Etch A Sketch is a mechanical drawing toy invented by André Cassagnes of France and subsequently manufactured by the Ohio Art Company of Bryan, Ohio.
An Etch A Sketch has a thick, flat gray screen in a red plastic frame. There are two white knobs on the front of the frame in the lower corners. Twisting the knobs moves a stylus that displaces aluminum powder on the back of the screen, leaving a solid line. The knobs create lineographic images. The left knob control moves the stylus horizontally, and the right one moves it vertically.
The Etch A Sketch was introduced near the peak of the Baby Boom on July 12, 1960, selling for $2.99. It went on to sell 600,000 units that year and is one of the best-known toys of that era. In 1998, it was inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame at The Strong in Rochester, New York. In 2003, the Toy Industry Association named Etch A Sketch to its Century of Toys List, a roll call commemorating the 100 most memorable and most creative toys of the 20th century.
This Etch a Sketch Magic Screen comes with its original box, which is in relatively great condition. It has, however, yellowed a bit with age, and the first child owner of the toy (a young girl named Ann) wrote her name both on a side panel and bottom of the box.
The magic screen itself is in in good condition. The knobs still allow a child to draw, but when the screen is shaken to remove the drawn image, faint lines still appear on the screen.
The screen’s black bottom bears manufacturing information and well as the logo for the Ohio Art Company. Residue of cellophane tape and some glue marks also appear on the bottom.
Included with the game is a set of directions about how to use the Etch a Sketch Magic Screen. Though a bit yellowed with age, the instructions are still in great condition.
For collectors of vintage children’s games and toys, this Etch a Sketch Magic Screen would make for a delightful addition to such a collection. It would also be a fun gift for anyone who likes being a kid who draws to relax and unwind.