It seems nowadays children are preoccupied with either television or video games. But it wasn’t that long ago when children had to use their ingenuity and imaginations to be entertained when playing and having fun. Parents can bring back this ideology back into our homes by turning off those dreaded machines, getting back to the basics and bringing into our homes the classic toys that have entertained and educated children.
With the advent of the “video age”, there is no doubt toy companies feel slighted on the bottom line. But some toys stand the test of time and never go out of style, still entertaining and thrilling children for decades, with no let up in sight. Let’s explore one of these classic toys and an icon of the toy industry:
Etch a Sketch
Invented in the late 1950’s by a gentleman named Arthur Granjean (he called it “L ‘Ecran Magique”), meaning the magic screen; in his garage. The Ohio Art Company decided to take a chance on his “drawing toy” and renamed it the Etch A Sketch and in 1960 launched a successful television advertisement campaign to promote it.
The response was so overwhelming, Ohio Art continued to produce them until noon Christmas Eve, 1960. The toys were then immediately shipped to the west coast so people there could have the Etch A Sketch in time for Christmas.
The Etch A Sketch has entertained over 100 million adults and children in 67 countries worldwide. The basic design pretty much stayed the same, although Ohio Art did offer hot pink and blue frames in the 1970’s, but found that people preferred the traditional red frame. Additionally, the Etch A Sketch Club was formed in 1978 and has an average of 2,000 members worldwide.
For fun, take a poll of your friends or coworkers, and ask them how many of them ever drew something with an Etch A Sketch. Your numbers will be astonishing; it was and still is, one of the world’s most popular toys!
Did you know there is an Official Etch A Sketch Website? You can go to www.etch-a-sketch.com if you want to learn more about this marvel of the toy industry and if you are feeling a bit nostalgic you can even draw online!