GLOSSARY OF COLLECTING TERMS
by Roger T. Nazeley

  Every hobby has its own jargon and collecting View-Master and other 3-D film products is no different.  However, it appears that we all do not speak the same language.

 In the late 1970’s, Bill Wolf (long gone from the hobby, but immortalized) began developing a numerical listing of packets and their chronological history.  To accomplish this Mr. Wolf developed a chart of packet faces, which started with S1 (S is for Sawyers first issue) through V2 (V is for VM International) the latest View-Master owner (during his time frame) in a series of corporate buyouts.  Tyco purchased View-Master in 1986 and in 1997 Tyco was purchased by Mattel Toys.

 This chart of packet faces has lived with the hobby from a period were collecting View-Master  was in its embryo stages.  Since then a host of information about View-Master has been uncovered and today the hobby has achieved about 75% of the possible information obtainable.   With so much new found information and the change of View-Master display packaging to blister packaging we can finalize and revise the packet face chart to clearly show the issues and their development  in an accurate chronological time frame.  1997 will be known as the second coming of the packet identification list.  A listing of packets which with two major changes will blend into everyone’s current vocabulary including a matching of US and Belgium packet identification.

 


   Old identification system - only an identification system for US packets was developed :
          (* identification items developed after Bill Wolf by Scott Kemling.)
  S1   - A group of packet faces developed in the early years (1954-1955).  
  S2   - A group of packets developed for states that had a bar on the packet face.  
  S3D   - A group of packets that are called drawn pictures, picture frame or pastel packets.  
  S3   - A group of packets that look like S3D's but have a photograph in them.  
  S4   - A group of packets that look like S3's but have a packet number.  
  SU*   - A group of generic, swing-out (SH* - hanging) and other special packets.  
  S5   - A group of packets were the packet front was a full picture (full face) or had View-Master in distinctive hollow letters.  
  S6   - A group of packets showing an oval on the packet face.  
  G1   - Full picture on packet face with bar logo and black gaf logo on back of packet.  
  G2   - Full picture on packet face with bar logo and red gaf logo on back of packet.  
  G3   - Full bar at top of packet face and gaf logo, 3 lines of description above back logo.  
  G4   - Full bar at top of packet face and GAF logo with solid View-Master, 3 lines of description above left justified back logo and address.  
  G5   - Full bar at top of packet face and GAF logo with solid View-Master, 3 lines of description removed, back logo and address centered.  
  G6   - Full bar at top of packet face and GAF logo with hollow View-Master.  
  V1   - Packets like G4, G5 and G6 with GAF square front logo missing.  
  V2   - Full bar at top of packet face and hollow View-Master left justified.  

New identification system - Most US and Belgium Sawyer packets are identical. When gaf assumed control US and Belgium packet designs were not related in presentation style. A 'B' in front of the packet identification indicates Belgium issues.

