YES I tried everything. YES, that too.
Although the autostereogram was invented decades earlier, it wasn't until 1991 that they made it big. Wikipedia informs me that Tom Baccei and Cheri Smith struck a book deal with Tenyo, which published their Magic Eye book first in Japanese, and then for American audiences.
And the rest, as they say, is history.
I still don't understand why people were so smitten with these. Even if I could correctly unhinge my eyeballs to make it work, why would I want to? What was the appeal? I understand thinking "Huh, that's cool," and moving on with your life. But the Magic Eye empire was so great that even today, people still reference it.
There was a time when every mall in the country had a Magic Eye kiosk. You could buy everything from the tackiest little knick knacks to full-on signed and framed Magic Eye prints.
SO WHAT, I always wanted to scream. IT TURNS INTO A SAILBOAT. BIG DEAL.
Seriously, what was cool about it, beyond the first five seconds? I don't know, but dang, they were everywhere.
Of course, I'm one of those grouches who believes that for the most part, 3D is a stupid gimmick. Yes, the real world is in 3D. But making a movie be more 3D only makes it more distracting. And those of us with older or more sensitive dispositions are inclined to get headaches, too.
Magic Eye was just one point on the continuum of people being super excited over 3D stuff for no good reason. I remember in the 1980s I had a bunch of 3D posters from Scholastic. Most of them featured, for example, a horse jumping over a fence. In 3D! Yahoo! And then I lost the glasses, and it was just a red-green offset print that gave me a vague headache to look at.
These days we have the 3D movie trend, and it's just as useless and objectionable, if you ask me. Star Wars 1 is going to be re-released in 3D this coming weekend, and just the thought of it makes me grouchy. That movie is terrible! Giving it an extra dimension won't help!
The same is true of all those crappy dotty sailboat paintings. WHY.