The ETCH-A-SKETCH ANIMATOR 2000 by U.S. company OHIO ARTS is a really special, lovely addition to our collection and is in our eyes really underrated among collectors. A few words on its history: In the 60ies, company Ohio Arts registered the patents for the mechanical drawing toy “Etch-a-Sketch” (similar to “Magna Doodle”, but using a different method of operation), one of the most popular toys in the following decades. With 2 knobs, you would move a stylus placed under a screen, which would then remove aluminium powder from the screen in order to create lineographic images. You could erase, and create, and erase, and create… Even today, there are artists using these devices to create magnificent pictures. After a first electronical version with a dot matrix display and animation capabilities from 1986, Ohio Arts released the Animator 2000 with an LCD screen and 196 kilobytes of memory in 1988. This device replaced the knobs with a touchpad & pen, while keeping the drawing & animation functions still in its focus. However - and this is where it gets interesting for us - Ohio Arts also added gaming capabilities to the device. With “Putt Nuts” (miniature golf), “Fly By” (fligh sim) and “Overdrive” (racing), 3 games were released on tiny cartridges as well as a memory cartridge to store your drawings and animations. Testing these games is really surprising, as the touch controls work quite well some 15 years ahead of the Nintendo DS, which even shares a similar design (although adding a second screen where the Animator 2000 only has its touchpad). In Putt-Nuts, you really need to “swing” the pen to create momentum and direction, while in Overdrive, you control your car via touchpad – which works not as good as Putt-Nuts, but was at least new back then. Of course, its focus is still the drawing function, of course the black/white graphics on the LCD screen are only basic, and of course the games are rather simple and not comparable to what was offered on the Gameboy two years later. However, the nice tabletop/handheld device, the tiny cartridges and especially the input via touchscreen, which was certainly ahead of its time, makes this a really nice addition to our collection.