View-Master VR Viewerby Mattel

  • View-Master VR Viewer
  • View-Master VR Viewer
  • View-Master VR Viewer
TECHWALLA
VERDICT
A solid product. Despite some flaws, it's still a good value.
77%
TECHWALLA SCORE
based on the following sites

PROS

  • This inexpensive toy VR viewer works with Mattel's own virtual reality content, which is provided on Experience Reels. It can also be used with the full gamut of Google Cardboard content.
  • Its plastic housing is much more durable than Cardboard and much easier to clean.
  • You can use either an Android phone or an iPhone to view content. Both are easy to insert in the viewer, and a hinge locks the phones in place.

CONS

  • Views are not panoramic. In order to get a 360-degree viewing experience, you must turn your entire head and body around in a circle.
  • Mattel hasn't produced many Experience Reels.
  • Neither the first edition nor the newer deluxe model includes a head strap.
The View-Master VR Viewer is a virtual reality toy targeted at children aged seven and up. Mattel released the first version in a starter kit in late 2015 and followed it with the Deluxe VR Viewer in 2016. If you remember the original View-Master from your childhood, both versions are reminiscent, except these viewers display VR content. Mattel produces its own VR content on reels, although the viewers also work with Google Cardboard content. You insert a smartphone to view VR content with either product. The deluxe edition adds a handheld controller and an improved hinge for holding the phone in place.
NameView-Master VR ViewerRiftPlayStation VRViveGear VR
ManufacturerMattelOculusSonyHTCSamsung
Techwalla Score
77%
83%
83%
82%
81%
List Price$30$599$400$799$100
100%

There’s no doubt about it, this is a View-Master through and through. Mattel did a great job updating the View-Master Virtual Reality viewer…

There’s no doubt about it, this is a View-Master through and through. Mattel did a great job updating the View-Master Virtual Reality viewer while retaining the look and feel of the old school View-Master. Even the “reels” emulate the style of the old reel inserts.

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80%

The Viewer measures 9.5 by 3.2 by 5.5 inches (HWD) and weighs about 1.5 pounds. It resembles an oversized pair of swim goggles, and bears th…

The Viewer measures 9.5 by 3.2 by 5.5 inches (HWD) and weighs about 1.5 pounds. It resembles an oversized pair of swim goggles, and bears the distinct red-and-black color combo of the original View-Master...A latch at the top opens the Viewer to reveal the slot in which you place a compatible smartphone.

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80%

The View-Master sits rather more on the toy side when it comes to construction and feel, more so than something like Samsung's Gear VR. Ther…

The View-Master sits rather more on the toy side when it comes to construction and feel, more so than something like Samsung's Gear VR. There's no head strap so - and like some other VR headsets that use a smartphone, such as Google Cardboard - it's a case of holding it to your face to view the content. There's fun in that approach and, priced at £23, that's perfectly fair.

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80%

It’s based on Google’s Cardboard technology and aims to bring virtual reality to a younger audience.The design offers just the right amount …

It’s based on Google’s Cardboard technology and aims to bring virtual reality to a younger audience.The design offers just the right amount of retro to pay homage to the 75 year View Master brand’s history. This combined with its affordable price, and wealth of education focused apps, help the View Master hold its own amongst the increasingly competitive VR pack.

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60%

The Mattel View-Master is inexpensive and easy to get up and running, plus it looks pretty darn cool. It works with both Android and iPhones…

The Mattel View-Master is inexpensive and easy to get up and running, plus it looks pretty darn cool. It works with both Android and iPhones. ...The Experience Reels aren't exactly coming thick and fast.

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60%

I had thought maybe the lenses and some image trickery within the apps could widen the field of view, but it is not panoramic; your view is …

I had thought maybe the lenses and some image trickery within the apps could widen the field of view, but it is not panoramic; your view is restricted to what’s in front of you -- nothing in your peripheral vision. Turning your head (and body) around reveals the full 360 x 360 degree virtual environment. The images in the View-Master apps blur slightly when you turn your head, something I did not find true of all the Cardboard content, other than Google’s app deliberately blurring faces in crowd scenes, just like on Street View.

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While typical Cardboard viewers share the same DNA as a pizza box or shipping carton, the View-Master VR is glossy red, white, and black, lo…

While typical Cardboard viewers share the same DNA as a pizza box or shipping carton, the View-Master VR is glossy red, white, and black, looking precisely like a toy should. It’s a nod to the classic View-Master—and even has an orange lever for the input button—but instead of staring at illuminated still images, you’ll pop your phone within and soak up immersive VR content. It’s built from Google’s Cardboard 2.0 framework released this summer, so the View-Master VR works with a wide array of devices (including iPhones), supporting up to 6-inch screens.

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