Below are examples of View-Masters
made since 2000 by Mattel's Fisher-Price brand . The optical quality of
the some of the early Fisher-Price Virtual-Viewers was very poor, with a
great deal of distortion of the lens, however, later models had quite
reasonable optics and gave a good quality enlarged image, similar to the
Model D. If you are considering purchasing one and it is possible, try
viewing a reel through it first to ensure you have one with good optics.
The blue horizontal viewer , show in the top picture, uses a new method
for illuminating reels, taking ambient light from above and then
reflecting it on small mirrors. This gives a good, bright image.
An example of a Horizontal Reel
Fisher-Price Virtual View-Master,
sometimes referred to as the Model O
An example of a Traditional Style Fisher-Price Virtual View-Master
A Discovery Channel View-Master Binocular Viewer
Manufactured by Fisher-Price in 1998
and still in production in 2000, this viewer has a dual function. By
turning a lever the viewer becomes a set of 4X12 binoculars with focussing
adjustment. (104.5m @ 1000m)
An IMAX Experience Pocket Viewer
This viewer has 18 stereo images. It
was produced by Fisher-Price under the View-Master brand name.
Harry Potter View-Master, released by Fisher-Price (Mattel Inc) in 2001
It takes special viewing cards, each
one of which contains a single stereo pair. There are sixty different
cards , known as 'Windows' in the complete set. The reverse side of the
Windows form a mural when all laid out together.
Bottom left is the official storage tin which has compartments for the
slides and viewer. Manufactured in 2001
A point of interest is that these Harry
Potter items are sold using the USA name "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's
Stone", rather than Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, as the story
is known in the United Kingdom.
View-Master 65th Anniversary Collection Set
The viewer below comes from the View-Master 65th
Anniversary Collection Set issues in 2004. It comes complete with eight
reels which have original pictures taken from reels of the relevant
This viewer has been made in a red chrome finish and
was manufactured in Mexico. The advance lever
feels more flimsy than traditional Model L viewers and the reflective
finish detracts from the viewing experience somewhat as you are conscious
of the reflection, even when the viewer is held close to the face, but it
does look cool.....
Chip based technology finally reaches
the View-Master viewer. This 2005 viewer is based around the same format
as the Model O, or Horizontal viewer as pictured at the top of this page.
This viewer has a slot in the back to receive a cartridge which doubles as
a reel storage case. When a reel is inserted and advanced, the sound
effect or dialogue associated with the picture being shown is played
automatically. The sound comes through a round speaker grill, visible on
the left of the left-hand picture below. The orange button allows the
sound to be replayed and there is a switch with three settings, off, low
volume, high volume.
The reel case also contains a chip in
which the sound effects are stored.