At the North American International Toy Fair, Google and Mattel have teamed up to launch the next generation of their View-Master, with Google giving the decades old toy a 21st century make-over, and is now powered by Cardboard.
The View-Master headset will launch in the US in October for US$30, with the familiar circular View-Master cartridges filled with 360° content selling for US$15 each. The updated View-Master will require a smartphone to work just like Cardboard, which Mattel is intending to make compatible with both Apple and Android handsets.
Each View-Master sold will come with one View-Master reel, and even thought the content could theoretically be downloaded, according to Doug Wadleigh, a Mattel executive ‘Mattel found that people like collecting the reels’. This obviously ties-in with an on-going profit line for Google and Mattel.
The reels that will be produced will be both entertaining and informative. Mattel will be producting ‘kid-friendly’ material that will feature ‘famous places, landmarks, nature, planets and more in 360 degree photospheres’. There’s also a number of ready-made Cardboard apps available on Google Play.
Since launching as a giveaway at Google I/O 2014, Google estimates around 500,000 Cardboard kits have been given away. Third-party manufacturers have been responsible for creating these kits, with any number of retailers able to supply a set from as low as $5, or if you’re industrious you can even make it yourself based on instructions on the Google Cardboard page. Major OEM’s such as LG have recently gotten into the game with their plastic version being given away with LG G3 handsets.
Mattel has only announced the updated View-Master for the US market, though we’ve approached Mattel Australia for comment on a possible launch here in Australia.
Would you purchase a new version View-Master?