The deal signifies the latest toy marked for development as part of Mattel’s new push into screen entertainment.
Mattel has partnered with the studio MGM to develop a live-action feature film based on its View-Master toy line. Robbie Brenner, Mattel’s head of film, and Cassidy Lange, MGM’s co-president of production, will oversee development.
Launched in 1939 at New York World’s Fair, the stereoscopic eye device View-Master gave users a cutting-edge glimpse of popular landmarks and tourist attractions, appealing to adults and children alike. Nowadays, most View-Master products are intended solely for the latter, though the introduction of VR (virtual reality) and smartphone technology has opened the product up to a wider audience.
View-Master became particularly popular in the 1950s when a licensing deal with Disney was struck. Deals for other movies and television shows soon followed. Mattel acquired the brand, which by then had expanded into audio and projection, in 1997, due to its merger with Tyco.
“Since the 1940s, View-Master has inspired wonder and joy in children of all ages, creating huge opportunities for storytelling,” said Robbie 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 it to bring another Mattel franchise to theatres. This marks another important milestone as we transform Mattel into an IP-driven, high-performing toy company.”
Stated Jonathan Glickman, MGM’s motion picture group president, added: “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.”
The deal also signifies the latest toy marked for development as part of Mattel’s new push into screen entertainment. Hot Wheels and Barbie both found new studio homes in 2019, while Masters of the Universe is enjoying renewed momentum at Sony.