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 Posted:   Feb 29, 2012 - 5:20 AM   
 By:   Joe E.   (Member)

I'd forgotten those things existed. How technology flies. They'd not raise an eyebrow today.

But I found one in my parents' effects. I remember having 'The Omega Glory' from 'Star Trek' amongst others, around 1970 or so.


I have that one. The shot on the reel of the Enterprise in orbit was specially made for the set, not a still from the episode.

They could have picked a better episode to put on a reel. frown


Agreed about the choice of episode. I've seen two explanations for the selection, and I'm not sure which is actually the case, but I suspect it's the second:

- "The Omega Glory" is simply the episode that happened to be shooting the week the Viewmaster photographer arrived at the studio.

- "The Omega Glory" was written by Gene Roddenberry, who would receive a writer's royalty on products that adapted the story, as the Viewmaster reel did (coming as it did with what's apparently a laughably-written synopsis of the episode), and he arranged to have the photographer's prearranged visit and this particular episode's production coincide, so as to pick up another little personal revenue stream from his creation (which in fairness sounds reasonable to me, in this case, unlike his reported screwing Alexander Courage out of half the royalties for the theme).

 
 Posted:   Mar 4, 2012 - 1:51 AM   
 By:   ZapBrannigan   (Member)

Here is my complete collection. I thought I had more, but this is it:



Thankfully the intact sets are all in good shape and complete. The loose reels on the right are

- Rockefeller Center, reels One and Two.
- New York City: Manhattan Scenes, all three reels.
- New York City: Sight-Seeing Tour, reels Two and Three.
- Atom Ant in "Stuck-Up Atom," Reel Two.
- Secret Squirrel and Morroco Mole in "Masked Granny," Reel One.
- Squiddly Diddly in "Runaway Squid," Reel Three.
- Batman "The Purr-fect Crime," Reel Three.

Their packaging and booklets are long gone, lost to childhood along with the missing reels.

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 19, 2013 - 6:06 PM   
 By:   psykin   (Member)

I have the "Castrovalva" and "Full Circle" Doctor Who sets - those are authentic 3D on-set photos, not conversions. I, too, was extremely pleased to discover that. In relation to the variance issues, I've also seen sets where some shots were true 3D, some were conversion, within the same set - FX shots, for instance, would be converted, but the set shots would be 3D, for obvious reasons. Then there are the lame ones that are all conversion - always felt cheated by those.

 
 Posted:   Oct 20, 2013 - 5:11 AM   
 By:   danbeck   (Member)

I used to love Viewmaster also and had many 3d reels, the best I can remember included some randon photos (a bird getting a fish, the Eifel tower). I also remember some scenes from an animated cartoon related to bees (Maya and The Bees... or something like that) that was not very good (instead of real 3d this one had parts of the drawings in different levels just like small cardboards one in front of the other.

Two years ago, due to nostalgia, I purchased one at eBay with the "JAWS 3-D" reels, which look great.

 
 Posted:   Oct 20, 2013 - 5:36 AM   
 By:   Gary S.   (Member)

I not only had the hand held viewer, bur also had a projector. I had lots of Disney stuff, the Dinosaur set and The Man From UNCLE among others

 
 Posted:   Oct 20, 2013 - 7:25 AM   
 By:   solium   (Member)





I remember almost all of these! Loved them back in the days. I lost interest when VM went "3D". Hated the effect even back then. Much prefer the 2D slides.

 
 Posted:   Oct 20, 2013 - 7:56 AM   
 By:   PhiladelphiaSon   (Member)

My Viewmaster experience pre-dates most here. It was Sawyer's Viewmaster, not GAF. My dad actually wrote songs to accompany many of my Viewmasters, and my mom, dad, aunts and uncles would record the accompanying story booklet and do the original songs on a reel-to-reel recorder. I would show them on my Viewmaster projector, and play the recordings for the kids in the neighborhood. Wow, what a simple time it was.

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 21, 2013 - 11:36 AM   
 By:   Joe E.   (Member)

Zap, that is a fantastic little collection. I'm quite envious.

I remember almost all of these! Loved them back in the days. I lost interest when VM went "3D". Hated the effect even back then. Much prefer the 2D slides.

Erm - huh? Wasn't 3d always the primary thing associated with the "Viewmaster" name? I know there were 2d projectors and such, but it always seemed to me those were riding on 3d's coattails or something.

 
 Posted:   Oct 21, 2013 - 11:53 AM   
 By:   solium   (Member)

solium, that is a fantastic little collection. I'm quite envious.

I remember almost all of these! Loved them back in the days. I lost interest when VM went "3D". Hated the effect even back then. Much prefer the 2D slides.

Erm - huh? Wasn't 3d always the primary thing associated with the "Viewmaster" name? I know there were 2d projectors and such, but it always seemed to me those were riding on 3d's coattails or something.


