Saturday, January 29, 2011

Weekend Special Edition - Viewmaster!

I get on these kicks and start buying up stuff I had when I was a kid, puffy stickers, Presto Magix, Colorforms... this week it's Viewmasters! Everyone had a Viewmaster viewer, didn't they? It's a classic toy, like a teddy bear or bicycle! It's mandatory that every kid own one at some point!But just for clarity, the Viewmaster is a 3D viewing device, that you looked into and saw 3 dimensional images. Originally, they weren't intended to be toys. They were developed by a company that also produced post cards and sold as keepsakes showcasing landmarks and tourist attractions! I DO remember seeing them sold at every touristy place I went as a child, but it never occurred to me to actually buy them. Nowadays, I think I'd actually enjoy these as they are surely charmingly antiquated. The neatest ones were those that featured... I'm not sure what the best term is to describe them... models? Puppets? Toys?You know what I'm talking about, right? This is a shot of one of the sculptors with the Peter Pan set. AWESOME! The 3D on these types is excellent! Much better than the "cartoon-y" ones.I think I had this Flintstones one. The new Pebbles cereal ad reminds me of it, with it's stop motion animation! I love it!
I had this one as a kid, Little Black Sambo. Yeah, THAT would NEVER fly these days. The GI Joe one is of interest to fans, because it was made using real toys.And one of the most notorious is the Bonanza one, because in this shot, all the cast members are flipping the bird at the camera!
I just LOST an auction for this, my Holy Grail, the DC Super Heroes canister set. It featured discs of Superman, Batman and Shazam, plus Aquaman and Wonder Woman. I'm not 100% positive, but I don't believe the Aquaman and Wonder Woman sets were ever sold separately. I think they were only available in this set. They're all the cartoon style discs except for Batman's which oddly features still images from the Adam West-starring TV show.There is a cartoon-style Batman reel......but maybe it came out after this gift set was issued?It's rare for Aquaman to be included with the gang on licensed merchandising, ESPECIALLY when Shazam is involved, so this is kind of a nice piece for Aquafans. The Wonder Woman disc was the first time I'd ever seen her wearing the lace-up slippers she wore for most of the 50s and 60s. But... I could swear that the lasso transformation came much later, when she started wearing boots. I'm not sure, but it strikes me as anachronistic. Strangely not included in the set was this one, Super Heroes. A lot of merchandising from this time bore that logo, versus Super FRIENDS for some reason. I'm not sure why, seeing as how Super Friends was the hit cartoon that everyone was familiar with and Super Heroes is kind of a vague generic term. I mean, hell, the Wonder Twins were included in this! It's clearly a Super FRIENDS item!I thought I remembered there being a corresponding Marvel Super Heroes set, but the only thing I could find was this Talking Viewmaster set. I'm not sure, who other than Spider-Man and Captain America were included, although there were a few fairly obscure Marvel heroes that received their own sets!
The Sub-Mariner...
...and Dr. Strange among them. I had the Dr. Strange set. I got it for $1 at Toy Liquidators YEARS after it had been produced. Dr. Strange was ALWAYS my second banana to Sub-Mariner! Every time I saw him on something, I would wish it were The Sub-Mariner but buy it anyway, then every time I saw it, I'd wish it were The Sub-Mariner again. It happened with this and with the Halloween costume. (At the same Toy Liquidators, I got Captain America Mad Libs. On the back it listed the other Marvel Mad Libs they'd produced and included was Spider-Woman, so then I kept wishing my Cap Mad Libs were Spider-Woman Mad Libs. Vicious cycle, Toy Liquidators!)
So yeah... so far, I've bought the animated Batman set, the "Super Heroes" set and a Spider-Woman set that I couldn't find a picture of. Funny point, I don't have a viewer so they're just cute packets at this point. I wonder if they'd work in a modern viewer. I'm pretty sure they would. I'll probably pick one up at work tomorrow.
They've been making them steadily all these years so you can find them from every era. There's a Batman: The Animated Series set and a Justice League one from that series.
I'll probably get this Madonna... I mean Dick Tracy set at some point.
So, yeah... that's what I've been pissing money away on this week...

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