The Easy Bake Oven is a fully functional toy oven for children created by Kenner Products and invented by Ronald Howes in 1963. The oven works by using an incandescent light bulb to heat the food being baked. Along with the oven other items included in the packaging are: cake mix and two small round baking pans. The oven was first introduced to the American market around 1963 having originally been created with two 100 watt incandescent light bulbs but ultimately redesigned various times over the years. Shortly after its release Hasbro acquired Kenner Products although they continued to produce the oven it was later renamed and in 1993 to “The Easy-Bake Oven and Snack Center”.
10 years after the renaming and re-release of the oven, the “Real Meal Oven” was released in 2003. This new version of the original was not only able to cook larger portions but could also hold two pans at once, did not require a heated light bulb, and was able to bake deserts and real meals evenly at high temperatures. They Real Meal Oven also came in a bigger assortment of colors to make the product more gender neutral.
In 2006 a newer version of the Easy-Bake Oven was released, this time featuring a stove-top warmer and front load design versus the push through design ; however it came packaged with small pans that could only be used one at a time. This change to the oven on-top of a 985,000 unit recall caused negative reviews and an immediate redesign. In 2011 a new re-named Easy-Bake Ultimate Oven was released as a greener more environmentally conscious version. Features of this oven included halogen light bulbs which made all older versions of the oven as obsolete.
In 2012 Hasbro once again re-designed the packaging of the oven to black and silver after a petition was started at Change.org by a girl from NJ complaining that the company should make a more gender neutral product.
Image Via: Npr.org
Featured image via Salon.com