Why aren't people breaking our beloved childhood toys to see what's inside them? That is a question which I have spent many, many hours pondering.

If you're the same, then you'll be pleased to know that we are not alone. YouTubers The King of Random (Grant Thompson) and What's Inside joined forces to take a part an Etch A Sketch to see how it works.

They picked a good one, too, didn't they? The Etch A Sketch. How did that work? Magic or magnets, it was either one of the other as far as eight-year-old me was concerned.

The Etch A Sketch was an absolutely iconic toy, allowing you to draw anything you wanted, so long as it was comprised of straight lines, without the need for pens or paper. It even featured in Toy Story.


For a child's toy, it's surprisingly sturdy. They end up putting the thing in a bloody vice and using a saw to get in there, and when they do a little powder falls out. But what is it? Magic or magnets?

YouTube/What's Inside

OK, so my thoughts get shot down pretty quickly as the dude in the clip hands a magnet to a kid and tells him to try and pick up the powder. 'If I'm right it won't stick' he says. At this point, I'm assuming he's Team Magic.

They then tip all of the grey powder out the toy and, bloody hell, there is a lot. Not sure what I was expecting but they nearly got a whole cup of the stuff. But what is it? Well, it's aluminum powder.

The YouTubers then go on to smash the screen apart to see how it works. Poor Etch A Sketch.

And, how does it work? Let me tell you. When you twist those knobs a stylus inside the Etch A Sketch displaces the aluminium powder, which is held between two sheets of plastic on the back of the screen, leaving behind a solid line. When you turn it upside down and shake it, polystyrene balls smooth and recoat the back of the screen.

Science, bitches.

Featured Image Credit: YouTube/What's Inside

Claire Reid

Claire Reid is a journalist at LADbible. Claire graduated from Liverpool John Moores University with a BA in journalism. She’s previously worked at Trinity Mirror. Since joining LADbible, Claire has worked on pieces for the UOKM8? mental health campaign, the Yemen crisis, life in the Calais Jungle as well as a profile of a man who is turning himself into a cyborg.

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