  S1   - Long flap packets with a model 'C' viewer in logo (only made in US).  
  S2 BS2 - Short flap early packets with a model 'C' viewer in logo.  
  S3 BS3 - A group of packets that are called picture frame or pastel packets that have a drawn or photographed picture. (Old S3D and S3 combined)  
  S4 BS4 - Same as old system.  
  SU BSU - Same as old system.  
  S5 BS5 - Same as old system.  
  S6 BS6 - Same as old system.  
  SX   - SX - Sawyer boxed sets, Gift sets & Theaters  
    BGU - A group of Belgium generic packets.  
  G1   - gaf bar logo on packet face, gaf bar logo in back address.  
    BG1 - gaf bar logo in oval and full picture on packet face.  
  G2   - gaf bar logo and full picture on packet face, gaf address on back  
    BG2 - gaf 'block style lettering' logo and full picture on packet face, gaf 'block style lettering' on back.  
  G3   - Same as old system.  
    BG3 - Book packet - Made in two logo styles: 1) gaf 'block style lettering' logo on packet face and 2) gaf 'rounded lettering' logo and on packet face.  
  G4   - Full bar at top of packet face and GAF logo with solid View-Master.  
    BG4 - Tri-fold packet - Made in three logo styles: 1) gaf 'block style lettering' logo on packet face; 2) gaf 'rounded lettering' logo on packet face and 3) GAF 'rounded lettering' logo on packet face  
  G5   - Full bar at top of packet face and GAF logo with hollow View-Master and 21 stereo pictures.  
    BG5 - Limited design & oversized gaf and GAF packets.  
  G6   - Limited design GAF packets. GAF bar logo and GAF oval logo with full picture on packet face.  
    BG6 - gaf blister pack cards.  
  G7   - Full bar at top of packet face and GAF logo with hollow View-Master and 21 3D pictures.  
    BG7 GAF blister pack cards.  
  GX   - gaf & GAF boxed packets (limited issue in Western US test market), Gift sets Reel Paks & Theaters  
  V1   - Full bar at top of packet face and blank space where GAF logo was originally, both solid and hollow View-Master (like G6/G7).  
    BV1 - Limited design View-Master International packets and cards.  
  V2   - Full bar at top of packet face, hollow View-Master left justified and 21 3D pictures.  
    BV2 - Card with 'hollow View-Master 3D, 21 pictures' in 3/4" mask at top and half a picture on card.  
  V3   - Card with 1" title mask at top and half a picture on card.  
    BV3 - Card with 'hollow View-Master 3D, 3 reels / 21 pictures' in 3/4" mask at top and half a picture on card.  
  V4   - Card with 1" title wavy mask at top and half a picture on card.  
    BV4 - Card with 'hollow View-Master, 3D', 3/4" from card top and half a picture on card.  
  V5   - Card with hollow View-Master 3D Tour in 1" mask at top .  
    BV5 - Card with 'Playskool logo, hollow View-Master, 3-D', on 3 lines and full picture on card.  
  V6   - Card with full picture on front and reels on back.  
    BV6 - Card with 'Playskool logo, Hollow View-Master 3-D', on 2 lines and full picture on card.  
  VX   - Limited design issues  
  T1 BT1 - Card with 'Tyco, View-Master, 3-D', on 3 lines.  
  T2   - Card with 'Tyco, View-Master; 3-D' on 2 lines.  
  T3   - Card with 'Tyco, View-Master', on 2 lines and half a picture on card.  
  T4   - Card with 'Tyco, View-Master', on 2 lines and full picture on card.  
  T5   - Card with '3D' on one side and 'View-Master', on the other, half picture on card.  
  TX   Tyco boxed sets.  
  M1   - Mattel, View-Master cards with "J" hook at top, full picture on card.  
  MX   - Mattel boxed sets.  
  J1   - Card with 'Tomy, View-Master and card number', on 2 lines and half a picture on card. (Japanese release)  
  J2   - Card with 'Tomy, View-Master', on 2 lines and half a picture on card. (Japanese release)  


There are other terms that should be defined.

Ad  - An advertisement for View-Master products that appeared in magazines or comics.
Ad Flyer - A piece of paper inserted with View-Master products advertising other products or future packet releases.
Album
- A separate book on specific countries as contained in the ‘Nations of the World’ packets. Each packet had its own album.
Back variation code
– A system of identifying packets and card from their back.
Blistering –
A term used to describe the bubbling effect found on some reels.  Blistering is caused by the paper manufacturer when the starch used has moisture in it and does not completely dissolve. View-Master considered these reels as normal production. It appears that this only happened between the years 1960 through 1963.
Book
- A multi-page story booklet that was supplied with packets and reels.
Bubbling –
See blistering.
Cassette -
Standard recording cassette provided with some reel sets.
Can
- A 3-3/4” round plastic container with a lid that contained reels. Cans came in re or white. They were made with paper labels, engraved and blank by gaf, GAF and VMI.
Canister – A round container that would hold a special series of reels and a viewer or projector. or both. The canister was made of fiberboard and had a plastic lid and metal bottom.
Card - A blister pack that can be hung from a display. A replacement for packets.
Card - A listing of scene descriptions, a replacement for a book in Canadian packets showing both English and French languages.
Color
- Pantone Incorporated has identified each printed color (ink) with a number and a generic description.
Classification Stripe –
U.S. packets from G3 through G6 have a stripe at the top of the packet Showing what group the packet subject matter belongs to.

