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Christmas Gift Guide

A new View

Visiting new places and spaces

Google's newest Cardboard partner

Inside the demo room

A smartphone inside

The new reels

A look inside

Taking a virtual tour

A historical look

The next step for the toy

About 75 years after the introduction of the first View-Master, Mattel has unveiled the newest version -- just in time for New York's annual North American International Toy Fair.

Mattel plans to start selling the new View-Master in October. The prototype shown here isn't a working model.

Caption by / Photo by Ben Fox Rubin

The new toy can take viewers on immersion tours of all kinds of new venues, similar to the old View-Master, which showed images of landmarks and scenery.

Caption by / Photo by Ben Fox Rubin

The View-Master is the latest example of Google's virtual-reality Cardboard technology in new apps and devices. Earlier this week, LG announced a promotion to use a Cardboard-based headset for its flagship G3 smartphone.

Caption by / Photo by Ben Fox Rubin

At an event in New York City on Friday, Google and Mattel gave reporters an early look at the new View-Master.

Caption by / Photo by Ben Fox Rubin

With a working prototype of the View-Master not yet available, Mattel used a Google Cardboard headset -- which is made of cardboard -- to show off View-Master's capabilities. Here, a Nexus 5 smartphone is used as the display, offering a stereoscopic view of San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge.

Caption by / Photo by Ben Fox Rubin

The old View-Master used circular reels of images showing landscapes or scenery. When looked at through a new View-Master, a menu of 3D images pop up out of the new reels, which then take users to 360-degree pictures.

These reels aren't actually necessary -- you could instead just download new images -- but they offer a useful nod to the View-Master's long history.

Caption by / Photo by Ben Fox Rubin

Viewing inside the Cardboard prototype, I could look all around me and click through to different views of places, like when I jumped from outside Alcatraz to inside a cell on the former island prison.

Caption by / Photo by Ben Fox Rubin

Here is CNET's Bridget Carey giving the View-Master prototype a try.

Several of the new reels for the new View-Master have pictures from decades past that were used in older versions of the toy, such as the solar-system reel that includes old pictures of astronauts on the moon.

Caption by / Photo by Ben Fox Rubin

The View-Master was first introduced at the 1939 World's Fair in New York.

A series of displays at Friday's event show how many iterations the View-Master went through over the decades.

Caption by / Photo by Ben Fox Rubin

While View-Master may have been a must-have item decades ago, it hasn't been of much interest for today's kid. Mattel is hoping to change that with the new View-Master.

This new product may just be the start. The company plans to use more technology in its products to keep its toys and board games fresh in the Digital Age.

Caption by / Photo by Ben Fox Rubin
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