If you took one look at the new Insta360 Go 2 action camera and thought “wow, that kind of looks like a Minion,” then you’re thinking along the same lines as Insta360, which has created a charming, official Minions-skinned variant of its new action camera.
Of course, the Minions brand is no stranger to putting its name and face on pretty much everything including board games, Crocs and even microwavable plush toys. And the vast landscape of Minions merchandise arguably eclipses the movies they originate from.
But this tie-in with the Insta360 Go 2, a tiny action camera that already has Minion-like looks, makes a lot of sense and is one of the better movie-tech mashups we’ve seen in a while.
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- Read our in-depth Insta360 Go 2 review
One of the best things about the special edition is that it’s built around a very good action camera, with our Insta360 Go 2 review praising its great image quality and sturdy, compact design. In fact, we think the Insta360 Go 2 Minions Edition could be a good gift for a child, if you’re prepared to pay the slight premium over the standard version.
For all the ire that the Minions often draw with its abundance of merchandise, at least the brand is being tied to a genuinely good product here and one that feels a good fit. The device’s form factor and prominent lens already lend themselves to Minions comparisons – and it sure beats some of the previous attempts we’ve seen at injecting movie character charm into an existing gadget.
So how does the Insta360 Go 2 Minions Edition stack up against its movie-tech predecessors? Pretty well, to be honest. The Insta360 Go 2 Minions Edition is at least a conscious effort to add a bit of family-oriented appeal to a genuinely great piece of tech.
It’s certainly more appealing than the nightmarish WowWee Homersapien from 2007 (above): a cool programmable robot on its own, but a bizarre Simpsons reskin that definitely gave us the creeps.
The Star Wars Sphero BB-8 (from 2015) fared much better, because it at least looks like what it’s supposed to be (and actually was a lot of fun), despite being slightly pricier than an Insta360 Go 2 Minions Edition.
Still, even the above two examples are leagues ahead of what licensed gadgets used to be. Remember the Barbie-themed laptop or (shudder) MP3 player? Or before that, Samsung’s SPH-N270 (below), a super-tacky tie-in for The Matrix Reloaded that made us pine even more for the Nokia 7110 ‘bananaphone’ that starred in the original.
A lot of licensed tie-ins with gadgets have typically been aimed at young children, like Leapfrog’s Leapster range of handheld devices, which featured countless licensed tie-ins in the form of cartridges offering a variety of interactive edutainment games.
While these are well-meaning given the target audience, it’s a different world entirely than what Insta360 is offering with its Minions Edition camera, which could start a trend of introducing a vlogging hobby to a younger audience.
The Insta360 Go 2 Minions Edition wearable action camera retails for $329 (around £240 / AU$430), but unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on your feelings toward the bean-shaped rascals) it's only available for purchase in the US, Canada, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan and mainland China right now.
That means the Insta360 Go 2 Minions Edition is actually slightly more expensive than the regular model (which costs $299 /£294.99 / $479.99AUD), but it's not too big a premium for what is a pretty comprehensive reskin that extends to the action camera's handy new charging case.
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Rhys is TRG's Hardware Editor, and has been part of the TechRadar team for more than two years. Particularly passionate about high-quality third-party controllers and headsets, as well as the latest and greatest in fight sticks and VR, Rhys strives to provide easy-to-read, informative coverage on gaming hardware of all kinds. As for the games themselves, Rhys is especially keen on fighting and racing games, as well as soulslikes and RPGs.