You can find each of the first five Peep Shows on the following linked pages:
After those four came three new titles: "Animals of British Woodland", "Animals of British Seashore" & "Animals of British Moorland". As with several other Letraset products of the time, these later titles were produced in conjunction with the RSPCA:
Unfortunately, so far we have only been able to scan the first of the three RSPCA titles.
Now… did you notice the 'odd one out', above? That's right: the Trojan Horse set was titled not "Look→", but "Look→In". In fact, we have another version of this set with the more common wording, but it's interesting that there is this evidence of a change of title. It's not hard to guess why the title had to be changed, since "Look-In" magazine was a comic which had a target market of children the same age as would be buying these Peep Shows — & several previous associations with Letraset transfer promotions to boot!
The fiddling around with the name is particularly odd since if you check out the small print you'll see that Patterson Blick held the patent to the term "OPTIVISTA" — to which they don't refer elsewhere. So they had a perfectly good name for it, but went for the more impactful "Look→In" instead… which they then had to change.
A bit of a cock-up on the marketing front, one might think.
The series attracted enough interest to merit a Sunday Times Magazine colour supplement article, written by the notorious Lionel Birch.
Apparently, these Peep Shows (based on a traditional format) were invented by Tom Hawkyard, Picture Editor of the Times. They were designed & compiled by Dennis Knight (of the Patterson Blick Instant Picture Books) & a couple of his collaborators. I expect "Optivista" was Tom Hawkyard's original term, despite Patterson Blick then holding the patent.
Not just your basic "panorama" format, the Peep Shows came with instructions which will give you some idea of what to expect.
You can see from these instructions that in fact there was a panorama background for the transfers, as well as a peep show. One might have thought that the transfers would have been intended for the peep show, without any need for a panorama; however, it looks as if for most people, the peep show & the panorama would have been two completely separate items. It's suggested that "with a little ingenuity" you could apply some transfers, or some manually cut-out snippets of the panorama, to your peep show… but how many kids are going to go to all that trouble?
Boxes shown: Miracle of Dunkirk / Animals of British Moorland
It looks as if the design was slightly botched "by committee", & someone should seize the opportunity to come up with some new peep shows along the same lines, but do it right.
Printing on the inside of the sleeve, so no white areas are visible; clear cellophane dividers across the whole width of the box, at intervals receding from front to back, on which to apply transfers & to simulate greater 'depth of field'… someone give me the job!
Meanwhile — keep reading if you would like a peep or two!
Picture Credit: The SPLAT Scan Archives
© Tom Vinelott 2023