Remember the View Master toy that you played with when you were a kid? It came in a red plastic case, and you clicked the side lever after putting in a reel of photos?
Well, Mattel is back with a new View Master, only this one works with your Android phone, and the images are presented in 3D.
Mattel’s New Concept
Mattel has teamed up with Google in order to use Google’s special cardboard Virtual Reality viewer. This cardboard has been transformed into those small discs that so many of us remember slipping into our own View Masters when we were kids, only Google’s discs are in 3D mode. By slipping an Android phone directly into the View Master, and connecting that phone to a special app, kids can look through the View Master to see places of the world in 3D.
Mattel’s preview video shows images of San Francisco in 3D, and places like Paris, but it can be presumed that the company will come up with discs to use with the View Master from all over the world. This toy is aimed at kids, and it will be a really fun way for some kids to see places of the world in 3D without any kind of actual travel. In addition to viewing places of the world, kids using the View Master can also see little fact bubbles that pop up to reveal interesting information.
Some Real Some Not
Many of the images that will be included in the slides are taken from actual photos, but some of the images have been created using CGI technology. Since Mattel has created slides that show things like dinosaurs, CGI works the best to showcase these pictures in 3D while also providing kids with important facts about things like dinosaurs. You might say that Mattel is bringing travel and museums to life with the new View Master, and it’s all available in a tiny little package.
Since Mattel is working with Google on this project, the toy only works with an Android phone, and you do have to have a phone in order to use the View Master. Mattel has told press that the company is looking to add more features to the slides, though right now they are focused simply on perfecting the toy and the slides. Those that have had a chance to try one out are finding the toy to be quite phenomenal, and definitely something that you’ll want to buy for any kid interested in geography or history.
Availability and Pricing
Since this is a toy, Mattel has priced the View Master at an affordable $29.99. Slides will come in packs of four for $15. Again, you do have to have an Android phone to use this toy, so there’s the big expense, really. Mattel says that the toy can be used safely by kids that are seven years of age or older (it won’t cause dizziness), and the toy is expected to hit store shelves in the Fall of 2015.