If you're one of the people who winced when they saw the $600 price tag attached to the, then the Mattel View-Master might be more your speed.
Yes, we're talking about that View-Master, the stereoscopic image viewers that have been delighting children since 1939, re-imagined for the age of virtual and augmented reality. Mattel has rebooted the brand and created this, a VR accessory for your phone.
VR is available in a wide range of products with a wide range of prices right now. At the low end of the spectrum is. But you can opt for a sturdier plastic option. The View-Master is a toylike Google Cardboard-compatible VR viewer for phones. And it's a very different product than those old pop-in-a-reel stereoscopic toys. It's not fancy, but it works. And it's built to be kid-friendly.
Just to be clear, like Google Cardboard,and other similar devices, it's still your phone that does the heavy lifting, in terms of both the screen and the processing power.
Essentially, this makes the View-Master a better quality version of Google Cardboard that you don't need to assemble yourself. For the $30, £23 or AU$50 it'll cost you, that might be well worth the price of admission alone.
The nostalgia doesn't just stop with the design aesthetic. The old-school film reels you'd pop into your View-Master to explore the age of dinosaurs or see what Disney characters have been up to have been replaced by similar looking hard plastic versions. But these aren't popped in the View-Master. You put them on a table and look at them through the View-Master to trigger augmented reality effects.
For the modern experience, you actually buy an Experience Pack, as Mattel calls it, and download an associated app. So if you have the Destinations experience pack, you need to download the 200MB-plus Destinations app.
Fire up the app and it'll get you to scan the Pass Card from the Experience Pack as a sort of proof of purchase. Pop your phone in the View-Master, close it up and you're ready to roll. If I can get the 5.7-inchto sit in the device, you won't have a problem with the majority of modern phones.
You can then aim the View-Master at the pack's plastic reel and you'll get a little augmented reality pop-up. For the Ellis Island destination reel, for example, it's the Statue of Liberty.
Once you're in the app proper, it's a full VR-style experience, encouraging you to look around in glorious 360-degree freedom. Certain areas will be highlighted, letting you use the orange trigger on the side of the device to interact, moving you on to new sights.