A Vintage Toy To See The World Differently

Back in the days before the emergence of the Internet, kids played with toys of different kinds, and that kept their childish curiosity alive, and it also encouraged them to play with others and share toys.

The Viewfinder toy was made for kids back in the 1960s, and it quickly became popular amongst children in those days. Even a regular camera was not a typical device available to most people in the mid-century because the price of those was still a lot higher.

The introduction of the viewfinder toy blew away the children’s minds, and thus, it became a popular toy. It enabled them to use a camera-like toy, which was utterly fascinating to them.


It is essentially a small red/black plastic camera-like toy made to look like those olden days’ cameras that use film to take pictures. The cameras are a special-design stereoscope.

The camera exterior and interior were Bakelite in the early stages. But due to its heaviness, it is now made with more lightweight plastic versions.

What can it do?

Children use it to look through the viewfinder at some lovely scene in the reel’s frames. Reels are thin cardboard round disks in this toy. The reels of the toy camera usually have roughly 6-8 frames in each reel. Most of the reels had scenes of some children’s movies in the frames of the reels as the toy is for little kids.

However, it is not just limited to entertainment-related reels as sometimes educational films also teach children about specific topics in an indirect method.

Occasionally, the reels contained frames showing some famous tourist attractions, attracting users of more diverse age groups.

It was like an early virtual reality type of toy for the kids in the 1950s to 1970s.

Collaboration with other companies:

The companies producing these toys generally also partner with movie production companies or TV production companies.

The viewfinder toy comes with a few reels that contain certain scenes from the movies or tv shows produced by the companies who have partnered with them.

Many movies and entertainment companies like Disneyland, Spiderman, etc., used this toy to promote some of their upcoming and latest projects or films.


Companies began producing these toys around the 1950s, and the production was stable for nearly two decades before the demand started dwindling. Nowadays, you can get the latest version of it in the markets. The toys found in the stores now have reels with the latest top-rated children’s movie scenes on it. But to get a retro model, you will have to check out vintage or thrift shops, garage sales, etc. Some vintage collectors have some of the rare editions of those toys.

The toy is excellent for kids as it shows beautiful places, movies and helps them have an imaginative mind. They provide the children with a break from the bright screens of our phones and laptops, and it lets them be present at the moment and enjoy life.