New Neoprint Machines Spotted At Bugis, Only $10 For 2 Printed Sheets With Free Soft Copies
Call me “old” if you will, but I’m one of those 90’s kids who goes unabashedly cray whenever I encounter a neoprint machine overseas. Yes, I'm from that era - snapping HD selfies using a smartphone or taking burst shots at a regular photo booth just doesn’t bring the same kind of nostalgic joy.
Much to our delight, purikura recently resurfaced in Singapore after a long drought thanks to Dollop Print Club, and though not quite the same as the authentic Japanese sort, they do come with cute stickers and pen drawing functions.
Since then, we’ve also spotted other brands of such neoprint machines sprouting up in our little red dot - here’s a peek of what we found at Bugis.
Read on to find out more about the new neoprint machines at Bugis, Singapore!
We remember spotting these new neoprint machines at Bugis+ and Liang Court sometime in 2019 - shortly before the world went into disarray from you-know-what - but they mysteriously disappeared after a while. Recently, however, a couple of them have sprung up once again at Bugis.
From afar, these PINKHOUSE neoprint machines appear very much like the ones you might find at arcades in Japan. Clad in a girly pink shade, they’re also plastered with heavily edited images of kawaii girls striking kawaii poses, with catchy J-pop tunes like “Renai Circulation” playing from inside.
Looks Japanese, sounds Japanese, but upon closer inspection, this invention seems to be from China - despite the Japanese characters “謎パイ機”, or “Meipaiki”, plastered over the entrance. I wondered if this had any affiliation with video editing app Meipai, but my Google searches didn’t provide any relevant search results.
These Meipaiki neoprint machines also caught the attention of some Japanese netizens living in Singapore, who expressed their curiosity and puzzlement about the fact that these aren’t actually from Japan.
It's pretty straightforward - you simply pick one of two play modes, choose a theme, get posin’, and have your photos printed out. You can even get soft copies sent to your mobile phone via WeChat, if you happen to be on the Chinese instant messaging app.
The Meiprint Print mode seems to work like a regular neoprint, where you pick a desired background or frame and add stickers afterwards. There’s also the Meiphoto Print mode, which will “have your facial features cropped into fun and interesting cosplay scenarios and characters”. Apparently, this photo mode is also able to superimpose your face into movie posters.
A customer care email address and @meipaiki Instagram handle are listed on the instruction sheet, but the Instagram account currently does not exist. Visiting meipaiki.com does not yield any results either. There is, however, a local mobile number listed as the customer service hotline: 87845083.
What we found most strange was a little notice pasted in the machine, stating that the photo technology makes use of Artificial Intelligence (AI), whereby results for different individuals will vary, and that the company will not be entertaining any refunds.
We’re not sure why the thought of a refund for a simple photo print might even cross anyone’s mind, so that seemed kinda iffy to us. Could it be that the AI technology might alter your facial features such that you'll no longer resemble yourself?
The #meipaiki hashtag on Instagram has very limited public photos tied to it, but at time of writing, you can browse photos of people in Korean hanboks and as part of the “Your Name” anime poster. There’s also a rather comical photo of an adult couple transformed into children dressed as Minions from Despicable Me.
These seem…not quite the same as the sample shots displayed on the screen of the neoprint machine, which are filled with cutesy cartoon-style stickers reminiscent of the classic purikura that many of us grew up with - complete with models sporting digitally lightened skin and instant makeup.
It could be possible that the few photos with the hashtag were the result of the AI Meiphoto Print mode, while the more “authentic-looking” ones are part of the Meiprint Print mode with stickers and all - but we can’t vouch for this as we didn’t manage to try the machines out for ourselves.
The only other explanation? False advertising. Well, we’ll leave you to make your own judgement.
Last we checked, these neoprints cost $10 per go and come with 1 additional free print, which gives you 2 print-outs in total. They’re located at Levels 4 and 5 of Bugis+, near the lift landing. Game enough to give them a go? Let us know if it works out for you!
Note: GirlStyle Singapore will not be responsible for any disappointment.
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Text by: GirlStyle SG