The search engine giant Google has teamed up with the toymaker Mattel to bring the age-old View-Master into the 21st century. Both companies are determined to give the iconic classic toy a makeover. With the original View-Master, users could insert a reel into the binocular and view 3D images.
According to developers, the brand new View-Master will sport a red plastic body with a side lever to switch from one image to another. The updated toy uses an Android smartphone and Google Cardboard technology so that users get to experience a 360-degree view of an animated world.
Doug Wadleigh, Mattel’s senior vice-president, told Fortune that the company will release View-Master in October this year. Those interested will need to shell out around US$30 for the modern version. And if they want a set of four reels, they would have to pay an extra US$12.
The toy maker aims to design toys for today’s kids generation. View-Master will offer a variety of educational 3D content to children, such as virtual trips to Paris and Alcatraz Island.
The modern version of View-Master will work with a custom Mattel app. However, users can also use other apps to run View-Master provided they are compatible with Google Cardboard.
El Segundo-based Mattel is struggling to maintain its position as the world’s leading toy maker. The company has ousted its CEO Bryan Stockton because there has been no improvement in sales. Young girls no longer like Mattel’s iconic Barbie doll. Instead, they like dolls based on Disney’s animated movie called Frozen.
Fortune reported that Mattel is likely to get most benefit from the Google collaboration. Richard Dickson, Mattel’s Chief Brand Officer, came upon this idea when he interacted with Google Cardboard at the 2014 Google Zeitgeist conference.
Parents may begin to worry that the toy could cause harm to their children’s eyes. However, Mattel said that they are testing the product and also continuously seeking advice from international pediatric ophthalmologists.