If you have ever wanted to turn a $600 piece of hardware into a $15 toy, the Kickstart ‘Etcher’ is for you. I don’t mean to knock the start-up before it gets off the ground, but that is essentially what you are doing.
However, there are some great additions to buying this version of the classic children’s toy, like the ability to save your drawings and post them on Facebook or Flickr. And the nostalgia factor will appeal to a lot of people.
At first glance of the Etcher on Kickstarter, you will notice a striking number of positive reviews from various tech publications, so it must be the real deal as far as duplicating the feel of the original. Actual physical knobs come out of the cover’s suface, emulating the real thing. It has the classic red finish with the original logos across the top. Everything about it looks like the original; it even erases the screen when you shake it.
The only drawback I can see is the price. On Kickstarter, they are asking for a pledge of $45 dollars to get the first production copy of the device. They even say that it is at a “special price”. For $15 you can by an actual etch-a-sketch on Amazon, so why not just get the real thing.
You can’t save it, but why do you even want to. Etch-A-Scetch drawings are terrible unless you are an actual Etch-A-Sketch artist, and there are plenty of drawing apps out there that can produce way better images. It really does look like fun, but after the nostalgia wears off, you are just left with $45 iPad cover that’s really hard to draw on.
An upside for developers, though, is that they are going to publish an open source SDK so you can make you own games that utilize the Etchers hardware. It would be interesting to see if someone could come up with a unique game. They cannot open source the hardware though, their contact with Apple keeps that a secret.