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Mattel's iconic View-Master toy is getting its own live-action film

Mattel, View_master, toy

Now that Hollywood’s achieved a mutually-agreeable stranglehold on the comics-to-film market, it would appear as if a push is being made to invade your toy box, as Mattel and MGM have just announced that a live-action feature based on the classic View-Master toy line is in the works.

While the newly-announced project has yet to assign a writer or filmmaker to the endeavor, we have learned via THR that MGM will co-produce, with Robbie Brenner, Mattel’s head of film, and Cassidy Lange, MGM’s co-president of production, overseeing development.

For those of you who still still can’t comprehend how the music of Nirvana is now considered Classic Rock, you might recall the stereoscopic eye device from your youth. In fact, Mattel’s View-Master was likely a valued part of your toy collection, right alongside your Fisher Price Record Player, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle action figure collection, and Hasbro’s Easy Bake Oven. As the story goes, Mattel’s View-Master was introduced to the masses when it launched at the 1939 New York World’s Fair. Acting as something of a window into other worlds, the View-Master displayed 3D images of tourist attractions from around the world. Needless to say, the device became a huge hit, and soon landed a deal with Disney to include slides that featured some of the studio’s most iconic characters. From there, the View-Master exploded in its popularity, and went on to offer 3D looks at a myriad of other films and television properties.

“Since the 1940s, View-Master has inspired wonder and joy in children of all ages, creating huge opportunities for storytelling,” said Brenner in a statement. “MGM Pictures has tremendous expertise and a proven track record in capturing audiences’ imagination through film, and we’re proud to be partnering with them to bring another Mattel franchise to theaters. This marks another important milestone as we transform Mattel into an IP-driven, high-performing toy company.”

“View-Master was the first device that allowed families all over the world to escape their reality and take them places they never thought they could go. We couldn’t be more excited to partner with Mattel to create a family adventure integrating the old school turn and click stereotypic device with the modern world of virtual reality,” said Jonathan Glickman, MGM’s motion picture group president.

Like any toy with long-lasting appeal, Mattel’s View-Master has evolved throughout generations, with its most current build featuring smartphone and VR capabilities.

While I’ve no idea how the live-action View-Master film will pan out, I could see Mattel and MGM taking a JUMANJI: WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE approach to the classic toy adaptation. Here’s the pitch: A group of young teens discover an enchanted View-Master that, when used, transports the gang to a number of exciting locations. Additionally, the device can also provide viewers with the chance to meet and interact with some of their favorite characters from film and animation. There you go, Mattel and MGM. You can just make the check out to “Cash,” please and thank you.
 

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