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The Boston Globe


Dante Ramos

Character Sketch: Etch A Sketch

FREE ADVERTISING is just about the only advertising the Etch A Sketch gets these days, and the Ohio Art Company, which introduced the toy in 1960, couldn’t have paid for a better publicist than Eric Fehrnstrom. “It’s almost like an Etch a Sketch,’’ the Mitt Romney strategist said, when asked how the former governor would adjust in the fall after a GOP primary campaign that pulled him well to the right. “You can kind of shake it up, and we start all over again.’’ Whatever the campaign implications, the analogy was a vivid one for Baby Boomers and Gen Xers - millions of whom remember trying to draw by turning those two white knobs on the classic red-framed toy.

Fehrnstrom’s comments invited other comparisons between politics and classic toys - if Romney is like an Etch A Sketch, are super PACs like Hungry Hungry Hippos? - but it also triggered a run on Etch A Sketches. Sales of the toy on, Reuters reported, spiked by 1,556 percent.

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