Political Gaffe Helps Etch A Sketch Sales Skyrocket
During an interview earlier this week, an advisor to Mitt Romney inadvertently made a comment that is now likely to stick with the GOP hopeful for the duration of the campaign season, and it’s lead to a boom in sales for a very old and largely forgotten toy: the Etch A Sketch.
Romney adviser Eric Fehrnstrom told CNN on Wednesday that he’s not worried about his candidate moving past the primary season to the general election, saying, “Everything changes. It’s almost like an Etch A Sketch. You can kind of shake it up and we start all over again.”
The remarks gave tangible form to what many of Romney’s critics have said about him for years — that he’ll redraw his positions to suit his goals and increase his chances of electability — and his opponents pounced. Within hours, Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich were seen gleefully brandishing Etch A Sketches at campaign events, and sales for the classic toy soared.
The Etch A Sketch jumped 1,200 spots on Amazon’s most popular list of toys, and Romney detractors have been buying out the supplies at local stores. And since Ohio Arts, which manufactures the Etch A Sketch, already had pocket-sized versions of the toy as well as iPhone and iPad apps, you can probably expect to see those at rallies as well.
While the company is enjoying the newfound popularity of its iconic plaything, it’s also being careful not to take sides politically, wryly pointing out the Etch A Sketch has two knobs — one on the right and one on the left — and is thus suitable for everyone.