If you weren’t spending time in a cave last week you were undoubtedly inundated by commentary on the “Etch A Sketch” incident. You know, that’s the one where Romney’s senior advisor, Eric Fehrnstrom, compared the candidate's political positions to a drawing on an Etch A Sketch. As he put it:” "I think you hit a reset button for the fall campaign. "Everything changes. It's almost like an Etch A Sketch. You can kind of shake it up and restart all over again."
I will let others decide if it was a gaffe or a moment of honest lucidity. Rather, I want to focus on the power of toys in society. Think about it; virtually everyone in the United States (and maybe the world for all we know) knew immediately what an “Etch A Sketch” was and as a result got the meaning of the metaphor. The "Etch A Sketch" was a universal touchstone
Why, because toys have power well beyond their moment in the playroom. They help shape how our
Last year, I posted two articles entitled “My Top 10 List of Games and Toys in History" (click here for part 1 and part 2). In it, I listed toys that played a role in history: Now we have to add the “Etch A Sketch” to the list. Where it ranks will ultimately depend upon whether it actually has an impact on the nominating process.
Bottom line: Never underestimate the power of toys and the importance of what we do as an industry.