View-Master Copies and Clones - When is a ViewMaster not a ViewMaster - When it is a clone!




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 Hasbo Toys.

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 Petticoats"

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