Friends, I highly doubt that anyone who visits this site is unfamiliar with the magic and joy of a View-Master. Even with all of the advanced 3-D technology that is available to us in the palm of our hand with our phones – it’s hard to beat the enjoyment of holding a View-Master up to the light and seeing favorite comic book, cartoon, and movie characters in stereoscopic glory. The fact that View-Master reel sets can command some hefty prices should be a testament to how much collector’s still value the toy . Even with the recent attempt to branch out with Virtual Reality View-Master… which didn’t go so well for Mattel, there is now as it was in our childhoods just something amazing about stopping and enjoying some scenes from Superman: The Movie whenever you feel like it. The reason I brought up the Virtual Reality View-Master wasn’t an attempt to be snide but to point out that the View-Master has always attempted to reinvent itself – starting in 1978 when it developed the View-Master Double-Vue movie viewer.
I’ve talked quite a bit before about my love of Fisher Price’s handheld movie viewer, with it’s swappable film cartridges that featured characters from Peanuts, Looney Tunes, and even Walt Disney animated shorts like Mickey Mouse and the Giant as well as moments from such films as The Black Hole and Mary Poppins. The popularity of kids being able to have silent animated shorts – with subtitles in key scenes – led to Kenner throwing their hat in the ring and producing movie viewers for Star Wars, The Six Million Dollar Man and even 1979’s Alien!
So it’s not surprise that View-Master decided to try and deliver something new as well – which as I’ve already said was the View-Master Double-Vue movie viewer. Much like the Fisher Price movie viewer it featured a nice selection of cartoon and comic characters – on a silent 45 second cartridge. Where The Fisher Price movie viewer was cranked by hand – the View-Master Double-Vue was battery operated and when the first cartoon short was finished you would turn the plastic cartridge over to watch the second short – you could just keep doing this all day, as long as your batteries held out and you were close enough to a light source of course.
Besides animated shorts featuring Superman and Batman, The Sub-Mariner and The Fantastic Four in addition to Spider-Man, Captain America, The Incredible Hulk, and Thor were also offered – always in the dual cartridge form for twice the fun. But crazily enough the View-Master Double-Vue also had live-action shorts which included the Universal Monsters and even KISS that had concert highlights and I Was Made For Lovin’ You – which I assume was taken from the footage from the 1979 music video.
I’m sad to say that the View-Master Double-Vue didn’t seem to catch on and it appears that on the likes of eBay it demands a pretty penny if you want to add it to your collection. Which is a shame because I can’t think of a better way to spend this morning than watching Double-Vue clips of both Scooby-Doo and The Laff-A-Lympics. Although thanks to YouTube we can actually watch a collection of these 45 second shorts from the View-Master Double-Vue – featuring Heckle and Jeckle, Bela Lugosi’s version of Dracula, and more!
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