Synopsis of Toy
Mom didn't always welcome your presence in the kitchen, and occasionally, she even had the gall to claim your old pots and pans symphonies—performed in wooden spoon G-minor—weren't quite the delicious aural treat you remember them to be. Some people don't have an ear for the classics. The point is, if you had a domestic urge, a toy could often fulfill it. And if you just had to bake something, there were a couple of different toys for you. You had your goopy Creepy Crawlers, for example, which came out of their oven in wiggly solidish forms. But infinitely more appetizing were the goodies that daintily emerged from the Easy-Bake Oven. Renowned pastry chefs got their start here, tea parties for your dolls were supplied here, and your lifelong love affair with chocolate icing…well, that has its roots here too. Exit the pots and pans, enter the oven.
The Easy-Bake was introduced in 1963, and though there isn’t any specific inventor lore surrounding it, some say that the idea behind it came from the purchase of a warm pretzel from a street vendor. Perhaps if your mom baked and you wanted to be a chip off the flour-coated block, or if she didn’t bake at all and you wanted to become the dessert provider for the family…the Easy-Bake was for you.
Back in '63, a 60-watt bulb powered the oven, and smart bakers arranged for a back stock of these bulbs in their family’s utility closets. There was nothing worse than racing home from school, all set to create your latest cake tour de force, and then watching helplessly as your Easy-Bake’s light bulb fizzed out. And no, shining a flashlight into the oven hatch won’t get the job done, though we commend your resourcefulness.
Each Easy-Bake came with a couple of different mixes and cake pan options. The pastry-chef-in-training would stir together the mixing powder and water, pour the result into one of the pans (about four inches wide), and let the light bulb work its magic. The ten or fifteen minutes which followed were invariably tough because a chef could watch and smell the cake’s progress through the oven door—growing hungrier all the time. But when the cook time was finally up, the chef would remove his or her work from the baking slot and place it in the cooling chamber for another ten minutes or so (though if the chef was hungry enough, this step was curtailed, or sometimes just skipped altogether). And now, for your best doll or your best friend, for you or Mom, Dad or dog…drum roll please...now it was time for dessert.
The first Easy-Bake model was turquoise, and a few years later, the 1969 Premier Oven hit homes in its memorable avocado green hue, featuring even more dials and a fake clock. In 1978, the Easy-Bake Mini-Wave made its debut—sleek, modern, and microwave shaped! There were Barbie and Betty Crocker brand name spin-offs…though the standard Easy-Bake still sells the best. Nowadays, it’s called the Easy-Bake Oven & Snack Center. It has a snazzy white, pink and purple color scheme, boasts a digital cock and requires a bigger-and-better 100-watt bulb. There’s a whole lot more in the way of mix choices too…the Easy-Baker can assemble vertically impressive cake sandwiches, assorted candies and tiny pastry turnovers. And thanks to deals with sweet-toothed corporations like M&M’s, Oreo and Dunkin’ Donuts, patented toppings and ingredients can be incorporated if your baking muse so dictates. Upwards of sixteen million ovens have been sold since the Easy-Bake’s 1963 induction.
Remember, it’s still important to maintain a bulb cache: the ovens still don’t come with one, and it’s just as heartbreaking as it used to be to have a burnout with no back-up. Hasbro bought Kenner in 1991, and took over the Easy-Bake reigns. Unlike the models of old, it’s not marketed toward just girls anymore—baked goods know no gender bounds these days, and given the joy that comes from producing a perfect palm-sized delectable, that’s a good thing.
Hasbro holds a ‘Baker of the Year’ contest every year in which kids aged 8 to 11 can submit their best recipes and, hopefully, come to New York to compete in the bake-off finals. The days when we patted down mud pies in the sandbox and dared each other to eat crayons? Those days are over.
Release History of Toy1963 - Easy-Bake Oven
1969 - Premier Oven
1978 - Easy-Bake Mini-Wave
Sub Categories of Toysarts & crafts