Sunday, October 25, 2009

M*A*S*H Viewmaster Reel - 1978

This is a little out of sequence, but I just picked it up at the aforementioned Wizard World NY Comic Con and I wanted to post it as soon as possible!

I guess I shouldn't have been surprised that the vast conglomerate known as Viewmaster licensed M*A*S*H, considering some of the other odd subjects they converted into transparent glory, but there's a part of me that still wonders why.

Undoubtedly, there is some part of M*A*S*H that appealed to children, despite the show's adult setting and subject matter (after all, I watched it!), and maybe it was that indefinable thing that Viewmaster was counting on.

Inside the colorful front sleeve is a little booklet featuring a synopsis of the episode in question, Season Six's "Major Topper":
The book runs sixteen pages, and also features a puzzle where you have to find names of the show's characters hidden within. Also included of course are the three Viewmaster reels featuring scenes and dialog from the show:
...did I say dialog? One of the strangest elements to this little package is that, for some unfathomable reason, a lot of the lines from the show have been re-written! Check out this exchange from the last page of the book, encapsulating this episode's final moments:
...not only does that dialog between Potter and Klinger not exist in the show, but the famous woman Winchester dated was changed from Audrey Hepburn to Grace Kelly--as if Grace Kelly was somehow a more contemporary reference for kids than Audrey Hepburn.

The booklet also features stills from the show, and underneath the pictures are "quotes" from the show that also don't exist. Makes you think that the guy who wrote this summary saw the episode once and was working from memory.

I have to assume this isn't the only M*A*S*H episode converted into Viewmaster reels, and all I know is I want to see more of them!


Tom said...

This was the only View-Master packet on M*A*S*H. Not surprised that you said the dialogue was re-written. I used to collect these when I was younger and a lot of the stories in the packets on many of the tv shows were altered somewhat. Except on the Monkees. The story was entirely re-written for that packet. Still, in a time before vcrs, dvds, etc.. it was a nice way of having a sovernir of your favorite tv show.

Russell said...

That is weird. I always wanted to pick up View-Masters, but I never did.

By the by, that is my favorite MASH cast shot.

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