Happy Birthday, Etch-a-Sketch! The magic screen is 55 years old this year, and it’s still one of my favorite toys (the 6 Best Toys of All Time notwithstanding). The Etch-a-Sketch has gone through a lot of variations–different sizes and colors and branding, like this Frozen-themed version. But my favorite is still the classic red frame, which is largely unchanged from the original. Several years ago the classic was reduced in size slightly, but otherwise it’s just about the same thing your parents may have played with as a kid.
Designed in France by André Cassagnes (who passed away two years ago), the Etch-a-Sketch was first introduced in the US 1960 by Ohio Arts, and has sold over 175 million units since then.
The Etch-a-Sketch has a special place in my heart because I started practicing my knob-turning skills in college and eventually even sold a few Etch-a-Sketch drawings, though these days it’s more just a fun party trick I show off occasionally.
Have a happy Etch-a-Sketch Day today, and show your kids the sort of tablet you had when you were a kid!