Upper Deck International is delighted to announce a partnership with Fundex Games and The Ohio Art Company, creators of Etch A Sketch®, the World’s Favorite Drawing Toy®. Upper Deck has acquired exclusive distribution rights for the Etch A Sketch brand in France, Germany, Benelux, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Greece, Austria, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, and Switzerland.
First produced in 1960, Etch A Sketch is one of the most popular creative children’s toys of all time, with more than 150 million units sold in North America. Upper Deck will be teaming up with Etch A Sketch in its 50th anniversary year and will initially release the Classic, Classic Pocket, and Hello Kitty versions across Europe in May 2010.
These releases mark the beginning of a new chapter for both Upper Deck and the Etch A Sketch brand in continental Europe. With a rapidly-expanding portfolio of some of today’s most popular toys, and an excellent international distribution network, Upper Deck is perfectly placed to build upon the phenomenal success of this highly established brand.
In 2003, Etch A Sketch featured in the Toy Industry Association’s Century of Toys List, a roll call of the 100 most memorable and creative toys of the 20th century, and it has recently been given a 21st century twist and made available as an iPhone application.
Whether it’s being used to promote other brands, or appearing in feature films such as Toy Story (1, 2, and the soon to be released Toy Story 3), Etch A Sketch is a popular icon that is constantly in the media in one form or another. It has even spawned its own art form, with many artists creating intricate masterpieces using the unique continuous line method.
Peter Rooke, General Manager of Fundex Games International and Larry Killgallon, CEO of Ohio Art say: “We are extremely pleased to partner with Upper Deck to build the Etch A Sketch brand in the European marketplace. Upper Deck International has a track record of success in the market with other major brands and an experienced leadership team that will help us bring the fun and magic of Etch A Sketch to children across Europe”.
Nico Blauw, CEO of Upper Deck International says: “Here at Upper Deck we are proud to be welcoming such an iconic brand and product into our leading portfolio. Across the world for nearly 50 years children and their parents have reveled in the highly enjoyable and innovative entertainment that this timeless product provides. We will be working with our partners at the Ohio Art Company to continue this great tradition of innovation and fun ensuring that we deliver the highest quality service and products to the markets that we serve. The synergies between our businesses will ensure that we continue to lead the way, and we are excited by the prospect of writing another chapter in the story of this classic icon’s history.”
About Ohio Art
Creators of the famous Etch A Sketch drawing toy, The Ohio Art Company remains one of the world’s most widely recognized toy companies since its establishment in 1908. The Ohio Art Company is committed to developing toys that encourage creativity and learning while providing hours of enjoyment, encouraging self-expression and promoting positive development. The company also proudly markets specialty toys including K's Kids®, a line of toys specially developed for babies and toddlers. Visit the Ohio Art website at
About Upper Deck International
Starting out in 1999 and quickly becoming a leader in Trading Card Games based on popular licenses such as World of Warcraft and Huntik, Upper Deck International is now an important player in the toy and entertainment industry. With headquarters based in the Netherlands and offices around Europe as well as Australia, Hong Kong and Japan, UDI holds strategic positions in key entertainment markets. Having secured exclusive pan-European toy rights with companies such as Moose (Crazy Soundz and Spongi), Playmates (Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D’s), All-in-One (Mickey Says), and Big Bocca (Huntik toys), and regional distribution for brands Bakugan and Tech Deck (Spin Master), Dinosaur King toys (Playmates) and Gormiti (GP), UDI is also investing heavily in IP development. An original line of pre-school products including Scrolly and Kikaboo! has been developed under classic Disney licenses and complete rollout is scheduled for the Spring of 2010. For additional information please visit: upperdeck-international.com.