It's ZapBrannigan collection. I simply "quoted" his picture. Sorry for the confusion.

Originally VM reels were 2D images. Essentially a collection of slides. Later on (I think in the 80's) they created everything with a "3D" effect. Ive always hated it. Flat images were converted to "3D". Some cartoon reels (like Bambi and Peanuts) actually used custom sculpts instead of animation cels. Very strange.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/View-Master-Walt-Disneys-BAMBI-The-Great-Prince-/271299357629

Actually the sculpts themselves would be cool collectables on their own. I wonder if anyone owns them? Were they created by the toy company then trashed after the reels were made? Quite a mystery.

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 21, 2013 - 12:56 PM   
 By:   Joe E.   (Member)

It's ZapBrannigan collection. I simply "quoted" his picture. Sorry for the confusion.

Yeah, I realized that after making that post and getting away from the computer; I'd hoped to get back here in time to edit it before either of you responded. Oh, well. embarrassment

Originally VM reels were 2D images. Essentially a collection of slides. Later on (I think in the 80's) they created everything with a "3D" effect. Ive always hated it. Flat images were converted to "3D". Some cartoon reels (like Bambi and Peanuts) actually used custom sculpts instead of animation cels. Very strange.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/View-Master-Walt-Disneys-BAMBI-The-Great-Prince-/271299357629

Actually the sculpts themselves would be cool collectables on their own. I wonder if anyone owns them? Were they created by the toy company then trashed after the reels were made? Quite a mystery.


Viewmaster was well-known for 3d imagery long before the '80s. As discussed in the various posts above, projects like Star Trek had custom 3d photos taken during production specifically for Viewmaster, and that was back in the '60s, of course.

There are indeed numerous Viewmaster reels (from various decades) that presented "3d" images that were really just poorly-done conversions from flat, 2d images, and those do suck, but there are also lots of reels featuring honest-to-goodness 3d photos, usually shot specifically for VM, and those are great - including those various cartoon-based ones you mention, that feature 3d photos of custom sculptures and such based on classic cartoons. Yeah, it'd be fantastic to have some of those, but I've no idea what became of them.

I don't remember ever seeing 2d Viewmaster reels; moreover, I don't understand what the point would be. There's no reason to use a stereo image viewer for 2d photos, when such images could just be printed on cards or pages or whatever. That's not to say no such reels were ever produced, but I don't get why they would, at least.

 
 Posted:   Oct 21, 2013 - 2:08 PM   
 By:   solium   (Member)

I have no recollection of those 3D slides in the 60's and 70's so I stand corrected. However to my recollection Star Trek (with the illustrated covers) Lost In Space, Space 1999, Land of the Giant, etc were 2D slides.

The value of the viewer was two fold. It was a portable slide show, no bulky viewer or wall needed, and the slides had better quality over print images. Also looking into the viewer engulfed my vision into the subject without any peripheral distractions. I thought it was cool as heck. cool

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 21, 2013 - 2:20 PM   
 By:   Joe E.   (Member)

I have the "Castrovalva" and "Full Circle" Doctor Who sets - those are authentic 3D on-set photos, not conversions. I, too, was extremely pleased to discover that.

Thanks for the info! That's immensely cool; I'll have to see if I can find copies of those for myself, then, along with the Star Trek "The Omega Glory" set.

Hmm... I should dig out my viewer and reels today, I think. I'd love to see Indy and Buckaroo in 3d again.

________________________

Incidentally, I'm seeing a lot of posts in this thread talking about Viewmasters as though they haven't been made in years, and the only way to get one is to seek one out on eBay or something. They're actually still around and available new, although most current ones are kid-oriented ones themed with various kid/family entertainment properties, which I could see people here not wanting to use. But still.

http://www.fisher-price.com/en_US/brands/viewmaster

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 21, 2013 - 2:32 PM   
 By:   Joe E.   (Member)

I have no recollection of those 3D slides in the 60's and 70's so I stand corrected. However to my recollection Star Trek (with the illustrated covers) Lost In Space, Space 1999, Land of the Giant, etc were 2D slides.

The value of the viewer was two fold. It was a portable slide show, no bulky viewer or wall needed, and the slides had better quality over print images. Also looking into the viewer engulfed my vision into the subject without any peripheral distractions. I thought it was cool as heck. cool


Okay, but why the separate views for each eye if for 2d images? If it was just a portable slide show, it could show them in a single window for both eyes, or have just a view for a single eye in a smaller viewer (like those tiny souvenir pocket viewers containing a short film strip).

Also, I don't know anything about the reels for those other shows / franchises / whatever, but I do know something about the various Star Trek reels, though I don't have any (there were at least five sets I know about - one apiece from episodes of the original series, the animated series and The Next Generation, plus the first two movies), and they're all 3d. Some of them are indeed the inferior cutout-style "conversions" made from 2d photos, but they're still meant to be 3d, even if it's sucky, fake-looking 3d.

