photos in logos instead of letting the photo speak for itself – generally I avoided this since it detracts from the image itself.
If you want to make a collage of your images, the app from Fujifilm provides that option with several layouts available on the home screen. While this function is cool theoretically, the photos themselves are small and whatever you add into these layouts feels far too smushed in and the lack of space is a bit of a nuisance.
That said, I did find the print quality to be good when printing some of my images from the in-game album. I only adjust the in-game filters and settings to accentuate the subject matter of each photo. With every print, I’d compare the original photo to the one in my hand and find myself impressed by the quality of the Instax Mini Link.
I adore the concept behind Fujifilm’s Instax Mini Link Special Edition and believe the concept is sound. In the hands of a child though, the cost of a pack of 10 exposures is roughly $12 CAD and depending on how many images one child may print, the biggest downside to owning this fun little device is cost. How many photos can one child print of their favourite Pokémon
I enjoy the connectivity between the Nintendo Switch and the Instax Mini Link and think a young family will find a lot of joy from the pairing. That said, there’s the need to consider the expensive exposures and how much you’re willing to put down from the start to get the most of the experience. The printer can also be used with regular photos and that makes these instant camera gimmicks more fun than the traditional experience.