The View-Master viewer has been
around for over sixty years. In that time other companies have produced
copies so close to the View-Master design that they can even view Sawyers
and Gaf reels. Stereo-Rama and Meopta Meoskop viewers are just two examples
covered elsewhere on this site. Other examples are shown below.
Cloning viewers is not just limited to View-Masters though, take a look
at the True-View viewer at the bottom of this page, it very closely
resembles the American Tru-Vue viewer from the 1950's.
A Chinese View-Master 'copy'.
Made out of cheap, fragile plastic this
has to be the worst ever View-Master clone ever. The reels are thick
plastic and the pictures are laughable, and not even stereo! but it does
show how far the View-Master culture has travelled since it's inception.
The instructions on the packet it came in are
priceless. They read, "Preciseness wield ways and means", and "Press here
when passing". I'm sure they knew what they meant!
An "Action Man" Viewer made by
Another example of a very poor viewer using the
View-Master format. This viewer was made in China and is much slimmer
front to back than a true View-Master. The quality of the lenses are awful
and the plastic advance leaver is very flimsy.
3-D TRUE-VIEW Viewer (Heroes in
Petticoats card set)
A cheap plastic copy of a 1950's Tru-Vue Viewer.
This viewer was manufactured in the early 1960's in Hong Kong. Like most
Hong Kong manufactured goods of that era, the quality is low and the
plastic feels brittle.
An example of one of the set of 10 cards
that came with the viewer, rather curiously entitled "Heroes in