What’s Really Inside An Etch-A-Sketch?

by | Apr 26, 2017 | Home-blog, Just For Fun

Etch-A-Sketch Internal Workings

These guys over at “The King Of Random” &  “What’s Inside” on YouTube decided to hack up an Etch-A-Sketch to see how it works.

Back in the nineties, this toy was a staple for most kids toy boxes – the pinnacle of toy technology. And yet it was basically just a more complicated means of drawing. You have to draw by turning handles. Those white handles controlled a little dot which would drag a black mark across the screen. You could only move in right angles. So that made it a lot harder! But, you could start afresh with a quick shake. Kids loved them. And even adults today make loads of cool art with them. (Just take a quick look on youtube for killer examples.)


To children, or perhaps just us, this device seemed to be powered purely by magic. How did it work? Was there paint inside? it sounded like sand when shaken. Could it be sand? The contents remained a mystery ever since – until now that is. SPOILER: it turns out that it actually isn’t powered by magic.

So without further ado, check out the video below to see what it is that makes these magical doodle screens work.


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