February 2012

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View-Master® Reels and Packets - A Collector's Guide Vol. 3 - Showtime and Education Book Review

View-Master Reels and Packets Vol. 3 book cover art

Harry Zur Kleinsmiede started a life-long love affair when he started collecting View-Master® items in 1952. Now 60 years past that date, Harry has completed the third in his trilogy of books about his favorite topic with the publication of View-Master® Reels and Packets - A Collector's Guide Vol. 3 - Showtime and Education. This hefty 960-page tome is the culmination of a lifetime of discovering the nuances of a product loved by millions around the world. Reading this publication is a treat more special than circling the View-Master® packets you wanted Santa to bring you in a 1960's Sears Christmas Wishbook.

View-Master® Reels and Packets: A Collector's Guide Volume 3 is not a retread the same old information you can find by doing a Web search. It contains page after page of truly little known facts about View-Master® products. The history stored in this one book alone is more than a stroll down memory lane. This is a true encyclopedia of the rare, the wonderful and the whimsical thrill everyone gets when they peer into those two lenses and enter the 3-D world created by View-Master® inventor William Gruber.

Many of the most sought after View-Master® packets are the showtime reels. It is fitting this book is the largest in the trilogy with such a popular collecting genre. Who doesn't want to have a set of The Munsters, The Addams Family, Lost in Space, Disney and James Bond movies, or one of their other favorite TV shows or movies in their collection. The book also goes into detail about many movie reels that never made it to the consumer even though prototypes were made, such as a photo of a Back to the Future III View-Master® gift set, planned for release in 1990 but sadly never issued.

Kleinsmiede entertains the intellect of the reader with a mix of material that blends the well known with the extraordinary. Entries are culled from a lifetime of snippets obtained through personal contact with factory insiders and others. References such as this one from in a letter from Gruber's widow, Norma Gruber, dated Jan. 30, 1978: "The whole policy of View-Master® was changed after the company, Sawyer's Inc., was sold to GAF. The educational program was dropped almost completely. This, using the View-Master® as a great form of education, had been William's prime interest. He was working on the Chinese Art set at the time of his death in 1965. This work was finished by Mr. Brost, an ex-president of Sawyer's (who sold the company to GAF, much to his regret) and by me."

Before you get to page 21, you'll find out about the different techniques View-Master® used to bring 3-D images to the public, from true stereography to stereo drawings, a chronicle of the "three dimensional multi-views" technique used starting in 1978 to the amazing digital revolution of 2004, in which some 3-D conversions are so expertly done even an experienced 3-D enthusiast would find it hard to tell it was a conversion. There are more than 900 wonderful pages to go.

Must See 3-D Award.You'll be treated to descriptions, packet art and views from the weird, such as the Tomy®/View-Master® collaboration that created reels for the Japanese market, including the Ultraman packet, featuring the hero fighting rubber suited Godzilla-like monsters, to the sublime, such as the complimentary space reels produced in 1962 with scenes from John Glenn's spaceflight different than the three-reel packet B657.

The book contains two sections with a total of 64 color pages printed on glossy paper. The first section features a variety of View-Master® products including reel package art and the second section shows "View-Master® Advertising" from around the world.

View-Master® Reels and Packets: A Collector's Guide Volume 3 receives an Editor's Choice "Must See 3-D™ Award" from 3-D Review Online Magazine.

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View-Master® Reels and Packets - A Collector's Guide Vol. 1 - World Travel
Editor's Note: This article was originally published in the March 2004 issue of 3-D Review Online Magazine.

View-Master® Reels and Packets Vol. 1 World TravelDo you know what title was the first American blister pack? This bit of View-Master® trivia is only one of the thousands of facts you will find in View-Master® Reels and Packets Vol. 1 - World Travel.

View-Master® Reels and Packets Vol. 1 World Travel is Volume One of a three-volume historical overview of View-Master® Reels and Packets. The collector's guide contains a list of all known View-Master® Reels and Packets related to world travel since the introduction of the product.

The guide is written by Harry zur Kleinsmiede, who has been collecting View-Master® memorabilia longer than anyone else in the world, starting in 1952 when he was five years old. Harry describes how, when he was in a hospital at the age of four, he first discovered View-Master®. His lifetime love for the toy led to production of reels, books and albums he published for 3-D Book Publications as well as the collector's guides. The guide also features a short history of View-Master® including packet identification, test reels, different languages and much more.

The guide is arranged geographically. This makes it easy to quickly find the areas you are interested in that are available on reels and packets.