BIBLE STORIES Black stripe

CARTOON FAVORITIES Red stripe

CLASSIC TALES Purple stripe

DIMENSIONAL LEARNING SERIES Yellow stripe

OLD-TIME STEREO – Brown stripe

SHOWTIME – Orange stripe

SPECIAL SUBJECTS Red stripe

SPORTS ACTION Teal stripe

UNITED STATES TRAVEL Red stripe

THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF DISNEY Green stripe

WORLD OF SCIENCE Olive stripe

WORLD TRAVEL – Blue stripe

 

Condition – (John Achziger developed this grading system)

Reels:
  Mint (sealed)  -  Still sealed or wrapped.
  Excellent         -  Looks untouched.
  Fine+  -  Looks almost new.
  Fine - Has some wear, usually a light ring around the reel, minor writing, or a small ding.
  Very Good -  Has prominent wear ring or other relatively minor fault.
  Good -  Very heavy wear ring.
  Fair -   Looks awful, but still viewable.
  Poor -   Damaged or splitting.
Packets:
  Mint (sealed) -  Still sealed S1 through early S6 without shrink-wrap otherwise with shrink-wrap.
  Excellent  -  Looks brand new.
  Fine+ -  Looks almost new, may have slightly rolled edges from tight shrink-wrap.
  Fine  Has some wear, especially around edges.
  Very Good -  Has quite a bit of wear, usually some wrinkling or minor tears.
  Good  -  Much wear and wrinkling.
  Fair -   Not very desirable, major damage.
  Poor -   Extremely damaged.

Custom - A reel or packet that was privately purchased and produced for limited issue.   Not generally available to the general public.
DR Reels
- Demonstration reels included with View-Master viewers and projectors.
Duplicate List
- A list of items you have for trade or sale.
E in a rectangle
– This was a symbol that Sawyers used to indicated the packet was made for the export market. It was usually stamped in purple ink and located on the top right side of  the packet envelope next to the flap.
Edition - On each packet after S6 through G4 at the bottom right corner is a letter. This letter is the packet revision information. Generally this mean that new pictures are contained in the reels or that the packet cover has been changed.
Engraved / Engraving
– 3-3/4” round cans which come in canisters during gaf and GAF Production periods were engraved with the name of the canister subject
Flap - The packet is constructed using one piece of paper. Each fold of the packet back is called a flap and named Top Flap, Bottom Flap, Right Flap and Left Flap when looking at the rear of the packet.
Front variation code
– A system of identifying packets and card from their face.
Full Face Packet
- Refers to S5 packet.
Hard to Find
– A term used to define the purchase availability of an item, generally used to mean items that are not found in great quantities (over 100 items known to exist) or found more readily in a specific geographical area. (Also see Scarce and Rare.)
Holder
- A plastic outer cover to keep packets and reels clean when handled.
Identification Coding
– A system of describing packets and reels in shorthand.
Issue
Identification of a specific packet / card design as shown above (S1 through M).Languages - View-Master was translated into many different languages. A letter code after the packet or card number indicates the language the reel descriptions is written in.

Af  =  Afrikaans
Ar =  Arabic  
ARM =  Arabic 
C =  Canadian  (English and French)
D =  German 
Dn =  Danish
E =  English  (British) 
EM =  English  (British)
EF =  English and French  (Canadian)
ES =  English and Spanish  (U.S.)
F =  French
Fi =  Finnish
FM =  French
G =  Greek
Gr =  Greek
I =  Italian
J =  Japanese
M =  Multi-lingual (Proceeded by a letter [EM])
N =  Netherlands (Dutch)
No =  Norwegian
P =  Portuguese
R =  Russian
S =  Spanish
SM =  Spanish
Tu =  Turkish
Z =  Swedish

         (Note: M = Multi-lingual, preceded by a letter [E, F, D] indicating the languages on the reels.

