Mattel has partnered with Google Cardboard to redesign the iconic View-Master® in its first major remodel since it was introduced at the 1939 World's Fair in New York. While you don't need the reels to access the views, they are still a part of the toy. Plastic now instead of cardboard, they do make it easier than using the manual process to access the views. But instead of popping them into the viewer, you just place them in front of you and scan with the viewer for a truly immersive virtual reality experience. We had the opportunity to try out the San Francisco disk at Toy Fair last February, which gives you access to major sites in the bay area, like the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz. I picked Alcatraz and found myself standing just outside the perimeter of the prison. Turning around the scene changes as if you really are standing right there. The scene shows a number of icons you can click on – some offering pop-up information, others transporting you to the inside the...
I have never tried anything like this and nobody else I know has one of these so I thought it was cool. I like that there are multiple kinds of scenes that you can look at. We tried the space one first and I really liked that. You can see a space ship and it is like you are an astronaut and just flying around it in space. That is the best thing because we looked at the list of things you can download and we could all find stuff we wanted to see so I think everybody would like this. I kind of wish it worked with our iPad because I have to use my Mom or Dads phone and they don't really let me use it all the time. But i guess it would have to be too big to fit an iPad! One other thing is that instead of the strap on your wrist I think it should have a strap for your neck because it is kind of heavy and if I dropped it with the phone inside I know I would get in trouble. Gram (M10)
This toy is really very very good. It was super awesome. It is probably tied for the best toy ever. Because it is so good there is always someone who wants to use it so really it would be better if it wasn't as good. I don't think we will ever be done testing it because there are so many different apps but so far my favourite for sure is the roller coaster one. I haven't even been on a real roller coaster like that but it felt really real. And I even had to wait in line because even Daddy wanted to try it before I had a turn. I don't even know any other toy that is like this even a little bit. It is not even really a toy it is just a cool thing like having an iPad. I think it would be good if we had one at school. I think the space one was my favourite until we tried the roller coaster one. Ian (M8)
The kids (M8, M10 & F4) have been enjoying the view master more each time they use it. And truthfully, every time they are using it, an adult is in there, too, checking out what all the ohhh and awwwww are about. There seem to be endless options for downloading different apps that the kids are loving to experience virtual reality. The view master size is a great size for even little hands to grip on to and it feels at least that our phone is secure in there. It really is unlike anything we've tried. So much fun. And very handy - we have tried it with two different iPhones, and very easy to fit in phones of different sizes. We've used a variety of appswith this [not just from Mattel] and most are very educational - a great way for kids to fully "get" the size and scope for things like sea creatures or spacecraft. The kids have been fairly careful with this since our phones are inside it, but the virtual reality does almost make you want to walk around and turn around quite a bit while looking. M8 especially - it is so real we have to remind him not to walk around and bump into things! Once you have the appropriate apps on your phone it's really a toy for any age. M10 and M8 haven't had any problems using it. The phone seems secure in the view master, and is not going to fall out. Its look catches the attention of parents who remember old view masters. The bulky (in a good way!) design makes it very easy even for M4 to hold onto. It has not been dropped! But it was well, but not over packaged. The instructions were simple three steps and easy to understand. It took about five minutes to read instructions AND download app, and we were ready to go. We seemed to get through The "sample preview reel" really quickly, it does seem to be truly a sample and if your kids like this you will be downloading far more content. We downloaded the space package to explore but you can search for different apps that suit your child's interests. They still like using it, and even more, they like showing it to friends or relatives. Jennifer Fraser
The View-Master® Virtual Reality viewer is your portal to immersive, virtual reality adventures that will transport you around the world and beyond. For more than 75 years, generations of kids have been introduced to the wonder of 3-D by View-Master®. Now, get ready to experience a whole new level of realism with View-Master® VR that Works With Google Cardboard! This innovative system will open your eyes to the world of virtual reality. Simply download one of the free View-Master® apps, slide your smartphone (not included) into the viewer and place the Preview Reel in front of you. A 3-D augmented reality menu will appear -- digital icons that seem to float above the reel. Make your selection by looking at the one you want to visit, then click the lever to launch yourself through time and space into 360-degree views that completely surround you. Look up, look down, look around -- everywhere you turn, you'll find something new to see! Interact with your environment by clicking the...