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A daily look back at the toys, games, and objects that captured our attention as children and continue to fascinate us today.

View-Master Show Beam Projector (1980)

Company: View-Master
Release date: 1980
Where to purchase: eBay

The Show Beam from View-Master combined the company’s quintessential stereoscopic images and flashlight technology. The result is a portable hand-held projector ideal for car rides and family camping trips. Instead of the company’s ubiquitous thin cardboard reels, the Show Beam used small film cartridges that were plugged into the side of the toy. Each cartridge contained 30 full-colour 2D images.

The projector was powered by two C-batteries and included an on/off switch, a focus ring that could be turned left or right to sharpen pictures, and a button to advance to the next frame.

View-Master shipped a single film cartridge with the Show Beam and offered a library of additional offerings organized into three broad categories: entertainment, education, and party games. The Entertainment category included the adventures of various Marvel and DC superheroes, as well as popular TV shows of the day. Education offerings taught kids the basics of numbers, the alphabet, and telling time.

The Show Beam proved popular and the line being was throughout the 1980s and 1990s.

Explore classic toys and games that captured our attention and never let go.