The guide is lavishly illustrated with photographs, reel faces and illustrations on nearly every page. There are also 16 pages in full color featuring 317 highly desireable View-Master® packets. Published in The Netherlands, the book features both U.S.A. and many rarely seen international packet designs.

Table of Contents
Preface

  • General information.
  • Chapter 1 - Scenic World Travel.
  • Chapter 2 - Europe.
  • Chapter 3 - Central and South America.
  • Chapter 4 - Africa.
  • Chapter 5 - Asia.
  • Chapter 6 - Australia and Pacific.

Appendices

  • Single Reel Numbering.
  • Packet Numbering.
  • The Colour Pages.
  • Index to the Countries.

Hardbound, 256 pages including 16 full-color pages on glossy paper. ISBN #90 71377 57 1.

You won't want to put this book down when you first get it. It is a highly recommended addition to your 3-D library.

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View-Master® Reels and Packets - A Collector's Guide Vol. 2 - U.S.A. and Canada
Editor's Note: This article was originally published in the March 2004 issue of 3-D Review Online Magazine.

View-Master® Reels and Packets Vol. 2 U.S.A. and CanadaDid you know a special View-Master® Presidential Gift set featuring the U.S.A. in 3-D pictures was produced in 1971 and created for special use by the Nixon White House as a gift during special visits outside the U.S.A? You can see a photograph of this elegant set and find out about thousands of more facts in the book View-Master® Reels and Packets Vol. 2 - U.S.A. and Canada written by Harry zur Kleinsmiede.

This is Volume Two of a three-volume historical overview of View-Master® Reels and Packets. Volume Two of the collector's guides contains a list of all known View-Master® Reels and Packets related to the U.S.A. and Canada since the first reels rolled out of the factory over a half century ago.

The guide is arranged by state and number. This makes it easy to quickly find the areas you are interested in that are available on reels and packets. Editor's Note: I was quite surprised to find how up to date and complete this book is. It even includes a photograph and information about the Missouri State Fair blister card.

The guide is lavishly illustrated with photographs, reel faces and illustrations on nearly every page. There are also 16 pages in full color featuring 318 highly desireable View-Master® packets. Published in The Netherlands, the book features both U.S.A. and many rarely seen international packet designs.

Click here to order.

Table of Contents
Preface

  • General information.
  • Chapter 1: Scenic U.S.A. and Canada.
  • Chapter 2: United States of America.
  • Chapter 3: Canada.
  • Chapter 4: The Disney Theme Parks.

Appendices

  • Old Single Reels 1939-1969.
  • Special Reels (SP-Reels) 1947-1954.
  • Early Unnumbered Packets 1955-1958.
  • Two-Reel Packets 1958.
  • One-Reel Packets 1958.
  • A-Series - Packet Numbering 1958-1977.
  • H-Series - Scenics 1977.
  • J-Series - Scenics 1978.
  • K-Series - Scenics 1979.
  • L/M/N-Series - Scenics 1980-1982.
  • 5000-Series - Complete Listing 1982-1997.
  • 2000-Series and 4000-Series - Scenics 1982-1997.
  • 8000-Series - Complete Listing 1987-1989.
  • Spanish Language Packets - U.S. Picture Tours.
  • The Colour Pages.

Hardbound, 400 pages including 16 full-color pages on glossy paper. ISBN # 90 71377 58 X.

You'll find yourself referring to this book when you pick up some rare packets. It is a highly recommended addition to your 3-D library.

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World's Most Beautiful 3-D Magazine Issue No. 2 is an Equal Sequel

World's Most Beautiful WMB 3D cover art.

by Van Beydler - Editor, 3-D Review Online Magazine

They say sequels don't always match up to the original, but there are exceptions such as Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. A trek of another kind was the introduction of WMB - World's Most Beautiful magazine, which was in our opinion, the best 3-D magazine ever produced. Now, in it's second incarnation, WMB - World's Most Beautiful takes a cue by, paraphrasing from that classic cult movie, releasing a magazine that fits "the 3-D needs of the many and not just in issue number one."

The highlight of the second issue of WMB - World's Most Beautiful are the breathtaking stereoviews of sexy brunette Jessica Bursiaga. Some 3-D purists think "breaking the stereo window" is something to avoid. They believe 3-D should show depth into the photo as if looking into a window. However, I have always loved the way 3-D also pops out of a scene and several of the images of Jessica Bursiaga break the stereo window in the most enticing and inviting ways.

