We must say we felt a tinge of sadness yesterday when we heard the news that Andre Cassagnes, creator of the world famous Etch a sketch had passed away at the grand old age of 87.
With over 100 million units sold I think it is safe to say that we have all had some play time with an etch a sketch in our lives and the beauty of the invention was its simplicity. The toy may seem old-fashioned in an age of tablet computers, but in fact it still has a steady market, thanks in no small part to its appearance in the Toy Story movies.
Mr Cassagnes himself saw the potential for the toy way back in the 50’s when working as an electrician. He noticed that while working with metal powders, that marks in a coating of aluminium powder could be seen from the other side of the translucent plateThe Ohio Art Company spotted the invention at the Nuremberg Toy Fair in 1959, and the next year it became the top selling toy in the United states.
We ourselves love the product because like our own fun pack it is a simple product that breeds creativity. Kids started with a blank screen and using two dials had to try and draw something which was not always that easy. The best bit though was that all your mistakes were forgiven with a simple shake of the device.
It was heralded as one of the most influential toys ever and rightly so. It is great to see how a simple idea can grow into something so big and to still actually be selling after so long on the market.
So Andres Cassagnes we salute you and bid you farewell, thanks for the memories.