Do you remember your first View-Master? The sound and sensation of this iconic camera movement, the thrill of watching extravagant pictures in the form of a personal presentation? This stereoscopic toy, launched in 1939, has introduced children around the world to beautiful landscapes and famous monuments. The View-Master, a classic 1930s kids toy, has undergone many updates over the years, but nothing gives this bright red 21st-century image viewer a new life than its partnership with Google Cardboard.
The Viewfinder Attached to View-Master
The 3D View-Master is often referred to as the 3D ViewFinder, but in reality, a retro viewfinder is just the View-Master viewing lens. With View-Master, other worlds and distant lands were only a click away. You have to move the coil up, point the Viewfinder towards the light source, and get lost in the 3D scenes of beautiful places in the world, your favourite cartoon, or even outer space. Back in the days, people started taking slides instead of pictures. Those round slides reels had your favourite cartoons with a ViewFinder on top.
The Modern View-Master
Fast forward 75 years, and the View-Master has reincarnated to arouse the same admiration in the digital age. The updated model results from the collaboration between IDEO and Mattel, a modern partnership that combines technology and nostalgia. The new View-Master retains the original toy’s classic features, such as the steering wheel’s authentic look, levers, and steering, but offers a much more immersive 360-degree virtual experience. Thanks to the Google Cardboard platform, we can extend this experience by bringing the creativity and immersive experience of View-Master into the digital age. The combination of technology and innovation in this classic toy gives children more fun, opening up play opportunities that have yet to be captured by new digital content.
The Nostalgia of Childhood with View-Master
View Master’s pictures brought the world of children and adults to live with iconic reels and slides. The View-Master Image Archive, which has sold for over 1 . 5 billion reels, contains thousands of images spanning the era of pop culture news, nature science, history, and travel. The photos from the View-Master program are of great nostalgic value to the previous generation and to many people around the world who fondly remember how they explored the remote and exotic corners of our planet or admired the scene of their favourite characters in 3D through the View-Master viewers. Till now, there are 25 different types of View Masters, including Talking View-Master and a variety of colours, and 1.5 billion reels produced. View-Master is so famous that it starred in films such as Dawn of the Dead and Hot Shots!
The View-Master peaked in the early 1980s when it went hand in hand with all the 3D programs that TV channels were broadcasting. In addition to the joy of pure-play, the technology of the new View-Master allows incredible learning opportunities. Imagine flipping through a textbook page and seeing dinosaurs come to life. View-Master, with a retro viewfinder on top, was like a gateway to the world of adventure.