Nick Saglimbeni's photos of a Kenya warrior leaping into the air literally leaps off the page. The tribal adornments of a Maasi woman are amazing in the nearly life-size photos featured in the print edition of the magazine. It is also no small feat that Saglimbeni gets close enough to wild animals to get artistic 3-D photos that put you smack dab in the field with him.

Mallika Sherawat's garage girl gallery is a gala of greasy goodness. The 3-D of Mallika wearing shredded jeans while standing in front of a decrepit old motel is also a real "depth" charge.

The WMB3D.com website features behind-the-scenes photos of their shoots and backstage videos including celebrity and model interviews. In an effort to make the world even more beautiful, a portion of profits from each issue will be donated to a different charitable cause.

Must See 3-D AwardWorld's Most Beautiful WMB3D website

Order the magazine
The limited print edition of issue No. 2 of World's Most Beautiful magazine contains 218 pages (109 pages in 2-D and 100 pages in 3-D), which is even longer than the 100-page maiden issue. It also comes with two pairs of WMB 3-D paper glasses.

WMB iTunes App

WMB Android Market App

WMB - World's Most Beautiful magazine receives an Editor's Choice "Must See 3-D™ Award" from 3-D Review Online Magazine.

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The View-Master® Chewing Gum Machine

The View-Master Bubble Gum Machine

For collector's, part of the fun is the hunt. You happen across that one item you (and no one else) in the collecting community has ever seen. The View-Master® Chewing Gum Machine is one of those finds. Discovered by a collector of vintage and rare vending coin-operated vending machines at a famous antiques and collectors fair in Holland (Utrecht Jaarbeurs / the biggest european indoor market).

The owner of this rarity told 3-D Review editor Van Beydler, "I had been hesitating for a long time before buying it, because the price was pretty serious, but finally I could not resist the temptation thinking I will certainly not be able to find a similar machine again in the future. Personally I'm a collector of vintage and rare vending machines (coin operated) and 50's stuff. I have always appreciated 3-D viewers, too (mutoscope, pin-up peep show's, View-Master®, etc.), even if I do not consider myself as a real 3-D collector."

"I knew this View-Master® machine was an extremely rare collectible. I never saw a similar machine in more than 25 years of hunting around the world." As with all collector's it is being in the right place at the right time. "I saw short information by chance on the Internet through a website while I was looking for a nice 'Cabaret' peep show for sale at this time."

Origin of the machine is a complete mystery. "I think the machine maybe was produced at the Belgian factory for Europe but I do not know. So far there is no trace that could tell more about the root of this wonderful item.
It is well stamped with logo of the famous View-Master® company in the front of the machine. It is not a 'custom made' machinel. Too much details prove it."

"It is still in the condition that I found it. I never took the time to clean it up, as I'm always very busy, and still busy with other long restorations (more important again). It is complete, except for the batteries of course (the exact original size are available from a specialist I know in the U.S., but could be easily replaced by other ones with the same voltage. The only minor damage, is the small chute door which seems to have been broken."

The machine dispenses chewing gum from a well on the right side of the machine. The left side has viewing lenses molded into the steel. The words "48 View-Master® Pictures 3D" are also molded in the metal. There are levers on both the left and right side of the machine. Several reels are mounted to a larger round wheel inside the machine that rotates to show different 3-D views.

The View-Master Chewing Gum machine

The View-Master Chewing Gum machine

The View-Master Chewing Gum machine

The View-Master Chewing Gum machine

The View-Master Chewing Gum machine

The View-Master Chewing Gum machine

The View-Master Chewing Gum machine

The View-Master Chewing Gum machine

The View-Master Chewing Gum machine

The View-Master Chewing Gum machine

The View-Master Chewing Gum machine

The View-Master Chewing Gum machine

The View-Master Chewing Gum machine

The View-Master Chewing Gum machine

The View-Master Chewing Gum machine

The View-Master Chewing Gum machine

The View-Master Chewing Gum machine

The View-Master Chewing Gum machine

The View-Master Chewing Gum machine

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2012 International 3-D Society Technical and Creative Awards

2012 3-D Technology Awards
The International 3-D Society recognized 14 companies and organizations at its 2012 3-D Technology Awards on Jan. 19 in Hollywood. "The Awards Committee considered 3-D technologies with an eye on those that are genuine advances to the state of the art. We want to shine a spotlight on worthy products that make a contribution to professional and consumer applications," said Lenny Lipton, Chairman of the Society's Awards Committee.

“Our theme for 2012 is 'Make It 3-D,' and this year’s honored organizations have met industry challenges with superb technical innovation," said Jim Chabin, Society President.

