I WANTED Mr Frosty, but I didn’t get one. I wanted a Scalextric race track and cars, but I didn’t get them. I didn’t really want an Etch A Sketch, but I got one. Don’t get me wrong, I liked the look of the Etch a Sketch, but if I had to put the three games in order of preference, it would be 1) Scalextric, 2) Mr Frosty, and 3) Etch A Sketch.
I’d spend hours, days even, eyeing-up Scalextric and Mr Frosty in the Argos catalogue. I would start eyeing them up from October in the hope that I’d unwrap them on Christmas day. I must say, even though not my preferred gift, I was thrilled to unwrap an Etch A Sketch on Christmas day during the mid-1970s.
Most people that own (or owned) an Etch A Sketch know what you can and can’t do: straight lines are a doddle, diagonal lines takes patience, steady thumbs and steady index fingers. As for drawing a perfect circle, it’s really not worth the frustration and misery.
I have an Etch A Sketch (of course) – it’s not the same one I had in the 70s, but a modern one I bought about eight years ago. There are some slight differences when I think back to my 70s version: the screen is slightly smaller, and the twisty knobs are chunkier.
This week, I decided to start practising on my Etch A Sketch. My aim was to draw a detached house. Allow me to talk you through the finer details of my drawing:
The roof: the diagonal slant at both left and right are a big jagged. The slant at the right-facing side looks very patchy. The chimney looks sturdy enough and there are even a few streams of smoke rising out into the air. Overall, the roof is not perfect, but it is robust and watertight.
The windows: this unique design has four windows all at different dimensions. The top right-facing window may look like its had a brick or football put through it, but the squiggles are in fact quality curtains being ruffled by the wind.
The front door, pathway, and flower: you’ll notice that there is a finely drawn doorframe, but unfortunately, it may be a tad tricky installing the door… will explain later. The pathway spreads like a lady opening an elegant fan to cool her face, and to the right you can see a flower that adds a touch of beauty to the front garden. Here lies the problem: the drawing instrument is currently sitting on the chimney – in order for me to install the door, I’ll have to go down the roof and then down through the main structure – it’s a bit of a trek reaching the doorway and the chances of ruining my four bedroom detached are fairy high… I’m leaving things as they are!
I think my attempt at being an Etch A Sketch draughtsman has been pretty successful, apart from the missing front door of course. No doubt that with a bit more practise, I can design the perfect house. Some of you have my mobile number, if not, you can get hold of me via the contact form on Retrohen. Your Etch A Sketch draughtsman is ready to turn your imaginary dream home into reality.
Want more retro? Check out the nostalgic hardback book with enough clout to send you flying back through the 80s and 70s. Click image below to get the rundown: