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My first experience with virtual reality was diving in head-first, donning an Oculus Rift headset and utilizing the VirZOOM exercise bike controller to drag race a racecar, fly as a Pegasus and wrangle bandits horseback with my virtual lasso skills. As a first-timer, there was definitely an adjustment process from leaving the “real” world and immersing myself into a virtual one. For those who are curious about virtual reality and wanting to get a small taste of VR, Google and Mattel have teamed up to deliver a View-Master VR starter pack to ease VR newbies into the fold.

Children from the 80s and 90s no doubt remember View-Masters, the toy that resembled a plastic pair of binoculars where you would place a wheel of film into the top and look through the lens and click the lever to view all of the images. It probably occupied you for a solid three minutes before you moved onto something else, like your Tamagotchi. Well, Google and Mattel have revamped this old-school toy in order to revolutionize the nostalgic little plaything with virtual reality capabilities.


The new and improved View-Master combines both virtual and augmented reality that enables users to embark on a multitude of different adventures, navigating environments ranging from wildlife forests to outer space utilizing reels similar to those you’d place in the old-school models. The View-Master itself acts as the actual VR headset, facilitating the VR experience. With a starter pack available that includes a preview reel allowing users just a taste of VR expeditions and experience packs that actually let users explore these worlds first-hand, View-Master has a VR experience ready and suitable for just about anybody.

Built to be compatible with the iPhone, users can download a View-Master app, slide their phones into the View-Master VR headset and embark on a VR experience without having to buy expensive or fancy equipment. A 3D menu will appear and users will click the classic View-Master lever to choose their VR adventure and navigate a whole new world. Available on Apple’s website for a mere $30, this is the perfect way for VR novices to find out for themselves what all the commotion is about. Relive the nostalgia of your childhood and experience the future of immersive virtual reality technology through the View-Master.

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