 
 Posted:   Oct 21, 2013 - 2:37 PM   
 By:   solium   (Member)

Similar but slightly OT... Anyone remember "Viewfinder"? I think that's the name, but I can't find any evidence of it online. It had a single eye piece, a handle to hold onto, and a hand held crank on the side. I had the Star Wars reel.

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 21, 2013 - 2:44 PM   
 By:   Joe E.   (Member)

Oh, and to answer my own question from some months ago:

One of the things I've found really interesting about Viewmaster reel subjects, with regards to ones licensed from various entertainment properties, is the selections could be fairly scattershot and unpredictable in terms of what movies and shows and such got VM treatment...

There are Viewmaster reels for things that got extremely little in the way of other merchandising - I've got the reels for The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension (which the VM set refers to simply as "Buckaroo Banzai"), and I understand there's a set for the incredibly little-seen Twice Upon a Time, of all things - while big, major productions with tons of other merchandise often don't have any (have there ever been any Star Wars ones, for example?).


It turns out there are indeed Star Wars ones, as I've just learned from the official VM site I linked earlier.

http://www.fisher-price.com/en_US/brands/viewmaster/products/78487

http://www.fisher-price.com/en_US/brands/viewmaster/products/78488

From the copyright dates on those pages, these apparently came out this year, which makes me wonder whether they're just the ordinary, underwhelming "cutout" style images made from 2d photos that we'd get so often in the past, or instead make use of the extensive post-conversion work done to put the actual movies themselves into 3d, in which case they could actually be pretty decent...

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 21, 2013 - 2:58 PM   
 By:   Joe E.   (Member)

Similar but slightly OT... Anyone remember "Viewfinder"? I think that's the name, but I can't find any evidence of it online. It had a single eye piece, a handle to hold onto, and a hand held crank on the side. I had the Star Wars reel.

Yes! I definitely remember those. Kenner made them (perhaps other companies did as well?). They took interchangeable sealed cartridges containing short bits of movie film, and you would insert the cartridge of your choice, look through the eyepiece while directing the viewer at a light source to illuminate the film images, and turn the crank on the side to run the film. In this day of ubiquitous tiny electronic items capable of playing video, a kid probably wouldn't understand the appeal of those old viewers at all, but back in the day it was kind of amazing to be able to watch even such short clips of ACTUAL MOVIE FOOTAGE (!!!) from your favorite cartoons or movies or whatever on something you could hold in your hands and carry around (even if it was limited to short bits of footage and didn't have sound).

My brother had one, but never got a lot of cartridges for it; the only one I can remember was of a Disney cartoon (the one with Mickey, Donald and Goofy in a haunted house - the name of the short escapes me, in my current moment of senility). I do remember checking out Star Wars ones in stores, though, and wanting them very much.

But I'm not sure of the name "Viewfinder"; I think it was probably something else. I should actually have one of the old Kenner Star Wars toy catalogs that features the Star Wars one(s); I'll try to dig it up and see if it'll tell me whether it was actually called that.

 
 Posted:   Oct 21, 2013 - 3:39 PM   
 By:   solium   (Member)

Similar but slightly OT... Anyone remember "Viewfinder"? I think that's the name, but I can't find any evidence of it online. It had a single eye piece, a handle to hold onto, and a hand held crank on the side. I had the Star Wars reel.

Yes! I definitely remember those. Kenner made them (perhaps other companies did as well?). They took interchangeable sealed cartridges containing short bits of movie film, and you would insert the cartridge of your choice, look through the eyepiece while directing the viewer at a light source to illuminate the film images, and turn the crank on the side to run the film. In this day of ubiquitous tiny electronic items capable of playing video, a kid probably wouldn't understand the appeal of those old viewers at all, but back in the day it was kind of amazing to be able to watch even such short clips of ACTUAL MOVIE FOOTAGE (!!!) from your favorite cartoons or movies or whatever on something you could hold in your hands and carry around (even if it was limited to short bits of footage and didn't have sound).


It was from Kenner now that you mention it. Good call! And your correct they were awesome for us kids back then. It was a thrill watching a mini movie version of Star Wars. This was probably before VHS's too. I remember the Disney short as well. The one you recall was called "Lonesome Ghosts- 1937". I still have mine in a toy box too. Should be easy enough to find.

 
 Posted:   Oct 21, 2013 - 7:02 PM   
 By:   ZapBrannigan   (Member)

I don't remember ever seeing 2d Viewmaster reels; moreover, I don't understand what the point would be. There's no reason to use a stereo image viewer for 2d photos, when such images could just be printed on cards or pages or whatever. That's not to say no such reels were ever produced, but I don't get why they would, at least.

The View-Master 3D viewer and some early reels for it came out in late 1939 according to Wikipedia. Before that, the company was mostly selling photographic greeting cards and postcards.

 
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