Friday, March 6, 2009

We Shall Mourn Your Death

Yes, believe it or not, the Viewmaster of our childhood memories since 1939 is no more. What did it come down to? Two things. One is:

"That's not what the kids are looking for in the back seat of the car, they're looking for a DVD that plays on the back of Daddy's seat."

The other reason (money):

"Because of its limited shelf space in stores and it brings in less than $10 million a year, compared with overall revenue of $5.92 billion for Mattel in 2008. The company stopped making them in December."

$10 Million a year?! That would be a decent non-corporate owned small business. Too bad they can't give it back to the original owners. But for a price, anything's possible.

It is very sad to hear from collectors like Mary Ann Sell of Maineville, Ohio:

"The whole summer I was 5 years old, before I went to school, I traveled the world via View-Master - it was great, and now kids won't have the opportunity to do that,"

I remember looking through and imagining myself in the images as a kid.

Read the whole article at Int'l Herald Tribune (NY Times).


  1. My favorite source for 3-d things (including viewmasters) is

    Did you know that the Pomona Tile Company in the 1950s produced their own viewmaster reels with examples of their tile in kitchens and bathrooms. They even branded (with stick on labels) their own viewmaster units so you could see the beauty of their tiles.

  2. I got my 1st view-master from my Dad when he visited LA from former Yugoslavia. I had 3 disks (?) - one of Disneyland, one of California famous places and the 3rd I don't remember. The colors were really brilliant.

    You have an excellent blog. I found my way over here from Keith's Monrovia Daily Photo

  3. Sniff! I remember the soft click sound. Tash is right -- the colors were amazing. What a nifty contraption. Thanks for the memories, Skrip.

  4. See! I knew I wasn't crazy when I was almost induced to tears. This little gadget was special for all of us as kids (and adults too).

    Tash, thanks for the compliments, I'm impressed you remember your viewmaster so well, except for that last disk (come on, you can remember, try!)