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Etch a Sketch maker responds

March 22, 2012: 10:00 AM ET

Hundred-year-old toy company chimes in.

Mitt Romney adviser Eric Fehrnstrom yesterday caused all sorts of unwanted headaches for his candidate, by telling CNN: "You hit a reset button for the fall campaign. Everything changes. It's almost like an Etch A Sketch. You can kind of shake it up and we start all over again."

A completely legitimate point in terms of campaign politics, but poor optics given Romney's reputation as a flip-flopper. On the upside, however, the controversy has provided all sorts of attention for Etch A Sketch, a toy that has largely been forgotten in an age of social games and consoles.

So I rang up a spokeswoman for Ohio Art Co., a century-old company that has been making Etch A Sketch for more than 50 years. I was interested in its general reaction to the publicity, and if it was expected to improve sales. Here is the company's pun-tastic response, in part:

"Happy to see Etch A Sketch, an American classic toy, is DRAWING attention with political candidates as a cultural icon and important piece of our society. A profound toy, highly recognized and loved by all, is now SHAKING up the national debate. Nothing is as quintessentially American as Etch A Sketch and a good old fashioned political debate.

We are pleased with the added attention being drawn to Etch A Sketch which is truly one of the most recognizable, iconic and fun toys ever developed. As one of the most classic toys of all time, Etch A Sketch has always sold particularly well with today's consumer. It is too early to tell, but we are hopeful to see if there is an uptake in sales given this recent exposure."

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Dan Primack
Dan Primack
Senior Editor, Fortune

Dan Primack joined Fortune.com in September 2010 to cover deals and dealmakers, from Wall Street to Sand Hill Road. Previously, Dan was an editor-at-large with Thomson Reuters, where he launched both peHUB.com and the peHUB Wire email service. In a past journalistic life, Dan ran a community paper in Roxbury, Massachusetts. He currently lives just outside of Boston.

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