The September/October 2017 issue of Stereo World magazine is now available.
Inside this issue:
3-D Con 2017 Part 1
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Test reels were always produced when the View-Master® plant in Oregon was preparing to finalize a set of reels for the public, including reels produced for souvenir sales produced for specific attractions. Test reels are highly sought after by collectors because they sometimes feature different versions of photos or even totally different photos than what actually ended up on the final product. Cropping or color corrections might also be noticed. As few a 10 test reels might have been produced making them a rare item even when they did get out of the factory.
For example, the Branson, Missouri test reels produced in 1995 contain the same images as released to the public except for some cropping of images. In the test reel, one of the theatres was photographed a little far away. Some paint on the asphalt parking lot is showing to the lower portion of the image. The image was eventually cropped so the theatre shows up more full in the frame and cuts out the distracting paint marks.
The Branson, Missouri test reel does not have the identifying text describing each stereo pair. Instead, the slides are numbered from 1 to 7. An ink stamper was used to imprint the serial number of the project followed by A, B, or C to identify each of the three test reels. The reels are also date stamped.
To help the factory with the graphics for the cover art, the Missouri stereographer and producer of the Branson, Missouri blister pack provided a prototype layout. The layout was printed on an inkjet printer and sent to the plant as a mockup so the professionals at the factory could finalize the design. A prototype packet, with fake reels showing examples of the view window text was also created by the producer shown above next to the final factory version. As you can see, the layout and color of the prototype packet differs in many ways from the final product.
Branson, Missouri View-Master® blister packs are still available for sale from the original 2,500 unit run produced in 1995. To purchase a set, visit the 3-D Review Stereo Store. The packet features many of the shows, performers and theatres in Branson's heyday.
Today, Branson features none of the national talent that drew thousands of visitors to the tourist town 20 years ago. Only a few of the original shows such as The Baldknobbers are still around. The Baldknobbers appear on reel one, scene 5 of the Branson, Missouri blister pack. Many of the attractions featured on the Branson, Missouri set are no longer in business including The Grand Palace, Shepherd of the HIlls Outdoor Theatre, Tony Orlando, Shenandoah South Theatre, Christy Lane, and Mutton Hollow Entertainment Park and Craft Village.
The Branson, Missouri reels have increased in value due to their rarity based on the short time they were available in stores. The Branson, Missouri blister packets were only available in souvenir shops and theatres in Branson a little over a year. Their rarity is much like the now defunct Dogpatch USA attraction in Arkansas that was nearby Branson in the 1960s and 1970s. The Dogpatch USA packet usually sells for around $50.
Branson, Missouri View-Master Reel One
Branson, Missouri View-Master Reel Two
Branson, Missouri View-Master Reel Three
Stereoscopic Atlas of Macular Diseases
Ocular Photocoagulation A Stereoscopic Atlas
Stereoscopic Atlas of Small Animal Surgery
Stereoscopic Manual of the Ocular Fundus in Local and Systemic Disease
Several medical books containing View-Master® reels were offered for sale in auctions recently. None of the books met the asking price. The books included Ocular Photocoagulation A Stereoscopic Atlas, Stereoscopic Atlas of Macular Diseases, Stereoscopic Atlas of Small Animal Surgery, and Stereoscopic Manual of the Ocular Fundus in Local and Systemic Disease.
A box of 36 European GAF View-Master® Personal® blank reels sold for $97.19 with 28 bids. The pack contained six individual packs that contained six blank reels each. The hand-drawn artwork shows a European View-Master® Mark II Personal® camera on the top left with a focusing viewer below it and a Stereo-Matic 500 projector under it. To the left is artwork of a Personal reel.
A pair of blue View-Master® Model B viewers sold $260 for with 28 bids. Both viewers were missing the front diffusers and had damaged black eyecups. The viewers are shown at different angles.
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