         Two or three other languages are used on the back of the card.)

 

Logo    -  Identification mark that symbolizes the company’s name in a design format.

Long Flap - The first packets issued by Sawyers contained a 3” packet flap.

Look-a-Likes - 3-D film products from other manufacturers who competed with View-Master.

Marbleized  - A type of paper used as the top coating of a reel in the 1944-45 period whenpaper supplies were being diverted to the war effort (WWII).

Mask   -  An area that is not printed or reserved for a special function like a title block.

Need List - A list of items you are looking to obtain.

Out-of-Print - Many reels were produced that could not be used in packed and were stamped  “Out of  Print” and sold in groups of 7 and 15 reels by Sears.  The acceptance was so great that View-Master started to make Out-of-Print reels to keep up with the demand.  Three varieties of Out-of-Print exist.   1) two line, 2) one line and 3) printed on outer edge of reel.

Oval Packet - Refers to an S6 packet.

Ownership – The name of the manufacturer at time of issue.

Packet - This is a 4-1/4” x 4-1/4” square envelope as listed above (S1 through V2).

Packet Back - The packet’s manufacturer’s name plate which is usually found at the bottom of the packet.

Packet Edition Separator - The ‘-’ separates the packet front and back from the edition when describing the packet description using the identification code (S6A(29)-E).

Packet Front - Each packet has an identification code by  manufacturer and are numbered by date of issue (S3, S5, G2, G6, V1, etc.)

Packet List - Sawyer’s, gaf and GAF produced dated lists or catalogs of items available for sale.

Packet Coding - used when writing or listing a packet .

         A typical packet identification example is: (S6A(29)-E).

Explanation: S6A   = Sawyer’s oval logo packet, type ‘A’ with back number (29) and edition

‘E’ or written in English.   

Pastel Border Packet - Refers to S3 & S4 packets.

Picture Window Packet - Refers to S3 & S4 packets.

Projector - Electric or battery unit that projects images to a screen.

Rare – A term used to define the purchase availability of an item, generally used to mean less than 25 of the item are known to exist.  (Also see Scarce and Hard to Find.)

Record - Standard 8” recording record (33-1/3 rpm) provided with some reel sets.

Reel coding - used when writing or listing a reel:

         A typical reel identification example is:  H-B/R-1  or   A-W-57V

          Explanation: H-B/R-1   = Hand-Blue-ring-variety 1   

           A-W-57V = Round printed reel-White-variety 57- V/P on reel.

Reel Edition Separator The dash ‘-’ separates the packet information from the reel information when describing the packet description using the identification code (S6(A)[029E#1]-43V#1(A)).

Reel identification - is based on the color of the paper and the printing style.   Shown in date order of manufacturing:

HAND:
G/A = Gold seal on a blue reel with ‘Patent applied for’ printed under center hole.
G/P = Gold seal on a blue reel with ‘Patented’ printed under center hole.
B/R/G = Tan (buff) reel front with a blue outer ring, blue back and gold seal.
B/R/O = Tan (buff) reel front with a blue outer ring, blue back and orange or brown waxy look.
B/R/T = Tan (buff) reel front with a blue outer ring, blue back and gold seal.
T/B = Tan (buff) reel front with blue back.
T = Tan (buff) reel front and back
T/W = Tan (buff) reel front with white back. 
M      /T = Marbleized reel front with tan (buff) back.
M = Marbleized reel front with gray back.
M    /W = Marbleized reel front with white back.
U = Unbleached or Eggshell reel - Gray or eggshell front and back.
U /W = Unbleached or Eggshell reel - Gray or eggshell front and White back.
EG = Eggshell colored reel (many different varieties) Light, Medium and Dark
W/T = White reel front and tan (buff) back
W = White reel front and back.
PRINTED:
W = White reel front and back.

