Virtual Reality low-priced gadget reviewed by London Mums and kids

I am a traditional kind of girl who loves being outdoor and playing old fashioned games. At least I thought this would be the case until I found the world of Virtual Reality through the View Master, a very cool gadget for both kids and adults made by Mattel, the same manufacturer of Barbie dolls and Hot Wheels cars as well as Fisher Price toys.

Virtual Reality child review London Mums magazine

The product

There’s so much talk about virtual reality but until you try it by yourself it is difficult to imagine what it is. Most products on the market are still too expensive so the best option at the moment to enter the world of virtual reality is with a low budget gadget like View Master. Both mums and kids from our Kids Club enjoyed reviewing this product/toy, which has various options to make it engaging to children and parents. 

Kids loved entering a portal to feel like immersed into virtual and augmented reality adventures that transported them around the world and beyond through magical 360 degree photospheres while staying at home with their mums and dads.  The great thing about View-Master  is that you are not limited by where you stand, and by changing the destination you can explore what you are interested in, for example New York, London, the jungle or space.

virtual reality device 2

After downloading the app place the phone slide your smartphone into the viewer and place the Preview Reel in front of you.  A 3-D augmented reality menu will appear featuring digital icons that float above the reel.  Make your selection by looking at the one you want to visit then click the lever to launch yourself through time and space into 360-degree views that completely surround you.

Watch this video of Amelie (9), child reporter from the London Mums kids club, while she uses the View Master:

Look up, look down, look around – everywhere you turn, you’ll find something new to see!  Interact with your environment by clicking the lever to pull up videos, images, fun facts and mini-games.  The Preview Reel included with the Starter Pack allows you to sample View-Master VR apps, such as Destinations, National Geographic: Wildlife and Space.  The VR Experience Packs are sold separately. London Mums’ favourite one was the destination reel, particularly New York.

The new View-Master is completely child-friendly and provides a safe portal to imaginative learning experience unlike anything you’ve seen before!


The positive bits

The Mattel View-Master is inexpensive and easy to get up and running, and it looks really cool almost like the professional virtual reality gear. It works with both Android and iPhones. I wondered what the next level of virtual reality gadgets will be considering this entry product is so high level already.

virtual reality device

The negative bits

The experience reels don’t load fast enough and sometimes they get stuck. The apps for the iPhone are very heavy so we had to delete los of other apps and images to make space for each experience reel. It’s not designed to work with headphones, so it often is quite frustrating. The phone is essential for the View-Master to work so sometimes when kids want to use it but you need your phone, you might find it challenging.

The cost

The Mattel View-Master is a low priced virtual reality viewer for the whole family,  even with some restrictions.

Priced at around RRP £22.99
Suitable for ages 7+

Includes one viewer, one preview reel, one adaptor for your smartphone and a user guide

Virtual Reality child review London Mums magazine 2

The destinations-themed View-Master Experience Pack allows you to visit landmarks in three of the world’s most famous cities, virtually!  It feel real to be under the the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island in New York, as well as at the feet of the temples at the ancient Mayan city of Chichen Itza. Even London’s Tower of London and Tower Bridge seem next to you when you put on the View Master goggles. This real was the mums’ favourite ones. The kids preferred the jungle and the space reels.

Priced at around RRP £7.99
Suitable for ages 7+

The National Geographic: Wildlife themed View-Master Experience Pack takes you on safari in three of the world’s most famous spots without ever leaving home!  The kids enjoyed walking on the wild side with kangaroos and koalas in the Australian outback, sloths and jaguars in the Amazon and native animals on the African savanna. And they loved the fact that they were in their room!

Priced at around RRP £7.99
Suitable for ages 7+

The space-themed View-Master Experience Pack is also very cool and takes you on trips that are out of this world, virtually!  Kids can explore the solar system, see spacecraft up close or experience the night sky in a whole new way. Personally I did not like this reel as much as the destinations one maybe because I did not have any benchmark or comparison. New York, Chichen Itza and London, on the other hand, felt so real.

Priced at around RRP £7.99
Suitable for ages 7+


Video: Learn How View-Master® Virtual Reality Works

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