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Easy-Bake Oven a victim of progress

The 100-watt light bulb that provides the heat source will no longer be sold next year. The oven is being redesigned.

By Karen Datko Mar 14, 2011 8:11PM

How many parents will it take to change a light bulb in an Easy-Bake Oven next year?


None, since the 100-watt bulb that serves as the heating element in the classic toy won't be sold in the U.S. after Jan. 1. (Note to parents: Stock up now on the light bulbs so you won't have to spring for the new, bulb-free version of this hall of fame plaything.) Post continues after video.

The headline of one post about the demise of the Easy-Bake Oven as we know it blamed politicians for its fate. But it's really a smart move toward energy-efficient lighting. "The 100-watt bulb was so energy-inefficient, its main product wasn't light. It was heat," says Chicago Breaking Business -- enough to bake little cakes.

Some are sad to see the Easy-Bake Oven produce its last cupcake with the 100-watt bulb, the first of the incandescent bulbs to be phased out over three years. Some are sad to see the bulbs themselves pass into history. "We're all loathe to lose the incandescent bulb," Sarah Gilbert lamented at DailyFinance.


"It's the end of all light-bulb-based cooking," Stephen Colbert said. "This light-bulb ban has set off a watt riot."


But the oven will survive in a more modern form, which is fitting for a 2006 inductee into the National Toy Hall of Fame (although such notables as G.I. Joe, Jack in a Box, and Scrabble got there sooner). According to the toy oven's manufacturer:

In Fall 2011, Hasbro will launch the Easy Bake Ultimate Oven, introducing a new way to bake for the next generation of chefs. This new oven features a heating element that does not use a light bulb and offers an extensive assortment of mixes reflective of the hottest baking trends for today.

How will it compare? More than 23 million Easy-Bake Ovens have been sold since Kenner Inc. made the first one in 1963, inspired by the lights vendors used to keep pretzels and other street food warm. Every comment we've found about the taste and consistency of the baked goods it makes were less than favorable.

Hasbro, which later acquired the brand, issued a voluntary recall for a front-loading model in 2007 after 29 reports of kids getting their fingers caught in the oven's opening. Five were burned. Another recall was issued later that year after 249 more reports of stuck fingers and 77 more cases of burns. That model of the oven was retired.


Don't like the idea of the new oven with a heating element, not a bulb? Easy-Bake also has a microwave kit -- mix up the batter and slip the little pans into the microwave, just as Mom and Dad do.


I didn't have an Easy-Bake Oven as a child, but I don't recall feeling sad about that. (I've also switched to CFL bulbs and can't tell the difference anymore, if I ever did.)


Do you feel nostalgic about the old Easy-Bake Oven? Yes or no, please share your thoughts.


More from MSN Money:

Mar 14, 2011 10:24PM
This is just great, I agree the new bulbs save energy, but our Lawmakers say we cannot make them here the the US of A, so You ask where are they made??  CHINA, so since we cannot make this type of light bulb here, (it is too hazardous to be made here, to environmentally unfriendly)  Now all we do is buy, buy and buy from our "Friends in China"  Very bad move when we move from a Producing country to a Using country.  Thanks Congress and the Senate.
Mar 15, 2011 12:25AM
I remember my sister and I baking a cake for our father when he was in the hospital recovering from an almost fatal heart attack.  It was 1967 - I was 8 and she was 11.     It made us feel good that we could "bake" a cake to help his recovery.  It was decorated with green frosting and a plastic shamrock because it was close to St. Patrick's Day.  He was in intensive care for 3 months and we couldn't visit. We also had the "Easy Wash Dishwasher" which was a very big waste of water but fun too!    Life and toys were much simpler than.
Mar 15, 2011 12:50AM

I agree completely with the earlier poster....the new bulbs which can't be made in the U.S.A.  because they contain MERCURY, have to come from China. More of their industrial TOXINS being sold here !!!!

Time to send some of the idiot lawmakers on a one-way "fact finding" trip TO China !

Who's side are the elected officials on anyway ?

Mar 14, 2011 11:12PM

The demise of this model signals the end of an era. The Oven wasn't about the taste of the food; it was about being able to, as a little kid, actually cook something on your own from start to finish. I have fond memories of the Easy-Bake Oven.

Mar 15, 2011 2:51AM
Saddness.  I always dreamed of having an easy bake oven as a child & my loving husband bought me one for Christmas this past year, 37 years later.  I've begged my teenage children to make mini cakes with me, and for the same reason I never purchased one for them, they bowed out due to the "gayness" of it.  Regardless, I love my new Easy Bake, and I will buy a few extra light bulbs so that I can play with it in the future...with my grandchildren.  Hopefully they won't think it's gay.
Mar 15, 2011 12:58AM

In a news report several months ago it was pointed out that the small twisted florescent light blubs that are replacing the traditional light blubs if improperly disposed of and allowed to break into the ground can poison 1000 gallons of water each making it undrinkable. The question is then how many old light bulbs are thrown away into the garbage and broken in land fills where the rain can wash that poison into our drinking water?

