The View-Master system was introduced in 1939, four years after the advent of Kodachrome color film made the use of small high-quality photographic color images practical. Tourist attraction and travel views predominated in Viewmaster's early lists of available reels, most of which were meant to be interesting to users of all ages. Only later on did the Viewmaster become an iconic children's toy, where one could see pictures from favorite fairy tales like „Snow White„ and „Thumbelina” and pictures from around the world such as the „Holy Land„ and the „Grand Canyon”.
In March 2009, the Fisher-Price division of toy maker Mattel announced that they had stopped production in December 2008 of the scenic reels depicting tourist attractions. These reels of picturesque scenes and landscape scenery were descendants of the first Viewmaster reels sold in 1939.
In 2015, Mattel announced a deal with Google to make the first big remodel since the introduction of the View-Master. Instead of sliding in paper cards, one would slide their smartphone into the headset to scan the cards, which are now plastic. The cards are set on a surface and when scanned, they will depict a 3-D image of the topic depicted on the card. The orange switch is now used to zoom into an object or to read about something. The project is built around Google Cardboard, and is expected to be released in October 2015.