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Retro cases turn your tech into Trapper Keepers, Pee-Chee folders

Hide your modern tablets inside cases inspired by beloved retro school supplies.

Gael Fashingbauer Cooper
CNET freelancer Gael Fashingbauer Cooper, a journalist and pop-culture junkie, is co-author of "Whatever Happened to Pudding Pops? The Lost Toys, Tastes and Trends of the '70s and '80s," as well as "The Totally Sweet '90s." If Marathon candy bars ever come back, she'll be first in line.
Gael Fashingbauer Cooper
2 min read

These look like beloved school supplies from days gone by, but they're actually cases for tablets.


Kids today might not know about Trapper Keepers, the hold-all-your-stuff binder that came along in the '70s, but every Gen X kid had one. We considered them brilliant, because the folders were specially created to tuck in your papers -- hence "Trappers." The Trapper Keeper itself held all the folders together and sealed shut, so if you dropped it, your essays didn't fly all over the gym. Having one in your memory banks (or closet) is much a sign of a 1980s childhood as jelly shoes and leg warmers.

My Trapper Keeper had a baby harp seal on it. I make no excuses. It was adorable. It was the 1980s.

Now you can tuck your  tablets into a Trapper Keeper case that looks so realistic I almost expect to open it up and see my notes from history class about the U.S.S.R. (Cases, which accommodate tablets 7, 9 or 10 inches, spotted via Boing Boing.)

Pee-Chee folders, the ones with the oddly sketched athletic scenes on them, preceded Trapper Keepers, but surely the cases decked out in this style will send nostalgic waves through someone. Ditto the cases that look like those classic Mead composition notebooks.

This all reminds me that I've always wanted one of those smartphone cases that looks like a funky 1980s blank cassette, the kind we all used to make mixtapes. There's also one that looks like a VHS tape, so be kind, rewind.

Our '80s brains couldn't have dreamed of this kind of technology, but combining the two makes for a satisfying Back to the Future style vibe. Now if someone would just bring back Marathon candy bars, I'd be all set.