                (Note: The reels classified as unbleached are many shades of gray and eggshell type

colors.   It is extremely difficult to classify these colors.  Many reels have two and three color varieties.) 

Reel List - Sawyer’s, gaf and GAF produced dated lists or catalogs of items available for sale.

Reel Number - Each reel has an identification number showing the manufacturer, placement of  the View-Master reel number and placement of the copyright information. 

Reproduction -  Most people want complete packets.  The term normally applies to a reproduction color photocopied packet envelope.  May also refer to a B/W photocopied book.  In all cases the original reels are included in the photocopied envelope.  Reproduction packets are always less than the original packet price.  Generally reproduction packets are only found with the harder to get reels.  1) Because these reels in any state are hard to find.  2) They cost about 1/3 to 1/2 the price of the original.  3) It completes a needed item since the reels are what you look at through the viewer.  Because reels take a special machine to manufacture them, there are no reproduction reels.

RP Reels - Reels that were made for theater canisters and Deluxe Gift packs.  Generally these reels were identical to the regular packet issues.

Scarce – A term used to define the purchase availability of an item, generally used to mean less than 100 of the item are known to exist.  (Also see Rare and Hard to Find.)

Sleeve – A pouch that is used to house your single or packet reels.  In packets, these are found inside.  (Not to be confused with the packet envelope.)

Sheet - A one page description of the reels content.

Souvenir - A tri-fold information leaflet that was developed as part of the Nation of the World series and contained a stamp, coin, sheet music, flag, etc. if available. 

Series - View-Master enjoyed making reel sets and packet groups with a classification heading.

American Indian Series

Famous Cities Series

Nations of the World Series

Science Series

State Tour Series

Short Flap – All packets made after S1 packets contained a 1-1/4” packet flap.

SP Reels - Scenic reels commissioned by a business establishment and only available at the business establishment.   Another way to look at these reels are that they are scenic commercial reels.

Special - A View-Master packet or reel that was issued for a special event and can not be categorized under the normal identification system.

Spots  - See blistering, can also mean dirt, small circular discoloration on a reel, some early Reels were made with marbleized paper that looked like spots.

Strip    - As part of the Nations of the World series packet, a strip of paper was folded over the bottom of the packet .  This strip had a stamp and coin of the country pasted to it  where available.

Translation sheet - A one page description explaining the scenes in various languages.

Transformer - An electrical device that is used in place of batteries in lighted View-Master products

Type - Packet - Each packet front is assigned a manufacturer’s number (S5, S6, etc.).  Within these codes is shown an example of packets using the manufacturer’s number in different formats.

Type - Reel - The outer edge of the reel and the placement of the scene information are indexed for clarity of discussion. 

A = Standard 3-1/2 inch View-Master reel with scene numbers.
B = Saw-toothed 3-1/2 inch View-Master reel with scene numbers.
C = Standard 3-1/2 inch View-Master reel without scene numbers.
D = 2 color reel where a red scene number was place over the scene’s description (printed in black)
E

= reels that only have a letter or a number to identify the scenes location without a description (A,B,C or 1,2,3) 

F = Transition reels that have double coding (old system and new six digit system) 
H = Hand lettering
J = Six digit reel numbers (new system)
L = Leroy style lettering - a template tracing style of lettering
P = Printed 
R/D = Talking reels with the plastic sound disc 
R/E = Talking electronic reels
R/W = Talking reels without the plastic sound disc 
TT = Test reels

 

Variety – Packet - Some packets contain different reels or books but have the same front and back Identification information.

Variety  - Reel  - The center 1” of a reel that has been categorized with a numb er.  This number is the reel’s issue.

Variety  - Reel - Some reels contain different scenes but have the same reel information.

Viewer - The hand held unit that you look through to see the images on a reel.

V/P    - Most reels after the S5 packet through the G4 packet show a V & P on the reels face. This indicated which way the reel was to be held when placing it in the viewer or the projector.

 

                                                                                                                                            11/13/99