Etch A Sketch, which turns 55 this year, was first introduced in the U.S. by The Ohio Art Company as a mechanical drawing toy. Since debuting at the American International Toy Fair in New York City in 1960 (It became the No. 1 selling toy for Christmas of 1960), it has sold more than 175 million units.
Throughout its tenure, Etch A Sketch has received numerous toy awards and currently boasts a 95-percent worldwide awareness factor. It has co-starred in both the Toy Story movie franchise and Elf, was inducted into Rochester’s National Toy Hall of Fame in 1998, and was added to the Toy Industry Association’s Century of Toys List five years later.
“For 55 years, Etch A Sketch has remained one of the world’s most popular toys despite an increasingly technological toy market,” says Martin Killgallon, senior vice president of marketing and product development from The Ohio Art Company. “Its success can be attributed to its simple design that inspires endless hours of creativity, requires no instructions, and is portable and powered simply by imagination.”