I bet on your list of things you thought you’d hear this Valentine’s weekend, Google and Mattel upgrading the View-Master wasn’t one of them. Like the revival of the Sony Walkman, things have been modernized.
The new version, unveiled at the World Toy Fair in NYC, will make use of Google Cardboard Virtual Reality. Oh, and you’ll also need a cheap add on accessory. An Android phone, which will need to be inserted into the plastic cover and paired with the View-Master companion app.
Gone are the View-Master “reels”, thin cardboard disks containing seven stereoscopic 3-D pairs of small color photographs on film. While physical reels can still be purchased, “experience reels” will also be available as in-app purchases.
The new Cardboard-powered View-Master won’t begin selling until the fall (Wadleigh said they’re targeting October), and according to USA Today, it will cost $29.99, with extra “experience reels” selling for $14.99 for a pack of three.
Check out the sizzle reel to get a better idea of what Google and Mattel are trying to pull off here.
I’m not sure if this will have much appeal to me at this stage of my life, but I can’t count the number of times I used the original to view this: