As I outlined in a previous post, Keeping it Reel with the View-Master, the 3D stereoscopic picture viewer’s pedigree spans 75+ years. Last year, Mattel re-imagined the toy by leveraging Google Cardboard and turning the View-Master into a mini virtual reality (VR) viewer. At this year’s New York Toy Fair, the company announced a new model scheduled for release this Fall.
The View-Master Viewer DLX checks in with a price of $39.99 (a $10 increase over its predecessor) and includes some incremental improvements. The smartphone mount has been upgraded, allowing the DLX to better support phones of different sizes. The new mount eliminates the need to use a plastic adapter (a requirement in Viewer 1.0) to use smaller phones, like the iPhone 5.
The DLX also ups the ante on usability. A binocular-inspired focus wheel at the top of the toy provides users with the ability to increase the sharpness of images viewed through a new set of enhanced optical lenses. A new headphone connector supports the attachment of external headphones, offering an improved audio experience.
The View-Master Viewer DLX’s Google Cardboard basis allows the toy to work with existing iPhone and Android VR content. However, Mattel is also releasing additional content for the device, including a new dinosaur-themed “experience pack” and a two-player Escape the Labyrinth game.