Ah Etch A Sketch, I have fond memories of you from my youth. The begging for one, then the elation when finally the Easter bunny answered my pleas and placed one in my holiday basket. I remember spending an hour trying to write my name in script, or building the simplest of landscapes. Then there was my favorite, building a snake-like line all around the screen trying to keep the lines tight and filling up the whole screen. I remember packing it on various road-trips, and the pure horror when my cousin would jump behind me and grab it out of my hands and shake my masterpiece into non existence. Also followed closely by the memory of doing the same thing to them, only that one brings a smile to my face every time. I hold these nostalgic memories dear as does millions of children that have grown up in the last fifty years. That's right this year Etch A Sketch turned fifty! Withstanding the growing technology and the constant screens in our faces, Etch A Sketch has never fully faded into the realm of forgotten toys. To celebrate that they have released a throw back version of the original Magic Screen to celebrate. This shiny cherry red square sports equally shinny silver turning knobs, as well as a golden script that states proudly Magic Etch A Sketch. Giving you a toy that is actually quite beautiful.
I know that you think that your child will have no interest in one of these, Etch A Sketch does not sport a fancy wifi connection, no apps, no videos, just two knobs and and a blank screen. Just for fun though, hand one to you child and see what happens.
I will tell you what happened in my house. My son took it into the living room where there was no TV and no music playing and just sat there for a full hour figuring out the workings of this new found gadget. He produced lines that were straight, then those that where squiggly. He went up and down, left and right and was quiet. My God he was so quiet. It was glorious.
Now ever since he was introduced to Etch A Sketch, he plays with it at least two times a week. He makes little scenes and runs over to show me, explaining each squiggle, then enthusiastically shakes it and starts again. He has not lost interest, but actually as he keeps playing and learning how to make forms, his interest increases. He even packs it in his go away bag.