Etch A Sketch creator dies, aged 86
on 04/02/2013 00:00:00
"Etch A Sketch has brought much success to the Ohio Art Company, and we will be eternally grateful to André for that.
"His invention brought joy to so many over such a long period of time," said Larry Killgallon, president of Ohio Art.
An electrical technician, Mr Cassagnes came upon the Etch A Sketch idea in the late 1950s when he peeled a translucent decal from a light switch plate and found pencil mark images transferred to the opposite face, said the Toy Industry Association.
Ohio Art saw his idea at the Nuremberg Toy Fair in 1959. The toy, with its grey screen, red frame and two white knobs that are twisted back and forth to create drawings, was launched in 1960. Over 100m have been sold worldwide since.
The toy still has a steady market, the company has said. It got a big jump in sales after Etch A Sketch was featured in the first two Toy Story movies, and Ohio Art also capitalised on a much-publicised gaffe by a Mitt Romney aide during last year's US presidential race, who was asked about his candidate's views during the primary season versus the general election.
He likened the campaign to an Etch A Sketch: "You can kind of shake it up and we start all over again."
Both Democrats and Republicans alike seized on the remark as evidence that Romney was willing to change his positions for political gain. And Ohio Art also seized on the publicity, creating a politically themed advertising campaign and manufacturing blue versions of the famously red toy.
Etch A Sketches were made in Ohio until 2000, when the company moved production to China.