The 3rd Generation reels are known by collectors by a variety of names: buff, tan,yellow - to name a few. And often the color of the back is included in the description. For example, Buff with Blue Back. Reel production of these is from 1941 through 1944. The color of the paper used for the back of the reel varied with the earliest made of blue stock, continuing with buff paper which lasted the longest and ending with white or gray. Paper was scarce at this time so this scarcity may contribute to the color changes. So it is common to find a buff reel with different color backs. And some collectors make this distinction in their collecting. The images generally do not vary.
Buff reels were manufactured with both concentric and linear lettering as seen from the samples. During this time, View-Master added new titles to their offering and also continued to produce titles already in production by updating some images. New "face styles" (lettering designs in the center of the reel) were introduced. The images were made of Kodachrome film and today still retain much of their original color.
The earlier styles are the concentric ones.The images are the same on a linear reel - some exceptions may exist..
Later, the linear lettering was used.
CONDITION and PRICE: Over the years, if the reels have been exposed to moisture, dirt, and destructive elements the images may have suffered some degradation. This shows up as violet spots on the images or sometimes as dark areas. Oil from fingerprints left their marks also. We make note of these conditions and discount the price of the reels accordingly. Each reel that we sell is inspected.
All of our Buff reels come with their appropriate sleeve and are in excellent condition or noted otherwise. Buff reels are most commonly found with the light sleeve below, but the dark sleeve below (used for the Blue Ring Reels) also housed some. of the early Buff reels.