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Monday, April 26, 2010

View-Master Reel - "The Menace of the Land-Sea Beasts"

Now it can be told...er, shown!

I've owned this Aquaman View-Master reel--entitled "The Menace of the Land-Sea Beasts", from 1976--for a long time, but all I had was the reel and no way to view the slides, other than holding them up to a light and squinting (although that didn't stop me from doing a post on the Shrine about it, back in 2007).

But a few weeks ago, our newest F.O.A.M. member, Amy Bias, emailed me and offered me scans of the slides for the Shrine! Ginchy! Amy, among other online endeavors, runs the awesome, decidedly low-tech Viewmaster 3D blog, where she shows off all the various VM reels in her collection.

So without further ado, here's Aquaman and Aqualad in "Menace of the Land-Sea Beasts!"
"Dr. Beard's atomic ray gun changes animals, Aqualad."

"But the ray "leaked" to the coast of Africa..."

"...and changed land animals into savage sea creatures!"

"They attacked Dr. Beard's diving bell!"

"Aqualad seized Dr. Beard's ray gun. He reversed..."

"...the switch, and the beasts returned to normal!"

"Thanks!" said Dr. Beard. "My invention worked too well!"

I asked Amy if she had/knew of a sleeve for this reel, since I've never even seen it. Here's what Amy told me:

According to my research it looks to me like this reel was never issued with a sleeve but was only sold in a generic white plastic reel case packages with a handful of other similarly themed reels. It looks to have only ever been part of an orange Super Hero Canister Set.

According to www.3dstereo.com Gaf started to reissue individual reels in 3-reel collections to help get rid of back stock and later white plastic reel cases packaged in their Canister Sets.

They eventually started issuing brand new reels the same way. It appears that the Aquaman reel was part of the later group."

Ah, Aquaman--always a bridesmaid. Here's the "Good Guys Gift Pak" that this reel was included in:

We've had husband/wife teams inducted into F.O.A.M. before, but this is the first instance I can think of when a husband and wife got into its hallowed halls because of separate contributions (Amy's husband is F.O.A.M.er Aaron Bias).

It apparently came just in time, too. As Amy told me about getting into F.O.A.M.: "I am very excited about my FOAM certificate. Aaron has been taunting me with his for months."

I hate the thought of the Shrine causing any sort of marital strife! I've been wanting to run these slides for years, so thanks Amy, and welcome to F.O.A.M.!


BronzeTiger said...

Heya Rob! Viewmaster viewers are still available. Walmart has them.

I see their reel collection growing too, watch out fr rereleases! Grab em' when you can.

Russell said...

Rob, are you sure you wrote the text to the correct pictures? Especially the "Aqualad grabbed the ray and reversed it" seems to be on the wrong picture.

I had this as a kid. I bought it on Clearance at my local Target. I kept the cannister as a kind of "toy chest" for years...and I swear I kept the Aquaman reel, but have no idea what became of it.

rob! said...


Oops, yeah--my pic order was all screwed up. Duly corrected!

Wings1295 said...

Cool stuff to look at & keeping harmony in a marriage, all in one Aqua-post! Awesome!

David J. Cutler said...

Awesome--my introduction to Aquaman was through a Super Friends ViewMaster reel set.

Luis said...

As Bronze Tiger has noted in his post, View Master viewers are still sold to this day, so it puzzles me to read that the only way you had to see the reel was to hold it upt to the light and squinting. In fact I bought a viewer a few months back in Wal-Mart or Target (can't remember which) for the express purpose of seeing my Isis reels which I had bought off Ebay.

rob! said...

Luis--I had no idea VMs were still available, Bronze Tiger's comments was the first I heard about it.

That said, I doubt I'll bother to pick one up just to look at the one VM reel I own. But it makes me feel good to know they still make them!

Unknown said...

I remember seeing the packaging as a kid, and being alarmed at Aquaman's white hair. Did they use up all the yellow on Robin's cape?!?

Spectergirl said...

Hooray! I'm finally in F.O.A.M.! Thanks Rob! Harmony can once again reign in the Bias household.

Mine will hang in my office at work!

IADW said...

That's a cool package! I still have my old VM floating around somewhere - this post makes me want to dig it out.

At least now when people asked what we did in the days before twitter I know the answer ;D