Mar 14, 2011 11:19PM
I loved my Easy Bake oven. It was the best gift I think I ever got, even if the cake mixes were crap.
Mar 15, 2011 12:03AM
I was not lucky enough to have one of the easy bake ovens but my best friend was and we use to use some of her grandma's cake mix in it and wow were they good. I don' t remember the easy bake ones being bad either.  It is such a shame the government is outlawing a bulb so useful.  I also remember my parents keeping the baby chicks warm with light bulbs and keeping the water pipes from freezing.  You may believe you get 100 watts of light from some under wattage bulb but I can promise you you will be jeopardizing your sight when you count on these bulbs. You get the wattage of light the bulb actually is not what it says it equals.  I just wonder what necessity the government will decide we should do without next.
Mar 14, 2011 11:59PM
That is funny! I had a little playmate back in 1958, who got one for her birthday. She and I made little cakes then and that was her birthday cakes to serve to her guests. Of course her mother supervised. We were only four.
Mar 14, 2011 10:56PM
Mar 14, 2011 11:04PM
I loved my Easy Bake Oven.  I still love to cook.  I am a good cook, and I owe due credit to Easy Bake.  The Easy Bake mixes were very yucky, so we substituted with the Jiffy cake mixes, which was a meager improvement.  That notwithstanding, I am not nostalgic for the old Easy Bake.  I switched to CFL bulbs a couple of years, ago.  I find it just as horrifying as it is freakishly cool that those old light bulbs threw off enough heat to bake tiny cookies!  The real thrill of Easy Bake was having a little bitty me-sized stove, regardless of the heating element.
Mar 15, 2011 7:01AM
I too had an Easy-Bake Oven as a child.  I never burned my fingers or got my hand stuck in it... because I had someone to watch over me when I was playing with it.  I always thought the cake mixes didn't taste very good, but how cool is it that a 7 year old can open, measure, mix and bake a cake for someone they love?!  The brownie mix was awsome and the Jiffy mixes that we used to make muffins and all kinds of other things were delicious.  I know that my granddaughter loves to cook and we planned to purchase one for her this year for her birthday.  I think too many kids are using electronics way too young.  That is a big part of why we have an obesity problem in our country now.  It seems that everyone is on their behinds in front of a screen all the time instead of playing like kids should be.  I hate to sound like my mother, but I miss the days of kicking the kids out of the house for a while ... for them and for their moms!
Mar 14, 2011 11:25PM
This is a sad day for me and my Easy bake Oven , I have an old one , okay real old . Grant it I don't use mine but what if I wanted to , Does this mean I should stock up on 100 watts bulbs ? Maybe I'll sit it on a shelf and every now and then think of the days of making cakes and sharing them with my sister . Any how I guess everything changes for a reason some are dumb but then again maybe not so dumb not when little ones are getting hurt .
Mar 14, 2011 10:10PM
So now where do all the old models go?  What about all the ones that were sold over this past Christmas?  I think the company should offer something to the owners of the old models.
Mar 15, 2011 3:15AM
I had one... it was one of the few toys I had. I loved it. It's sad that I can't afford to buy things for my kids anymore because it's all expensive electronics! Those bitching about China...where do you think all the electronics are made? It's sad that they are changing it, and even more sad that we have to deal with this change in light bulbs. They aren't as bright, and I'm finding I'm having to buy more and more lamps to make up for the change in bulbs. I used to think it was a great idea, but after using the new bulbs, it's not. Too bad for all the kids who don't have the simpler things to play with. Everything is high tech, when we had so much fun with the low tech!
Mar 15, 2011 8:13AM
LMAO - you silly silly silverwolflady49 - the law moving away from incandesent lights to energy efficient lights was signed into law by BUSH. Silly silly silverwolflady. LMAO!
Mar 15, 2011 3:20AM
GE, for one, is working to close its incandescent production AND start CFL production in the USA. That will create bulbs which are energy efficient, environmentally safe, and products of our economic engine. CFLs are also a "transitional technology."  LEDs and emerging technologies will replace CFLs and provide cheaper, more reliable, and more "acceptable" light sources.  Our 2,600 sf house is five years old and has over 170 individual lights (of which not more than a dozen or two are on most evenings) and not one uses an incandescent.  None of the fixtures can handle CFLs, either, but some may handle LEDs as that size range grows. 90% of our lights are on dimmers and many are low voltage (which means nothing in terms of wattage) with spot-lighting efficiency (using lower wattage bulbs and directing the light to where it's needed). Our prior house was lit similarly and such lighting plans can really keep usage (and bills) down.  Very efficient, high quality lighting. I would never have a standard A10 bulb in a house. The world is not static . . . why would anyone DEMAND that we be immune to change and improvement? How is this bulb mandate any different than energy standards for appliances, cars, and even OUR HOMES? Worry about the big things in life, like the experiences our children have with toy ovens, not light bulbs.
Mar 15, 2011 7:00PM

Ha! Ha! I had an EZ Bake oven until my cousin melted my Barbie in it...

On another note, isn't banning the sale and use of the incandescent bulbs a little like making the purchase of health insurance mandatory? Hmmm...

Mar 15, 2011 4:25AM
My sister and I had one when we were younger.. the Holly Hobby style one.. early 80's and we loved it. No idea what happened to that... Then a few years ago we were given 2 ovens for my younger step daughters. Was thinking of passing one of them on to my grand daughter (she's 3, but might like it soon) Will have to stock up on bulbs for us.  I have no objection to the change for the newer models.. they probably should have rolled it out sooner so people could have more time to replace or the option to buy the bulb-less one before time ran out on the bulbs. I'd hate to have bought one in the last year to now be told, sorry, out of luck..
We switched to cfl's ages ago. We live in Alaska and lights tend to be on a lot during the dark months, so it helped a lot with the electric bill. We're now in the process of switching to LED. Love them! They can be so much brighter, but definitely have to do it a little at a time.

Mar 15, 2011 9:10AM

I got a Kenner Easy Bake Oven for Christmas in the mid sixties.  Having four sisters, we all used it.  I recall the cakes came out rubbery and, really, unfit to eat.  It was a lot of fun, though.  Just a toy!  I have a special interest in the oven because, as a child, I was a Monza model in Kansas City and got a job to have my photo taken with the oven for the Western Auto magazine.  I think my Mom still has the magazine.  Brings back lots of good memories!

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