Receiving honors at this year's awards luncheon in Hollywood were (in alphabetical order):

  • Blu-ray Disc Association – “Blu-ray 3D Specification”
  • Cameron/Pace Group – “Shadow D Technology and the Shadow D System”
  • Fuji – “Fujifilm Finepix Real 3-D W3 Digital Camera”
  • Full HD 3-D Glasses Initiative – “FHD3DGI Standard”
    • Panasonic
    • Samsung
    • Sony
    • XPAND
  • GoPro – “3-D Hero System”
  • HDMI Licensing, LLC – “Standardization of 3-D Formats over the HDMI Interface. Specification Version 1.4a”
  • LG Electronics – “LG Cinema 3-D TV”
  • Panasonic – “AG-3DA1 Twin Lens 3-D Camera Recorder”
  • Peter Wimmer – “Stereoscopic Player”
  • Silicon Imaging – “SI-3-D Stereo Digital Cinema Camera System”
  • Sony – “HDR-TD10 3-D Handycam Camcorder”
  • Sony – “Playstation 3”
  • Vizio – “Theater 3-D”
  • YouTube – “3-D Channel”

Entries were reviewed by the Society's 3-D Technology Awards Committee for achievement during 2011.

Susan Pinsky has posted a series of 3-D photos taken during and after presentation of the Lumiere Awards at the 2012 International 3-D Society Technical Awards ceremony held Jan. 19, 2012. The photos are posted on Pinsky's Facebook page.

2012 3-D Creative Awards
The Harold Lloyd Award, the International 3-D Society's highest filmmaker honor for artistic and technical achievement in 3-D, will be presented to Martin Scorsese at the Society’s Creative Arts Awards ceremony, Feb. 1 at the Beverly Hills Hotel in California. Suzanne Lloyd, Lloyd’s granddaughter and chairman of Harold Lloyd Entertainment, will make the presentation.

Scorsese is being recognized for his 3-D film Hugo. Last year's Harold Lloyd Award recipient was James Cameron. The award is a collaboration of the 3-D Society and the Lloyd Family.

3rd Annual 3-D Creative Arts Awards Categories

  • Live Action 3-D Feature.
  • Animated 3-D Feature.
  • Short 3-D Motion Picture/Narrative.
  • 3-D Documentary.
  • Theatrical Motion Picture - Outstanding Use of 2-D to 3-D Conversion.
  • 3-D Live Event.
  • 3-D Moment of the Year.
  • Stereography - Live Action.
  • Stereography - Animation.
  • 3-D Electronic Broadcast Media - Live Sports.
  • 3-D Electronic Broadcast Media - Entertainment.
  • 3-D Electronic Broadcast Media - Live Event.
  • 3-D Electronic Broadcast Media - Commercial.
  • 3-D Electronic Broadcast Media - Outstanding Use of 2-D to 3-D Conversion.
  • 3-D Video Game.
  • 3-D Technology Award.*

*Recognized at 2nd Annual 3-D Technology Awards.

The International 3-D Society was founded to advance the art and technologies of stereoscopic 3-D content and its professional innovators through education, hands on demonstration and recognition.

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The Avengers to be remastered for IMAX 3-D

Avengers animated poster art.Marvel Studios and The Walt Disney Studios have announced the epic super hero adventure Marvel's The Avengers will be digitally re-mastered into the immersive IMAX® 3-D format and released in IMAX® digital theatres worldwide on May 4, 2012.

Marvel's The Avengers, based on the well-known Marvel comic book series, is written and directed by Joss Whedon. The film stars Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner and Samuel L. Jackson.

Two other Marvel Studios films have been presented in the IMAX format, Iron Man 2: The IMAX Experience in 2010 and Thor: An IMAX 3-D Experience in 2011.

Marvel's The Avengers will follow another film from Walt Disney Pictures as part of IMAX's 2012 film schedule. Starting on March 9, John Carter will play for three weeks in IMAX film theatres and two weeks in IMAX's digital network.

The Avengers will be digitally re-mastered into the image and sound quality of The IMAX 3-D Experience® with proprietary IMAX DMR® (Digital Re-mastering) technology. Audiences feel as if they are in the movie when viewing the crystal-clear images combined with IMAX's customized theatre geometry and powerful digital audio.

The Avengers is the super hero team up of a lifetime, featuring iconic Marvel super heroes Iron Man, the Incredible Hulk, Thor, Captain America, Hawkeye and Black Widow.

When an unexpected enemy emerges that threatens global safety and security, Nick Fury, director of S.H.I.E.L.D., finds himself in need of a team to pull the world back from the brink of disaster. Spanning the globe, a daring recruitment effort begins.

