Etch A Sketch Day is celebrated annually on July 12. Etch A Sketch is a mechanical toy used for drawing. It’s an invention by André Cassagnes from France, and was manufactured by the Ohio Art Company. The Etch A Sketch was introduced on July 12, 1960 and sold for $2.99 (equivalent to $26 today). Being a classic, it has entertained and delighted generations of kids. Etch A Sketch Day is celebrated mainly by organizations, and everyone is encouraged to be creative and have fun.
History of Etch A Sketch Day
The Etch A Sketch toy was invented in the late 1950s by André Cassagnes, an electrician who branded the toy L’Écran Magique (The Magic Screen). In 1959, he took his drawing toy to the International Toy Fair in Nuremberg, Germany where The Ohio Art Company saw it and acquired it. The Ohio Art Company launched the toy in the United States in time for the Christmas season in 1960, marked Etch A Sketch. Over 600,000 units of the toy were sold during this time.
The toy initially used a plate-glass screen but was replaced with plastic for safety reasons. In 1995, the Etch A Sketch toy featured in the 1995 Pixar animated film “Toy Story.” It had a 12-second feature that was enough to give a significant sales boost. The production line had to work overtime to meet the demand.
In 2001, manufacturing was moved to a plant in Shenzhen, China, to cut production costs. The Ohio Art Company was facing bankruptcy before securing financing to stay viable. It sold the rights to the Etch A Sketch name and the design to the Toronto-based Spin Master Corporation in February 2016. The toy got into the National Toy Hall of Fame in 1998. In 2003, the Toy Industry Association named Etch A Sketch one of the 100 most memorable toys of the 20th century.
Over the years, the company also created other products, such as the Doodle Sketch, a Plug & Play Etch A Sketch that allows users to draw on their T.V. screen. Currently, there is an official Etch A Sketch IT! mobile app that lets you create images and transform your photos into the toy’s classic grayscale drawings.
Etch A Sketch Day timeline
Cassagnes makes a mechanical drawing toy he calls the L'Ecran Magique (The Magic Screen).
The Ohio Art Company introduces Etch A Sketch to the market.
Manufacturing of the drawing toy relocates to a plant in Shenzhen, China.
The Toy Industry Association names the toy one of the memorable toys of the 20th century.
The owner of Etch A Sketch honors its anniversary and goes viral in a social media challenge.
Etch A Sketch Day FAQs
Who made the original Etch A Sketch?
The Etch A Sketch was created by French inventor André Cassagnes in 1955.
How much did an Etch A Sketch cost in 1960?
The Etch A Sketch sold for $2.99 in 1960, which was equivalent of $26 in 2020.
How many Etch A Sketches were sold since 1960?
Etch A Sketch sold more than 175 million units worldwide.
Etch A Sketch Day Activities
Buy Etch A Sketch for yourself or children
The Etch A Sketch toys are still readily available. You can celebrate this holiday by purchasing an Etch A Sketch for yourself or the children to remind yourself how much fun they are.
Host an Etch A Sketch competition
Host an Etch A Sketch competition with friends or colleagues. Set a time limit to produce an artwork, and have fun battling each.
Download The Etch A Sketch mobile apps
This day is all about creativity. So if you can’t get your own Etch A Sketch, download the mobile app and have fun. Feel free to share your artwork on social media.
5 Interesting Facts About The Etch A Sketch
The original toy used a joystick
The original design had a joystick, which was replaced by two knobs before it hit the market.
Originally manufactured in Ohio
Etch A Sketch was originally manufactured in Bryan, Ohio, by the Ohio Art Company.
Etch A Sketch was the Magic Screen
Cassagnes’ original name for his toy was L'Ecran’ Magique, or the Magic Screen.
Cassagnes later invented other toys
Cassagnes invented the Teleglide, a system to guide metal cars on a track, and Skedoodle.
From temporary to permanent
Etch A Sketch drawings aren’t meant to be permanent but some artists have used them to create professional artworks.
Why We Love Etch A Sketch Day
We revisit a childhood toy
On this day, you’ll have fond memories of using the Etch A Sketch as a child. And you’ll have even more fun getting to use it again.
We socialize with friends and colleagues
We get to socialize with friends and work colleagues. We share memories of a toy we all love.
We pass the fun to the new generation
The new generation is mostly about computer games and smartphones. It’s nice to share a toy from the past that we all enjoyed.
Etch A Sketch Day dates