Think of them like a really low-tech tablet — you could draw and then erase… and do it over and over.
These little “Magic Slate” toys have been popular since the 1950s, really hitting their stride in the ’70s and ’80s.
The concept was simple: They had a sheet of slightly opaque plastic film overlaid on a piece of black paper that was covered in wax. When the included writing stylus (made of plastic or wood) was pressed down on the plastic to write, the film stuck to the wax and the “paper” looked darker in those spots.
To erase the page, you lifted the sheet to separate it from the wax then let it go back into position. Then you had a clean slate, and could start all over again — with no charging cord needed.
Vintage magic slate toys: “The Incredible Hulk (1981)
Fun for a kiddie in a hospital, a help to anyone who’s had a jaw broken or suffered a massive attack on his wisdom teeth, could be this “Magic Slate.” You write your message on it, pull it straight up to wipe out your words forever. It’s fine for playing endless bedside games of tic-tac-toe. (1977)