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Titanic 3-D to have Special Free Valentine's Day Screenings

Titanic 3-D poster art.Although the official release date for Titanic 3-D in theaters is set for Friday, April 6, 2012, Paramount Pictures is giving lucky people the chance to see an advance screening of the film on Feb. 14.

A link on the Titanic 3-D Facebook page offered first-come, first served free theatre tickets at selected theatres across the United States. When we looked at the page there were still some tickets left in a few cities but most of them were already gone.

Titanic's Valentine's Day screening of the star-crossed love story will treat those who managed to get tickets to the 3-D extravaganza nearly two months before the official opening on April 6. The films release will coincide with the 100th anniversary of the actual sinking of the ship, which hit an iceberg on at 11:40 p.m. on April 14, 1912 and sank at 2:20 a.m. on April 15, 1912.

Not only will tickets holders be among the first to see the film in 3-D, certain theatres will have special activities prior to the advance screening. For example, before the film starts at 7 p.m. at the St. Louis event those with tickets will be able to enjoy a reception starting at 6 p.m. with music, concessions, giveways and more.

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Transformers Dark Side of the Moon 3-D Released on Blu-Ray

Transformer Blu-Ray cover art.

Transformers Dark Side of the Moon has already been released in Blu-Ray but not on Blu-Ray 3-D...until now. A four-disk Blu-Ray set with lots of extra features is available for what many call one of the best 3-D films ever made.

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The New York Public Library's Stereogranimator

Stereogranimator logo.The New York Public Library has a new webpage called the Stereogranimator. The library has collected more than 40,000 stereographs from it’s archives and made them available to visitors, as well as giving people access to the basic software tools to create anaglyphic or animated 3-D stereographs.

Visitors can see images created by the library or create their own using the online Stereogranimator. This easy-to-use tool allows would-be stereographers to control the animation speed, the “distance” between one image and another and the placement of the image. After the customization, which only takes a few seconds, the final image is output as an animated GIF or anaglyph, depending on which format you decide to generate. So far, more than 15,000 animated 3-D GIFs are online and 832 anaglyphs.

Check it out for yourself at the Stereogranimator website and read more about how the project became a reality.

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Auction Results

Rin Tin Tin stereocards, viewer and instructions.

A complete set of 24 color Rin Tin Tin stereo cards and the original viewer with instruction sheet was offered for sale at $189. This was a mail-in premium from Nabisco Cereal issued in 1954. The item did not sell.

View-Master lighted display.

A View-Master® lighted display sign sold for $750 with 26 bids.

Whitings Sculptoscope.

A Whiting's American Novelty Company Sculptoscope Coin Operated Stereo Viewer sold for $500 with one bid. It is a drum-form cast iron and sheet steel viewer with a penny coin slot at top and to right of the optics. On the plate surrounding the coin slot it is embossed MADE BY THE AMERICAN NOVELTY CO. CINCINNATI, OHIO with patent dates from 1910 to 1922. The revolving cylinder inside the machine holds the stereo cards. When you insert a penny you can then squeeze the trigger and advance the views one at a time (each penny seems to allow 15 viewings). According to the seller, the mechanism works but may need some tweaking as it sometimes releases two of the bars at at time that hold the cards. The seller inserted a stereo card and the optics are in good condition but could stand some cleaning. The paint is in good condition inside and out with no rust. The key that locks the top door in place is missing. The unit measures 8" wide x 12.5" deep x 14.5" high.

Montana mining stereoview.

A rare stereoview featuring mining on the Spokane Bar along the Missouri River in Montana at the Sapphire Mine near Helena, MT sold for $364 with 14 bids. The card is a photographic image by E.H. Train, Artist. The Spokane Bar is a famous gravel bar in the Missouri River where sapphire gems have been mined up to 50 carats. View is in very good condition with one minor stain in the upper left corner of the left image and it has been identified in vintage pen and ink handwriting at the bottom.

Silverton Colorado stereoview.

A Colorado Territory stereoview sold for $300 with one bid. The subject is identified as Arasta Gulch, Colorado Territory. It is a very clear photograph that shows several miners and their tents, burros and mining equipment, with the Arasta Gulch looming beyond. This photograph was taken in the valley just east of Silverton, Colorado, where today the high tram line exists from the long gone Shenendoa Dives Mine. Silverton was established as a town in 1876. This photograph would actually be pre-Silverton and could show one of the first forays into Bakers' Park in the 1860's to early 1870's. Photographed by Copeland & Son, Chicago.

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