Canadian Manufacturing

Toronto’s Spin Master buys iconic Etch A Sketch toy from Ohio firm

Toy company sees growth potential in classic twin-knobbed drawer



The creative toy has been named one of the most memorable of the 20th century. PHOTO: Ignacio, via Wikimedia Commons

The creative toy has been named one of the most memorable of the 20th century. PHOTO: Ignacio, via Wikimedia Commons

TORONTO—Canadian toy company Spin Master has drawn up an agreement to acquire the rights to the iconic Etch A Sketch and Doodle Sketch brands from The Ohio Art Company.

The Toronto-based company, which prides itself on buying and rejuvenating legacy brands like the twin-knobbed, aluminum powder-powered drawing toy, said it looks forward to building on the product’s creative 50-year history.

“We are always open to exploring new relationships and part of our success is seeing potential that others might overlook,” Ben Gadbois, president and COO of Spin Master, said. “Etch A Sketch and Doodle Sketch have a long and trusted history with consumers and we’re proud to add them to our portfolio.”

The Etch A Sketch was created by a French inventor, and the brand was produced or owned by Ohio Art since 1960, when it bought the rights for $25,000.

Ohio Art’s president Martin Killgallon said handing over the iconic toy is bittersweet, but was done in consideration of the business’s long-term future. The firm plans to focus more on metal lithography, the craft on which it was founded.

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