View-Master is the trademark name of a line of special-format stereoscopes and corresponding View-Master "reels", which are thin cardboard disks containing seven stereoscopic 3-D pairs of small color photographs on film.
The View-Master system was introduced in 1939, four years after the advent of Kodachrome color film made the use of small high-quality photographic color images practical. Tourist attraction and travel views predominated in View-Master's early lists of available reels, most of which were meant to be interesting to users of all ages. Most current View-Master reels are intended for children.
It was manufactured and sold by Sawyer's.
In 1966, Sawyer's was acquired by the General Aniline & Film (GAF) Corporation, and became a wholly owned subsidiary.
In 1981 GAF sold View-Master to a group of investors headed by Arnold Thaler, and the company was reconstituted as the View-Master International Group.
VMI acquired the Ideal Toy Company in 1984 and became known as the View-Master Ideal Group; V-M Ideal in turn was purchased by Tyco Toys in 1989.
Tyco, including the View-Master Ideal Group, merged with Mattel Inc. in 1997. V-M was placed organizationally in Mattel's pre-school division and is now marketed under the Fisher-Price imprint, who continues emphasis on juvenile content.
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