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Meikai AR-4367
France Version française
Photos by Bernard Faure text by Howard Patterson. From the collection of Bernard Faure. Last update 2024-04-11 par Sylvain Halgand.
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Manufactured or assembled in China from (After) 1987 to (After) 1988.
Index of rarity in France: Infrequent (among non-specialized garage sales)
Inventory number: 3388

See the complete technical specifications

Chronology of cameras Meikai 

Meikai was a brand used by several companies called Tougodo (or Togodo), run by three brothers in Japan, both before and after World War II. Tougodo specialized in very inexpensive cameras designed to be sold in major department stores in Japan and the USA. The later models from the 1960s were designed to use 135 film and had only one shutter speed and a single lens, with apertures formed by a rotating metal piece with variable-sized holes. Tougodo ceased camera production in the early 1970s, and from there, several Taiwanese companies began producing cameras using the same formula but entirely made of plastic. The first of these was likely the Formosa Plastics Group (FPG). In January 1986, the Arrow Trading Company Inc of New York filed a trademark in the USA with the word Meikai. Shortly after, the unique and original logo appeared, suggesting the silhouette of bows and arrows. The registered trademark remained in effect until 2007. (Meikai = "Clarity, Clear Understanding" in Japanese).

Arrow Trading Company initially commissioned its toy cameras from Taiwanese manufacturers, but from around 1989, they started sourcing from Chinese manufacturers. The Taiwanese examples resemble real cameras of the time, while the Chinese ones became increasingly flamboyant over the years.

1 The trademark was also registered in the UK in 1992.
2 Meikai cameras typically have model numbers starting with AR or AW (from the word Arrow) or DI, suggesting the silhouette of a bow and arrow.

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 In 1987 Minolta released its' '5000AF' and Kyocera its' 'Yashica 230AF'. Soon after, a new family of Taiwanese plastic imitations appeared. They were all made (or commissioned) by NTPC, and they all have a 6,3 lens with the 'series number' 198761.

They differ from all previous designs by having the four apertures under a plastic 'window' like the Minolta 5000AF.

There were three types, all sharing the same instruction sheet.
1. a Minolta 5000AF imitation (this one),
2. the same body with an electronic flash on top like the Yashica 230AF (Yoshita MF-A7000F, Fukai WR-2),
3. the same body with a reflex viewfinder in place of the inbuilt flash.

There were several variations on each of these in following years, although the second type was soon abandoned in favour of the third type, sold with a huge electronic tilt head flash gun mounted on a separate bracket.

Meikai AR-4367



__________

Ouyama is also known as New Taiwan Photographic Corporation (NTPC). Like those of Formosa Plastics Corporation (FPC), NTPC's products are plastic, of poor quality (from a photographic perspective), and are found under multiple names, often used as promotional gifts. The Canomatic is representative of this manufacturer. It appears that FPC manufactured for NTPC.
The other products can be grouped into several types:

      Markings on lens #on lens


SLR appearance
Off-center viewfinder
Finger rest on the right hand
Odette X3000 New Optical Lens
1:5.6 f=50mm Series 626326
626326
Derlai (Nestlé)

SLR appearance
Off-center viewfinder
Finger rest on the right hand
Exposure table
2000 Agfa New Color Optical Lens
1:6.3 f=50mm series 624181
624181
Halimax
WX-500
Agfa
Komax 2000 Agfa

SLR appearance
Off-center viewfinder
Finger rest on both ends
Exposure table
Gold lettering on models bearing the number 198761
(La Maison de Valérie) Agfa New Color Optical Lens
1:6.3 f=50mm series 198761
198761
Neikai
AW-4392
Agfa
QLS-99
2000N
Agfa
Henrycon
A-8000S
Agfa 624181
Skina
SK-7000F
Agfa Lens Made in Japan
1:6.3 f=50mm series 198761
198761
Henrycon
A-8000
Agfa Lens Made in Japan
1:6.3 f=50mm series 624181

624181
Starflex Agfa



SLR appearance
Dual viewfinders
Gold lettering
Asaflex EF-300 Agfa Lens Made in Japan
1:6.3 f=50mm series 198761
198761


SLR appearance
Off-center viewfinder
Red trim on the shutter release
Motorized
Okaido Agfa Lens Made in Japan
1:6.3 f=50mm series 198761
198761
Meikai AR-4367 Agfa New Color Optical Lens
1:6.3 f=50mm series 198761
Novai 7000 Agfa


SLR appearance
Built-in flash on the (fake) prism cover
Off-center viewfinder
Red trim on the shutter release
Motorized
Flash shoe
Fukaï WR-2 New Color Optical Lens
1:6.3 f=50mm series 198761
198761
Yoshita MF-A7000F Lens Made in Japan
1:6.3 f=50mm series 198761


Built-in flash
Off-center viewfinder
Motorized
Ocean New Color Optical Lens
1:6.3 f=50mm series 198761
198761

DV-360F Aspherical Lens
1:4.5 f=50mm
 


Built-in flash
Off-center viewfinder
Motorized
S-1000 New Color Optical Lens
1:6.3 f=50mm series
 


SLR appearance
Red trim on the shutter release
Off-center viewfinder
Motorized
Meikai AW-4366 New Color Optical Lens
1:6.3 f=50mm series 198761
198761


SLR appearance
Flash in the fake prism
Off-center viewfinder
Motorized
Nikai Royal Big View Focus Free
Lens Made in Japan
 


SLR appearance
Off-center viewfinder
Motorized
Nikayo 50mm 6.3
Focus Free
Optical Lens
Made in Japan
 


SLR form. Side viewfinder. Flash in line with the lens.
Asaflex EF 50 Debonair Lens Made in Japan

Auto Fix Focus 50 mm Lens 1:6
 


SLR shape. Side viewfinder. Flash on the fake prism.
Asaflex EF-80 Debonair New Optical Lens

Auto Fix Focus 50 mm Lens 1:6
 

Nikaï Color Optical Lens

f=1:6.3 50mm
 





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