Tuesday, February 17, 2015

View-Master targets valuable "Glasshole" demographic

Part of the charm of View-Master is its inherent shittiness. While the technology was simple and elegant, there were some profoundly bizarre creative decisions made in regards to the actual content of View-Master reels. I sincerely loved these toys as a child, but remain perplexed as to how "The Omega Glory," easily one of the worst episodes of STAR TREK, was selected to receive the View-Master treatment. As terrible as "Spock's Brain" might be (and it's pretty terrible) it at least offered 3-D visual opportunities otherwise absent from "The Omega Glory."

It's no less odd that the DARK SHADOWS reels devoted so much time to Joe Haskell's diminishing mental state, as well as an appearance by Diabolos (who was featured in all of TWO episodes of the television show.) And don't get me started on their awful/wonderful "Talking View-Master" reels depicting Dracula, Frankenstein and the Wolf-Man.

Mattel is bringing back the View-Master, though you might not know it by reading the product description. Rather than competing with the other items in the toy section at Target, Mattel seems to be gunning for the hole recently left by the demise of Google Glass. Here's the official description, which practically throbs with corporate synergy:
Mattel’s new View-Master® viewer offers an easy-to-use and affordable platform that will empower users to take dynamic field trips where they can explore famous places, landmarks, nature, planets and more in 360 degree “photospheres.” By pairing the View-Master® “experience reel” and app with a compatible Android smartphone, users will immediately find themselves immersed in an imaginative and interactive learning environment.
I don't know what the hell that means, and suddenly feel like one of my grandparents at a screening of INCEPTION. Read the rest for yourself HERE.

Google Glass was not well received by the general public, which saw the technology as invasive and dubbed its users "Glassholes." It will be interesting to see if the new "interactive" View-Master is received any better. If Mattel isn't careful, they might be seeing the term "View-Masterbators" a lot on Twitter in coming months.

(Thanks to Will McKinley for the tip. You should go visit his website, because it's swell.)

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