Google and Mattel imagine future of kids toys with virtual reality game

Mattel: using virtual reality
Mattel: using virtual reality

Toy giant Mattel is developing a virtual reality game using Google cardboard, as it looks to invent the games of the future.

The Barbie owner is set to release a virtual reality version of popular retro kids game View-Master, which worked by enabling children to look into a binocular shaped object to view sliding images.

However Mattel has re-imagined the concept using virtual reality. The revamped toy will enable users to discover famous places like Alcatraz Island, planets and space using a 360 degree "photosphere". The immersive tech will bring the game into the digital age.

The tech, which will be available through an app on Android and iPhone from autumn in the US at $29.99, is aimed at digital natives.

"The View-Master was first introduced at the 1939 World's Fair in New York, giving consumers access to spectacular 3D worlds by simply selecting a reel and looking through a device," said Doug Wadleigh, SVP and global brand  manager, Toy Box at Mattel.

"By working with Google's Cardboard platform, we are now able to take that experience even further bringing the discovery and immersive viewing experience of the View-Master to the digital age. Combining technology and innovation with this classic toy gives kids an enhanced experience allowing for play opportunities not yet imagined through new, digitally curated content."

Last month, CEO Bryan Stockton resigned following a 6% sales slide over Christmas. He was replaced by Christopher Sinclair in the interim. Mattel, the biggest toymaker globally, had reported its fifth quarterly sales drop.

It is understood to be the company's first foray into virtual reality.

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