50-Year-Old Etch-a-Sketch Toy Sees a Comeback

"it's almost like an Etch A Sketch — you can kind of shake it up, and we start all over again."

That comment on campaign strategy for the Romney campaign and the blowback from it was enough to cause Etch-a-Sketch™ stock to soar and for sales to go crazy. Sales for the toy invented 50 years ago have increased by 2,000% on Amazon today. It is currently the biggest mover and shaker at Amazon.

Stock in the Ohio Art Company saw increases as well. What was a $4 a share stock yesterday, breifly went to $12.50 today before settling in at $9.65 at closing.

In an email today, Ohio Art spokeswoman, Nicole Gresh said, “We feel our stock has gone up over the past 24 hours due to an increase in consumer exposure and an anticipated increase in product sales. While it is still too early to tell what type of spike the product will achieve, we’re confident we will see a spike in Etch a Sketch sales.”

Yesterday, Employees at Ohio Art had no idea what the day was going to bring. Soon their phones were reportedly ringing off the hook with callers looking for comments and others calling to find out where the toy could be bought.

Martin Killgallon was excited with the response, he told Talking Points Memo, “EAS [Etch-a-Sketch]has had its share of [public relations] in [the] past but nothing that has taken off so quickly in our viral world of today, it has been fun to watch.”

Bill Killgallon, Martin’s uncle, has been a solid supporter of the GOP and has made numerous contributions to Republican candidates in the last 20 years. He hasn’t made any contributions to the GOP this cycle to date.

The last time that Etch-a-Sketch™ was in the news was in 2000, when Ohio Art announced that production of the toy was being exported to China. That move caused the layoff of hundreds of workers. Later an expose was done by the New York Times that brought to light the inhumane working conditions at the factory near Shenzhen.

The company does very little advertising for the toy that was fiirst introduced in 1960. But, it has gotten plenty of free advertising from places such as the movies, Toy Story and Toy Story 2.

Ohio Art has sold over 100 million of the popular red framed toys over the years.