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Google, Mattel pitch a view to a new product next week

The press invite hints at Mattel's View-Master, an older toy that let kids flip through pictures. Could there be a virtual reality tie-in?

A copy of the media invite for next Friday's event by Google and Mattel. Google/Mattel

Just in time for a major international toy fair, Google and Mattel are planning to reveal a new joint project next week.

The Internet search giant and the toymaker sent out an invitation to the media Thursday for the announcement and product debut. The invitation includes the words, "View what's possible" inside what looks like a slide for an old Mattel View-Master, a binocular-shaped toy that let kids flip through pictures. With that as a hint, the product could be related to Google Cardboard, a virtual-reality headset the company unveiled last year.

The event will kick off the morning of Friday, Feb. 13, in New York, a day before the annual North American International Toy Fair begins.

Google has been working to build up Cardboard into a viable competitor against other VR efforts from Facebook's Oculus and Sony. Meanwhile, Mattel -- maker of Barbie and Fisher-Price toys -- has been struggling with softer revenue, as rivals Hasbro and Lego have been able to grow their sales even while more kids are using tablets and smartphones for games. A tie-up with Google, perhaps related to virtual reality, could provide Mattel with a needed boost.